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The Negotiations of Nigerian Seamen in the Transition from Colonialism to Independence: Smuggling to Make Ends Meet

Lynn Schler
African Studies Review
Vol. 54, No. 1 (APRIL 2011), pp. 167-185
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41304755
Page Count: 19
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Negotiations of Nigerian Seamen in the Transition from Colonialism to Independence: Smuggling to Make Ends Meet
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Abstract

This article examines the economic and cultural opportunities Nigerian seamen exploited in the context of their work and travels throughout the colonial era, and the impact of decolonization on their livelihoods and self-conception. During the colonial era, Nigerian seamen resisted colonial categorizations of them as a cheap and docile source of labor for British shipping companies, and maneuvered to supplement low wages through smuggling enterprises. The processes of decolonization and the transition to independence, though initially greeted with enthusiasm, resulted in the loss of their economic independence and ultimately their vocational identities as seamen. Cet article examine les opportunités culturelles et économiques exploitées par les pêcheurs nigériens dans le contexte de leur travail et de leurs voyages à travers l'ère coloniale, ainsi que l'impact de la décolonisation sur leurs moyens d'existence et leur identité. Pendant l'ère coloniale, les pêcheurs du Niger ont résisté aux classements identitaires coloniaux en se constituant comme main d'oeuvre peu chère et docile pour les compagnies anglaises de navigation, et ils ont manoeuvré pour augmenter leurs salaires avec des entreprises de contrebande. La transition vers la décolonisation et l'indépendance, bien qu'accueillie initialement avec enthousiasme, a enclenché la perte de leur indépendance économique, et finalement leur identité professionnelle de pêcheurs.

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