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Slavery - a world-wide phenomenon

Reader comment on item: Military Slaves: A Uniquely Muslim Phenomenon

Submitted by Matthew Simon (Canada), Aug 19, 2012 at 10:23

It is very well known that in the Atlantic slave trade, slaves were referred to by various names, some zoomorphic, some delineating the percentages of "blood" purity. Names referring to mule, goat, vulture, etc were used. Names such a quadroon, quintroon, etc. Slaves names were also applied based not upon "casta" (color) but religious origin (alboraique is such a name, used for conversos). My question is: have there been any studies of pejorative names for slaves, these names invented and used by Muslims for slaves in Islamic countries, along the Swahili coast, and for slaves derived from the Black Sea areas as well as Central Asia.

It would be foolish to think that phenomena referring to slaves only existed in "Christian" civilizations. This may also apply to palatine slaves, eunuchs, etc.


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