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Title: Enslaving Spirits: The Portuguese-Brazilian Alcohol Trade at Luanda and its Hinterland, c 1550-1830
Author: Curto, Jose C
Publisher: Brill; Publication Date: 2004
Hardcover; ISBN: 9789004131750
Volumes: 1; Pages: xiv, 266
List Price in Cloth: $111.00 Our price: $93.99
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Long recognized as having played many important roles in the slave export trade of western Africa, foreign alcohol and its various functions within this context have nevertheless escaped systematic analysis. This volume focuses on the topic at Luanda and its Hinterland, where the connections between foreign alcohol and the slave export trade reached their zenith. Here, following the mid-1500s, an extremely close relationship developed between imported intoxicants and slaves exported, by the thousands in any given year, into the Atlantic World: first, fortified Portuguese wine and, following 1650, Brazilian rum emerged as crucial trade goods for the acquisition of slaves. But the significance of Luso-Brazilian intoxicants goes far beyond this singular fact: they also served a number of other functions, some of which were directly tied to slave trading and others indirectly underpinned the business. The volume addresses the problem of alcohol in African history, historicizes "indigenous" alcoholic beverages in West-Central Africa at the time of contact, analyzes the introduction and increasing use of foreign intoxicants for the acquisition of exportable slaves, ponders the profits that such transactions generated within the Atlantic world, reconstructs the other uses of imported alcohol in directly and indirectly underpinning the export slave trade of Luanda, and assesses the impact of foreign alcohol upon West-Central African consumers.