Black Salt: Seafarers of African Descent on British Ships

Black Salt: Seafarers of African Descent on British Ships

Black Salt: Seafarers of African Descent on British Ships

Black Salt: Seafarers of African Descent on British Ships

Excerpt

As early as the ninth century, an Irish chronicle referred to ‘blue men’ (Old Irish, fir gorma) being brought in Viking longships to the British Isles from Morocco, and apparently settling for a while in Ireland. This strange description is still used in the Sahara and derives from the deep blue indigo dye used to colour the voluminous cotton garments worn by such peoples as the Tebisti and Tuareg of North and West Africa, and in regions as far south as northern Nigeria. These garments, known as taubs in Nigeria, often coloured the skin of the wearer, hence the legend of the blue men. These early blue-clad African voyagers, few in number, can hardly be considered the beginning of a continuum of seafarers of African descent on British ships, but they nevertheless provide an evocative portent of the many black sailors who would serve Britain so well in the future, both in times of peace and in her hour of need.

Black Salt: Seafarers of African Descent on British Ships documents the history of seafarers of African descent over several centuries. It examines their work and experience in the British merchant and Royal navies, from impressed slaves to free Africans, British West Indians and also those African Americans who served on British ships prior to the independence of the American Colonies. The book examines the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.