Chapter

<i>Aurora colonialis</i>: German Imperialism and the Modernity of Slavery

in The Intestines of the State

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780226026114
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226026138 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226026138.003.0004
Aurora colonialis: German Imperialism and the Modernity of Slavery

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This chapter examines the impact of German imperialism on slavery in the Cameroon Grassfields. It suggests that the German presence in the Grassfields not only increased the taking of slaves under the guise of labor recruitment but also seriously destabilized the region. The chapter also contends that the cannibal witchcraft discourse doubles the violence and uncertainty of life in postcolonial Cameroon. It argues that the silences imposed by the extreme violence and political polarization of the Grassfields have given rise not only to veiled discourses and oral practices of remembering which link the past to a doubled and fractured present, but also to a nondiscursive phenomenon that equally addresses the experiences of both the slave trade and forced labor.

Keywords: slavery; Cameroon Grassfields; German imperialism; labor recruitment; cannibal witchcraft; political polarization; oral practices; veiled discourses; forced labor; slave trade

Chapter.  12285 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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