Home Institution

Wake Forest University

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Tanzania: Wildlife Conservation and Political Ecology


The purpose of my study was to learn about the east African Slave trade and its relationship to the town of Bagamoyo. Bagamoyo was an important trading town on the coast of Tanzania during the peak of the Arab run slave and ivory trade. Slavery was only abolished in Tanganyika in 1922, so there are still many monuments and memories remaining in the town concerning the slave trade. I had two main methods of collecting information about the town, interviewing the descendants of slaves and slave owners and researching the history of Bagamoyo. I was able to get three different interviews in Bagamoyo with the descendants of slaves, two with people whose ancestors were slaves and one whose ancestors were slave owners. During these interviews I collected ethnographic information, asked them for specific stories regarding their family’s history in the slave trade, and asked them their perspective on their ancestors. Though I only had limited data because of the lack of interviewees, I was still able to discern several themes and commonalities present in their stories. By combining the personal perspectives of the interviewees with the more factually based knowledge I garnered from my research in Bagamoyo, I was able to get a good picture of what slavery was like in Bagamoyo and how it affected the people of the town.


African Studies | Human Geography

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