Print showing weapons used in 18th century by inhabitants of Gold Coast, a British Colony now called Ghana. It was a major source of slaves for America.
From set of 4-volume travel books, A New General Collection of Voyages and Travels published by Thomas Astley (d. 1759), a bookseller and publisher in London during the 18th century, and compiled by John Green (d. 1757). This print is from Volume 2, Voyages and travels along the western coast of Africa, 1637-1735. Voyages and travels to Guinea and Benin, 1666-1726. Description of Guinea
'Plate 172, No. 98, Vol 2, p. 375.'
Weapons include: 'A large Leather shield', 'Tools for tillage", swords, axes, hand dart, 'Spear or Javelin',etc..
Copper print, engraved by G. Child.
20.5 x 25.5 cm
The Gold Coast was a British colony on the Gulf of Guinea in west Africa that became the independent nation of Ghana in 1957.
The first Europeans to arrive at the coast were the Portuguese in 1471. They encountered a variety of African kingdoms, some of which controlled substantial deposits of gold in the soil. In 1482, the Portuguese built the Castle of Elmina, the first European settlement on the Gold Coast. From here they traded slaves, gold, knives, beads, mirrors, rum and guns. News of the successful trading spread quickly, and eventually British, Dutch, Danish, Prussian and Swedish traders arrived as well. The European traders built several forts along the coastline. The Gold Coast had long been a name for the region used by Europeans because of the large gold resources found in the area. The slave trade was the principal exchange for many years.
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