chapter  6
39 Pages

Delagoa Bay and the Hinterland in the Early Nineteenth Century: Politics, Trade, Slaves, and Slave Raiding

WithElizabeth A. Eldredge

During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries commercial activities at Delagoa bay stimulated the economy of the region and prompted economic and political competition at the bay and in its hinterland. Research conducted by various scholars on trade in the Delagoa bay region has remained largely unpublished, which has hindered the analysis of political change and the rise of the slave trade at the bay. Throughout the eighteenth century peoples around Delagoa bay were organized in a number of chiefdoms, from the Mpfumo, Magaia, Mambe, and Matake and Madolo on the northern side of the bay to the Tembe, and eventually, Mabudu on the southern side. Political consolidation around Delagoa bay can be explained in terms of the environmentally strategic locations of chiefdoms, and the productive strategies of people in the area. The Tembe dominated the area south of the bay during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.