Nineteenth-Century Craft Industries

  • R. M. A. van Zwanenberg
  • Anne King


The industry in hand-made goods in nineteenth-century East Africa is important because such goods were vital to society, supplementing and complementing agricultural and pastoral activities. For example, iron hoes were used by all agricultural communities. Weapons, such as iron spears, were also important. The people with the more skilful blacksmiths, who could forge the sharpest and longest-lasting swords, had a distinct advantage over people without such craftsmen. Salt was another essential commodity produced on a small scale. A great deal of salt was available from local natural sources, for example salt was extracted from the water of salt lakes or dug from the shores. Salt was traded over considerable distances but supplies were irregular especially for those people who did not have a suitable natural source of salt in their neighbourhood. As a substitute a great deal of salt was manufactured from plants, leaves and earths. But our knowledge of how the extraction processes, of which there were probably quite a number, were carried out is still very limited.


Clay Furnace Europe Income Charcoal 


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Copyright information

© R. M. A. van Zwanenberg with Anne King 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. M. A. van Zwanenberg
  • Anne King

There are no affiliations available

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