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Questions tagged [africa]

Africa is the continent on which the human species probably originated. It fostered some of the earliest known civilizations, and contains a vast array of cultures to this day.

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What are the earliest written accounts of Sub-Saharan Africa from the outside?

I've been researching African ethnography recently, and this path has led me to looking for early accounts of Sub-Saharan Africa. That they come from non-residents likely goes without saying, but I ...
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Are there records of US slaves who practiced Islam following their import from Africa?

Islam has historically been prevalent in many regions of Africa, such as in the Songhai Empire, which was based around Sharia law. It seems plausible to me that some Africans were practitioners of ...
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When was the first confirmed circumnavigation of Africa?

There has been debate over the years about whether the Phoenicians and Egyptians circumnavigated Africa. An expedition beginning in 2008 set out to prove just that, with a Phoenician-inspired ship. ...
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When did “Africa” become the name of the whole continent?

I learned from wiki that Africa was the name of a Roman province during Roman times, and that the continent was divided into Libya, Egypt and Ethiopia. So when did Africa become the name of the ...
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In general, what was the level of technology like in central Africa, just before the scramble for Africa?

I'm asking this question out of curiosity. In general, what was the level of technology like in central Africa, just before the scramble for Africa?
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How historically accurate was the Queen's trip to Ghana portrayed in Episode 8 of The Crown?

OK let me be more specific. In episode 8 of The Crown (Netflix), it is implied that Queen Elizabeth II went to Ghana (because she heard a sly comment from JFK's wife) to prevent the country from going ...
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How powerful was the Malian empire?

I heard someone talking about Timbuktu, Mansa Musa (they claim that he is the richest man in history). They also claimed that Mali was the richest state in the 14th century world and that the Malian ...
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How did the ancestors of proto-Malagasy in South Borneo reach Madagascar?

The Malagasy, the original inhabitants of Madagascar, are of both African and Asian ancestry. Both linguistic and genetic evidence point to an Indonesian origin of the Asian ancestors, specifically ...
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What is the backstory behind the White Sun of Angola?

I was reading some history of Angola and came across this symbol, for which the filename was "White Sun of Angola". I was unable to find anything that explains its origin with some simple google ...
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Travel route from UK to Boma (Congo territory) in the 1880s

I’m researching for a possible story on the Congo in the 1880s. I’m having a hard time establishing the route and time spent going from a port in England to Boma in the former unclaimed Congo ...
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181 views

How could a black woman be transported directly from Africa to Britain in 1760s?

I am a screenwriter. Currently started developing a screenplay for a feature film with the story happening in Western Africa and Britain in 1770 (+/-). I know that in Atlantic slave trade scheme ...
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Journeys from Gujarat in India to Dare es Salaam in what was then, Tanganyika in 1925 and 1948

I am researching a journey for a novel where my character travels from Gujarat in India to Dare es Salaam in what was then, Tanganyika. The journey happens in 1925 and then again in 1948. Does anyone ...
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Did Egyptians circumnavigate Africa in three years during Nekau's reign?

I read in an old High School-level History book* that during the reign of Nekau (or Necho II), during the Saita Period, someone called "Hamon" circumnavigated Africa in three years. However the book ...
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Why was sugar cultivation more profitable in the Caribbean/Brazil than West Africa?

The Atlantic slave trade involved the large-scale deportation of West African slaves to sugar plantations on the other side of the Atlantic. Why was it more profitable to do that, rather than to ...
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Was Abu Simbel also designed to serve as a border between Egypt and Nubia?

Abu Simbel is a spectacular looking site located in the most Southern part of Egypt and in very close proximity to the Sudan-(Ancient Nubia). Although Abu Simbel was a massive Temple dedicated to ...
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Why did ZANU (instead of ZAPU) come to power after the Rhodesian Bush War?

Given recent events in Zimbabwe I am curious about the country's origins, and have been reading various articles on Wikipedia. Principally this on the Rhodesian Bush War. I would like to know why ...
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Why would the Rhodesians trust Blacks in their army?

