Category Archives: History-General

Inventing Ethnicity; Imagining Agriculture: The ‘Tribes’ of Ham and the ‘Primitive’ Crops of Africa

Also see: Race from a local perspective: 19th and 14th Centuries                    Ethnic Psudo-histories of Central Africa – Tribes of Ham Again 2 Updating blog. One of the most bedevilling aspects of colonial and post-colonial African history and development that continues … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-Central, Africa-General, Agriculture, Colonialism, Dark Continent, Ethnicity, European explorers, Explorers & exploration, History-General, John Hanning Speke, Race | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

The French in Egypt and the Belgians in the Congo

When, in 1971, the government of the Belgian Congo changed its name to ‘Zaire’, the government also put in place the official policy of Autenticité – which promoted abandoning Belgian cuisine for local dishes.  Adoption of African apparel was also … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-General, Colonialism, Dark Continent, Egypt-Recent, European colonizers, Food, Food & Politics, France, History-General, Middle East | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Cultural Collapse in Egypt

A while back, on Radio Germany [short wave], a program was aired on changes in women’s dress in Egypt over the past several decades – towards both western dress and veiling.  Although Egypt is a small country and one that … Continue reading

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Posted in Cuisine, Egypt-Recent, Food, Food & Politics, Food Security, France, History-General, Social Life | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

More Pig and Pork Stories

[First posted July 2009,  Revised 09 December 2011] Pigs have had a contentious history.  To begin with, they usually reside near the bottom of the livestock prestige pyramid, with cattle, horse and camel occupying the higher niches, sheep, goats and poultry found … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-General, Agriculture, Burundi, Cuisine, Egypt-Ancient, Egypt-Recent, Environment, History-General, Hotel Club du Lac Tanganyika2, Livestock, Middle East, Wild boar | Tagged , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Cuisines and Crops of Africa – The Lotus Eaters of Central Africa

Lotus plants of the species  Nymphaea lotus L. were an important ingredient in African traditional cuisine.   Found throughout tropical Africa and in the Nile Valley, their collection and processing for the table is reported by various colonial writers. The frustration, though, … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-General, Agriculture, Colonialism, Cuisine, Egypt-Ancient, European explorers, Explorers & exploration, Food, History-General, Indigenous crops & medicinal plants | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Egypt, Then and Now

A certain Englishman once asked the Khedive Ismail whether there was any news that day about Egyptian affairs.   “That is so like all you English,” replied his Highness. “You are always expecting something new to happen in Egypt day … Continue reading

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Posted in Colonialism, Egypt-Ancient, Egypt-Recent, History, History-General | Leave a comment

Couscous and other Cuisines in the Sahel in 1798 – Mungo Park’s Experience

The Scottish explorer Mungo Park was 24 when he first travelled to West Africa to seek the source and the debouchment of the Niger River for the Africa Association of London.  The Association was also desirous of learning more about the … Continue reading

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Posted in Africa-West, Explorers & exploration, Food, History-General | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment