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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Having a road': social and spatial mobility of persons of slave and mixed descent in post-independence central Mali
Author:Pelckmans, LotteISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 0021-8537)
Geographic term:Mali
social mobility
social status
External link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853712000400
Abstract:This article examines the migration trajectories of individuals of slave descent and 'mixed descent' (children of slave concubines) in a royal family network from the Haayre region of central Mali. Focusing on the twentieth century, it considers the extent to which social status has defined options for mobility within this network. Its argument is twofold. First, it shows that attention should be paid not only to the slave/free divide but also to subtler hierarchical nuances such as mixed descent and royal slavery. Rather than social status per se, it is internal hierarchies within social status groups which defined a person's options for movement. Second, the mobile trajectories of people with royal slave status tended to be intertwined with and depend on the movements of their patrons. Although these dependent forms of migration hardly ever changed their social status, they improved their economic condition considerably. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]