(kô′fəl, kŏf′əl)
A group of animals, prisoners, or slaves chained together in a line.
tr.v. cof·fled, cof·fling, cof·fles
To fasten together in a coffle.

[Arabic qāfila, caravan, feminine active participle of qafala, to close, return; see qpl in Semitic roots.]


(esp formerly) a line of slaves, beasts, etc, fastened together
[C18: from Arabic qāfilah caravan]


 a train of slaves or of beasts driven along together.
Examples: coffle of asses, 1799; of beasts; of horses, 1873; of slaves, 1799.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In discussing the genres in which Senior operates, Narain points to the historicizing of the Caribbean as itself an exploitative regime following on that of slavery--the sentence as coffle (p.
In Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth Century America, Saidiya Hartman writes that "nineteenth-century observers" of a coffle of enslaved people described that coffle (in its formation and its movement/passage) as "a domestic middle passage.
The slave coffle behind him stopped its shuffling as chicken eater failed to spear his choice.
Trauma shapes cultural memory as Dessa and her companions capture the rhythm of the blues and adapt the music and language of slave songs to trick her adversaries and escape twice--once from the chains of the coffle and once from the cellar where she is confined during her stay of execution.
The narrator of "Heartland" connects physical decay to a widespread environmental and moral corrosion: the rat-infested, disease-smeared dungeons ringed with chains, the lifeless and desolate plain near the slave fort, the narrator's prison-like room "three short paces" long (14), the pervasive smell of the slave coffle, the governor's illness and death, the soldier Lewis's increasing degeneration and drunkenness, a fort official's terrible scarring and sexual abuse of the African girl, and the beating suffered by the narrator.
Bill Clinton had to (or "had to") demonstrate that those tired old liberal interest groups weren't a coffle around his ankle, and so he denounced Sister Souljah, passed NAFTA, supported welfare reform, and signed the Defense of Marriage Act.
Number by painful number you inch on like a coffle of slaves being sold down the river.
The seeds was ground to a fine a powder, using the coffle mill attachment of a Moulinex domestic food bender and the powder was kept in a desiccators for later use in stock solutions.
The slave had been condemned to death for leading an uprising of a coffle, a group of chained slaves, in 1829 Kentucky.
Sherley Anne Williams' 1986 novel imagines an encounter and the difficult bonding between two little-known figures from history who never met: A pregnant black woman in 1829 Kentucky who led an uprising on a slave coffle and was sentenced to hang; and a white woman living on an isolated farm in 1830 North Carolina who took in runaway slaves.
One close friend eloped, accompanied by a coffle of straight buddies, hiding the fact of his marriage from me.
in Columbus, Ohio; and AI Price Coffle in St Louis and