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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The encounter of Islam and the Bamana Km: 'Km-ization' of Islam or Islamization of Km?
Author:Kone, Kassim
Periodical:Mande Studies
Geographic term:Mali
African religions
secret societies
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/44080971
Abstract:This article discusses the encounter of Islam and Bamana religious forms and the ensuing and sustained social and cultural transformations that have taken place in the Bldugu region in Central-Western Mali since the early 20th century. The term Bamana can refer to ethnic, linguistic and religious communities depending on the context. Before widespread conversion to Islam, the Km secret fraternity was the most popular religious association among the Bamana and other Mande groups. It supervised judicial, defence and economic matters. A direct encounter was prevented for centuries after Islam had arrived in the Western Sudan and was only made possible by the domino effect caused by French colonialism. The encounter has brought about bricolage and intertextuality to reconcile the two religious beliefs and practices. This bricolage must not be understood as confusion, but as a pragmatic, synthetic compromise. A major consequence has been the erosion of the social roles of the blacksmiths, who suddenly found themselves competing with Islamic clerics for religious and spiritual leadership. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]