Pan Africanism : THE ETHIOPIAN SLAVE TRADE

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Omowale Jabali, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Ethiopian slave trade - unlike that practiced in the New World - was by no means unregulated. On the contrary, the Fetha Nagast prohibited the sale of Christians to non-believers. By the time of Emperor Susneyos, in the early 17th century, it was also established that Christians were not allowed to sell slaves of any faith - though they were allowed to purchase them. The Fetha Nagast's restriction applied only to Christians - with the result that Muslims were entirely free to sell slaves – and had in fact a virtual monopoly in the business. Islamic paramountcy in the slave trade was reinforced by the fact that slave exports went very largely to Muslim territories, most notably Arabia, Sudan and Egypt, as well as Muslim areas of India.

    The Ethiopian slave trade, like other trade, was originally carried out mainly on the basis of barter, for example the exchange of slaves for guns, or with the help of amolé, or bars of rock salt. By the early 18th century increasing use was however also made of Maria Theresa thalers, or dollars. A slave-girl on the trade route to the port of Massawa is said to have exclaimed. "Is it this what serves to purchase children and men?"
    Ethiopian slavery differed from that of the West in one other important respect: The Fetha Nagast sought to control - and in a sense to humanise it: by specifying a number of situations in which the slave-owner was obliged to emancipate his or her slave. Market values were to that extent subordinated to moral considerations.

    http://www.africanholocaust.net/news_ah/ethiopianslavetrade.html
     
  2. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Slavery in Ethiopia and Eritrea
    Slavery as practiced in what is modern Ethiopia and Eritrea was essentially domestic. Slaves thus served in the houses of their masters or mistresses, and were not employed to any significant extent for productive purpose. Slaves were thus regarded as second-class members of their owners' family,[9] and were fed, clothed and protected. Women were taken as sex slaves. They generally roamed around freely and conducted business as free people. They had complete freedom of religion and culture.[10] The first attempt to abolish slavery in Ethiopia was made by Emperor Tewodros II (r. 1855–1868)[11], although the slave trade was not abolished completely until 1923 with Ethiopia's ascension to the League of Nations.[12] Anti-Slavery Society estimated there were 2,000,000 slaves in the early 1930s out of an estimated population of between 8 and 16 million.[13] Slavery continued in Ethiopia until the Italian invasion in October 1935, when the institution was abolished by order of the Italian occupying forces.[14] In response to pressure by Western Allies of World War II, Ethiopia officially abolished slavery and involuntary servitude after having regained its independence in 1942.[15][16] On August 26, 1942 Haile Selassie issued a proclamation outlawing slavery.[17]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_slave_trade#Slavery_in_Ethiopia_and_Eritrea
     
  3. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ETHIOPIA'S PARTICIPATION IN THE SLAVE TRADE COMMERCE


    The most paralyzing thing one has to consider in the history of this unfortunate affairs is, the depth and intensity of the slave commerce that went on in Ethiopia, literally century in and century out, which has left a great insecurity over those who were its victims be it the Oromo, the Wolayta, or the Benshangul. And although they, at the present moment, by definition, are the majority of today's Ethiopia, in reality, they still are at the mercy of the descendants of the Abyssinian slaveholders, principally the Amhara and their Tigrean cohorts. The chilling tragedy about these people that one is forced to face in reading the history of the Ethiopian slave trade is, how humans were treated as if they were herds of animals. As historian Mordechai Abir recounted, those who were caught by slave traders

    http://dodona.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=history&action=print&thread=10110
     
  4. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ETHIOPIAN COLLABORATION WITH THE PORTUGUESE

    After centuries of isolation by Islâm, an important chapter in the history of Ethiopia came when the Portuguese appeared in the Indian Ocean. They had heard rumors of a mythical Christian kingdom, in Asia or Africa, ruled by the saintly "Prester John," surrounded and isolated by enemies of Christianity, and soon found the place that seemed to fit the description: Ethiopia. Portuguese influence stimulated and aided Ethiopia at a critical time when it was under serious threat from the triumphant Ottoman Empire. Portuguese firearms, delivered after an appeal for help by the Emperor Lebna Dengel in 1535, enabled the Emperor Galawedos to defeat the Imam of Harer, leader of Moslem forces, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim, who was killed in a great battle in 1543. Portuguese influence, however, was ultimately rejected, since Ethiopia was religiously Coptic and Monophysite, not Roman Catholic.

    http://www.friesian.com/ethiopia.htm

    The Ethiopian Slave Trade
    It is unseemly to speak of the horrors of the slave trade. However, it is the unfortunate reality that up until the mid 19th century the slave trade was an important source of revenue to Ethiopia. For nearly three centuries the country’s primary source of export was slaves that were sold to markets all over the world. In the height of the trade numbers reached as high as 25,000 slaves a year.

