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Examining the process of abolition on the island of Pemba off the East African coast in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this book demonstrates the links between emancipation and the redefinition of honor among all classes of people on the island. By examining the social vulnerability of ex-slaves and the former slave-owning elite caused by the Abolition order of 1897, this study argues that moments of resistance on Pemba reflected an effort to mitigate vulnerability rather than resist the hegemonic power of elites or the colonial state. As the meanings of the Swahili word heshima shifted from honor to respectability, individuals' reputations came under scrutiny and the Islamic kadhi and colonial courts became an integral location for interrogating reputations in the community. This study illustrates the ways in which former slaves used piety, reputation, gossip, education, kinship, and witchcraft to negotiate the gap between emancipation and local notions of belonging.Read more
- This is the first monograph on Pemba Island to be published in 99 years
- Has rich detail in stories of many ex-slaves that have not been written about before
- The last chapter examines a form of witchcraft that differs from most of the forms found in mainland Africa
Reviews & endorsements
"This detailed, absorbing and thought-provoking study is the most explicit attempt so far to address the aftermath of slavery in East Africa, a topic that has shown up in many previous studies but rarely been the main focus."
Felicitas Becker, H-Soz-Kult
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- Date Published: April 2013
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9781107025820
- length: 293 pages
- dimensions: 235 x 156 x 20 mm
- weight: 0.52kg
- contains: 5 b/w illus.
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
2. Mzuri Kwao and slavery in eastern Africa
3. Reputation and disputing in the courts
4. Reputation, heshima, and community
5. Mitigating vulnerability and kinship
6. Magic, witchcraft, power, and vulnerability
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