Cattle for beads

Cattle for beads: the archaeology of historical contact and trade on the Namib Coast
Jill Kinahan
Published by the Namibia Archaeological Trust, Windhoek and Department of Archaeology & Ancient History, Uppsala, 2000

ISBN 91-506-1335-9
ISSN 0284-5040
119 pages, lavishly illustrated with colour plates, black & white photographs, sketches and maps
Classification, description and chemical analyses of glass trade beads

This book sheds new light on indigenous responses to early colonialism arising from the global spread of Western commerce. Initially, wealthy indigenous Namib pastoralists controlled external and internal trade. By mid century, British merchants had set up commercial operations at Walvis Bay and the regional network had broken down. Impoverished local people became dependent upon wage-labour, charity and scavenging. Glass trade bead and ceramic assemblages demonstrate these changes and provide a fine-grained regional chronology with useful colour photographs.

“Historic or colonial period archaeology is becoming increasingly important for the writing of African history, and Jill Kinahan’s book is an excellent contribution to this burgeoning field… highly recommended…” (The African Book Publishing Record)