Africans and The Making of the Americas: Part 3, Herding

Residents of the vast savanna region of West Africa; notably the Mandinka, Wolof, Fulani, Hausa, and Nupe began raising cattle at least as early as 4000 B.C. Those who came to the essential because Europeans had no experience with the conditions presented by the Americas, where there was abundant land and small labor force. Africans, on the other hand, were adept at managing large numbers of herders. (The Fulani in particular have long been legendary for their ability to identify every member of a large herd and to know immediately whether an animal is missing.) Not surprisingly, Africans were in great demand in all areas of the Americas where ranching was major activity, and they introduced the patterns of the open grazing now practiced throughout the Americas. Both the harvesting of cattle drive were adapted from African practices. In addition, Africans were the first to use artificial insemination in cattle breeding and to use cow’s milk for human consumption.

Africans had tended cattle as slaves in the South, and slave owners brought them to Texas from other Southern states. In 1845, Texas had an estimated 100,000 Whites and 35,000 slaves. By 1861, the state had 430,000 Whites and 182,000 slaves. After the Civil War, African Americans played a major though seldom acknowledged role in the American expansion in the West. They were cowhands, gunslingers, cowboys and much more; men like Nat Love, Bill Pickett, One Horse Charley, Bronco Sam, George Glenn and Bose Ikard. In addition to a number of Western terms have been traced back to African origins. Bronco which means “rough” or “crude” in contemporary Spanish, derives from an African-language, term and was first used to denote African cattle handle.

Sources

http://sincereignorance.com/2014/08/06/black-americans-american-west-cowboys-towns-2/

http://sincereignorance.com/2014/08/06/black-americans-american-west-cowboys-towns/

Black in Latin America

In world history these two western regions were the first areas of the Americas to be populated by African immigrants. Yet wherever possible, they prepared and accepted reality with the African immigration to the Americas may have begun before European exploration of the area. African slave trading began before Columbus, and the earliest Spanish and Portuguese explorers. The most direct route from West Africa to the (then) New World was to what we now know as Brazil. Through the 15th and 16th centuries, slavery then moved up the coast of South America through the Caribbean. In fact today the largest population of African people outside of the African continent is in Brazil. The explorers were likewise accompanied by Black Africans who had been born and reared in Iberia. In the following four centuries millions of immigrants from Africa were brought to the New World in servitude.

Today, their descendants form significant ethnic minorities in several Latin American countries, and they are the dominant element in many of the Caribbean nations. Over the centuries, Black people have added their original contributions to the cultural mix of their respective societies and thus exerted a deep influence on all facets of life in Latin America. A strong African influence saturates music, dance, the arts, literature, speech forms, and religious practices in Latin America and the Caribbean. Africans, whether as slaves or free immigrants, brought a variety of African cultural influences to the New World. They came from so many places in Africa and were too scattered throughout the Americas to reestablish all the conditions of their homelands.

http://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/afro-latin-american-research-institute

http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/blacks-latin-america-brief-history

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