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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Gifts Worthy of Kings: An Episode in Dar Fur-Taqali Relations
Authors:Kapteijns, LidwienISNI
Spaulding, JayISNI
Periodical:Sudanic Africa
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:Darfur polity
Taqali polity
traditional rulers
traditional polities
historical sources
History and Exploration
Abstract:Among the last independent kings of the Sudan were 'Al¯i D¯in¯ar b. Zakariy¯a' b. Mu.hammad al-Fa.dl of D¯ar F¯ur (1898-1916) and Jayl¯i b. Adam Umm Dabbal¯u of Taqal¯i (1896-1916). Not only were the reigns of these two rulers almost coterminous, but they were also both members of a single and distinctive generational cohort of noblemen who in several respects shared a common historical experience. This study argues that it is highly probable that the two future kings became personally acqainted during their period of subordinate service to the Mahd¯iya. Both were able to assert their claims to rule in the west as a consequence of the waning of Mahdist authority there at the close of the 19th century. The study pays particular attention to a shipping list that would seem to have accompanied goods sent from 'Al¯i D¯in¯ar to Makk Jayl¯i of Taqal¯i, probably within the context of ongoing royal commercial and diplomatic exchanges. The document is undated, and could have originated at any time during the interval between 1898 and 1916, when both kings reigned. The diplomatic gifts which 'Al¯i D¯in¯ar sent to Makk Jayl¯i fell into two categories: fancy ready-made clothing and 'instruments of State'. The document provides a glimpse of the noblemen of Taqal¯i before the time in which distinction came to be bestowed by bureaucratically-minded foreign conquerors in the form of British robes of honour. Notes, ref.