By Edmund Abaka
“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. More info →
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Healing Traditions offers a historical perspective to the interactions between South Africa’s traditional healers and biomedical practitioners. It provides an understanding that is vital for the development of medical strategies to effectively deal with South Africa’s healthcare challenges.
Surabaya is Indonesia's second largest city but is not well known to the outside world. Yet in 1900, Surabaya was a bigger city than Jakarta and one of the main commercial centers of Asia. Collapse of sugar exports during the 1930s depression, followed by the Japanese occupation, revolution, and independence, brought on a long period of stagnation and retreat from the international economy.
The Gold Coast became important to the Allied war effort in WWII, necessitating the creation of elaborate propaganda and espionage networks, the activities of which ranged from rumor-mongering to smuggling and sabotage.
Indonesian Exports, Peasant Agriculture and the World Economy 1850–2000
Economic Structures in a Southeast Asian State
By Hiroyoshi Kano
The Indonesian economy, like the Indonesian nation state, took shape as part of the colonial transformation of the archipelago by the Dutch in the mid-nineteenth century. The agricultural sector of the economy provided food and labor to the export sector, which was firmly incorporated into the world economy through international trade. This economic pattern survived several shifts and persisted even after Indonesia became independent in the mid-twentieth century.