Family and labour in an Angolan cash-crop economy, 1910

Vos, J. (2023) Family and labour in an Angolan cash-crop economy, 1910. History of the Family, (doi: 10.1080/1081602X.2023.2179095) (Early Online Publication)

[img] Text
291585.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.



This paper examines the composition of families in the parish of São José de Encoge, northern Angola, in the early colonial era, using a series of ‘family bulletins’ collected by the Portuguese colonial government in 1910. Encoge was one of the earliest centres of coffee cultivation in west-central Africa. While not all local families participated in this economy, the census sheds light on family-based cash-crop production after the abolition of slavery in Angola. The literature on post-slavery labour arrangements in Africa almost unanimously suggests that family-extension strategies predominantly aimed to integrate young women and girls into households, using pawnship and guardianship as important methods. The family bulletins from Encoge provide a means to evaluate this assumption on a quantitative basis in an Angolan context. They indicate that, besides natural reproduction and the adoption of second wives, the incorporation of wards, nephews, and nieces was the most common form of household extension, in which elders showed a remarkable preference for male dependants. The bulletins do not provide clear evidence of the presence of enslaved dependants, although some individuals listed as servants were possibly enslaved. Overall, the data suggest that, contrary to common assumptions about agricultural labour in Africa, family-based cultivation and trade of coffee did not discriminate against men or boys.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust under grant RF-2019-194.
Status:Early Online Publication
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vos, Dr Jelmer
Authors: Vos, J.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:History of the Family
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1873-5398
Published Online:25 February 2023
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Author(s).
First Published:First published in History of the Family 2023
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons license

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
305937Coffee and Colonialism in Angola, 1820-1960Jelmer VosLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)RF-2019-194\3Arts - History