Resistance to Fulbe hegemony in nineteenth-century West Africa

TitleResistance to Fulbe hegemony in nineteenth-century West Africa
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsM.E. de Bruijn, and J.W.M. van Dijk
EditorM.E. de Bruijn, G.J. Abbink, and K. van Walraven
Secondary TitleRethinking resistance : revolt and violence in African history
Pagination43 - 68
Date Published2003///
Place PublishedLeiden
Publication Languageeng
Keywords1800-1899, Africa, Fulani, history, Islam, Mali, oral traditions, rebellions, Sahel, Sudan, violence, West Africa

African history of the Sahel and Sudan zone appears to have been marked by political instability. Resistance to Fulbe empires was more common than the main literature suggests. The Fulbe are pastoralists and the empires of nomadic pastoralists are inherently unstable. The Fulbe emirates are often described as having been born out of the revolts of religiously inspired nomadic pastoralists against oppressive sedentary regimes. However, the resistance movements against Fulbe hegemony itself can partly be explained as revolts of the originally nomadic population who felt their cause was not well defended by the elite of these emirates. Opposition to the ideology of Islam inspired revolts of non-Islamic groups. These resistance movements were also fed by the oppressive nature of the new emirates, whose most prominent characteristic was slavery. Resistance is expressed in contemporary ritual and oral traditions, challenging the official historiography of these emirates. Three examples are taken in this chapter to illustrate resistance against Fulbe hegemony: the Timbo Emirate in the Fuuta Jallon, the Diina Emirate in central Mali and the Futanke Emirate which followed Diina in the second half of the 19th century. Notes, ref., sum. [Book abstract]

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Citation Key2087