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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Al-Sahili: the historians' myth of architectural technology transfer from North Africa
Author:Aradeon, Susan B.
Periodical:Journal des africanistes
Geographic term:Mali
architectural history
Abstract:Scholars, architects and historians have used references to Abu Ishaq Ibrahim al-Sahili, an Andalusian brought back to Mali from Mecca by Mansa Musa in the early 14th century, to flesh out the history of mediaeval West African architecture. Historical evidence, however, undermines the myth of al-Sahili's influence. Not only were North African traders and clerics already settled in the region before his arrival, but also the introduction of Muslim settlements and mosques, as well as the pilgrimages by West African rulers, belie assertions that he initiated Sudanese architecture. Features of West African mosque styles derive more from Saharan mosques and traditional African architecture and religions than from the monumental mosques of Spain or North Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. also in French.