Rural Markets in the Congo, 1871

DIANABUJA'S BLOG: Africa, The Middle East, Agriculture, History and Culture

In many parts of Africa, rural markets are the most important method for buying and selling agricultural goods. The following description of a large rural market near the Lualaba River in N.E. Congo by David Livingstone could be a description of many rural markets today. With a few exceptions, the items being sold are the same.

1st April, 1871._–The banks are well peopled, but one must see the gathering at the market, of about 3000, chiefly women, to judge of their numbers. They hold market one day, and then omit attendance here for three days, going to other markets at other points in the intervals. It is a great institution in Manyuema: numbers seem to inspire confidence, and they enforce justice for each other. As a rule, all prefer to buy and sell in the market, to doing business anywhere else; if one says, “Come, sell me that fowl or…

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