The Development of Caste Systems in West Africa

  title={The Development of Caste Systems in West Africa},
  author={Tal Tamari},
  journal={The Journal of African History},
  pages={221 - 250}
  • T. Tamari
  • Published 1 July 1991
  • History
  • The Journal of African History
Endogamous artisan and musician groups are characteristic of over fifteen West African peoples, including the Manding, Soninke, Wolof, Serer, Fulani, Tukulor, Songhay, Dogon, Senufo, Minianka, Moors, and Tuareg. Castes appeared among the Malinke no later than 1300, and were present among the Wolof and Soninke, as well as some Songhay and Fulani populations, no later than 1500. All the West African castes ultimately developed from at most three centers, located among the Manding, Soninke, and/or… 
The Longue Durée Of Quran Schooling, Society, And State In Senegambia
This chapter is a narrative of the history of the Quran school (daara/dudal) in Senegambia and, later, in Senegal. It is based on primary documentation and a wide reading of secondary works on the
In Quest of Susu
The political history of the medieval Western Sudan was dominated by a succession of empires exerting their domination over the region: Ghana, Mali, and finally Songhay. Oral tradition is our only
In Quest of Susu
The political history of the medieval Western Sudan was dominated by a succession of empires exerting their domination over the region: Ghana, Mali, and finally Songhay. Oral tradition is our only
The question of caste in West Africa with special reference to Tukulor craftsmen
The A. has two analytical purposes in discussing the question of caste in West Africa. First, a general case is made for a culturological rather than a sociological view of caste; i.e., the
God of war, worldly ruler, and craft specialists in the Meroitic Kingdom of Sudan
Interpreting the archaeological remains from the Kushite civilization of Sudan is fraught with methodological difficulties. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman written sources give some clues, but the
That Most Perfidious Institution: The slow death of slavery in nineteenth century Senegal and the Gold Coast.
That Most Perfidious Institution is a study of Africans - slaves and slave owners - and their central roles in both the expansion of slavery in the early nineteenth century and attempts to reform
From Kin to Great House: Inequality and Communalism at Iron Age Kirikongo, Burkina Faso
Abstract Archaeological models of increasing sociopolitical complexity have over-privileged processes of centralization in comparison to decentralization. In western Burkina Faso, ethnologists have
The social context of iron forging on the Kenya coast
Ironsmiths occupy an important yet ambiguous position in many African societies. They are both revered and feared, because they wield social power which arises from their access to occult knowledge,
Caste, Hierarchy, and Social Change: Tools for the Study of the Gaboye of Somaliland and African Hereditary Groups of Occupational Specialists
Abstract:This article aims to contribute to the definition of some analytical coordinates in the study of African hereditary groups of occupational specialists. The argument develops from historical
Global Castes
ABSTRACT Caste has been thought of as an institution intimately tied to the Indian past and present. However, caste as a, social system invested in purity, pollution, endogamy, hierarchy, and


The Thirteenth- and Fourteenth-Century Kings of Mali
The three most important Arabic sources for the Empire of Mali at its height are Ibn Fadl-Allāh al-‘Umari, Ibn-Baṭṭüṭa, and Ibn-Khaldūn. These authors all had good opportunities to collect
Notes sur le forgeron, la forge et les métaux en pays minyanka
SUMMARY The status of the Minyanka blacksmith is novel and does not correspond to any other category yet studied. We dismiss the term of " caste " because the society as a whole is not organised
Further considerations of caste in West Africa: The Senufo
Opening Paragraph The term ‘caste’ has often been applied to Senufo artisan groups. However, an analysis of the social, political and economic relationships of these groups and the farmers amongst
Islam and Tribal Art in West Africa
Most writers have assumed that the spread of the Islamic faith has tended to weaken and undermine the foundations of traditional African society and culture. In this interesting and original study
Ordres, castes et États en pays Sérèr (Sénégal): Essai d'interprétation d'un système politique en transition
ABSTRACTThe constant need to have a balanced power system, which caracterizes the traditional Serer system, appears at the central, provincial and village levels, just as it is in the respective
La Parenté à Plaisanteries en Afrique Occidentale
Opening Paragraph Certains auteurs ont signalé l'existence d'une sorte de parenté à plaisanteries dans le Soudan occidental, en citant quelques exemples observés chez les Mandingues, les Peuls et les
A seventeenth-century chronicle by Ibn al-mukhtār: a critical study of Ta'rīkh al-fattāsh
  • N. Levtzion
  • History
    Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies
  • 1971
In 1853, Heinrich Barth visited Timbuktu, and ‘was so successful as to have an opportunity of pursuing a complete history of the Kingdom of Songhay. … These annals, according to the universal
The Growth of Literature
The Growth of Literature is a key work for all scholars and students of comparative literature, and will also interest those involved with other fields of literary studies as well as sociology,
Gens du Pouvoir, Gens de la Terre: Les Institutions Politiques de l'Ancien Royaume du Yatenga
This book, which is in French, brings together the results of over ten years' meticulous fieldwork on the oral archives and local traditions of the Mossi of Yatenga in Upper Volta. It provides a
Proverbes et maximes Peuls et Toucouleurs traduits, expliqués et annotés
M. HENRI GADEN's collection of proverbs comes mainly, but not exclusively, from peoples en countered at St. Louis in French West Africa. The author has classified them under various headings, such as