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The Export of Indian Guinée to Senegal via France: Inter-colonial Trade in the Long Nineteenth Century

Chapter
Part of the Monograph Series of the Socio-Economic History Society, Japan book series (MSSEHSJ)

Abstract

This study focuses on the inter-colonial trade in Indian guinée (Guinea cloth), a blue cotton cloth produced in the French-controlled Indian territory of Pondicherry and exported to Senegal via France. Several works have shown that guinée cloth functioned as a currency in local trade—especially as a medium of exchange for gum arabic along the Senegal River. However, few studies focus on the broader issues of the global guinée trade. This study seeks to answer a series of questions using historical records obtained from Pondicherry, France, and Senegal: why the cloth had to be produced in Pondicherry, how much guinée cloth was transported to Senegal via France, and how the French government controlled this trade. In the process, the paper presents trade data for the period 1833–1921 concerning the quantities and prices of the guinée exported from France to Senegal, and French India’s share in the total imports of guinée into France. It also explains changes in trade policy and the reactions of each stakeholder. The significance of this study lies in the fact that it highlights the long-term global links between Pondicherry, France, and Senegal that formed as a result of the trade in guinée cloth.

Keywords

Guinée (guinea cloth) Pondicherry Senegal France Inter-colonial trade Medium of exchange 

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Copyright information

© Socio-Economic History Society, Japan 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kanazawa universityKanazawaJapan

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