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Trade, politics and labor in the Angola's hinterland: sertanejos and central Africans in the pages of António da Silva Porto (1841-1869)

Grant number: 18/13073-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 31, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Lucilene Reginaldo
Grantee:Ivan Sicca Gonçalves
Home Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/21979-5 - Between slavery and the burden of freedom: workers and forms of labor exploitation in historical perspective, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):18/25336-5 - Registries and notes from the hinterland: research internship in Portuguese collections about politics, commerce and labor in Angolan Central Highlands (1840's to 1860's), BE.EP.MS

Abstract

This research aims to study the dynamics of "sertanejo" trade in Angola's hinterland in mid XIXth century. Gathered in the Angolan Central Highlands, region outside the Portuguese colonial jurisdiction at the time, the "sertanejo" merchants were important agents of the trade in the continent's hinterland, having a fundamental role in the expansion of the export of colonial goods like wax, ivory and copal, in the period after the legal prohibition of the transatlantic slave trade throughout the Portuguese colonies in 1836. From the daily reports written by António Francisco Ferreira da Silva Porto between the decades of 1840 and 1860, which contain comments on the everyday life in the trading caravans in Central Africa, I shall investigate the social relations that interwove this commercial practice. Such relations consisted in, from the ubiquitous enrollment and dealing with the Central Africans of the caravan societies' who followed the "sertanejo" for months of walking, to the diplomacy and active participation of African authorities on the commerce in the continent's hinterland. By following the everyday life registered in Silva Porto's writings, it becomes possible to have a broader understanding of the formation, consolidation and change processes of the legitimate commerce in the region by understanding the impact of decisions and conflicts of those historic agents in this process of deep political and social transformation in Central Africa's hinterlands.