Abstract

On the quincentennial of Vasco da Gama's successful voyage around Africa to India, this article explores the economic and cultural importance for Africans of new contacts with Europe. The exploration of mutual interests, characteristic of da Gama's voyage, generally continued on the once isolated Atlantic side of the continent, where African elites sought imported goods, even as their exports consisted more and more of slaves; acquired facility in European languages; and experimented with Christianity and Western education. On the Indian Ocean side there were few long-term changes, despite early Portuguese attacks on the already prosperous, Muslim-ruled city-states of the Swahili coast.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-8050
Print ISSN
1045-6007
Pages
pp. 189-211
Launched on MUSE
2005-02-24
Open Access
No
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