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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

3 - The Struggle to Trade


The tiny Swahili town of Mikindani, south of Lindi, receives a trickle of visitors, attracted by its connection to David Livingstone’s last journey and by the former German boma, which has been transformed into an upmarket hotel by a British businessman seeking to lower his taxes. Sometimes they are shown a market building with Arabising features, locally known by the tourist-friendly name of ‘old slave market’. It dates in fact from the German period, and was an attempt to strengthen the flow of agricultural produce from the hinterland to the town.1 Its environs had long delivered high-quality grains for export, some produced by slaves, and perhaps the erosion of planters’ control over their slave workforce in the German period had necessitated measures to encourage produce coming to market.2