Silent Trade was a method used by the African Kingdoms in the 300's and 400's C.E. The method made sure that both sides never saw each other. The Africans used silent trade. Silent trade was used to bypass language barriers and conflict. Silent trade usually took place on or near a river or river bank.
Andrew Lamb Fletcher Cordry Nathan Hays
West Africa Silent Trade (Part 1)
Step 1 The middle-man discusses trade with the two groups of Africans, and tells them where to meet and when.
Meet at the river.
Step 2 The North Africans come and lay out their goods and then beat the drum to signal the West Africans aout the trade. After this, they leave.
The trade begins. Lay out the goods!
Step 3 The West Africans come for the goods, leave some gold dust, and beat the drum. Then, they leave.
Collect the goods, and leave a good amount of gold. We want them to stay happy.
Step 4 The Northern Africans come back and see if the amount of gold left by the West Africans is acceptable. They take the gold and return to their camp or home and decide how much salt they will leave.
They left a good amount of gold. Collect it, and leave from this place. We will return with the salt.
Step 5 The North Africans return to the river and they leave the amount of salt that they see fit for the trade, and they beat the drum to let the West Africans know they have brought the salt. After that, they leave to wait for the West Africans to complete the next step of the trade.
Leave the salt. I will beat the drum and let them know we are ready.