The Forgotten Diaspora: Jewish Communities in West Africa and the Making of the Atlantic World
This book traces the history of early seventeenth-century Portuguese Sephardic traders who settled in two communities on Senegal's Petite Côte. There, they lived as public Jews, under the spiritual guidance of a rabbi sent to them by the newly established Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam. In Senegal, the Jews were protected from agents of the Inquisition by local Muslim rulers. The Petite Côte communities included several Jews of mixed Portuguese-African heritage as well as African wives, offspring, and servants. The blade weapons trade was an important part of their commercial activities. These merchants participated marginally in the slave trade but fully in the arms trade, illegally supplying West African markets with swords. This blade weapons trade depended on artisans and merchants based in Morocco, Lisbon, and northern Europe and affected warfare in the Sahel and along the Upper Guinea Coast. After members of these communities moved to the United Provinces around 1620, they had a profound influence on relations between black and white Jews in Amsterdam. The study not only discovers previously unknown Jewish communities but by doing so offers a reinterpretation of the dynamics and processes of identity construction throughout the Atlantic world.
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African Almada Amsterdam Angola Antonio Nunes ANTT archives Atlantic Benin Blacks blade weapons Branco C0te Cabo Verde Cacheu Cape Verde Islands Catholic Chapter commercial conﬁrm contratador Costa Cote crypto-Jews cultural diaspora Diogo Vaz documents Dutch Early Modern early seventeenth-century espadas Eurafrican European ﬁgures ﬁrst Gambia Gemeente Archief Guiné do Cabo Guinea of Cape Horta identiﬁed Inquisicao de Lisboa Israel ivory Jacob Peregrino Jewish Jewish community Jewish identity Jewish merchants Joal Joal and Porto Judaism Judeus lancados Leoa Lisbon Inquisition living livro 20 Luis Fernandes Luis Fernandes Duarte Luso-African Marrano Mesquita Morocco Muslim nacao notarial ofﬁcial ofthe Petite Céte Porto d’Ale Portugal Portuguese Jews public Jews reﬂect religious ritual Rodrigues role Ruﬁsque rulers Schorsch Senegal Senegambia Sephardic community Sephardim seventeenth century ships Sierra Leone signiﬁcant Silva slave trade speciﬁc swords synagogue Torrao Upper Guinea Upper Guinea Coast Vaz de Sousa Veiga weapons trade West Africa Wolof