Tag Archives: africa

Another Mumme Reference

I have previously written about my fascination with mumme, or mum, the thick, dark beer of Germany that hit its peak in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and which I am somehow connected to through family names. It is well known that mumme had a ship beer variety known as Schiffmumme that turned up as far away as India. Today I found a reference from a book I’ve long struggled to track down, mentioning its consumption in the elite extractive community of Gold Coast Africa in 1679 (a market that at the time was absolutely saturated in rum).

Here is a European slave trader describing an elaborate dinner at the residence of a Danish governor on the Gold Coast:

[A]fterwards the general’s concubines arrived … all dressed in the finest attire … They arranged themselves around us and
were served sweet oranges, French wine, Palm wine, mum, and brandy.

There you go. Mumme being drunk alongside a cosmopolitan mix of Continental and African intoxicating drinks, relished by European slavers, the elite Governors facilitating slavery, and their concubines alike.