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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pragmatism in the age of Jihad: the precolonial State of Bundu
Author:Gomez, Michael A.ISNI
Series:African studies series
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Geographic term:Senegal
Bundu polity
Abstract:This book deals with the establishment in the late seventeenth century of Bundu, located in what is now eastern Senegal, as a pragmatic Islamic society within the dominant context of rural, militant Islam until 1905. After a discussion of its founder, Malik Sy, and the development of a state policy of pragmatism, the reasons for this policy are explored. Besides the circumstances surrounding the origins of Bundu, the character of the individuals associated with its founding, and the nature of the territory itself, as it assumed a frontier-like quality over which it was difficult to impose a normative set of ideological guidelines, the more salient reason for the moderate posture of the Bundunke 'almaamies' (the plural of the dynastic title 'almaami', from the Arabic 'im¯am'), was the crucial importance of both commerce and related agricultural productivity. The Bundunke rulers determined that pragmatism was essential to the State's well-being. The role of the Sissibe dynasty is examined, as is Bundu's relationship with the militant Islamic State of Futa Toro, and its struggle with the French. The sources are both primary and secondary. The primary sources are divided into endogenous (indigenous Arabic documents and local oral traditions, recorded amongst others in the accounts of European travellers), exogenous (observations by individuals from outside the community in question, largely in French), and intermediate (mixed) materials. Furthermore the author collected oral data in French in Senegambia in 1984 and 1987-1988.