Environment and Enslavement in Highland Madagascar, 1500–1750: The Case for the Swahili Slave Export Trade Reassessed

  • Gwyn Campbell
Part of the Palgrave Series in Indian Ocean World Studies book series (IOWS)


This chapter argues that recent claims by Thomas Vernet of a major export in slaves to Muslim markets in the western Indian Ocean world (IOW) from 1500 to 1750 from the highlands of Madagascar are highly problematic given the environmental, economic, and demographic factors affecting the Malagasy highlands during the period concerned. It argues that the evidence indicates that most slave exports from north-west Madagascar during the period concerned were from the hinterland, rather than highland interior, and that total Malagasy slave exports were much lower than Vernet asserts.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gwyn Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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