Monday, January 5, 2009

FEITORIAS: Slave Forts

"CASTELO DE ARGUIM": A PORTUGUESE FORT IN MAURITANIA

Feitorias - a Spanish term meaning 'factories', these forts were established by European explorers in order to facilitate trade with non-European nations. Feitorias were built by Portuguese traders all along the west coast of Africa from whence they conducted trade with local African rulers. With the advent of the slave trade, these strongholds were used not only as trade centres for material goods but as depots to which slaves would be brought for purchase and from whence they would travel to the New World. The feitorias were usually heavily fortified, to protect their inhabitants from attack by both dissatisfied Africans as well as from the interests of other European powers, who saw the factories as strategically and financially valuable for the promotion of their own interests

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