Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Food Markets and West African Women Merchants

Women sell cereals and nuts on the main road of the Abobo neighborhood of Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast
More today on food markets in the West African Gold Kingdom of Guinea in the 1600s. When farmers came to the market with grains, livestock and produce for food such as millet, rice, and teff, chickens, goats, and oxen, yams, bananas, and sweet potatoes, they had to “lay down their weapons outside; for if they come to the coastal towns with any weapons, they must pay a fine [in] gold.  Women merchants arrived daily after “walking five, some of them even six miles” to the market in groups of three or four usually singing “and greatly enjoy themselves on the road” They come loaded down with children and food traded their food for fish to carry home. “Thus they often return home from the Market as heavily loaded as when they set out.”  Other items they bought using unprocessed gold weighed on a scale.  

West African Foodways and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=West+Africa
Robert Launay, West African Foodways: [Listen Now 59 min 9 sec] http://www.wbez.org/story/culture/food/appetite-africa

Women’s History Series with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=women%27s+history

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