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Imams of Gonja

The Kamaghate and the Transmission of Islam to the Volta Basin
Les imams de Gonja et Kamaghate et la transmission de l’islam dans le bassin de la Volta
Andreas Walter Massing
p. 57-101

Résumés

Résumé
Le lignage des Kamaghate qui prétend appartenir à la tradition Diakhanke d’al-Haj Salim Souaré et le lignage royal du Wagadu des Diaby-Gassama ont tenu l’imamat dans Begho qui s’est élargi avec les Gonja dans le bassin occidental de la Volta. Ses Leurs racines peuvent en outre être suivies dans les centres de la diaspora islamique comme Djenne, Odienne, Samatiguila, Tieme, Kong, Bouna et Bondoukou. Il fait partie d’une branche orientale des Diakhankhe qui a introduit l’islam dans le bassin de la Volta, le Kamaghate étant l’un des principaux acteurs de la moitié ouest, tandis que le Baghayogho, dont l’importance pour la partie orientale du bassin de la Volta et les populations mossi et dagbani fut démontré dans un article précédent, a opéré dans la partie occidentale du bassin de la Volta (Volta Noire). L’émigration et la mission parmi les incroyants — thèmes de la doctrine musulmane — ont été abordées par des musulmans africains de façon à être compatibles avec les formes d’organisation — par la voie d’offices héréditaires dans certains lignages spécialisés — et ainsi tranchés dans la lutte entre les doctrines malikite et ibadite qui est encore évidente à travers les textes historiques.

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Texte intégral

  • 1 Written Zagha in Arabic and pronounced Zapa, characterized by Ibn Batuta as “old in Islam”. On Sali (...)
  • 2 Rançon, P. Smith, Suret-Canale and particularly Sanneh. A summary account of Dia and the Soninke mo (...)
  • 3 A glimpse at the map will show that it is easily possible to travel by river from Djenne to Odienne (...)

1With this article I will illustrate the expansion of a network of Muslim lineages which has played a prominent role in the peaceful spread of Islam in West Africa and forms part of the Diakhanke tradition of al-Haji Salim Suware from Dia1. While the western branch of the Diakhanke in Senegambia and Guinea has received much attention from researchers2, the southern branch of mori lineages with their imamates extending from Dia/Djenne up the river Bani and its branches have been almost ignored. It has established centres of learning along the major southern trade routes and in the Sassandra-Bandama-Comoë-Volta river basins up to the Akan frontier3.

  • 4 Nicolaisen (1962: 27), Stewart (1970: 81), Pollet&Winter (1971: 42 ff.), Launay (1992: 53 ff.), Web (...)

2The Kamaghate imamate has been established with the Gonja in the Volta basin but can be traced back to the Jula/Soninke of Begho, Kong, Samatiguila, Odienne and ultimately to the region of Djenne and Dia. It follows the typical model of Saharan and Sahelian social organization, namely clerical (maraboutic) lineages associated with warrior lineages — both ruling over castes of specialist artisans and laborers of slave or manumitted slave status. The warrior lineages were variously designated as “royals” or “nobles”: hassani in Shinqit, zawiya among the Aïr-Tuareg, tunka among the Soninke and tun tigi among the Kong Diula, while the clerical lineages were designated as zwaya, ineslemen, modi or mori4. Such stratified clusters were called “tribes” in Shinqit, “confederations” in the Tagant and “drum groups” by the Aïr-Tuareg. The hierarchized social systems of the Berber or Moors found their echo among Sahelian societies like Soninke, Malinke, Toucouleur, Sonrhay, Jerma and Hausa, or the sedentary Fulani of the Futas and the Macina.

  • 5 Ibn Idari, Bayan I 37 mentions Musa b. Nusair’s order, to send him 17 or 27 Arabs to Tanja (Tanger) (...)

3Apparently the association of clerical with warrior lineages had been established in early Islam, in order to achieve rapid expansion in North Africa, with the campaigns of Ocba ben Nafi (682), Musa ibn Nuçayr (705-709), Habib ibn Abi Ubayda (735), or Yusuf ben Tachfin acting as blueprints for the model. The military commanders of the Omayyad khalifa requested a faqih to accompany them to teach Islamic dogma and introduce Islamic law5. The preservation of nomadic or transhumant ways of life and the maintenance of lively hoods through the defence and organization of range territories apparently shaped not only the spatial but also the social structures on the fringes north and south of the Sahara. While the warriors concentrated on pastoralism with frequent raids on the livestock of neighbouring groups, the clerics often resided in separate settlements so as to concentrate on religious study but also on trade, according to the ideal of hijra, the obligation for a Muslim to travel and move away from ignorance to seek faith. Some faqih — and indeed entire tariqas — were of the opinion that the shari’a should be maintained without interference by rulers or their interpretation of law.

  • 6 The Kor’an, sure 4 verses 89-100 defines the conditions for hjra (emigration) and jihad (war on beh (...)

4The Maliki jurist Idris al-Shafi (d. 820) argued that hijra was not an obligation for all but only after jihad had been declared (except for the nomadising Bedouins of Arabia). Muslims could stay in dar al-kufr as long as they were free to practise their religion. The majority of the Maliki jurists agreed with Shafi’ that hijra was not an obligation. Al Maziri († 1141) argued that staying behind in dar al kufr for a legitimate purpose and specifically for the propagation of Islam was allowed. Ibn al-Arabi († 1148) argued that there were 6 situations of hijra, and only obligatory from lands of unbelief, heresy, injustice but also from physical insecurity and disease or for the propagation of Islam6. The khawarij and Ibadi considered the territory of the Omayyad and Abbasid khalifat as dar al kufr and accordingly moved to Oman & Ifriqiyya to create independent imamates. The Mu’tazilids oscillated between the Khawarij and Ibadi positions in that they would stay in dar al-iman (land of faith) as long as they could act as Muslims without being forced to commit acts of unbelief. The Shiites did not take the Khawarij view. The majority of Muslims disagree with the extreme views of kufr and hijra, and the Sufis even hold that only spiritual, not physical, hijra was necessary and popularised the interiorization of hijra by withdrawal into the heart. The exclusive Muslim retreats (zawiyat) in the Maghreb and separate settlements of Muslims in the early states along the Senegal — and their reluctance to become intimately associated with the rulers and animist populations of the lands — appear as prelude to the Diakhanke colonies.

  • 7 Pollet and Winter (1971: 209) note on the ranking of clans “On notera donc que les marabouts, pour (...)
  • 8 According to Soninke traditions, while in Wagadou, one member of the royal lineage, the Dukure, aba (...)
  • 9 Dieterlen (1955: 40-41), Leynaud & Cisse (1979: 110-11) adds Diané instead of Fofana and writes Cis (...)

5However, the association of noble military castes with ritual specialists appears have roots in pre-Islamic times, namely in the early stratified societies of the fertile river basins, where professional specialists — artisanal and religious — were almost on the same footing with the nobles: among the Soninke, the clerical clans were of noble descent but of secondary rank and had lost the privilege to rule7. Pre-Islamic religion was characterized by Muslim authors as “idolatry” (wathaniyya) or “magic” (majusiyya) and healers, practitioners of initiation rites, diviners, producers of charms and amulets for hunting and war, praise-singers or bards (griots, jeliw) were a necessary part of society but grouped in castes. Some members of those specialized lineages later converted to Islam and founded clerical lineages of ulema (from ‘ilm “knowledge”, “science”), but traditional practices, especially amulet-making, continued to flourish side by side and were tolerated by some faqih8. Thus teaching and learning was hereditary — like caste membership — and occurred in specialized lineages of clerics who were seen as “service-providers” for the ruling lineages. It seems worthwhile to investigate these mori lineages in more detail in order to get a better understanding of the penetration of Islam into the region. Mande social ideology sees traditional society issued from 30 families, five Mansaré-Keita lineages, 5 clerical clans (clans maraboutiques — Bérété, Ture, Cissé-Haidara, Fofana, Saganogo), 4 caste lineages (jeli, noumou garanke, fina) and 16 “noble slave” families9.

The Gonja Imamate and its Beginnings10

  • 10 This article forms a chapter in my History of Gonja (forthcoming).
  • 11 Apart from the Mande, are the Dagomba also established ruling lineages in Buna and Wa. But Gonja wa (...)
  • 12 A point made by Wilks (1971) to be discussed later in this article.

6Conquest chiefdoms also rose in the Mande area, particularly in the late 16th century following the introduction of fire arms by the Morrocans and Dutch between 1590 and 1630: those of Feren Kamara in the Konyan, Vakaba Ture of Odienne, the Sonongui of Kong, as well as their offshoots in Barabo, Jimini and Gonja (Ngbanya)11. Here we likewise find an upper caste of warrior lineages (tun tigi), associated with clerical (mori) and specialist lineages (e.g. noumou), ruling over subjected local populations. But sometimes local chiefs retained their status especially if they converted to Islam. The important point is that Islamic learning and teaching in the Mande societies first of all takes place in clerical or maraboutic lineages and is hereditary — perhaps in contrast to North Africa. Parents give first religious instruction — mothers or maternal uncles in matrilineal societies — while transmission by isnads12 takes place at later stages of higher learning and preparation for teaching. Those clerical lineages were initially localized but have formed diasporas and extensive networks of real or fictive kinsmen across borders and over centuries.

  • 13 According to Levtzion (1968): “The imams of the Hwela belong to the Kamaghte clan (Hwela who adopte (...)
  • 14 Levtzion (1968: 62) derived from the Gonja founder-hero, Jakpa, Sakpare and is supposed to mean “pr (...)

7Already in 1968 Levtzion presented facts on the Gonja imamate and its origins: the Paramount Chiefs (Yagbumwura)13 and the divisional chiefs had imams referred to as Sakpare who claim descent from the imam of the founder-hero Jakpa. “Kamaghte is now the patronymic of most, if not all, the Sakpare imams in Gonja”14. According to tradition the first mosque in Gonja land was built at Buipe — a few miles upstream of the junction of the Black and White Volta — which became the residence of the first Gonja imams and has furnished the imams of Gonja till the present day.

  • 15 Abyad indicates that he was bidan i.e. of either an Arab or Berber descent. However, since the imam (...)
  • 16 Na the term for chief in most Mole-Dagbane languages; Na ba great chief.
  • 17 Sanfi near Bouna, but according to Goody (1968: 199) Sampa 6 km E of Bondoukou. This would be just (...)
  • 18 Quote from Kitab Ghanja, Wilks and al. (1986: chap. I.) (This is) an account for posterity. Isma’il (...)
  • 19 (Wilks and al. 1986: 91-92). Kud or Kudu has been read as Kolo — Arabic waw can be pronounced o or (...)
  • 20 Some have argued that Mawura was simply a title oman-ewura “lord of the land”; but as the local riv (...)
  • 21 For example, in the Kitab Ghanja Ch. 40 are mentioned “Muhammad Sa’id ben Sa’d ben al-faqih Mustafa (...)
  • 22 Konandi/Kunadi are spelling variations of the same person.

