Karin Pallaver, University of Bologna
As part of my work on the Money in Africa project I was in Nairobi, Kenya earlier this year to carry out archival research.
The aim of the project is to study the adoption, use and adaptation of coins and banknotes in Africa. As a historian my role is to study the transition from the pre-colonial to the colonial period. Which were the currencies used before colonisation? How did Africans react to the introduction of colonial coins? And how did they appropriate and sometimes remake colonial coins and notes? After a three-month research period in the National Archives in London, I hoped that studying the papers in the Kenya National Archives (KNA) would help find answers to these questions.
The archives are situated in the busy and crowded Moi Avenue in Nairobi city centre. Every day I walked there crossing Uhuru Park, the famous venue…
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