Posts Tagged ‘magic

19
May
17

dakar, 19 may

Yestreday, as well as studying the Monod hoard (see below in its entirety: not just cowries but also brass bars and fragments of rope and textile bags), we went to the market to look for cowries.

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They are available for sale in the traditional medicine section of the market and retail at between 25 and 100 CFA apiece depending on their origin and potency. Some are described as being ‘fabriqués par les Chinois’ (!) and they are less effective than the older kind, which we were told are dug up from archaeological sites near Gao in Mali.

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About this blog

This blog has been set up to chart the activities and research findings of two projects led by Anne Haour, an archaeologist from the Sainsbury Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.

The first project, called Crossroads, brings together a team of archaeologists, historians and anthropologists studying the Niger Valley where it borders Niger and Bénin (West Africa). We are hoping to shed more light on the people that inhabited the area in the past 1500 years and to understand how population movements and craft techniques shaped the area's past.

The second project, called Cowries, examines the money cowrie, a shell which served as currency, ritual object and ornament across the world for millennia, and in medieval times most especially in the Maldive Islands of the Indian Ocean and the Sahelian regions of West Africa. We hope to understand how this shell was sourced and used in those two areas.

These investigations are funded by the European Research Council as part of the Starting Independent Researcher Programme (Seventh Framework Programme – FP7) and by the Leverhulme Trust as a Research Project Grant. The opinions posted here are however Anne Haour's own!

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