Pragmatism in the Age of Jihad: The Precolonial State of Bundu / Edition 1

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Overview

Bundu is an anomaly among the precolonial Muslim states of West Africa. Founded during the Jihads which swept the savannah in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it developed a pragmatic policy, unique in the midst of fundamentalist, theocratic Muslim states. Its founder, Malik Sy, set the state on a distinctive course, and the ruling Fulbe group kept its distance from subsequent Islamic revolutionary movements and tolerated the diverse religious and social practices of its Soninke, Malinke, and Wolof subjects. Located in the Upper Senegal and with access to the Upper Gambia, Bundu played a critical role in regional commerce and production and reacted quickly to the stimulus of European times. Drawing upon a wide range of sources both oral and documentary, Arabic, English, and French, Dr Gomez provides the first full account of Bundu's history. He analyses the foundation and growth of an Islamic state at a crossroads between the Saharan and trans-Atlantic trade, paying particular attention to the relationship between Islamic thought and court policy, and to the state's response to militant Islam in the early nineteenth century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gomez has used a wide variety of documentary and oral sources. He is a careful scholar who treats his oral sources with a healthy skepticism, analyzing each in terms of its ideological function. ... This book is competent... It will remain for many years the basic source for Bundu." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"...Gomez's accomplishment is impressive. He has written the first modern political history of Bundu and has revised our understanding of the origins and religio-political character of the Bundunke state. His book provides specialists with a valuable chronology of events from the foundation of the state until is dissolution in 1905. He thereby makes an important contribution both to the history of precolonial Senegambia and to the study of Islam in West Africa." American Historical Review

"The author has made extensive use of oral sources and written works in Arabic, local West African languages, French, and English. The text is readable, the scholarship sound, the index useful, the bibliography extensive, the maps adequate, and the 11 appendixes informative. Gomez's book will long remain the indispensable work on this subject." Choice

"Michael Gomez has written what will probably be the reference history of Bundu for years to come....It is an important work for any scholar of Islamic West Africa and can be recommended as a supplementary case study text for advanced level courses on Islam in Africa." John Edward Philips, African Studies Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521528474
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/4/2002
  • Series: African Studies Series , #75
  • Edition description: FIRST/REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

List of maps
Acknowledgements
List of abbreviations
Notes on spelling
1 Introduction 1
2 Malik Sy and the origins of a pragmatic polity 32
3 Consolidation and expansion in the eighteenth century 52
4 External reforms and internal consequences: Futa Toro and Bundu 74
5 The reassertion of Sissibe integrity 86
6 Structure of the Bundunke almaamate 100
7 Struggle for the Upper Senegal Valley 110
8 Al-hajj Umar in Bundu 120
9 The age of Bokar Saada 137
10 Mamadu Lamine and the demise of Bundu 152
11 Conclusion 175
Appendices 183
Notes 199
Bibliography 230
Index 241
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