A Workman Is Worthy of His Meat: Food and Colonialism in the by Jeremy Rich Ph.D. MA BA

By Jeremy Rich Ph.D. MA BA

In Libreville, the capital of the African kingdom of Gabon, the colonial earlier has developed right into a current indelibly marked by way of colonial rule and ongoing French effect. this is often specially glaring in components as necessary to lifestyles as nutrition. during this complicated, hybrid culinary tradition of Libreville, croissants are as on hand as plantains. but this similar culinary variety is observed through excessive costs and an absence of in the neighborhood made foodstuff that's bewildering to citizens and viewers alike. A mind-blowing two-thirds of the country’s nutrients is imported from outdoors Gabon, making Libreville’s fee of residing such as that of Tokyo and Paris. during this compelling examine of meals tradition and colonialism, Jeremy wealthy explores how colonial rule in detail formed African lifestyles and the way African townspeople built artistic methods of dealing with colonialism as eu growth threatened African self-sufficiency.
From colonization within the 1840s via independence, Libreville struggled with difficulties of nutrients shortage caused by the legacy of Atlantic slavery, the violence of colonial conquest, and the increase of the trees export undefined. Marriage disputes, racial tensions, and employee unrest frequently based on foodstuff, and townspeople hired diverse strategies to strive against its shortage. finally, imports emerged because the answer and feature had an enduring influence on Gabon’s culinary tradition and economy.
Fascinating and informative, A Workman Is invaluable of His Meat engages a brand new road of old inquiry in studying the tradition of nutrition as a part of the colonial adventure and resonates with the questions of globalization dominating culinary economics today.

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Extra resources for A Workman Is Worthy of His Meat: Food and Colonialism in the Gabon Estuary

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Between 1840 and 1870 rumors ran rampant regarding malicious slaves scheming to kill masters. Free people blamed slaves for calamities. In 1847 inhabitants of a Mpongwe village panicked after elephants trampled their crops. 72 William Walker recorded a slave servant’s execution in the same year. 73 In Mpongwe culture eating was a practice that made one susceptible to harm. 74 Prohibitions were also imposed for health reasons. 80 With large numbers of slaves growing and cooking much of their food, on occasion free households displayed fear of their dependents.

Bouet-Willaumez and other French military men distrusted Agakaza leaders who had raided and robbed several French vessels. Some clan leaders preferred English and American traders. Agakaza aga (clan chiefs) such as Re-Dowé signed treaties in return for European military outfits and a wide variety of goods in 1842 and 1843. Such treaties from the Mpongwe point of view appear to have been the continuation of older policies of commercial alliances. 53 The difference between local and French interpretations of these agreements became rapidly obvious.

Such sources offer insights into the farming, fishing, and trading practices when Europeans and Americans arrived in the region, how domestic slavery and gendered economic options affected food, and the conflicting ways in which European and Americans understood Mpongwe tastes and eating habits. Choosing Local Foods By the 1840s two crops furnished the starchy mainstays of Mpongwe cooking: manioc and plantains. Atlantic commerce brought manioc to the region. 4 Able to grow in relatively poor soils and survive periods of variable rainfall, manioc had long been a major staple in much of Brazil.

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