Primary Source

Togo farm families cracking oil palm kernels

Picture of families in Togo cracking oil palm kernels


This photo was part of a short photo series documenting palm oil production in the German colonies in Africa, included in a report by a special oil commission of the German Colonial Society (Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft) in 1913. The subtitle reads “Cracking of palm kernels by women and children in Togo.” The work of native farmers or laborers started the journey of palm oil and kernels to European consumers. This source suggests that agricultural knowledge and innovation could be found in many places. It can also show how the knowledge negotiation amongst consumers of colonial products was intertwined with the relations, negotiations, and resistance between colonizers and the colonized.

This source is part of the teaching module on agricultural knowledge in the late nineteenth century


Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft, Verhandlungen der Ölrohstoff-Kommission des Kolonial-Wirtschaftlichen Kommitees E.V. wirtschaftlicher Ausschuss der Deutschen Kolonialgesellschaft, 1, 1913, (Berlin), 24. Digital image courtesy of HathiTrust. URL:

How to Cite This Source

"Togo farm families cracking oil palm kernels," in World History Commons, [accessed July 22, 2024]