Wa and the Wala: Islam and Polity in Northwestern Ghana / Edition 1

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In the late seventeenth century Wala emerged as a small state in what is now northwestern Ghana. Ivor Wilks traces the history of Wala from its beginnings to the present, paying particular attention to the complex relations between the Muslim and non-Muslim elements in the population. He also examines the impact of Zabrima, Samorian, British, and French intrusions into Wala affairs. By the use of orally transmitted traditions and recensions of these in both Arabic and Hausa, he is able to show how the Wala themselves view thier past. Ivor Wilks analyzes the periodic eruptions of communal violence in Wala in terms of both religious and secular factionalism. He suggests that the policy maker, concerned with the region's current political problems, should have a sound knowledge of the history of Wala and an understanding of the deeper structures of society.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this generation no scholar has surpassed Ivor Wilks's contribution to Ghanaian history. This study of Wa, a small yet complex polity, complements his earlier analyses of Asante, Gonja, and the larger field of Islamic historiography in West Africa." Choice
Wilks African studies, Northwestern U. traces the history of Wala from its beginnings to the present, paying particular attention to the complex relations between the Muslim and non-Muslim elements in the population. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521894340
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/8/2002
  • Series: African Studies Series, #63
  • Edition description: FIRST/REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; List of tables; Preface; List of abbreviations; Preamble; 1. Wa and the Wala; 2. Wala origins: Lasiri and Kubaru; 3. Wala origins: the 'alim as local historian'; 4. Wa chronology: an exercise in date-guessing; 5. Tajdid and jihad: the Muslim community in change; 6. Colonial intrusions: Wala in disarray; 7. 'Direct rule': Wala in the early twentieth century; 8. Wala under 'indirect rule': power to the Na and schism in the umma; 9. Review: the peculiarities of Wala; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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