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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Alhazai of Maradi: Traditional Hausa merchants in a changing Sahelian city
Author:Grégoire, E.ISNI
City of publisher:Boulder
Publisher:Lynne Rienner
Geographic term:Niger
Abstract:This work analyses the development of Maradi, Niger, since its foundation and examines the city's social dynamics, in particular the appearance of a merchant bourgeoisie symbolized by the Alhazai (sing. Alhaji). In Hausa country the title 'Alhaji' has become a symbol of economic success: the pilgrimage to Mecca is the first major expense of any successful individual. Chapter 1 lays the groundwork for the research (the historic, geographic and economic contexts) and reviews the principal characteristics of Maradi. Chapters 2 through 4 trace Maradi's political and economic history, distinguishing its three major stages: as a precolonial stronghold of prestigious and warlike chieftains, a major administrative and trading centre, and a regional metropole. The tracing of the city's growth provides an opportunity to delineate the emergence of the Alhazai, who appear progressively during the colonial period but are even more prominent after Niger's independence. Chapter 5 reflects upon the social content of Maradi's development and the conclusion briefly considers some implications of these social changes.