The trade goods in the trans-Saharan trade

The trade goods in the trans-Saharan trade

From western Sudan;

  • Gold- this was by far the most important commodity that originated from the wangara region, Bornu, Upper Senegal and upper Niger.
  • Slaves- they were forcefully captured and later used as soldiers and labourers in the Arab world.
The trade goods in the trans-Saharan trade
Photo by Michael Steinberg on
  • Kola nuts and feathers. Monopoly of the Hausa traders from Kano region.
  • Hides and skins- from Hausa land for making leather clothing and shoes.
  • Ivory- originated from western belt mainly from cote d’ivore.
  • Gum- from Mauritania and Senegal
  • Dyed cloth and pepper

From the north.

  • Salt- from Taghaza, Taodeni, Bilma and Ghadames.
  • Horses- from Tripoli were on demand among the political leaders and their soldiers.
  • Glassware, beads, mirrors, perfumes, spices, dried fruits, needles, firearms, daggers and cowrie shells.


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