Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

This book may have only one author, but it owes a great deal to a range of people. First and foremost, I could never have written this study without the generosity and patience that the people of Libreville, Akok, Kango, and other towns showed me during my stays in Gabon. The kindness of Christine Angoue and the family of Marie-Noelle Eyong in hosting me and teaching me Fang were

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xix

At first glance, the Central African nation of Gabon exemplifies France's continued hold on its former possessions. Libreville, the country's capital, is a product of colonial rule. It shows. Since independence the city has been transformed from a sleepy port of twenty thousand people in 1960 to a growing metropolis of half a million inhabitants. French soldiers and businessmen sip beers and ...

read more

1. The Gabon Estuary and the Atlantic World, 1840–1960

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-21

In Libreville, the capital of the Central African nation of Gabon, the colonial past has evolved into a present indelibly marked by French rule. French soldiers still wash down their boredom with cheap liquor in local bars and garrison the city as they have since the founding of the port in 1843. Oil profits in the boom years of the 1970s paid for a towering set of modernist office and ...

read more

2. Eating in an African Atlantic Town, 1840–1885

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 22-44

Soon after arriving in the Gabon Estuary to set up a Protestant mission in 1842, American pastor John L. Wilson went to work. He took a canoe from Libreville to spread the Gospel at Mpongwe leader Rapontchombo's home village across the Estuary. The Asiga clan chief was a man of means. When his boat touched shore, Wilson was in for a surprise. Rapontchombo knew how to throw a dinner ...

read more

3. Newcomers, Food Supply, and the Colonial State, 1840–1914

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 45-63

Between 1840 and 1914 Libreville changed from being a tiny colonial outpost to become the administrative headquarters of French imperial ambitions in Central Africa. Visitors considered it a sleepy haven in a colony rife with violence. English tourist and collector Mary Kingsley rhapsodized on the friendly and quaint manners of Africans in town.1 Africans from all over Gabon and ...

read more

4. Famine in the Gabon Estuary, 1914–1930

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 64-85

Gabonese rural dwellers and townspeople alike became enmeshed in the global catastrophe of World War I. German and French armies staffed by African soldiers squared off in much of northern Gabon in the first two years of hostilities. Besides the toll of combat, the population of the Gabon Estuary grappled with other losses in the wake of war: the collapse of international trade, the need ...

read more

5. Town Life and Imported Food, 1840–1960

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 86-106

James Patten, an African employee of the Libreville Protestant mission, wrote to the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions in 1888 a fiery condemnation of how the missionaries treated their staff. He believed American ministers defrauded men and women like Mpongwe pastor Ntoko Truman by not paying them enough: "Although [Truman] is in sickness . . . under his life time ...

read more

6. Food Supply in Libreville, 1930–1960

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 107-126

Between 1930 and 1960 Libreville evolved from a small port town to an expanding urban center. Through a slow process rife with complications the enclave developed ties with various parts of Gabon previously cut off from the town's food market. New immigrant communities in the growing urban population improved and diversified the city's food supply. Foreign foods found a home in ...

read more

7. European Culinary Practices in Colonial Libreville

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 127-144

Libreville today is a city full of eating opportunities. Vietnamese, self-proclaimed "African," and French restaurants vie for wealthy patrons with meals that cost well over 20,000 CFA (nearly 50 U.S. dollars)—more than an average week's salary for the majority of city residents. The marble-floored Meriden Re-Ndama hotel boasts French professional chefs, obnoxiously loud air-...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 145-149

The ballooning population of Libreville has not helped the town's longstanding difficulties with food supply. In 1960 Libreville's population barely exceeded 30,000 people out of over 470,000 for the entire country.1 Ten years later well over 100,000 inhabitants populated the rapidly expanding city. A flood of rural migrants continues to enter the city.2 Most farmland used in the colonial period ...

Appendix: Table of Libreville Population, 1863–1960

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 150-150

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 195-212

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 213-220