I was reading about Rhodesia and found that there were Blacks serving in the Rhodesian military. The caption of this picture asserts that they were the majority of the millitary! I would have ...
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Was the factional civil war that broke out in Angola after its independence in 1975 based on tribal rivalry?

Was the factional civil war that broke out in Angola after its independence from Portugal in 1975 primarily based on tribal rivalries. (with an ideological cover)?
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Did Julius Caesar say: “Africa, I have grabbed you”?

Someone once told me that when Julius Caesar stepped off the boat onto the North African shore, he tripped and landed flat on his face, to which he then said (in an amazing comeback to onlookers ...
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Did the Romans see Africa as a black continent? Was there a perception of a divide between Africa and Europe?

Nowadays the Western world perceives Africa as the continent of the black people and hence a standard African person as a black individual. How did the people in the Roman empire perceive the African ...
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What were the trade routes between Mapungubwe and other civilizations?

As given in site South African kingdom of Mapungubwe From about 1220 to 1300 Mapungubwe was an advanced trading centre and its inhabitants traded with Arabia, China and India through the East African ...
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Has Morocco ever claimed ownership of the Canary and Madeira islands?

Has Morocco ever claimed ownership of the Canary and Madeira islands? If no, then why not? How about the island countries Cabo Verde and São Tomé and their African continental neighbours?
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What was Yugoslavia doing in the Angolan Civil War?

I was looking through Wikipedia (a mixed quality source) about the military history of Yugoslavia, when I noticed this odd listing of Yugoslavia as one of the combatants in the Angolan Civil War (1975-...
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Advanced sub-saharan civilizations prior to cross-atlantic slave trade?

I came across the following passage in Desmond Morris' 1969 book The Human Zoo. In it the author is arguing that sub-saharan Africa contained advanced civilizations prior to the commencement of the ...
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Was African slave trade ever directed towards Europe? If not, why?

The capture, shipping and sale of African slaves was most famously directed towards the colonies of European empires in the Americas, where they were put to work on plantations and other harsh, labor-...
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What was the name of the region, Somalia, British Somalia or British Somaliland?

Somalia was created in 1960 by joining two regions: British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. References in Wikipedia keep toggling between British Somaliland and Italian Somalia, note the use of ...
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Did Africans defeat Europeans in battle between 1850 and 1950?

The battle of Adwa was fought between Italians and Ethiopians in northern Ethiopia in 1896. The Italians were defeated and it was the greatest victory for Africans. Were there any other battles where ...
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Were Western (French, US or other) powers involved in the coup against Captain Sankara of Burkina Faso?

I have researched this head of state of Burkina Faso using different papers, wiki articles, programs and French DGSE books to form an opinion on this puzzling character. It seems Captain Thomas ...
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On the eve of the Democratic Republic of the Congo's independence, the country had virtually zero doctors, or any other intellectuals?

Even Patrice Lumumba was educated at the level of a clerk. So why did the pioneers of the independence movement think that the newly independent country would succeed? Follow up: Is this trend ...
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Is there evidence for the use of the solenarion in late Medieval Ethiopia?

Shihab al-Umari, an Arab historian of the 14th century, wrote much of what's know of Emperor of Ethiopia Amda Seyon I campaigns against the Muslim States, namely Awfat, Dawaru, Arababni, Hadya, ...
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What goods were traded in the medieval Indian Ocean?

The Periplus of the Erythrian Sea has detailed reports of trade ports of the Eastern Indian Ocean in the first century AD. There are also plenty of archaeological reports, summaries, and books from ...
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Why did Guinea vote so differently in the 1958 French constitutional referendum?

In the 1958 French constitutional referendum, 79.3% of Metropolitan France and 82.3% of the territories voted in favor of the constitution. Out of the latter, votes in favor ranged from 64.40% in ...
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Where can I find documents on the 1992 fight between French soldiers and Somalian fighters?