8Chapter I of Kitab Gonja establishes that the first imam was faqih Isma’il who came with his son Muhammed al-Abyad15 from Begho (Bik) to the Na’ba of Gonja16 fighting on the Volta river. But Isma’il died on his return voyage at Sanwi17 and Muhammad al-Abyad performed his father’s funeral at Begho, where his brothers lived, and the Naba sent gifts for the funeral18. However, when Muhammad returned to thank the Naba, he found that he had died in the meantime, and met his successor fighting at Kud and helped him to overcome the animists there19. As a result, he converted his successor Soara (Soale) Mawura and his sons and nephews to Islam20. From the kitab it is apparent that he built the first mosque at Buipe and that his descendants resided and became imams there21. One version of the Kitab Ghanja mss states in an: “These are the words of […] Imam Imoru Konandi, son of Imoru, and Al Hajj Mahama, son of Mustapha.” Wilks surmised that the former, Konandi, writer of the Kitab Ghanja, was a Sakpare and thus of the Kamaghate jamu while the latter was a member of a Jula community west of the Black Volta; we can only say that one of the writers namely Umar Kunadi was imam at Buipe22.

The Jula of Begho

9Here we need to establish the origin of the Sakpare lineage and its legitimacy for the imamate of newly conquered Gonja land. Levtzion recognized that “Muhammad al-Abyad came according to the Gonja Chronicle, from Be’o. The imams of Namasa, who claim to continue the line, belong to the Kamaghte patronymic group. Muhammad al-Abyad may well have been a Kamaghte from Be’o” (Levtzion 1968: 62). Today “Biego Traditional Area” is a small chiefdom in Wenchi district, some 30 miles East of Bondoukou.

Black Volta valley and localisation of Begho (ms encarta, 2000). Begho and its relations with Bondoukou, Bouna and Bole

Black Volta valley and localisation of Begho (ms encarta, 2000). Begho and its relations with Bondoukou, Bouna and Bole
tarikhs2324th25
  • 26 Cf. maps Goody (1967), Kropp-Dakubu (1976).
  • 27 Donzo: Mande “warrior” or hunter groups, viz their “associations” or “societies”. Specialized in th (...)

10The site of ex-Begho was identified between Hani and Namasa on the junction of the Wenchi-Bondoukou and the Hani-Banda roads26. The inhabitants of Namasa refer to their settlement as Be’o Namasa and that of Hani as Be’o Nsoko (Levtzion 1968: 9). The fact that the Namasa earth priest was Hwela meant for Levtzion that the Huela were the original inhabitants speaking a Mande dialect, and adopted Islam with the arrival of the Ligbi (Person 1964). The imams of Hwela at Namasa belong to the Kamaghte clan and have claimed to continue the Be’o imamate (IAS/AR 340). According to Sheikh Kalilou Bamba, also claiming to be descendant of the Begho imams, interviewed by Wilks in 1965, the Jula settled with Nafana & Hwela/ Jogo/Ligbi aborigines in the following order (Wilks 1982: 345-346): 1. Bamba (Huela) aborigines; 2. Kamaraté; 3. Timité; 4. Bané; 5. Diabaraté; 6. Traoré; 7. Kuribari; 8. Watara (Donzo)27; 9. Kauté, the last of the Muslim migrants.

Ethnolinguistic groups of northern Ghana (Goody 1954: 3)

Ethnolinguistic groups of northern Ghana (Goody 1954: 3)
  • 28 The qabila leaders, asked by Tauxier, insisted that they were from Mandé rather than from Jenne.
  • 29 Tauxier (1912: 68, n. 2) states: “Les Nigbis ou Ligouis ou mieux Ligbis ne sont pas des Dyoulas, co (...)

11Benquey enumerated 8 qabila (residential quarters) of Jula at Begho28: “Kari-Dioulas, Nénéyas, Kamayas, Koumalas, Dorobos, Donzo-Ouattara, Timités, Nigbis”, with the latter representing the Hwela founders29.

  • 30 Carbon-14 dates presented by Posnansky point to the period 1400 + ? 100 to 1650 + ? 95 for the Ligb (...)
  • 31 Wilks, FN/1 interview dated 22 June 1966, quoted in Wilks (1982: 346).

12If Begho was indeed a Jula colony of Birou-Walata, successive waves of Walata refugees should have increased its population in the 15th century30. Sheikh Khalidu Bamba even showed Wilks a manuscript in his possession, Wusul Bighu, which confirms the above sequence31, but adopted different spelling.

Table 1. Settlements & languages in the vicinity of Begho ( after Kropp-Dakubu ibid.)

Table 1. Settlements & languages in the vicinity of Begho ( after Kropp-Dakubu ibid.)

13The autochthonous Hwela/Jogo/Ligbi/Noumou adopted the jamu Bamba as evidenced by Binger who encountered the Ligbi north of the Black Volta (Binger 1982: I, 151; II, 109). Many villages are bi- or tri-lingual with Ligbiand Nafaanra-speaking sectors, and Twi as third (Kropp-Dakubu 1976: 70-71; Goody 1954: 6, 11) only mentions Nafana but neither Hwela nor Ligbi).

  • 32 “Ajoutons que celui-ci dit que la destruction définitive de Bégho aurait eu lieu non du fait des Ab (...)

14The fall of Begho led to the dispersal of its Jula population. According to Tauxier this demise was caused by the Ashanti during the reign of Kofi Sono (1746-1760)32. Refugees from Begho pointed to the reign of Kombi Watara (1750-1770) as the time of Begho’s fall (Bernus 1960; Niamkey 1996) and a tradition from Bilimono confirms the arrival at Kong during the reign of Kombi.

Jula Dispersion and the End of Begho

Bondoukou

  • 33 Found at Legon and presumably written by the imam Yusuf Ibrahim Kamaghate at Dorma — which is doubt (...)
  • 34 Idem n. 5 imam Marhaba Saghanogho from Bobo Dioulasso gives Al-Bata Watara as grandfather of Seku W (...)
  • 35 Isnad Bondoukou imams established by Muh. Yacoub Diabaghate and published in extracts by E. C. Hand (...)

15However, other evidence points to an earlier date for the end of Begho. Tauxier quoted the almamy K. Timité and the principal men of Bondoukou that the resettlement of the families happened about some 500 years ago (Tauxier 1921: 69). On the other hand, the Isnad al-Sudan33, gives a date around 1597/1598 following an invasion of horsemen by a certain Al-Bata Watara, who later set up camp at Kong34. A descendant of the last imam gave 1597 for the destruction of Begho but a list of imams in the hands of the Diabaghate jamu claims that the first imam of Bondoukou was chosen in 1586 from among the Kamaghaté line35.

  • 36 (Levtzion 1968: 9). According to “A short history of Bew-Nsawkaw, MS with the Nsawkawhene”. Densos (...)
  • 37 “Ces propos malsains entraînèrent la guerre qui détruisit Bi’u. Bi’u fut détruit et (les gens) émig (...)

16If the Bonduku Jula community was established after the break-up of Begho and its first imam indeed chosen in 1586, it seems curious that its break-up should have occurred in 1597/1598 — on the other hand the almamy’s date seems too early to be taken literally. But Levtzion quotes a local source reflecting on the cause: “There arose a quarrel between the Densos and Muslims, and they migrated to found Kong and Bonduku”36. This foundation would refer only to the Jula colony at Bonduku and not to the Gbin-Loro-Kulango village (Niamkey 1996). The Isnad gives as cause insults and a quarrel between two women, the wife of Al-Bata and that of another Muslim called Ali37.

  • 38 Wilks (1969: 17) maintains that the Bamba conserved the imamate but the Kamaghate held the chieftai (...)
  • 39 i.e. food taboo, tana of the crocodile, bama. For other areas of occurrence see Person (1968, t. II (...)
  • 40 Terray (1995: 333) quoted after Wilks (1969: 17). I have not been able to procure a copy of this MS (...)

17But according to Sheikh Bamba, the imamate was held by the Bamba, and the end of Begho came due to internal dissent among the Jula, apparently over rotation of the “chieftaincy” (imamate?)38. The Bamba are associated with indigenous animists, Hwela/Jogo/Ligbi in this case, but elsewhere with the Bambara — in Konyan, Mau, Toura — and Nafana — Mankono and Seguela — or other Senoufo groups, who have as tana bama39. We learn that the Bamba handed the “chieftainship” to the Kamaghaté, who arrived as the first Jula. But when the turn came for the latter to hand the chieftaincy to others, they refused to relinquish it. During a meeting, the Kumbala, of the jamu Bani, declared they would no longer obey the Kamaghaté chief and wanted to seize power. But the other eight groups rallied to the Kamaghaté and civil war broke out, on the 1st day of Ramadan in 1005 a.h. (1597 a.d.)40. But other causes of the dispute, generally recognized as “futile”, are evoked such as quarrels over women (Terray 1995: 335). However, there is no evidence of a presence of Saghanughu, as Wilks (1982: 348) has claimed, in Begho or nearby Bonduku — they did apparently hail from Boron and settled in Kong where they became imams in the early 19th century.

18The earth priest of Namasa being a Hwela could not leave the place in order not to forfeit his claim to the land and therefore remained at Namasa, attributing the imamate to the Kamaghaté, while other Hwela fled to the Gbin villages of Bondoukou and Sorobango (Terray 1995: 334).

19After the break-up of Begho apparently the Jula did not go directly to Bondoukou, but scattered in different destinations, and only returned following Kofi Sono’s conquest of Bondoukou around 1750.

  • 41 Massing field notes (interview à Namasa) dec. 21, 1998 quoted in Massing (2000: 301, n. 44).
  • 42 I have altered the order from Tauxier’s (ibid.: 68) in order to take seniority at Begho into accoun (...)

20A report by Yusuf Timite of Bole41, confirms this dispersion in stating that Jakpa, a war leader from Kong, approached the imam Kamaghate for assistance after the destruction of Begho, and also Kwabena Timite, and that together they travelled through northern Ivory Coast to gather other Muslims: the Gbane were picked up at Ouangolo, the Diabate at Jerisu (Dyeliso? on the Marawe river), and the Dabo at Dyimini, before they all returned to Bondoukou. Herein Jakpa is apparently confounded with Kofi Sonou. According to Tauxier (1921: 67-69) the Jula residents of Begho came to Bondoukou via the following stations42.

Table 2. The exodus to Bondoukou

Table 2. The exodus to Bondoukou
  • 43 The griots of the Keita from Kangaba in Mandé have been the Diabaghate from Kela. According to Kela (...)

21The Kari-Julas — which we identify as Diabaghate43 — left for Dorma and joined the Abron under Kofi Sono, but the Timite account from Bole mentions that they were picked up at Jeriso (Dyéliso) on the Marawe river west of Kong in Ivory Coast, and then went to Dyimini.

22As for the “Kamarayas, ou mieux Kamaraté” Benquey claimed that they came from Boualé or Bôlé with Kofi Sonou (Tauxier 1921, Appendix III: 439), however, only because they had fled there earlier.

23According to Terray, Ligbi, Nafana and Kulango ran away to Banda and Bondoukou while the Huéla went to Kong and Bouna. The Gbane, who arrived at Begho before 1590, left to Bondoukou and Bouna, where they are found in the Koumbala section. Apparently Traore and Coulibaly went directly to Bouna as they have their qabila there but are not mentioned at Bondoukou.

  • 44 It appears that the Traore, Coulibali and Kauté are not specifically mentioned by Tauxier (1921: 68 (...)

24If Bondoukou was a prime destination for the Jula from Begho, a Jula colony only could flourish after security was provided by Kofi Sono — and we will see that they made a pact with him. While the authority over the land (maître de terre) remained within the hands of the indigenous Nafana and Koulango, the Jula took on the roles of religious functionaries, councillors and traders. Jula from Bondoukou are also mentioned as buyers of kola from Worodugu in the Kong market, which they later re-sold in the Salaga market (Bernus 1960; Handloff 1982; Haight 1981). Thus 7 out of the 9 qabilas of Begho came to Bondoukou44. A comparison of the jamuw and quarters present in Begho and Bondoukou follows.

