Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

On Trans-Saharan Trails
Islamic Law, Trade Networks, and Cross-Cultural Exchange in Nineteenth-Century Western Africa

£69.99

Award Winner
  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521887243

£ 69.99
Hardback

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook


Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
Courses
About the Authors
  • This study is the first of its kind to examine the history and organization of trans-Saharan trade in western Africa using original source material. It documents the internal dynamics of a trade network system based on a case study of 'Berber' traders from the Wād Nūn region, who specialized in outfitting camel caravans in the nineteenth century. Through an examination of contracts, correspondence, fatwas and interviews with retired caravaners, Professor Lydon shows how traders used their literacy skills in Arabic and how they had recourse to experts of Islamic law to regulate their long-distance transactions. The book also examines the strategies devised by women to participate in caravan trade. By embracing a continental approach, this study bridges the divide between West African and North African studies. The work will be of interest to historians of Africa, the Middle East, and the world and to scholars of long-distance trade, Muslim societies and Islamic law.

    • Describes the internal dynamics of a trans-Saharan trade network based on original legal/commercial records from Saharan private family collections
    • Makes a strong argument for the consideration of functional literacy and Islamic legal institutions as critical to efficient long-distance trade
    • Contributes to a better understanding of the role of women in long-distance trade
    Read more

    Awards

    • Winner of the 2010 Martin A. Klein Prize in African History from the American Historical Association

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Lydon's lengthy book provides a wealth of information about trans-Saharan trade on the eve of colonial conquest and will serve as a benchmark. … Lydon's arguments are provocative contributions to evolving debates on Islamic economies and economic anthropology.' The Journal of Comparative Studies in Society and History

    'Lydon successfully reconciles the rich variety in written and oral sources on the trans-Saharan trade … The book is refreshing for its exploration of lightly trodden trans-Saharan tracks.' The Journal of African History

    'In this massive study [Lydon] tries, with considerable success, to do it all: Saharan trade is integrated into the story of global/cross-cultural exchange; the traditional divisions of 'North' and 'West' African history are repositioned by a focus on the Saharan commerce that unites them; and a remarkably lucid tale is told of Wad Nun (southern Moroccan) economic (and social, and legal) links in the nineteenth century, south through Tawdenni and Arawan to Timbuktu, then back north through Walata, Tishit, Shinqit (with a brief excursion to the coast at Arguin), Wadan, and Ijil. … We are indebted to Ghislaine Lydon for bringing all this and much, much more together, effectively opening research arenas that formerly were foggily defined, at best, and spelling out methodologies frequently ignored by Africanist blinders. But most of all, she has reaffirmed the importance of our attention to the tens of thousands of manuscripts, now increasingly accessible and known, across the Sahara and West Africa.' Charles C. Stewart, Islamic Africa

    'In this pioneering work, Lydon has given historians and legal scholars a window into the commercial complexities of trans-Saharan trade that reached across vast distances and multiple currency zones … On Trans-Saharan Trails makes an important contribution to African history and by extension to world history.' Law and History Review

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2009
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521887243
    • length: 498 pages
    • dimensions: 231 x 152 x 38 mm
    • weight: 0.83kg
    • contains: 12 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Making history across the African divide
    2. Trans-Saharan trade in the longue durée
    3. Markets and the movement of caravans: nineteenth-century developments
    4. Guelmīm and the Wād Nūn traders
    5. The organization of caravan trade
    6. Business practice and legal culture in a paper economy of faith
    7. Trade networks and the limits of cooperative behavior
    8. On trans-Saharan trails.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • World History
    • World History Since 1500
  • Author

    Ghislaine Lydon, University of California, Los Angeles
    Dr Ghislaine Lydon is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Los Angeles. The author of several articles on West Africa, she has done extensive fieldwork in both West and North Africa and archival work in France.

    Awards

    • Winner of the 2010 Martin A. Klein Prize in African History from the American Historical Association

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email lecturers@cambridge.org

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×