Rougier, "Inquête sur
l'Islam dans le Cercle
de Bamako" (1904)
|© 1999 by Jim Jones, Ph.D.|
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(p1) The Muslim population of Bamako includes 12,970 Markas, 850 Peuls, 425 Maures or Maure-metis, 345 Somonos, 205 Bambaras and a few Oulofs. In all, the circonscription de Banamba held 32,608 people: 17,808 fetichists and 14,800 Muslims.
(p2) The Markas (or Soninkes) were in two groups. The first group came mostly from Kayes and Guidimakha. They converted to Islam in the 9th cenury. The second group was converted by the Almoravides in the 11th century. They came from around Djenne to the Banamba region about 1700, roughly 100 years before the Kayes group arrived.
(p3) The end of slavery forced the Markas to begin working for themselves, so they spread out to find arable land. They occupied the Banamba region north of Nyamina in a horseshoe centered on Nyamina. Within this region, they occupied little centers ("noyaux") within the larger Bambara population.
(p4) "Muslmans Étrangers": No foreign Muslims have visited the region for the last 20 years, although earlier, some Moroccans came through on their Hadj.
(p4) There are four classes: Chorfas (descendants of the prophet), Hadji (people have made the pilgrimmage to Mecca), Marabouts (literate) and the mass of believers. The clergy is recruited from the marabouts.
(p5) The Chorfas were the elite and their Cherif had all sorts of privileges (share of war booty, freedom from death penalty and taxes). There were two Hadji in the cercle: El Hady Couma at Dioni and El Hady Abderamann Cissé at Touba. The first man is very old and politically insignificant. The second had some political influence.
(p6) Marabouts made up about 1/30 of the Muslim population. They were ruled by an aristocracy of about 60 people.
(p7) Personnel Religieux : The office of Almamy was held by the following clans in each district. In Banamba, it rotated between the Nanakacé, Dionkacé, Keita and Taraoré. In Touba, between the Doukouré, Ouagué, Teréla and Sylla. In Nyamina, Kiba, Kerouané and Segala, a single clan provided the local almamy, given it the appearance of a hereditary office.
(p19) Écoles coraniques (Muslim Schools)
(p19) There were no more Muslim "cadis" once the French created "Tribunaux indigenes." Instead, the French granted to the Chefs de Village the power to reconcile local disputes.
(p20) There were about 60 Muslim libraries in the region, with an average of 5 books per library. The largest, 12 books, belonged to the Taleb, Mafa Taraoré.
(p21) These books were not read, but instead used by the marabouts to inspire awe among the illiterate.
(p25) beginning of the section on "Obligations Legales"
(p26-27) The story of the Hadj by Abderraman Cissé of Touba: In 1894, he left Touba for Bobo-D where he waited for a year to find a caravan of other people headed for Mecca. In the end, there were five men, but the other four died along the way. He reached Mecca after ten years along a route that took him through Kano, Zinder, Ft. Lamy, Darfur, Badebarri on the Nile, Sabakié on the Red Sea. He stayed only a few days, saw the Grand Cherif from a distance, and then started back, His return trip took 8 years. After he returned, he never traveled again. In general, the Markas were not interested in the Hadj because the trip was too long and difficult.
(p50) Markas were not interested in agriculture. They did work as "tisserands, cordonniers" and "teinturiers." They did not organize into corporations, but preferred to work as individuals for themselves. If people worked together in groups, these were based on social relationships, not economic.
(p54) There were no Europeans in Banamba other than the personnel of the administration. By 1910, there was a single French school with at most 25 students. By 1914, this had risen to two schools with about 40 students each.
(p55) The Muslims of Banamba got along with the French administration, but only reluctantly. They submitted, but did not show enthusiasm.
(p56) Conclusion: "La christianisation (sic) serait ici un erreur. Elle bouleverserait la société, la vie familiale; elle ne pourrait que jeter le trouble créer des ątres hybrides, dénaturés qui seraient bientôt rejetés du milieux primitif" (The introduction of Christianity in this area would be a mistake. It would disrupt society and family life by creating hybrid beings who would be rejected by members of their own primitive culture).
(p60) Signed at Banamba, le 31 Mai 1914 par le resident Rougier