  • 45 The particular hostility of Samori towards the Ligbi shall be discussed elsewhere; it seems to have (...)

25Even though the Huéla remained at Begho, some however, came over later, even before the Nafana — who with Gbins, Gouro, and Loro are also honoured as owners of the land. Benquey noted for Ligbi and Noumou to have departed (or been deported) to Dabakala after Samori’s conquest45. He only saw Kari-Dioula and Donzo as immigrants from Begho, while he considered the inhabitants of Koko and Nénéya former Kong residents.

  • 46 Tauxier (1912: 44, n. 3) lists seven “quartiers” dyula and on 228 “les principaux clans dyoula repr (...)
  • 47 Marty (1922: 216), after Chaudron (1907) and Joseph (1915).
  • 48 Nénéya are not mentioned on p. 228, but the immediately preceding text explains that they live in t (...)
  • 49 Donzo: “Originally in Mali the hunters, and their ‘associations’ or ‘hunters’ societies”. They do n (...)

Table 3. Jamu and Qabila in Begho and Bondouku46474849

Table 3. Jamu and Qabila in Begho and Bondouku46474849
  • 50 Terray (1995). Surprisingly Sampa has not interested any researchers, being 3 mls 3 from Soko and 6 (...)

26Terray reported Nénéya to have come from across the river, and living in Koko, they could be Dyula from Sampa50.

  • 51 Supposed to be Marala or Marafa (referring to Hausa residents).
  • 52 “D’autre part tous les Dyoulas de Bondoukou disent être venus de Bégho […]. Actuellement c’est deve (...)

27In Bondoukou “all Dioulas” — Timité, Donzo (Donzo-Watara), Koumala, Malara51, Kari Dioula, Koumraya, Koko, Nénéya and Huéla — considered their Begho origins as “conferring on them some title of nobility”52.

  • 53 “Falejina était un guerrier très puissant; il capturait toujours son adversaire et l’amenait au Gya (...)
  • 54 Terray 1995: 466 [104, livre V, chapitre II, section 2], 338 [livre VII, chapitre IV, section 3, 74 (...)

28Tauxier took the early 20th century situation for granted, when the Timité held the imamate, and failed to mention the Kamaghaté as former jmams. But Terray and Haight have shown that the imamate shifted from the Kamaghaté to the Timité. During the middle of the 18th century, the new gyamanhene Kofi Sono, an Abron, concluded an “alliance” with the Julas, in particular their leader Falejima Kamaghaté (Terray 1995: 337, 467, 651, 755)53. Thus the first imams of the new Muslim settlement were Kamaghaté, and only from 1750 on did the Timité occupy the imamate54.

  • 55 Terray (1995: 468-469), Marty (1922: 209, 225, 229) indicates Kamaghaté imams in the Djimini at Mbo (...)

29This is precisely the “pact” or “covenant” of mutual protection between animist rulers and Dyula Muslims, which characterizes so many early Islamic polities, and which also form the basis of the Gonja imamate. While local chiefs as a rule do not convert when they accede to the chieftaincy, they take Muslim “priests” who organize the religious functions of their Muslim subjects and are rewarded for this by the chiefs. In Gyaman, Kamaghate and Diabaghate groups live in Sorobango, Banda-akanyi, Sanguehi, and Kuruza Awahikro55.

Bouna

  • 56 Boutillier’s (1993) monography and Terray (1995). It appears that Mamprusi and Dagomba were yet und (...)
  • 57 “Early in his reign he took the field against the Wangara people. He stormed and took Gbona the cap (...)

30This Koulango settlement apparently came under a dynasty of maternal Koulango origins and paternal Mamprusi-Dagomba roots in the late 16th century. According to Dagomba tradition, a son of the 5th Ya Na, Darigu Diembda, a hunter-warrior, who extended the Dagomba frontier to the Black Volta, married the daughter of the local Koulango chief — probably a tengdaan56. Their son Bounkani founded the ruling dynasty of Bouna. This was before the Gonja conquest of the lands between the Black and White Volta reported for the rule of the 12th Ya Na. By carefully analyzing the traditional accounts with regard to transmission of Islam, one gathers that Jula were present at Bouna prior and perhaps even the cause of the Dagomba incursion57. Whether Mande-mori lineages were at Bouna remains to be established. However, Bouna became a centre of Islamic learning and a traditional study centre for the Gonja imams. It has particularly close relations with Bole at 30 km distance, and both trade, exchange and intermarriage are frequent; in modern times Bole is important for Bouna people to travel to the Kumasi markets, because of daily transport and lower prices of industrial goods.

  • 58 On the whole there is less material on Bouna than on Bondoukou, two fragments by Greigert and Labou (...)

31The following qabila and jamuw are documented for Bouna. Like for Bondoukou most of Bouna’s Julas claim origins from Begho, with possible exceptions of the Traore and Kauté58.

Table 4. Bouna’s Qabila

Table 4. Bouna’s Qabila

32The Jula have been spiritual advisors of the rulers and entrepreneurs because of their wide commercial and religious network, which led to Bouna’s destruction by Saran-çe-ni Mori in December 1896. It was rebuilt slowly because its decimated and scattered population, and today only 5 of the original 10 Jula qabila seem to subsist, while the local Koulango have added 8 of their own.

  • 59 Boutillier (1993: 282-289); there is a need for further fieldwork on the role of the Kamaghate in t (...)
  • 60 It seems that he followed Levtzion (1968) who claimed “the Kamara have the patronym Kaute too”.

33According to Boutillier, the first Muslim lineage to settle in Bouna and hold the imamate for two centuries, were the Kamara (pronounced Kambara), originary from Larabanga, before it passed to the Cissé59. The Jabaghate were said to have followed those Kamara. Unfortunately, Boutillier has confused Kamara with Kambara, Kombala, from where the Larabanga imams’ Kauté is derived60. The first group of Muslims were the Kamaghaté (whether from Begho or not); the Kaouté were probably one of the last but not less influential as Labouret shows.

34I had the opportunity to interview both imams of Bouna and Larabanga. The imam Cissé told me, when specifically asked about the Kamaghate, that they had been imams al-jumma but been replaced by a Cissé imam because “ils avaient fait trop de maraboutage” and the Cissé possessed superior knowledge of Islamic law. Thus they were seen by reformist Moslem movements as representatives of animist practices and therefore kufr (non-Islamic). On the other hand, Samori might have imposed them — like in that other Jula centre of Kadioha — who held great trust in Salea Cissé, a tidjani, rather than a traditional qadri imam. Salea Cissé was allowed by Saran-çe-ni to assemble his friends in his qabila and he and his family were taken to Samory’s camp while most of the population was massacred by the Sofas (Person 1975, vol. III, n. 141). Salea might have pointed out to Samori the support he had received by almamy Kamaghaté in the surrender and saved him, but the imam’ destiny is not clear.

  • 61 “Au cours d’une première palabre tenue par Dyebango, Saléa soutenu par l’Almami Kamaghaté plaida en (...)
  • 62 (Holden 1970: 100), but read “Diabaghate” for Jabaghatory and “Kombala” for Camara.
  • 63 Ibid.
  • 64 A few pages earlier Holden mentions the following circumstances of his interview: “For example Abu (...)

35Labouret’s report of the fall of Bouna provides proof of the Kamaghaté as Bouna imams in the late 19th century61. For most authors destruction and execution were general, but according to Holden, retaliation was selective and directed only at the instigators of the plot62. Bouna’s destruction was not inevitable as Samori held its muqqadim in high respect. Had it not been for the plot of the Buna Mansa — apparently instigated by the Kauté imams — to ambush and kill Saran-çe-ni mori the town might have been saved. The “Kamaras” (Kombalas A. M.) and Koulibalis fought for the Bouna Mansa, “but the most prominent Ligbi seem to have supported” Samori’s troops, “while the Cissay’s position is unclear”. “Selective executions followed with the Kulangos, Kamaras, Haussas and Cissays suffering most while the Ligbi leadership had wide powers of reprieve”63. Unfortunately, no document mentions the fate of the Almamy Kamaghate and his qabila but he was probably replaced by the Samorians with a Cisse, even Salia Cisse64.

36I have quoted this at length in order to assess the status of the Kamaghate and other Jula jamuw in the conflict. Samori and his son, Saran-çe-ni mori, themselves claimed Mori status because born into the Ture jamu, and would likely to have spared members of Mori lineages, and out of respect for Bondoukou, where the Ligbi were his hosts and considered old Muslims. In my view the Cisse would have been spared, because they were considered as chorfa, and had recently been appointed as chiefs in the Jula chiefdoms of Kadioha and Koko where Gbon Coulibaly was Samori’s ally. The Jabaghate were a special case: as jeli of the Malinke royal lineage, the Mansa-den, they were employed as messengers and delegates to Samori; on the other hand I find it surprising that the Watara should have been spared.

  • 65 Also spelled and written as Kaouté, Kangoté, Kauté or with Boutillier Kawtay.

37The Larabanga imams claimed to be “M’marra” or “Kambara”, and hold the nisba Kawuté65. As such they are Kombala Muslims from Kong (see below). One of their lineage, Gbane, is imam of Daboya and others in smaller Gonja centers (Boutillier 1993: 282). The jamu Kamara itself rarely occurs East of the Bandama, and I have not found evidence of its presence there.

Bole

38The principal Wangara families here were named by imam Yusuf Mahama Kamaghate as:

  • 66 Participants in the interview: Al Haji Couloubali, Karamoko, from the Kamaté clan; Ousman Sulemana, (...)

“Kama’té from Mande, who came from Nsoko or Biégho;
Bamba, were already here and are Ligbi, (and) aboaipo = noumou; they don’t have
Special clan names, but are under their (own) chiefs;
Timité, from Bontenga (Bondoukou?);
Couroubaré from Bouna;
Jaba’té from Bouna
Ouattara from Kpong;
Tarawele, al Haji Alassan’s father, is a Dagomba;
Kauté; Gbane; Dabo; Touré”66.

39The fa limam (father of imams, probably imam al-jumma) belongs to the Kamaghaté family of the Sakpare, who have established two “gates” (sub-lineages?) namely that of Limam Bashaw and of Limam Abdulai. Arabic Manuscripts on these clans and their migrations are said to be in the possession of Alhaji Anzumana, some of which were extracted by Haight.

40According to him, there was a change in imamate from the Timité to the Kamaghaté in 1818 who had supported Bolewura Safo, and the Ashanti in the 1817 Gyaman war, while the Timité, imams of Bondoukou (and Djabaté) had supported the losing side, namely Bolewura Pontomporon I, an ally of Gyamanhene Adinkra’s. The Sakpare imamate of Bole was established by Kamaghaté from Chama who had sought exile in Buipe and were proposed to Bolewura Safo.

41“Before 1818/19 the Timitay presumably constituted the link between Bole and Bondoukou” (Haight 1981: 169), but lost their status with the change in chieftaincy and alliance.

Kong

42Kong is a multi-ethnic settlement grown from autochthone elements and others arriving at different times. The plateau on the headwaters of a tributary of the Comoe — the Tababruko creek — was originally inhabited by Falafala, Gbin, Miyoro, Nabe and Nafana (Gur-speaking Senoufo peoples).

  • 67 Called Pantara or Banda in Ghana.
  • 68 Mainly the Ibrahima Sanogo (Saghanogho) Tijani, brother of the imam and cousin of the Imans of Boua (...)

43Twenty kilometres west of the present Kong called Kombala, lies a village called Nafana. According to Delafosse (1908: 19), Kong was founded by Nafana67 who were driven away by Tyembara Senoufo, rulers of the Korhogo area, and fled to Bondoukou. According to Bernus (1960), the Kombala people were reputed for their magic powers which they used for war and for healing. Kombala made an alliance with Kong under a family of Mande origins, which arrived with a certain Signélé, who had previously settled at Boron, and his son Késémaghan Tondosama. The Kombala jamuw have been identified as: Bayikoro, Tondosama, Gbane, Grambouté (elsewhere written Grafouté)68.

  • 69 My belief is that the latter dyamu is of Samo, also a Mande but non-islamic group, origins.
  • 70 The Coulibaly of Limbala also came from Begho, according to Niamkey’s investigation (Niamkey 1996: (...)
  • 71 Tengrela is also to the north on the road from Djenne. To the west lie rather Tiémé, Tombougou, Sam (...)
  • 72 Sonongi-probably from the Senoufo or sono.

44My informers in Kong also mentioned Hwela and Ligbi populations of the jamuw Bamba and Bayania — from the related settlement of Mango (Groumania), and from two Mande groups from the North, Marka and Dafing (meekakan-speakers), with the jamuw Mafa and Sessouma69. Other Mandé jamuw were originally settled at Ténéguéra and Limbala, a few kilometres from the present centre of Kong. Limbala was founded by the Coulibaly, who had been rulers of Kong till the middle of the 17th century70. According to Binger the Mandé-Jula arrived in two waves, one from the north, the region of Segou-Djenne, and another from the Worodougou and the road to Tengréla (near Banfora on the upper Comoë)71. But Bernus (1960: 255) confirms that many came from Begho — e.g. Karamaté and Diabaraté — and only few from Tengrela and Mankono, such as the Fofana, even though they were of Soninke-Marka origin, namely Diabi, Sanogho, Kamaghaté and Diabaghaté, or Malinké such as Keïta, Kamara, Konaté, Kone, Ouattara and Traoré. On the other hand the Watara chiefs of Kong do not refer to themselves as Jula but as Sonangui72.

  • 73 Cf. the map in Bernus (1960: 306).

45Kong had seven quarters (qabila) which were the same in 1956 as in 1893: Tauxier records the same quarters and families, apparently adopting Binger’s count73.

  • Kéréou, of the chiefs, with the jamuw Ouattara, Coulibaly, Kamaghaté;
  • Daoura, with the families Daou (or Da’o, the dyers of the traditional brown Kong cloth — which resembles the Malian bogolan-fini) and Touré (from Markala);
  • Barola, with the jamuw of Baro, Dembélé, Diabaghaté, Saghanogho, Sissoko, Koné, Traoré;
  • Sissera with Cissé, Daou, Kamara, Sogodogo (in jula: grande viande = éléphant, the tana of the Keita among the Bobo);
  • So Maghana ( “the house of the chiefs”) with the jamuw Coulibaly, Daou, Watara, Touré and Traoré;
  • Sarala, with the families Konaté, Diabaghaté, Tanou, Baro;
  • Korola (the Sakhanokora of Binger) with the jamuw of Cissé, Touré, Saghanogho, Sanou and Kanté.

46According to Binger the populations of Kéréou, Barou and Daou were Soninke from ancient Ghana, and loyal to the first Sonrhay dynasty. According to tradition, “véritable jula” came from Boron and Begho, namely Saghanogho, Cissé, Kamata-Kamakhaté, Timité, Daniokho and a second branch of Ouattara.

  • 74 Launay (1982: 14). This symbolically refers to the three-stones fireplace — foyer de trois pierres (...)

47The Jula claim that the region was occupied only by the Senufo who speak the Fodonon dialect and were called “Sono”. Their oral traditions concur that the first three Jula settlements in the region were the villages of Dyendana, Faraninka and Boron, appropriately known as Sono gba saba, “the three Sono hearthstones”74.

48By 1956 Daoura was missing because it had been absorbed by Kéréou (Bernus 1960: 309). The Kamaghaté lived in the chiefs’ quarter Kéréou in a sub-quarter Kamaraya. A second Watara branch lives in So Makhana. Unfortunately none of the more recent studies like Green’s or Niamkey’s dissertations provided any details about the qabila and jamuw of Kong so that during a brief passage in 1998, I had to collect my own data to assist me in the interpretation of the older works.

  • 75 Also written Pakhalla, who should not be confused with the Palaga to the west of Kong, and one of w (...)
  • 76 They were called Kalo-dyula according to Niamkey; but, this is a generalization, as that nisba is g (...)

49Niamkey’s dissertation establishes that the Senoufo tribes Falafala, Myoro and Gben were considered aboriginal inhabitants of the Kong plateau, along with the Nabe of Koulango (Pakala) origins75. According to those the Ligbi were the first Mandé to arrive for trade in kola and gold, accompanied by numu (metal workers)76. It is not clear whether they were associated with the introduction of Islam which is dated to Sundiata’s time, but the Mande jamuw from the west — Kurubari from Kangaba, Baro and Saghanogho — were said to be Muslims passing Boron and Mango on their way from Djenne. However, Niamkey (1996: 199 ff.) again confirms that most of the Mande jamuw came from Begho.

  • 77 Ashanti invasions of Bono (Abron) and Kong have been dated by: Nebout to 1701, Terray to 1722/1723 (...)

50Under two aspects this is interesting, first because of the claim that the Kamaghaté left Begho and arrived at Kong after Sekou Watara’s death — dated to 1750 from the Kitab Ghonja, written around 1764 — while the Ashanti (= Sandi) wars have been dated variously from 1701 to around 174077. Second because of the claim that Bakary taught the Koran at Begho — which, however, does not establish that he or his family held the imamate, he might just have been a karamoko.

  • 78 K. Niamkey (1996: 1308) annex MSS by Basieri Ouattara “Les Imams de Kong”. If we count the years ea (...)

51We conclude that Kamaghate from Begho settled in Kong, but did not hold the imamate there, though they resided in the chiefs’ quarter. Kong’s first imam (1695-1697) at the time of the animist ruler Lasiri Gombele (1660-1710) — perhaps converted around 1694 — was a Silla, followed by imam Baro (~ 1697-1745) under chief Seku Watara, and imam Koulibali (1745-1785) as well as three imams Touré (1785 till 1836). The ancestors Bamori and Ndao of the Saghanogho, who according to Wilks had established an ancient tradition of Islamic learning, arrived from Boron c. 1810, but took the imamate only by 1836 with imam Amara78. For various reasons the Kamaghaté, though playing a role in religious affairs, did not accede to the imamate but held that of Bilimono, one of the peripheral centers of Kong. Similarly, they are represented by a qabila in the neighbouring Jula chiefdom of Kadioha where however the Cisse hold the imamate (Launay 1982: 152).

The Structure of the Gonja Imamate

52From Begho, the Kamaghate became in the late 17th century imams of the Gonja Paramount chiefs (Yagbumwura) and most of the Gonja division chiefs, being descendants of the first Moslem, Muhammad al Abyad, who converted Jakpa.

  • 79 Here their praise name is Turé; information by Imam Abdulai of Buipe, July 10, 2005.

53Initially they operated in all Gonja divisions which hold a claim to the paramountcy: 1. Bole, 2. Kpembe, 3. Tuluwe79, 4. Kusawgu, 5. Wasipe or

546. Deber (Mankpan). The Sakpare — “Jakpa’s muslims” — are also divisional imams in divisions which hold no claim to the paramountcy, but are represented in the royal council, namely 7. Buipe and 8. Mpaha, 9. Kafaba and 10. Damongo. The divisions n. 11. Kandia and 12. Kong became extinct at the end of the 19th century but reputedly had Sakpare when they were full divisions, but now no more imams.

55The Buipe lineage provides the imams for the Yagbumwura’s court in Damongo as well as for the mosque of Buipe. Once a Yagbumwura’s imam dies, a new one is chosen in Buipe. Over time two gates have been formed — from two Kamaghate lineages, and the imam is chosen according to the rotational principle. The Sakpare imam of Buipe acts at the same time as naimi for the Yagbumwura’s imam.

List Of Jula Centres In Northern Côte-D’Ivoire

List Of Jula Centres In Northern Côte-D’Ivoire

56In Bole and Kpembe (near Salaga), the imams are Sakpare with the praise name Kamagh’te. In the 3rd division, Tuluwe, the imams are Sakpare as well but reside at Chama — as an exception to the general rule that all Sakpare must live in the divisional capital — and their praise name (adelme) is Turé instead of Kamag’té.

  • 80 Paradoxically an “imam Mandé” family of Hausa origins holds the imamship in certain Wangara towns. (...)
  • 81 Interview at Daboya with Malam Yusuf, Sapare, June 10, 2005.

57In Wasipe the 5th division, a Sakpare ward exists and its members claim to be called Kamag’te, but no longer hold the imamate. Before they moved to their present location at Daboya on the White Volta, the Wasipe divisional chiefs resided at Wasipe — some 50 km South of Bole near the Black Volta — and reputedly had imams from the Sakpare. But since arriving on the White Volta — presumably after the early 18th c. wars against the Dagomba — they have created three gates from which the imamate is filled in rotation: Gbané from Kombala, Mandé from Haussa80 — whose first occupant was a Wangara from Safane — and Kauté from Larabanga. But the Sakparebi in Daboya may officiate at certain traditional festivals81.

  • 82 Personal information from one of the last imam’ grandson, Deputy District Secretary, Gambaga.
  • 83 Except a list of imams from Braimah (1966: 240, Appendix VIII).

58At Kusawgu, the Sakpare got expelled recently (1998) during a severe conflict with the new chief and have removed to Tamale82. In the 6th division of Debre (Mankpan) the Muslim families are considered Wangara, and state that the Sakpare lineage had expired and was replaced by Hausa. In Kafaba — a pre-Gonja Muslim colony — the imams are also praised as Kama’te. I have no information about Sakpare of Kpembe, Mpaha or Damongo83.

59The fieldwork of B. Haight, G. Case and S. Gazari provides more detail about the interplay of politics and religion in the Bole and Wasipe divisions. In late 1995 I interviewed the principal chiefs and imams in Bole chiefdom on Gonja history and was surprised to find along the main road from Sawla to Bamboi Wangara (Jula) colonies and an active presence of Jula speakers and jamuw who adopted Gonja and Mande (Wangara) identities:

  • in Sawla — the seat of a new district — we found Bamba, Kamaghte, Djabaghte, Wattara, Kunaté, and Kumbala jamuw and Kamaghte imams;
  • in Maluwe we found Jabaghte, Bamba and Timité;
  • in Mandari we found Gbane, Jabaghte, Ouattara, Gbane-Nkombala.

60However, besides building up the Gonja imamate in the succession of Begho, the Kamaghate clerical lineage has reached out and is also represented in Sansanne Mango, Togo.

The Anufor Migration to Sansanne Mango

  • 84 Published in the Gonja Chronicles (Wilks and al. 1986).
  • 85 An account of imam Gasama published by Seefried reports that the king of Jabo — i.e. the Yagbumwura (...)

61A tarikh, Kalam Sansanne Maghu84 recounts the epical trek by a group of families from the Ano across the Gonja kingdom and into North-Eastern Ghana. Copies of the manuscripts had already been found by German colonial officers and researchers at the beginning of the 20th century in Togo at Sansanne Mango85 (Seefried 1913).

  • 86 To my knowledge no research has ever taken place in Chereponi, another important Muslim center in t (...)

62Descendants of the migrants still live in the two Muslim settlements of Sansanne-Mango (Togo), and Chereponi (Ghana)86 peopled by the Chokossi (Dagomba designation), or Ano-fo i.e. “people from Ano”.

  • 87 “Groumania est une ville mandé-dioula fille de Kong, partant nettement musulmane […]”, “une colonie (...)
  • 88 I discovered that typescript from 1913 along with several handwritten manuscripts from the late 19t (...)

63In the capital of the original Anno on the Comoë river, Groumania ( “okra field”), the imamate was also held by the Kamaghaté87. A typescript in the Togo Colonial Archives at Koblenz, translated into German by Seefried88, shows that the imam who accompanied the families was from the Kamaghate lineage since one copy of the account is signed by “The Mangu Imam Gasama-Kamate”.

  • 89 In their description of the genealogy of the imams N’Zara, as they labelled Sansanne Mango they wri (...)
  • 90 “Quand l’imam Omoru Korandi mourut, Al Hadji Sani Abdulaye fut désigné imam non seulement par les h (...)

64Els and Eric van Roouveroy investigated Sansane Mango in the seventies and found that the imams had always come from the Kambaya lineage, part of the larger Kamaghate clan89. Thus Kambaya was the qabila of the Kamaghaté lineage, as Seefried testified, and its three branches shared the imamate. From the third branch the late imam Sani Abdoulaye had been chosen based on his superior knowledge of the Qur’an90.

  • 91 Written Gazama in van Roouveroy, Gasama in Seefried, elsewhere Kassamba or Kassambara. Qasama or Ga (...)

65By adopting the name Gassama which is the surname of the Soninke jamu Diaby the imams of Ano and Sansanne Mango establish a link, whether fictive or real, to a great Islamic tradition in West Africa91. Diaby-Gassama is a sub-lineage of the clerical lineage Gassama, which had a wide reputation in the 19th century because of the central figure of Karamokho Ba (Salim Gassama Diaby), founder of Touba in Guinea.

66Before entering into the ramifications of the Gassama in West Africa, the implications of the Ano migration account should be considered as the migration was said to have been made upon a call from the Gonja king requesting military assistance in conquest of some “heathen” towns. In my view this concerns the war against the local Tampolema and the later Kandia chiefdom near Wa. The Gonja chief provided warriors, “sent” his imam to Kandia, where he received a request by the Mamprusi chief for assistance against Moba and Konkomba. Thus the account implies that Muslim ‘alims not only acted as mediators but also supported mercenaries on jihad. Thus was established a Moslem colony at Sansanne among the animist Konkomba.

Kamaghaté and Diabi in the Southern Diakhanke Net: Hajj and Jihad from Jenne to Odienne

  • 92 Pollet & Winter (1971: 45, 192) designate the Gassama as “clan maraboutique” of the Dukure warriors (...)
  • 93 Al-Bakri, writing about 1067 A.D., mentions that the ruler of Takrur, War Diabi converted to Islam (...)

67The adoption of the nisba Gassama by the Kamaghate imams of Mango is highly significant, because it links them not only with the Diakhanke tradition but also the beginnings of Islam in West Africa. The Diabi are a sublineage of the Gassama, a clerical lineage of the Wagadu royals Dukure92. War Dyabe — which may be read Diabi — is reported as first ruler of Tekrur to adopt Islam93. Maghan Diabi, son of Bighu (sic) is given as founder of the Wagadu state in the founding legend (Pollet & Winter 1971: 6-10). Traditions also imply that one ancestor of the Diakhanke clerics, Salim Souaré, had a descendant in al-Haji Salimu Gassama, called Karamoko-Ba, founder of the Diakhanke colony of Tuba in 1804, who bore the jamu of Diabi (Marty 1921: 104; Smith 1965: 236; Sanneh 1972: 6).

68The Diabi-Gassama trace their origin to one Shu’aibou or Sambou Gassama, contemporary of al-Hajj Salim, by reputation a warrior offering his services to the ruler of Bambuk against Danya. He migrated from the Jimbala-Diakha, Masina, with 12 qaba’il to accompany al Hajj Salim (Sanneh 1979: 37 ff).

69Our central argument is that the Kamaghate form part of a southern Diakhanke diaspora and established important imamates in the Kola regions because of the ancient roots in the Diabi, the main lineage of the Western Diakhanke, Karamoko-Ba’s lineage. We shall show that the Kamaghate are not only anchored in Begho, Bouna or Gonjaland in the Volta basin, but also in the Bambara/Malinke heartland and acquired renown of international proportions.

  • 94 Ibid.
  • 95 Ibid. et Person (1968, t. 1: 222, n. 40). “Les généalogies placent vers 1720 la naissance des frère (...)
  • 96 Cf. Massing (2004) on the Baghayogho lineage (Person 1968, t. I: 169). During my 1998 research in T (...)

70An Odienne tarikh names Isifou Kamagaté and Sira Fere Komara as founders (Derive & Nguessan 1976: 25 f.). Isifou companion of Salim Souare (here called Sani Mosuaren) on a hajj, settled on the left bank of the Baoulé somewhat to the north-west of Logouanasso (9°33’ N and 7°32’ W) but was “troubled” by pagan Senoufo and requested help from Maghan Diarrassouba, the “Bambara king of Segou”94. The latter sent an army commanded by his “brothers” Sira Koma and Sira Zan and defeated the Senoufo95. In the meantime El-Haj Kamaghate had built a new place called “dunya ali jene” ( “terrestrial paradise”) where he settled and which became Odienne (9°30 N, 7°34’ W) (Derive & Nguessan 1976: 26). El-Haj Isifou Kamagaté was closely associated — because of their reputed common origin from Tombouctou — with Musa Baghayogho, founder of Koro, after the islamization of the Maou for the Diomande96.

  • 97 According to Marty (1922: 130). Traoré (1992) has argued that the pilgrims of the tarikh could not (...)
  • 98 However, the intersecting set of jamu with those mentioned for Diakha-sur-Bafing is limited. Cf. Ra (...)
  • 99 According to Sanneh (1979: 50) the major lineages gathered by Suware at Diagha were Silla, Suware, (...)

71Tarikhs seen by Le Campion and Ripert around 1900 mention them as companions of Salim Souaré on the hajj97. The Tarikh seen by Ripert in Mankono permits us to date the Muslim entry to Mankono and Worodougou to the middle of the 15th century. Both tarikhs make reference to Dia, al-Haj Salim Souare and his companions in the hajj, thereby indicating that they deal with a Diakhanke tradition (Marty 1922: 146-148). The precise references to major Diakhanké Mori lineages, namely Cisse, Yarhabi (for Diaghabi, short Diabi A. M.), Bamba, Seiorho, Kamaghate, Fofana, Saghanogho, Baghayogho, Kamara which all have established imamates in the hinterland of the Ivory Coast, confirm this impression98. However, most of the jamu mentioned in the above tarikhs are absent from Beghowith at the exception of Bamba, Kamaghate and Traoré; on the other hand, such jamu as Diabaghate, Timité and the Kombala Mori Gbane and Kawuté are neither mentioned in the Mankono tarikhs nor among the Diakhanke of Diagha-Bambuk99.

  • 100 Hunter (1976: 437, n. 15) claims the maninka-mori were a tradition distinct from the Diakhanke cler (...)

72Further west the Maninka Mori were responsible for the islamization along the southern Niger tributaries of Nyandon, Milo, and Sankaran (Moundekeno 1979: 22-24). Here only two jamuw are in common with those of Salim Souare’s pilgrims from the Ivory Coast, namely Souaré and Cissé. However, others like Sylla, Kema, Bérété, Kaba, and Diane found in Diakha on Bambukh are of Soninke origin100. The Maninka Mori can therefore be reckoned as branch of the Diakhake tradition which became settled in the Bate and perhaps further East, as Vakaba Touré by 1825 drove certain Mori from Odienne province where Tiémé, founded by the Silla, counted as the oldest Muslim colony (Toungara 1980: 9).

  • 101 However, the jamuw of these “Jula” were rather Malinke than Marka-Soninke — we point out that they (...)

73Blondiaux’ (1897) survey of the region found that the Mahou was of old settled by Julas who had been colonized by pagan Bambara — the Kamara Diomandé under chief Konsaba (our Gonsalia) were thus called — and the Jula belonged to such jamuw as Bamba, Sérifou, Seio(rho), Férenté, Diobaté and Condé101.

  • 102 Blondiaux (1897) obviously overlooked the difference of Ligbi and Bambara.
  • 103 The Diomande-Kamara colonized the mountains of the Konian, and the Conde the Sankaran.

74In the Nigoui (Ligbi), Blondiaux called the populations also Bambara since their chiefs bore the jamu Bamba102. Crossing into the Nafanani he found chiefs of the jamu Konaté in Sakala (Sarhala), a major kola market of the Ouorodougou. In Kafégué, he found — like in the Wataradugu — Watara chiefs who had formerly stayed at Boron which they left before the arrival of Samori’s troops. In the Gouaran and at Séguéla, the chiefs were Kondé and Diomandé103.

  • 104 “D’après Soumaila Diabi, chef de village à Samatiguila, leur ancêtre serait Fode Kasamba Diabi, ori (...)
  • 105 Yarhabi = Diaghaby = Diaby in Marty (1922: 149), “Tarikh of Ripert”.
  • 106 Marty (1922: 56); it is unclear how the Diaby came to adopt the surname Senoussi.

75However, in Odienne traditions assure us that the Diabi came from Dia (Derive & Nguessan 1976: 28-29) and obtained land from the Silla which the latter had themselves obtained from the Bamba104. This allows to identify yet another member of Salim Souare’s entourage namely Yaya Dandigui (Yarhabi)105 as “Chekou Mamadou Sanoussi, malinké d’Odienne, rattaché à Mostafa Diakabi” at Bouaké106. At Samatiguila where Diabi even held the chefferie we have again reference to the Dia diaspora. Fode Kasamba Diabi, ancestor of the Diabi in Samatiguila, is also linked to Boron, one of the earliest Jula colonies.

  • 107 Described by Clozel & Villamur (1902).
  • 108 Marty (1922: 121, 126, 130, 146, 149, 160, 165, 166 169, 176), Person (1968, t. III, Annex B, 2195 (...)

76From Odienne the Kamaraté radiated to other centers along the two kola trade routes between Kankan and Salaga — along the forest fringe and in the savannah further north107. They were/are found in Tombougou, Bouandougou, Mankono, Tienigbe, Samaghoso and Kaniene, while Person notes them as almamys in Bouandougou, Tieningbé, and Saghala (Sarhala)108. In particular Bouandougou was a major kola market and a definite Kamaghate station on the kola road (Marty 1922: 166-168). Further east, after the crossing the Comoë river, lay the Ano with Groumania as its capital — “une colonie de Kong sise en pays mango” mentioned above as departure point for the Jula emigrants to Gonja and Sansanne Mango. Here the N’Gan informed Tauxier that the first Kamaghaté had come from the Korodougou — the kafu around Bouandougou immediately east of the kolabearing Worodougou and its capital Mankono — and were later joined by others from Kong.

77These centres area strung up along the trade route on two parallel west — eastern axes the map shows.

78While some claim that Muslims moved from the Manding, into the kolabearing regions, others have placed their entry along the ancient north-south route from Djenne straight south along the Bani. Thus, the Kamaghate established their presence in strategic market towns as an important element of the Suwarian and Diakhanke tradition.

The Kamaghanyya Myth

  • 109 Dioula-Marka, Dafin (Traoré 1992: 154-157), Marka-Bolon (ibid.: 182-187), Dagari Dioula (ibid.: 358 (...)

79The collective memory of the Jula-Marka, Marka-Bolon and Dagari Jula109 remembers that certain Jula jamuw form networks of fictive kin (senankuya) and homonyms and thus a historical community. One such community, consisting of jamuw such as Kamaghate, Turé and others is the Kamaghanyya which is linked with other Diakhanke communities in the Jula chiefdoms of Northern Ivory Coast. But all are convinced that they are the descendants of the last ruler of Ouagadou, Kaya Maghan Cissé.

  • 110 The Kaya Maghan of the Tarikh es-Sudan are none other than the Cisse-Diaby of Wagadu.

“[…] dans la région de Bobo Dioulasso, les lignages Diaby, Diane, Saghanogho, auxquels on peut ajouter les Fofana et les Toure, témoignent-ils entre eux de ce sentiment de parenté, sentiment auquel n’est pas étranger le fait de leur passé commun dans la zone kolatière de l’Est-Bandama. De même sur la rive droite de la Volta Noire, les lignages Kamara, Kangoutè (Kaoutè) et Konaté gardent le souvenir de leurs relations tissées sur l’autre rive du fleuve. Ou encore la parenté qu’il y a entre les Touré, les Kamaghaté et les Manganè notamment ceux venus du bassin oriental de la Volta Noire: ils se considèrent tous comme des Kamaghannyya, c’est à-dire descendants de Kaya-Maghan”.(Traoré 1995: 436)110

80With the advance of Islam the origin of these lineages and of the Kamaghanyya community was tied to the prophet and his companions. While the Kamaghate had kin links with the Turé, the Diabi were in a group with the Diane, Sanogo, Fofana etc.

“Le jamu Touré aurait pour doublet ou équivalent Kamaganyya ou Kamaghaté parce qu’ils seraient des Kaya-Maghan’de (enfants de Kaya Maghan A. M.). Ces réseaux d’affinité se transforment vite en réseaux d’échange matrimonial et ouvrent la porte aux relations d’oncle (maternel)/neveux. [Ce lien] […] paraît nous éclairer sur les origines soninke des Touré.(ibid.: 407)

  • 111 “Mamadi Sefandan Kotte Sako, neveu de Wakkane Sako, tua le serpent, pour sauver sa fiancée Asya Yat (...)

81In the Wagadu founding myth the Diabi count as direct successors of Dinga. His second son Maghan Dyabe became the founder of Kumbi (Gana). A certain Ture, son of the third ruler of Kumbi, Sako, killed the wagadu bida, the sacred snake and totemic animal of the Kaya Maghan, and by this sacrilege ended the rain and started a great drought forcing the populations from the area111.

“La tradition de Yéréré, rapportée par M. Sylla sous la plume de G. Dieterlen, identifie quant à elle Mandjou Touré non à Mua’dj Ibn Djabal mais à un certain Moudou Touré […] qui parvient à tuer Bida, le serpent sacré apporté de la vallée du Nil qu’adoraient les Cissé, détenteurs du pouvoir politique et représentants de la dynastie des Kaya Maghan. Selon l’isnad des Touré le patriarche des Touré, Ibrahima, reçut l’enseignement d’un certain Morifing Traoré, lequel le reçoit d’un djinn qui le reçoit du Prophète. Mandjou Touré, l’ancêtre mythique des Touré, est identifié à Mua’dj Ibn Djabal et présenté comme le fils de Halima (403). D’où cette fraternité de lait qui le lie au Prophète”.(Traoré 1992: 403)

82But according to other traditions, the end of Wagadu came at the hands of a certain Mamari-Sité-Dorhoté from Kaniaga who lived under the Sakho clan (Delafosse 1972, t. 1: 261) without relation to the Turé.

Post-script: The Nineteenth Century Asante Nkramo Imamates at Kumasi and Nkenkasu

83In the 19th century, the Kamaghate extended their influence to the Asante court by establishing a Nkramo (i.e. karamogo) imamate in Kumasi vested in the Buipe lineage. This is late compared to the long-established position in Begho — but may be explained by early Ashanti opposition to Muslims.

84But since the 18th century Muslim teachers had been used in the Asante court as diplomats and mediators with the northern Muslim states, and as scribes, translators and magic practitioners and makers of charms. They were popular — following their success in Gonja — to procure success in personal affairs and warfare. Moreover Asante needed skilled negotiators when it extended its commercial links to the interior — be it for the kola trade with the Hausa states at Yeji and Salaga or for the arms trade with the Fulani of the Macina. Muslim influence grew to such an extent that in 1777 an Asantehene was selected known to be in favour of Islam and of peaceful co-existence with the northern Muslims. When one party arranged his destoolment in 1803, it provoked a serious revolt in all the Muslim states on the northwest border — Gyaman and Gonja and Asante had to quell this by fighting the battles of Kaka and the Tain.

  • 112 The following after Owusu-Ansah (1987).
  • 113 “Uthman Kamagatay was the first Asante Nkramo imam. He was a member of the Gbuipe-Sakpare family wh (...)
  • 114 Wilks, Levtzion & Haight (1986: 205). David Owusu-Ansah, Interview with Limam al-Hajj Sumaila ibn-M (...)

85By 1818, the influential Muslims in Kumasi withdrew their support for the Asantehene as he prepared war against Gyamanhene Adinkra, a war which threatened their home communities in Gyaman and Gonja, and returned home. Following the defeat of Gyaman many fled to Bouna. When the Asante army, victorious over the British Gold Coast colony governor in 1824, suffered a crushing defeat at Accra by the Gan and Danish combined forces at Katamanso (1826), Muslim influence at the Asante court diminished even further — as the Asantehene was certain, that the Muslims had prayed for defeat and produced amulets and charms designed to ruin his power. Most Muslims in Kumasi had supported the peace party before the war and predicted defeat — but Akoto Yao went ahead with war nonetheless — and lost the book of charms in the battle112. He eliminated them from his household (gyaasewa) when he deemed the North well under control. However, within ten years, the newly enstooled Asantehene, Kwaku Dua Panin (1834-1867), a member of the peace party in 1825, created an Asante Nkramo imamate in the mid-1840’s113. Since 1844 all Asante imams came from the line of Uthman Kamagatay, according to Wilks114.

  • 115 Told after interview with Limam Sa’id, Asante Nkramo imam of Nkenkaasu, in the presence of Al Hajj (...)

86But the story of the Asante Nkramo would not be complete without mentioning a tradition challenging the pre-eminence of the Kamaghate lineage. It is an account by the Asante Nkramo community of Nkenkaasu (about 50 miles north of Kumase) and imam Sa’id b. Ali b. Sulayman b. Ali Kunatay, head of the Nkenkaasu Asante Nkramo115.

  • 116 He claims their ancestors were the first to serve Asante kings in the capacity of Muslim marabouts. (...)

87On the other hand the reflections of al-Hajj Limam Abu Bakr Adam, chief imam of the Kumase Zongo Muslims (originally a Hausa community), help to differentiate between the Asante Nkramo and the Zongo imams after 1844116 and clarify the position of the Kamaghate as the main official imams of the Asante court.

88According to al-Hajj Limam the Zongo imams are the heads of the foreign Muslims in Kumase and are considered foreigners. They lead prayers on Friday at the Central Mosque and supervise marriages, perform death rites etc. for Muslims. On the other hand, the imam of the Asante Nkramo is the head of all Muslims in Asante and the link between all Muslim communities in Asante and the Asantehene. The Asante Nkramo Liman is the king’s imam. The Asante Nkramo imam must be present when the Zongo imams officiate at court and cannot go to the palace without the Asante Nkramo imam knowing about it.

  • 117 Owusu-Ansah (1982: 182), Interview with al-Hajj Limam Abu Bakr Adam, dd. Aboabo-Kumase, 31 January (...)

“The office of Asante Nkramo Imam, (is) filled with the most educated male from the family of Uthman Kamagatay. […] and functions as that of the chief protocol officer of Muslim affairs in the administration.’ But the Asante Nkramo Imam himself was to be introduced to the king through his adamfo or friend, the Nsumankwaahene who is recognized in the Asante administrative structure as the overall head of the king’s physician corps’”117.

89*

90Wilks’ and Levtzion’s earlier research had suggested that the Kamaghate lineage from Begho had established an imamate with the Gonja chiefs. Here this lineage is shown to be indeed the dominant clerical lineage in the Western Volta basin — similar to the role played by Bagayogho clerics in the Eastern Volta basin as shown in an earlier article o mine. Both clerical groups are part a southern Soninke/Diakhanke cluster and claim to have taken part in the mythical pilgrimages of Salim Suware and followed his call to propagate Islam among peoples of the Sahel — orest transition zone. Traditions report the Western branch, particularly the Silla and Diabi to be clerics of the Wagadu royal dynasty, and spread from Dia to Djenne and to Bambouk and Boundaou. But here focus is on the Eastern branch which followed the Jula-Wangara to establish early nuclei at Odienne, Kong, and Begho before accompanying the Gonja warriors to the Volta. Nineteenth century tidjani reformist movements had more militant views of Islamic expansion and jihad as a conversion tool than the qadriya Diakhanke who were accused of complacency with colonial powers and replaced by Tidjaniya clerics yet without weakening control of their imamate in Gonja.

91While the learning of Islam at elementary level takes place in the family and local Qur’anic schools, training of teachers mostly takes place with individuals of higher qualification who have studied Quran, hadith and fiqh (Islamic law), through the study of the respective Maliki texts. But the special form of West African Islam means that these higher authorities are of privileged position, belonging to a limited number of clerical lineages, considered as Mori, and the only ones permitted to transmit religious knowledge. Like the Kamaghate these clerical lineages proceeded in systematic fashion to establish — like missionary or monastic orders — strategic Muslim communities in strategic non-Muslim areas and imamates on a hereditary basis. The perceived powers of these Muslim clerics enabled them to become spiritual and practical advisors of chiefs or kings and establish their lineage at courts of local rulers. Thus the Kamaghate imamate which claims ties to the Diaby clerics of the ruling Soninke lineage, brought Islam to Begho, and ultimately to Gonja and the peoples of the Western Volta basin.

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Notes

1 Written Zagha in Arabic and pronounced Zapa, characterized by Ibn Batuta as “old in Islam”. On Salim Souaré see below.

2 Rançon, P. Smith, Suret-Canale and particularly Sanneh. A summary account of Dia and the Soninke mori diaspora is still missing.

3 A glimpse at the map will show that it is easily possible to travel by river from Djenne to Odienne. Such colonies as Borotou, Koro, Tiémé, Boron, Samatiguila, Bouna, and Begho co Launay (1992: 53 ff.), me to mind.

