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Title: The external trade of the Loango Coast and its effects on the Vili, 1576-1870
Author: Martin, Phyllis M.
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 1970
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The Loango Coast is a useful term to describe the West African Coast which lies between Cape Lopez in the north and the Congo River in the south. In the sixteenth century, the region was divided into three kingdoms, Loango, Kakongo and Ngoyo. This study discusses two interrelated themes. The first concerns the changing patterns of external trade; here, four main phases may be differentiated. The first was a pre-slave trade period, from about 1576 to 1630 when indigenous African commercial activities expanded under the impetus of European contact; between 1630 and 1670 the products of legitimate trade decreased in importance and the trade in slaves gained momentum; the years from 1670 to 1793 have been called the Slave Trade Era; from about 1793 to 1870, the slave traders faced mounting problems until their activities were finally ended and a legitimate trade was reestablished. The second theme deals specifically with the Vili kingdom of Loango, which, as the term "Loango Coast" implies, dominated the region until its fortunes changed in the eighteenth century. The discussion suggests how the Vili were affected by the changing patterns of external trade. Chapters 1 and 8 are primarily concerned with this subject, although it is also touched on at various other points. The Maloango and the traditional aristocracy, who dominated the sixteenth aid seventeenth century Vili kingdom, were forced to share power witha class of nouveaux- riches thrown up by the slave trade, by the late eighteenth century. The final demise of the old kingdom occurred in the nineteenth century, when the order and unity of traditional society was lost amid the unstable conditions brought by the rule of petty chiefs. The last chapter attempts to show that these changes were a positive response to varying circumstances, not mere decay.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral