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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From Warriors to Urban Dwellers: Ascari and the Military Factor in the Urban Development of Colonial Eritrea
Author:Dirar, Uoldelul C.
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic terms:Eritrea
black soldiers
History and Exploration
Military, Defense and Arms
Urbanization and Migration
Development and Technology
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://doi.org/10.4000/etudesafricaines.4707
Abstract:This article deals with the role of the military in the urbanization process in Eritrea under Italian colonialism (1890-1941). It argues that the role of the military was crucial in reshaping the physical and social landscapes of colonial Eritrea. Two main phases in the urban history of Eritrea are distinguished: the liberal period, from 1885 to the early 1920s; and the fascist period, from the late 1920s to the crumbling of the Italian 'empire' in 1941. The article analyses how criteria of military defensibility determined the main patterns of early colonial settlements in Eritrea. It examines the nature and extent of the interaction between colonial urban planning and Eritrean society, emphasizing the role of the 'ascari', the Eritrean colonial troops. Due to their close relation with the colonial authorities, 'ascari' became a buffer between colonized and colonizers and, therefore, played an important role in Italian urban strategies. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [ASC Leiden abstract]