4 Nicolaisen (1962: 27), Stewart (1970: 81), Pollet&Winter (1971: 42 ff.), Launay (1992: 53 ff.), Webb (1995: 18 ff.). “Both White and Black African societies […] recognized a fundamental distinction between warriors and clerics, a cultural division foreign to the societies of North Africa” (Webb 1995: 18 ff.).

5 Ibn Idari, Bayan I 37 mentions Musa b. Nusair’s order, to send him 17 or 27 Arabs to Tanja (Tanger) for teaching the Berbers the Qur’an und fiqh.

6 The Kor’an, sure 4 verses 89-100 defines the conditions for hjra (emigration) and jihad (war on behalf of religion), e.g. verse 100 “who emigrates in the name of Allah will find refuge in many places of earth — where other emigrants live — and many opportunities”. Thus, hjra is emigration or exile for the sake of one’s religion, and may also refer to inner emigration.

7 Pollet and Winter (1971: 209) note on the ranking of clans “On notera donc que les marabouts, pour être des nobles de second rang au point de vue politique, voient cependant certains de leurs clans portés au sommet de la hiérarchie sociale, au point pour les deux branches de Gassama d’égaler les premiers des dyamou non cheffaux.”

8 According to Soninke traditions, while in Wagadou, one member of the royal lineage, the Dukure, abandoned his warrior status and became a cleric. “À ce moment Mamadi Tambagata avait déjà quitté ses frères Yate et Wari, parce qu’il ne voulait plus être un guerrier. Il déclara qu’il serait marabout et renonça à la chefferie pour lui et pour ses descendants. Cette branche de Dukure s’appelle Tambagalle” (Pollet & Winter 1971: 47).

9 Dieterlen (1955: 40-41), Leynaud & Cisse (1979: 110-11) adds Diané instead of Fofana and writes Cisse instead of Haydara.

10 This article forms a chapter in my History of Gonja (forthcoming).

11 Apart from the Mande, are the Dagomba also established ruling lineages in Buna and Wa. But Gonja was founded in my view by a warrior group from Kong. Dupuis (1824, t. II: XLIX) states that “at another period, when I know not, Kong and the Manding country were mistresses of Sarem […]”. “[…] Ghofan, seven years back, was tributary to the sultan of Kong” and he explains. “Ghofan is the first Moslem government in the north beyond Banna, from which it is separated by the Gaman province of Sokoo, formerly a little principality, by Banna itself, Baboso and the Deserts” (Dupuis 1824, t. II: LII). One former division of the Gonja chiefdom was also called Kong but was suppressed. Its origins have not been investigated.

12 A point made by Wilks (1971) to be discussed later in this article.

13 According to Levtzion (1968): “The imams of the Hwela belong to the Kamaghte clan (Hwela who adopted that name) and it is claimed that they continued the line of the imams of Be’o who had also been Kamaghte” (IAS/AR 340). “All Moslims claim descent from Fati Morukpe, and are called Sakpare […]. Each of the division chiefs was given a Sakpara imam […]. Kamagh’te is the patronym of most of the Sakpare, and also of the imams of Namasa, who continue the line of the imams of Be’o, who founded the Kamaghte of Gonja” (Levtzion 1968: 61). “The descendants of Muhammad al-Abyad (or Fati Morukpe) comprise the major element of the Sakpara ‘ulama’ of Gonja, and most of the imamates were vested in them. The Malian background of the Sakpare is indicated by their continued use of the patronymic Kamaghatay” (Wilks and al. 1986: 109).

14 Levtzion (1968: 62) derived from the Gonja founder-hero, Jakpa, Sakpare and is supposed to mean “praying for Jakpa”. But I believe, in analogy to Mansaren it means “Jakpa’s children”. Initially the Sakpare lineage seems to have held the imamate in all divisions, but over time some chiefs have chosen other lineages for the imamate.

15 Abyad indicates that he was bidan i.e. of either an Arab or Berber descent. However, since the imamate of Larabanga has the reputation to have been founded by an Arab (l’arabi), I tend towards the latter.

16 Na the term for chief in most Mole-Dagbane languages; Na ba great chief.

17 Sanfi near Bouna, but according to Goody (1968: 199) Sampa 6 km E of Bondoukou. This would be just short distance from Bonduku, but 15 km beyond Begho. Kapuyase was S of the Volta opposite the present Makango 9.15 N 0.5 W.

18 Quote from Kitab Ghanja, Wilks and al. (1986: chap. I.) (This is) an account for posterity. Isma’il, father of the faqih Muhammad al-Abyad, came from his town of Bı̄kū to the king of Ghanjā, called Nāba`. He met him waging war at kafysy. The king treated him most generously. On his way back, Isma’il died, may Allah have mercy of him, before he reached his town. He died in the town of SNFH (ibid.: chap. 2). The news of the death of Isma’il reached his friend, the king of Ghanja (the message went as follows), “Your friend, Isma’il has died”. The king sent rich presents to the brothers of Isma’il at the town of Bı̄kū that they might perform the sadaqa. They performed the sadaqa for him. It is the custom of most of the people of the Sudan, that when a person dies, they offer sadaqa for him, according to their means. Another Manuscript MS/COP is more explicit: “The faqih, Muhammad Byad, left the town of Bi’u for the land of Ghanja. He met the sultan Tha’ari Ma’wura waging a war at the town of Kudu.”

19 (Wilks and al. 1986: 91-92). Kud or Kudu has been read as Kolo — Arabic waw can be pronounced o or u; and — d and l — are often interchangeable in African languages. A site Kawlaw — pronounced “K]l]” — is found at the confluence of the White and Black Volta, opposite Mpaha, a high hill and landmark SE at the junction of the rivers, and a strategic site for the control of river traffic and the trade routes. MS/COP characterizes Kawlaw as “town of the infidels” without giving their ethnic identity. This might imply that the Gonja fought for control of the river crossing and access to the route to Salaga.

20 Some have argued that Mawura was simply a title oman-ewura “lord of the land”; but as the local riverain population were the Diamura or Mo, there is the possibility that this designated the Mo-wura or “Mo-chief” after his baptism.

21 For example, in the Kitab Ghanja Ch. 40 are mentioned “Muhammad Sa’id ben Sa’d ben al-faqih Mustafa ben al-faqih Muhammad al-Abyad”, and Ch. 80, “Karfa, son of Mhd. Al-Abyad, father of Suma, father of Sidi Oumar”. Most MSS end with “here ends the chain of authority of the shayks and ‘ulama’ Muhammad al-Abyad with Allah’s grace”. It is possible that a member of the lineage was also author of the Kitab. MS/248 adds “Allah may have mercy upon its scribe Mahmud b. Amir [Amin?]”. A Muhammad Kunadi ben al-Amin mentions himself as as writer of the MS/of group 1 and as imam of Buipe in 1746, after having returned from the hajj in 1736/37. But in ch. 43 and 45, the author speaks of his father as al-Mustafa, who left for the pilgrimage in 1732 — apparently with his son — and perished in Katsina several months later. It is not clear whether his son, Muhammad Kunadi completed the hajj or returned from Katsina. MSS of one group end in 1164 A.H. (1751) while those of another end in 1178 (1763/4) (Wilks 1986: 57).

22 Konandi/Kunadi are spelling variations of the same person.

23 Shortened to Bitu or Bigu — but also spelled Bitou, Biégo or Biéro and, sometimes further abbreviated to Be’o or Biu. See the numerous investigations of Clozel & Villamur (1902), Tauxier (1921), Marty (1922), Goody (1967), Levtzion (1968), Wilks (1982), Boutillier (1993), Terray (1995).

24 The Wagadu founding myth mentions Bighu or Bigna (Dinga) as father of Maghan Diabi, founder of Koumbi, capital of the kingdom of Ghana around 850 (Monteil 1953: 360-408). Djenne, Dia and Biru are also mentioned as ends of the caravan which the same Diabi led to Koumbi (Pollet & Winter 1971: 28). “Biro” was Walata in Soninke, according to Marty: “Au début de l’ère historique du Soudan (onzième siècle) Oualata paraît être un petit kçar de l’empire de Ghana. Il porte le nom de Birou et est uniquement peuplé de Soninke, les actuels Marka, refoulés vers le Sud […]. Au début du quatorzième siècle Birou tend à se berbériser de plus en plus […]. Elle tend à perdre son nom de Birou pour celui d’Ioualaten […] (mais) qu’en réalité c’est toujours l’élément noir et ses coutumes qui prédominent. (Au XIIIe) la langue parlée à Oualata est l’azer, dialecte mixte, où sur un fond de soninke est venu se greffer un important élément de vocables berbères” (Marty 1919-1922: 321-324, 1922, t. 3). Certains soninkés clans from Oualata are documented in Marty such as Soumaré (Souaré), Cisse and Kamara (Kamaghaté Frequently migrants transfer the name of their original settlement to their new one(s). The Soninke Muslims fleeing Walata after the repeated Mossi raids in the 15th century — 1444, 1480, 1483, 1485 according to T.S. — might have founded a “New Biro” near a settlement where they had already been trading. The radio-carbon dates obtained from archaeological surveys at the site seem to confirm a 15th c. date.

25 This might be the Beetu referred to by Duarte Pacheco as one of the markets where Mandinga merchants went to buy gold (Mauny 1956: 66 f.).

26 Cf. maps Goody (1967), Kropp-Dakubu (1976).

27 Donzo: Mande “warrior” or hunter groups, viz their “associations” or “societies”. Specialized in the use of arms and organized according to age-classes based on initiation groups, they become the basis of the army. Thus in times of war, Donzo should be interpreted as “warriors”. Members mostly consist of nobles but incorporate noumou as iron workers and manufacturers of tools and weapons. I know of 2 jamuw which have clearly distinguished donzo branches, namely the Kamara and Watara. Note that other terms for warriors are in use at Kong (sonongui, sonangui), Bondoukou (ton), Korhogo (tun tigi) or in Ghana (kambon-se or kambo-naba).

28 The qabila leaders, asked by Tauxier, insisted that they were from Mandé rather than from Jenne.

29 Tauxier (1912: 68, n. 2) states: “Les Nigbis ou Ligouis ou mieux Ligbis ne sont pas des Dyoulas, comme nous le savons, mais des proto-Dyoulas très proches parents des Huélas, des Veï et des Noumous. Ajoutons qu’il faut lire Kamarayas et non des Kamayas. De plus le capitaine Benquey donne ici les noms des quartiers et non ceux des gens qui y habitent; ainsi, les gens qui habitent le quartier de Kamaraya sont les ‘Kamaraté’ (et non les ‘Kamaraya’, ceux qui habitent le quartier Koumala sont les ‘Bané’ et non les ‘Koumala’ etc.” I might add that Kari-Dioula is the nisba of Diabaghaté, and Dorobo an unknown jamu from Drobo. Comparison of the jamu lists leaves the residual Traoré associated with Nénéya and Kauté with Dorobo, or vice versa.

30 Carbon-14 dates presented by Posnansky point to the period 1400 + ? 100 to 1650 + ? 95 for the Ligbi portion, but 1120 + ? 160 to 1700 + ? 150 for the old Hwela township, and even older dates for ceramics from the Nyarko site 1045 + 80. Therefore Wilks assumed a date around 1400, and Person (1968-1975) the second half of the 15th c. as foundation date.

31 Wilks, FN/1 interview dated 22 June 1966, quoted in Wilks (1982: 346).

32 “Ajoutons que celui-ci dit que la destruction définitive de Bégho aurait eu lieu non du fait des Abrons, mais du fait du roi ‘Kouabina’ roi achanti qui vivait du temps de Kofi Sonou” (Tauxier 1921, Appendix III, 439 and Appendix II “Abron Chronology”, 436).

