PRE-COLONIAL MODES OF PRODUCTION
People in pre-colonial Africa were engaged in hunting and gathering, agriculture, mining and simple manufacturing. Agriculture involved most people, so the chapter looks mainly at farming activities.
The chapter explains that farmers in those days faced two big challenges: a hostile environment and scarcity of labour
Social organization and Production
In the process of material production man entered into relations with other members in the society.
Individuals in the society had organized themselves in various social groups for the production purpose.
Social organization was determined by relations in production through which people produced and shared the products of their labour, instruments of labor and objects of labour.
1. Human Labour
Human Labour are mental and physical strength in which an individual use in production.
Human labour includes personal factors in the production process such as skills, experience, scientific and technological knowledge.
Labour is therefore theprimary condition for human life because for man to survive he must satisfy his wants.
2. Means of Labour
These are things that people use in production that is the tools of production. These tools include machines, hoes and more. Production is aided by the instruments of labour.
3. Objects of Labour
These are things that are subjected to man’s labour or they are things upon which man’s labour is applied land being the most common object.
4. Relation of Production
Is the situation where by production is determined by ownership of the meansof production such as land, instruments of production like tractors, etc.
In this case we are just looking on how the production of a certain society benefited from that particular production? Arethey benefited mutually or only somefew?
The relations of production are determined by the form of ownership of the means of production and distribution of the products of labour. That is to say is the absence or existence of classes and exploitation in the society.
5. Mode of Production
This is the combination of productive forces and the relations of production. The productive forces include human labour, means of labour and objects of labour. The modes of production are communal, slavery and feudal modes.
PRE-COLONIAL MODES OF PRODUCTION
1. COMMUNAL MODE OF PRODUCTION
Primitive communalism is the first and earliest mode of production in man’s history/development in which passed by almost all societies and there was equality among all members of the society and it was un-exploitative mode of production.
This is the oldest system of social relations and preside all the other modes of production. It marked the rise of society from sheer animalism to human society. The main activities were hunting and gathering.
It came into existence about two (2) million years ago when human society was at low level of development. It is called Primitive because of the low level of productive forces and Communalism because there was no exploitation of man by man.
This mode of production existed much longer period than any other mode of production. It covered the period of stone ages up to the iron ages. In the beginning people were powerless before their environment; they collected whatever nature gave them for food such as fruits, roots and insects.
Examples of such societies that are still in communal mode of production include: Bushmen or San people of southern Africa, Tindiga and Hadzabe of Tanzania; Dorobo of Kenya and the Teso of Uganda.
<<Read More On Communal Mode of Production>>
2. SLAVE MODE OF PRODUCTION
This is the second mode of production in human history/development but the first exploitative mode in which slaves were the major means of production.
People who owned nothing i.e. the “haves not” became slaves and those who had surplus production i.e. the “haves” became slave masters
Slavery is a situation whereby a person is owned by another person as the instrument of production and has no any right.
Slaves were not paid, they were given things like food which could help them to live and they were prohibited to marry.
Some of the societies in Africa that passed through this mode of production include the Coast of East Africa and Egypt.
<<Read More On Slave Mode of Production>>
3. FEUDAL MODE OF PRODUCTION
Feudalism was the second mode of production which was based on the exploitation of man by man.
In this mode of production there were two antagonistic classes which were the Land lords who owned the major means of production (land) and the serfs who were exploited (landless).
People with no land and other means of production had to lend land from landlords and in turn they were supposed to pay rent.
<<Read More On Feudal Mode of Production>>
EVIDENCE SHOWING THAT THE PRE COLONIAL AFRICAN SOCIETIES WERE NOT STATIC, BARBARIC AND UNCIVILIZED
1. Modes of Production.
This is relationship between production and productive forces. The pre-colonial African societies passed through various mode of production which started with primitive communalism where people lived in small communal groups and slept mainly in rock shelters did not keep domestic animals or cultivated theland, they ate wild roots and vegetable.
Then developed to advanced communalism where man begun domestication and agriculture practicing, and lastly feudalism where private ownership started. All these are signs that show the African societies were changing from thelower stage to the upper stage.
2. Existence of Education.
The pre-colonial African societies had education in their societies both formal and informal but informal was more dominant that largely depended on the environment of a given society.
It was largely for survival for the members of each society, most of the education in the pre-colonial societies was informal that varied from one society to another.
Also formal education was provided at the University of Timbuktu in Mali something shows that pre-colonial African societies were not static or unchanging, they were moving forward.
3. Occurrence of Neolithic Revolution.
The discovery of iron was a significant age whereby man discovered iron and its application. This occurred about 1500 BC, iron provided a better cutting edge than copper or bronze, agriculture increased using iron hoes, domestication of animals, migration, population growth and trade were all as a result of Neolithic Revolution.
The Bantu speaking people were the first of all smelted the iron in the long trenches in the ground then in the land blown clay furnaces using charcoal as fuel.
The iron was then made into arrows head and spears, head axes and small trinket and razors. Thus the pre-colonial African societies were changing.
4. Existence of Strong Political System.
The pre-colonial African societies had centralized and decentralized political set up which were able to expand and build strong empires like Buganda, Ethiopia, Nyamwezi, Bunyoro, Asante, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Ethiopia among others that were even able to resist the intruders bravery.
Such centralized had standind army with outstanding leaders like Kabaka Mutesa of Buganda, Theodore of Ethiopia among others. These were clear vsignsthat the African societieswere organised and moving forward.
5. Existence of Strong and Technology.
The pre-colonial African societies were developing various science and technology which began with the discovery of fire, iron smelting, mining, bark cloth making etc. that was enough to shoe that African societies were changing from one level to another level.
6. Existence of Agriculture.
The Africans practiced agriculture as their major economic activity, it was mostly for subsistence such agriculture included permanent agriculture, mixed agriculture, shifting cultivation and pastoralism which acted as the backbone of their livelihood.
7. Existence of Trade.
The African societies conducted trading activities; long distance trade was dominant in the East and Central Africa, Trans-Saharan trade in the Northern and Western Africa. And the medium of exchange wasthrough barter system.
8. Changing of Stone Ages.
The pre-colonial African societies changed from Early Stone Age to Middle Stone Age when hunting and fruit gathering were the common activities up to the Modern or New or Late Stone Age then Neolithic Revolution occurred that made agriculture and pastoralism to be the major economic activities. These are indications that African societies were on the move and not stagnated
9. Existence of Various Culture, Norms and Taboos.
The pre-colonial African societies had their various norms, culture, traditions, tabooswhich guided them, and anybody who went against them was punished.