Global connections and connected communities in the African past: Stories from cowrie shells

Haour, Anne ORCID: and Moffett, Abigail ORCID: (2023) Global connections and connected communities in the African past: Stories from cowrie shells. African Archaeological Review, 40 (3). pp. 545-553. ISSN 0263-0338

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Through the stories of four people who carried or traded cowrie shells, this article examines the connections between various parts of the world from a thousand years ago to the present. These connections spanned great distances, linking communities in West Africa and the Indian Ocean islands of the Maldives, and they bring to light the vast land and sea links that connected different regions of the African continent to the wider world in this period. We use cowrie shells to explore how objects participate in creating social relations, shaping senses of self and identity. When viewed in relation to the theme of connections, this offers a springboard for thinking about how things and their biographies fit within our lives today.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding Information: The authors gratefully acknowledge the funding and support from the British Academy via a Newton International Fellowship (NIFBA19\190822) that granted Abigail Moffett a residency at the University of East Anglia for collaboration with Anne Haour. Acknowledgements: We thank Ann Stahl, Allison Balabuch, and an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on our paper.
Uncontrolled Keywords: africa,burials,cowrie shells,globalization,indian ocean,object biographies,trade,archaeology,archaeology ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1204
Faculty \ School: University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Area Studies
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Centre for African Art and Archaeology
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2023 03:24
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2024 03:14
DOI: 10.1007/s10437-023-09546-5


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