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Credit Between CulturesFarmers, Financiers, and Misunderstanding in Africa$
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Parker Shipton

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780300116038

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300116038.001.0001

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Three Faces of the Loan

Three Faces of the Loan

Charity, Usury, … and Fantasy

Chapter:
(p.36) Chapter 3 Three Faces of the Loan
Source:
Credit Between Cultures
Author(s):

Parker Shipton

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300116038.003.0003

This chapter presents an historical background on the traditions of borrowing and lending in Africa. The Luo, neighboring people, and others who speak and understand English have been introduced to many of these traditions from outside. This history is millennia long, now involving sacred texts and celebrated novels that not only enrich, but also complicate, their understandings alongside their own oral and lately written traditions, some of which are understandings they share with financiers from without. The chapter takes brief note of some historic discussions of borrowing, lending, and indebtedness, giving some idea of the repertoire of ideas that Luo, other Kenyans, and others in the lake basin have had at their disposal. It examines how credit begins to appear in the three faces of usury, charity, and fantasy.

Keywords:   lending, traditions of borrowing, financiers, British colony

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