History of Africa
South Africa History

To what extent was Africa civilized before the slave trade?



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This all Depends on the meaning of the word 'Civilized' which is a very charged term.

What Europe referred to as 'civilized' was quite different than what Africa called civilized at the time.

For Example, Most people in Africa wore traditional tribal garments which to a European might seem 'underdressed' and 'unmodern'. But the clothing style, materials and colors are adapted and perfected to the climate and conditions of the areas they inhabit. In addition, the traditions and religions of the tribes dictated the different styles of clothing as well.

I'm sure, to a tribesman, a collared shirt, black waistcoat, and shiny shoes must have looked odd, and definitely didn't do a good job of camaflouging a person from a hungry lion.