The Transformation of East African Coastal Urban Society with Regard to the Slave Distribution System
This chapter shows how the role of the East African coastal urban society in the slave distribution system of the western Indian Ocean was transformed. For many years, this society was an emporium within the slave distribution system. From the 1820s, the successful transplanting of cloves and the rise of a plantation economy in Zanzibar saw the region develop a demand for slaves of its own. First, the chapter examines the progress of this transformation. In exchange for depopulation in mainland East Africa, the urban coastal society held a large number of slaves, thus becoming a slave-owning society. From the mid-nineteenth century, frequent slave raids from Zanzibar were reported. It had become a new slave ground.