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Jaggar, Philip J. (1978) The blacksmiths of Kano City: A study in tradition, innovation and entrepreneurship. MPhil thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis examines the factors involved in the expansion, during the colonial and post-colonial periods, of a traditional, i.e. pre-European craft specialism - blacksmithing, in Kano City, Nigeria - and its subsequent conversion into a modem metal-working industry. In doing so, it sheds new light on the general proposition that such traditional crafts necessarily decline before the technological onslaught of colonialism. A notable feature of the recent development of this craft has been the differential responses of the various clusters of blacksmiths to the new socio-economic factors introduced by the British. Of these groups, the most far-reaching changes have occurred in that located within the Central Market area of Kano City, and it is the behaviour of these craftsmen - and/or trader-entrepreneurs which provides the focus of this study. These dynamic individuals effected major advances in the manufacture and marketing of ironwares, and transformed the nature of the industry here. Attention is also given to the reason why the rapid and positive reaction to the new economic opportunities of the time was limited mainly to this group. Despite the changes in economic organisation it is argued, resultant breaches in indigenous patterns of social relationships have apparently been relatively slight. At the same time, the colonial presence, and the reorientation in production which took place later on in the City, both had important repercussions especially on urban-rural craft relations. Village blacksmithing communities, hitherto largely self-supporting, were drawn more and more into the economic orbit of the City, and particularly towards the Central Market complex which became an increasingly influential node in the metalware trade.

Item Type: Theses (MPhil)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:07

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