    http://www.niletrip.com/ethiopia wonders.html
     
  5. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Slave trade routes from Africa to the Americas during the period 1650-1860 are shown. There were additional routes to the New World from Mozambique, Zanzibar and Madagascar on the east side of Africa. Most of the slaves from the east side were brought to Portuguese controlled Salvador in the state of Bahia, Brazil, along with many other slaves from Angola. Brazil received more slaves from Africa than any other country in the New World. The 500,000 African slaves sent to America represents 10% of the number sent to Brazil, and 11% of the number sent to the West Indies. According to the estimates of Hugh Thomas (12), a total of 11,128,000 African slaves were delivered live to the New World, including 500,000 to British North America; therefore, only 4.5% of the total African slaves delivered to the New World were delivered to British North America. Also from Hugh Thomas, the major sources of the 13 million slaves departing from Africa (see slave ports map, above) were Congo/Angola (3 million), Gold Coast (1.5 million), Slave Coast (2 million), Benin to Calabar* (2 million), and Mozambique/Madagascar on the east coast of Africa (1 million).

    http://www.slaverysite.com/Body/maps.htm
     
  6. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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  7. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Jewish involvement in the slave trade

    What happened to the so-called "Jews" living in Ethiopia during the Ethiopian/Portuguese alliance?

    "If you want to read a novel about this period read Isaac Bashevis Singer's "The Slave." The idea that slaves who have Judaic traditions learned them from their owners does not strike me as explaining everything that happened. First, some North African Jews were sold when the Jewish community could not redeem them from pirates, warlords etc. Second, the consolidation of power by the Christian king in Ethiopia also coincided with the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade and those Jews who did not commit suicide by jumping off the high cliffs or convert to Christianity were captured and sold as slaves. My own feeling is that the "free blacks" of Surinam who escaped slavery and established their own independent communities, and who have many Jewish symbols may be of Ethiopian background. If you wish to read about this history it can be found in "Redemption Song" a history of the Ethiopian Jews. It's interesting that when Saudi Arabia outlawed de jure slavery in 1962, there continued to be trafficking in Jewish Ethiopian girls. It would not suprise me if descendents of these women retain a memory of their Jewish heritage."

    http://www.kulanu.org/links/slavery.php
     
  8. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Coffee Trade

    Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee: it is in the forests of the Kaffa region that coffea arabica grew wild. Coffee is "Bun" or "Buna" in Ethiopia, so Coffee Bean is quite possibly a poor anglicized interpretation of "Kaffa Bun". Coffea Arabica was also found in the Harar region quite early, either brought from the Kaffa forests or found closer by. It is entirely possible that slaves taken from the forests chewed coffee berry and spread it into the Harar region, through which the Muslim slave trade route passed.

    http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.africa.ethiopia.php
     
  9. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The Starbucks Slave?

    This is something to consider the next time you plan on stopping at your local Starbucks.

    Starbucks is claiming ownership to the coffee bean names Sidamo, Harar and Yirgacheffe. Yes, Mr. Donald (CEO of Starbucks), your creativity is undeniable. It may annoy you or be of a discomfort to you that this poor country and these poor farmers are trying to deny you of all the profit you rightly deserve. I, however, can't help but imagine the anger it must bring upon the farmers who hand pick these coffee beans in the Harar, Sidamo, and Yirgacheffe regions for less than $1 a day to learn that their coffee is bringing Starbucks $8.5 billions dollars a year and is bringing you, Mr. Donald, a higher ranking in the fortune 500 list. That must be infuriating and humiliating for those farmers. They almost freely labor all day long for your great success.


    http://ethiopiaencyclopedia.blogspot.com/2006/10/ethiopian-farmers-starbucks-slaves.html
     
  10. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    TRADING IN SLAVES IN BELA-SHANGUL AND GUMUZ, ETHIOPIA: BORDER ENCLAVES IN HISTORY, 1897–1938

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    ABDUSSAMAD H. AHMAD a1
    a1 Addis Ababa University

    Abstract


    Like other empires in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, expansion and slavery went hand in hand in Ethiopia, contrary to imperial justifications based on the abolition of the slave trade and slavery. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Ethiopian empire incorporated the northwestern border enclaves of Bela-Shangul and Gumuz into greater Ethiopia. Having obtained the subordination of the local Muslim warlords, the emperor then demanded tribute from them in slaves, ivory and gold. Slaves were used as domestics in the imperial palace at Addis Ababa and the houses of state dignitaries and as farm labor on their farms elsewhere in the country. Responding to the demands of the central government as well as their own needs, borderland chiefs raided local villages and neighbouring chiefdoms for slaves. Expanding state control thus led to intensified slave raiding and the extension of the slave trade from the borderlands into the centre of the empire in spite of Ethiopia's public commitment to end slavery and the slave trade as a member of the League of Nations. The end of slavery in Ethiopia only came with the Italian occupation in 1935.


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    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=6443
     
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