Structure of Slavery in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia (Studies in Slave and Post-Slave Societies and Cultures) (2005)

Book review by Marina Davis

This book is an edited volume of essays and studies on the subjects of “unfree” labor and abolition in the Indian Ocean World (IOW). The book starts with an introduction outlining the basic components of slavery in the IOW, how the enslaved fit into broader society based on religious and cultural differences, and how this differed comparatively from the Transatlantic slave trade. This is followed by essays from a myriad of experts in the field over time and within different countries from the IOW.

Some of the topics covered include: economic and social pressures that impacted human labor markets in the IOW, the societal roles of the enslaved, migration and labor mobilization, abolition and the persistence of enslavement in the IOW.  Some specific points discussed are slavery in the Sulu region of the Philippines and the Nobi system of slavery in feudal Korea.

This book is valuable for research about the history of unfree labor from Africa throughout Asia  and the disparate representations of slavery around the world.

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