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Lives in the Hinterland: commercial networks in the Angolan Central Highlands - 19th Century

Grant number: 21/09791-7
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal Investigator:Lucilene Reginaldo
Grantee:Ivan Sicca Gonçalves
Host Institution: Instituto de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas (IFCH). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):23/12043-8 - By the paths of the hinterland: studies of life stories of "sertanejos" and African merchants in Central Angola (19th Century), BE.EP.DR


The region known as Angola nowadays has undergone profound political, economic and social transformations throughout the 19th century. Back then, the transatlantic slave trade not only reached its peak, it was also outlawed and, eventually, replaced by the exportation of colonial goods, such as coffee, ivory and rubber, that grew in tandem with an intense increasing of a long distance commerce. The so called "sertanejos", merchants of European, African, or American descent, were protagonists of these new ventures, gathering large caravans that traveled around the continent carrying the commodities demanded by both the coastal merchants and the African chiefs in the hinterland. This research aims to investigate the lives of these "sertanejos" through the analysis of their individual and collective trajectories, and focused on the networks made in the Angolan Central Highlands, especially those around the Viye's Kingdom court, that connected that region to the Atlantic Coast and farther interior territories, like the Upper Zambezi. To understand their choices and commercial strategies, I'll focus on the efforts of political and social integration of these agents with both the coastal trade networks and the African elites of the hinterland. By developing our understading of those lives and careers, we seek to decenter the focus of the analysis from the coast to the hinterland in order to improve the assessment of the mutual impacts between global processes and regional dynamics.

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