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Cotton growing and textile production in northern Nigeria : from caliphate to protectorate, c.1804-1914

The thesis explores the linked history of the dynamic precolonial handicraft textile industry of Northern Nigeria and the failure of British colonial efforts to capture the cotton harvest for export. During the nineteenth century, Northern Nigeria was politically organised into two major Muslim states: Borno and the Sokoto Caliphate (1804-1900). This vast area of savanna, lying between Lake Chad and the upper Niger, became the British Protectorate Northern Nigeria between 1900 and 1914. Following the creation of the Caliphate in 1804, textile production expanded considerably during the century, with its products being sold over most of West Africa by Hausa merchant networks centred on the city of Kano, which was the largest industrial and commercial centre in tropical Africa. After the proclamation of the British Protectorate, the powerful British Cotton Growing Association attempted to make Northern Nigeria a vast new centre of cotton cultivation. However, most of the cotton cultivated in the area was absorbed by the looms of local weavers benefitting primarily local textile production rather than the export market. Conflicts between the colonial government and market forces, together with the efficiency of local weavers, became important factors in shaping the cotton campaign. The thesis examines how local textile production became a dynamic industry in the nineteenth century and remained so in the early colonial period. My analytic approach is then to consider not a general political economy, but the contours of its economic and social structure, showing how power and benefits occurred in production.

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:bl.uk/oai:ethos.bl.uk:665106
Date January 2015
CreatorsCandotti, Marisa
PublisherSOAS, University of London
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
Sourcehttp://eprints.soas.ac.uk/20369/

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