“The kola trade illustrates some of the unexpected features of the economic history of West Africa that are also reshaping our understanding of its cultural past.... Highly recommended.”

International Journal of African Historical Studies

Kola is a “food-drug”—like coffee, tea, coca, and tobacco—a substance considered neither food nor medicine, but used to induce “flights of fancy.” It is incorporated into rites of passage and ceremonies to cement treaties and contracts; its medicinal properties were first recognized outside Africa in the twelfth century; and it is a legal and popular stimulant among West African Muslims.

Kola Is God's Gift brings together the legends and lore with the social, religious, medicinal, and economic importance of kola nuts. In addition, it delineates the place of kola in the political economy of Asante and the Gold Coast. In particular it looks at kola's contribution to the economic initiatives of the Hausa diaspora in West Africa.

Edmund Abaka is an assistant professor of history at the University of Miami.

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Cover of 'Kola is God’s Gift'


Paperback edition

978-0-8214-1574-0 · Retail price: $26.95, S. · Release date: Aug. 2005 · 256 pages

Hardcover edition

978-0-8214-1573-3 · Retail price: $49.95, S. · Release date: Aug. 2005 · 256 pages · Rights: World (exclusive in Americas, and Philippines) except British Commonwealth, Continental Europe, and United Kingdom

In Series

Western African Studies

Related Subjects

African History · African Studies · History

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