I read in this French blog that before the battle of Mogadishu in 1993, French soldiers did fight successfully and manage to achieve their mission in June 1992 during the Oryx Operation (They were ...
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Impact of the spread of disease from non-Europeans to virgin populations in the Old World

It is well known that Europeans brought a host of different diseases to the Americas. This led to catastrophic declines in the indigenous populations. I am looking for documentation of non-Europeans ...
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Why hasn't Sub-Sahan African developed as fast as other regions between the beginning of civilisation and European colonialism? [closed]

First I asked the following question: How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually have with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization? I was expecting answers such as 'not much ...
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What caused the rapid African population growth in the last decades?

Wikipedia states: [African] population doubled in the period 1982–2009[4] and quadrupled from 1955–2009, according to United Nations estimates. Is there a consensus on the causes behind this rapid ...
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How did the sale of rum affect the demographics of Africa?

A history book I'm reading says "The sale of rum had a great impact on Africa's demographics", but doesn't go into details -- so I'm curious as to what this could mean.
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Relation between Afroamerican religions and colonial metropoles?

In most of Brazil, Afroamerican religion is Candomblé, which is rooted in Yoruba traditional religion, with influences of Angola-Congo traditions. The main exception is the Northeastern state of ...
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What was the ancient Greeks view on people of African descent?

I am interested in sources (reference author, work, paragraph/fragment) describing the view ancient Greeks held about people of African descent. By that I mean those whom they called Αιθίοπες (...
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How much contact did Sub-Saharan Africa actually have with the rest of the world since the beginning of civilization?

The book 'Guns, germs and steel' introduced me to the fact that the Sahara desert actually isolated Sub-Saharan Africa from the developments elsewhere since the beginning of civilization until ...
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Why were La Réunion and Mauritius uninhabited?

Why were the Mascarenes islands, La Réunion and Mauritius (and Rodrigues), uninhabited until Europeans arrived ? Many islands off the coast of Africa remained uninhabited until the arrival of ...
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Was it true that Nelson Mandela refused to renounce violence while in Prison?

I got this comment from an article on Mandela: Most white South Africans rejoin that Nelson Mandela had no reason to seek revenge on anyone, nor any basis for extending forgiveness to his previous ...
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478 views

Are there any known instances of sub-Saharan African democracy before European colonialism?

I've been reading up on pre-Athenian democracy (sometimes referred to as primitive or tribal democracy) where leaders were selected by some or most members of a group and were subject to established ...
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1answer
814 views

Mali - French colonial rule

So I'm researching the time of the french colonial rule in Mali at the moment. But there are some thing I don't understand, especially the part where the Mali region gets "added"(?) to french-sudan. ...
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What trains were used on the Dakar-Niger Railway in the late 1950s and early 1960s?

What trains were used on the Dakar-Niger Railway in the late 1950s and early 1960s, i.e. the transition to independence? Are there any images available? I can find images of the railway from 1950 and ...
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650 views

Did the Portuguese build any settlement around the Cape of Good Hope?

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to go around the Cape of Good Hope and build several outposts, later turned into large colonies, at Angola and Moçambique, on both sides of the Cape, but none ...
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How did the Belgians issue ID cards with ethnicity to women in Ruanda-Urundi?

I've read about how the Belgians issued ID cards to the inhabitants of their colony Ruanda-Urundi (later independent under the names of Rwanda and Burundi): Indeed, the Belgian colonists ...
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Rwanda: Tutsis passing themselves as Hutus during the genocide

I'm searching for info about one (minor) question concerning the genocide in Rwanda 1994: Is there evidence of Tutsis trying to pass themselves off as Hutus to avoid being killed? (I know that this ...
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Why does the Star of David feature on these African coins from 20th century?

Why does the Star of David feature on these African coins from 1936 and 1959?
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Why did the NATO (help to) overthrow Kadhafi? [closed]

What was NATO's goal? What was the strategic objective? NATO tolerated Kadhafi when he was quite hardline against the West and attacked him when he took a much more cooperative attitude towards the ...