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Articles tagged with: Place Names

Ethnic Politics and the Relocation of Ghana, Benin, and Mauritania

By Martin W. Lewis | December 10, 2011 | 7 Comments
Map of French West Africa from 1936

As was recently mentioned in the GeoCurrents discussion forum, the names of several modern African countries were derived from former African kingdoms (or empires) located in different places. When the British Gold Coast gained independence in 1957, for example, it was rechristened Ghana, a name borrowed from the Ghana Empire (830-1235 CE) in what is now Mali and Mauritania. In …

The Many Meanings of “Guinea”

By Martin W. Lewis | December 7, 2011 | 11 Comments
Map of West Africa Showing Guinea

Few place-names have been used to refer to more distinct places than “Guinea.” Four countries now share the name, three in western Africa (Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Equatorial Guinea), and one in the western Pacific (Papua New Guinea). Historically, several other places were referenced by the name as well. The Wikipedia disambiguation page lists thirteen “countries” called “Guinea,” in one form …

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