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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Colonialism within colonialism: the Hausa-Caliphate imaginary and the British colonial administration of the Nigerian Middle Belt
Author:Ochonu, MosesISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:African Studies Quarterly (ISSN 1093-2658)
Volume:10
Issue:2-3
Pages:95-127
Language:English
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
Great Britain
Subjects:colonial administration
indirect rule
Hausa
Sokoto polity
ethnic identity
Link:http://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/Ochonu-Vol10Issue23.pdf
Abstract:This paper explores three interrelated issues: the origins and development of a Hausa-Caliphate imaginary in the intertwinements of caliphate and British discourses and its subtle entry into official British colonial policy in northern Nigeria; how the search for administrative coherence prompted British colonialists to craft an administrative policy envisioned to normalize and spread this Hausa-Caliphate sociocultural and political model to the Middle Belt; and the on-ground unfolding and implementation of this policy in the non-Hausa speaking part of the Middle Belt. This colonial administrative project of politico-cultural uniformity sought to make the Middle Belt more like the Sokoto Caliphate sector, which was deemed more suitable for the British administrative policy of Indirect Rule. The author focuses the empirical discussion and examples on the Tiv-Idoma (Benue) axis of the Middle Belt. He argues that through a long process of articulation, elaboration, and implementation, a novel corpus of significations founded on real and constructed socioeconomic and political attributes of Hausa sociolinguistics was foisted on the non-Hausa speaking, non-Muslim peoples of the Middle Benue area of the Middle Belt. These impositions provoked violent backlashes in many cases. They complicated Idoma and Tiv engagements with British colonialism, victimizing both the Idoma and Tiv, and the Hausa auxiliaries, who were perceived and treated by the Idoma and Tiv as the visible and vulnerable embodiment of British colonialism. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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