33 Found at Legon and presumably written by the imam Yusuf Ibrahim Kamaghate at Dorma — which is doubted by the editor and publisher K. G. Niamkey, 1986, Abidjan.

34 Idem n. 5 imam Marhaba Saghanogho from Bobo Dioulasso gives Al-Bata Watara as grandfather of Seku Watara, and born from Kangaba, and therefore of Keita or Coulibaly descent.

35 Isnad Bondoukou imams established by Muh. Yacoub Diabaghate and published in extracts by E. C. Handloff (1982). Cf. Interview no. I-77, 67, 612-614, in Kari Dioulasso, Bondoukou. 2 June 1977 with Al Hajj Abd’allahi Diabaghatay, and al Hajj Morofin D. (a literate man) and Al Hajj Bema D. (the latter kabylamassa). “The year was 1586. The first imam was named Anzuman Kamaghatay who sat for 39 years. He was followed by the following, all Kamaghatays” (ibid.: 613). However, the MS mentions a certain Jakaria Diabaghatay as first muslim and imam, at the time of Gyamanhene Agyeman Panyini. The Gyamanhene gave Jakaria his sister in marriage and they had a son Kunandi (meaning “good sense” in Jula). As he was young when his father died, a tutor was chosen for him, of the Kamaghatey jamu, who adopted him. This was Falleh Jina Kamaghatey, ancestor of the K. of Bondoukou. No relation between Falleh Jina and Anzumana is given however.

36 (Levtzion 1968: 9). According to “A short history of Bew-Nsawkaw, MS with the Nsawkawhene”. Densos are most likely Donzo-Wattara, mentioned by Tauxier as one of the Dyulas from Be’o in Bondoukou. Disputes between the warrior and clerical lineages are frequent, as the latter serve as political advisors. Donzo are Mande hunter’s associations, which have recently transformed in militias in Ivory Coast with extra-judicial revenge killings.

37 “Ces propos malsains entraînèrent la guerre qui détruisit Bi’u. Bi’u fut détruit et (les gens) émigrèrent vers Maadi en l’an 700.” The author seems to have switched from Arab dating to Roman dating, thus admitting the dating of 700 = 1700. There are two points of agreement between the two accounts: the opposition between Watara-Donzo and Muslims, but as we have seen in the introduction, the association between warrior and clerical lineages themselves often leads to friction.

38 Wilks (1969: 17) maintains that the Bamba conserved the imamate but the Kamaghate held the chieftaincy. Reference is probably only to the “chieftaincy” over the Jula colony.

39 i.e. food taboo, tana of the crocodile, bama. For other areas of occurrence see Person (1968, t. III, 1975, Appendix B: 2195), “Traditions d’Intérêt Local ou Régional: ı̄nes informateurs”.

40 Terray (1995: 333) quoted after Wilks (1969: 17). I have not been able to procure a copy of this MS. The correspondence of the date with that in the Isnad of Haji Diabaghate quoted above is remarkable.

41 Massing field notes (interview à Namasa) dec. 21, 1998 quoted in Massing (2000: 301, n. 44).

42 I have altered the order from Tauxier’s (ibid.: 68) in order to take seniority at Begho into account.

43 The griots of the Keita from Kangaba in Mandé have been the Diabaghate from Kela. According to Kela traditions, their ancestor was Kala Jula Sangoy who liberated Sunjata’s niece Tasuma Gwandilafè (Jansen 2000: 41). It is clear that the Diabaghate keep the name Kari-Jula, or Kalo-Jula in reference to their ancestor. Interesting is the name Djeliso, “house of the Jeli” = griots, and points to a special settlement built by the Jeli.

44 It appears that the Traore, Coulibali and Kauté are not specifically mentioned by Tauxier (1921: 68-69) among the emigrants or (228); however, as the Jula Coulibaly held a chieftaincy at Koko — the Jula colony of the indigenous Senufo town of Korhogo — I surmise that Koko became their qabila. I am uncertain whether Nénéya became that of the Traoré, The Kauté of Larabanga were not found in Bondoukou. Unfortunately no data are available from Terray’s extensive study of Gyaman.

45 The particular hostility of Samori towards the Ligbi shall be discussed elsewhere; it seems to have been based on their resistance to Samori’s advance further west and also as qadri their reluctance to adopt the particular brand of Omari tidjaniya. Presumably they objected to the conversion by jihad.

46 Tauxier (1912: 44, n. 3) lists seven “quartiers” dyula and on 228 “les principaux clans dyoula représentés à Bondoukou”, I have preserved the order from p. 44, which seems to reflect the order of arrival better than p. 228, but have placed the respective jamuw in parentheses.

47 Marty (1922: 216), after Chaudron (1907) and Joseph (1915).

48 Nénéya are not mentioned on p. 228, but the immediately preceding text explains that they live in the quartier Koko, together with Dérebou and Donzo.

49 Donzo: “Originally in Mali the hunters, and their ‘associations’ or ‘hunters’ societies”. They do not constitute a caste, as their members consist mostly of nobles and incorporate some noumou as manufacturers and iron workers. Specialized in the use of arms and organized according to age-classes, based on their initiation groups, they become the basis of the army in war times. Thus in a war context, Donzo should be interpreted as “warriors”. I know of only two dyamou which have clearly distinguished donzo branches, namely the Kamara and Watara. Note that other terms for warriors are in use at Kong (sonongui or sonangui), Bondoukou (ton) or in Ghana (kambon-se or kambo-naba).

50 Terray (1995). Surprisingly Sampa has not interested any researchers, being 3 mls 3 from Soko and 6 from Bondoukou and certainly has to contribute something on the dispersion of the Begho population. It holds Ligbi, Nafana and Abron population as well as Dyula from Dyimini, and its present imams are also Kamaghaté (Massing 1997).

51 Supposed to be Marala or Marafa (referring to Hausa residents).

52 “D’autre part tous les Dyoulas de Bondoukou disent être venus de Bégho […]. Actuellement c’est devenu un titre de noblesse, parmi presque toutes les populations du cercle de Bondoukou que d’être venues de Bégho, à plus forte raison pour les Dyoulas” (Tauxier 1921: 439).

53 “Falejina était un guerrier très puissant; il capturait toujours son adversaire et l’amenait au Gyamanhene; c’est pourquoi il fut distingué. Le roi lui donna onze villages et le fit chef de Bondoukou. Ceci se produisit au temps de Gyamanhene Kofi Sono” (Holden 1969: 58-59). FN on Bonduku and Buna. Cf. also “the Samorian Impact on Buna” in Allen & Johnson (1970).

54 Terray 1995: 466 [104, livre V, chapitre II, section 2], 338 [livre VII, chapitre IV, section 3, 747, n. 105], Handloff (1982: 612).

55 Terray (1995: 468-469), Marty (1922: 209, 225, 229) indicates Kamaghaté imams in the Djimini at Mborla-Dioulasso and in the “canton de l’Almamy”.

56 Boutillier’s (1993) monography and Terray (1995). It appears that Mamprusi and Dagomba were yet undifferentiated in the early 17th c., and I assume that Nalerigu (Gambaga) rather than Yendi was the origin of that westward movement which established the Dagomba/Mamprusi at Wa and Bouna. The autochthonous and acephalous Gur-speakers Tampolense, Hanga and Vagla formed a buffer zone, while Western Mamprusi bordered directly on the Pasaala outlying villages of Wa.

57 “Early in his reign he took the field against the Wangara people. He stormed and took Gbona the capital, and married the princess of that place” (Tamakloe 1931: 256).

58 On the whole there is less material on Bouna than on Bondoukou, two fragments by Greigert and Labouret, Boutillier’s late monograph, and chapters in the works of Holden, Marty and Person. And again Boutillier has some gaps which leave us ignorant about the population residing in the qabila. At least one element of the Traore has come from Satiri (Traoré 1992: 151-152). Note de l’administrateur M. Labouret sur le royaume de Bouna et les populations du pays (Tauxier 1921, an. XIV, 547-553; Chaudron 1907).

59 Boutillier (1993: 282-289); there is a need for further fieldwork on the role of the Kamaghate in the imamate.

60 It seems that he followed Levtzion (1968) who claimed “the Kamara have the patronym Kaute too”.

61 “Au cours d’une première palabre tenue par Dyebango, Saléa soutenu par l’Almami Kamaghaté plaida en vain la soumission. Les chefs animistes, et particulièrement le Danoa Masa Sinzinkolo, soutenu par Soumaila Kamara, le chef des musulmans Mmara, s’opposèrent à tout compromis” (Labouret 1925: 348 cited in Person 1975, vol. III, 1795, n. 140).

62 (Holden 1970: 100), but read “Diabaghate” for Jabaghatory and “Kombala” for Camara.

63 Ibid.

64 A few pages earlier Holden mentions the following circumstances of his interview: “For example Abu Bakr Sidiq Cissay of Imamso (the kabila of the Buna imam), who was so old he was brought to us in a wheel-barrow, spent the first, public interview describing how imamso and the Cissays had suffered in the Samorian war, listing which Cissays had died, describing the conflict and the subsequent emigration. Alone with us in his room a week later, he remarked that the previous interview had been too public, and went on to tell us, for example that every kabila in Buna had sent assistance to Sarankye-Mori in his expedition on behalf of Wa against the Dagaba town of Sankana. This force, he added, was under the command of Salih Cissay, for whom Sarankye-Mori had a high regard, and who became the first imam of Buna under the colonial regime which implies at least an outwardly pro-French attitude.” While this does not explicitly exclude that the Cisse had been almamys of Bouna before the French regime, it seems to indicate that there was a change in the imamat.

65 Also spelled and written as Kaouté, Kangoté, Kauté or with Boutillier Kawtay.

66 Participants in the interview: Al Haji Couloubali, Karamoko, from the Kamaté clan; Ousman Sulemana, from Kamaté; Al Haji Baba, Karamada (I suppose Karamoko A. M.) Kamaté; Nuhum Mahama Kamaté; Al Haji Abdul Mumin Kamaté; Abdulai Seidu Couloubaly; Amora Bamba; Abou Boubakar Mamadou Dabo.

67 Called Pantara or Banda in Ghana.

68 Mainly the Ibrahima Sanogo (Saghanogho) Tijani, brother of the imam and cousin of the Imans of Bouake and Bobo Dioulasso, el-Haj Larbi and Marhaba Saghanogho.

69 My belief is that the latter dyamu is of Samo, also a Mande but non-islamic group, origins.

70 The Coulibaly of Limbala also came from Begho, according to Niamkey’s investigation (Niamkey 1996: 77 ff.).

71 Tengrela is also to the north on the road from Djenne. To the west lie rather Tiémé, Tombougou, Samaghoso, Niellé an important Muslim center along this road to the Worodougou.

72 Sonongi-probably from the Senoufo or sono.

73 Cf. the map in Bernus (1960: 306).

74 Launay (1982: 14). This symbolically refers to the three-stones fireplace — foyer de trois pierres — the symbol of the foundation and solidity of a new family. At each establishment of a new household, the three stones are placed by a marabout.

75 Also written Pakhalla, who should not be confused with the Palaga to the west of Kong, and one of whose families — he Lorho — were among the first to establish Bondoukou.

76 They were called Kalo-dyula according to Niamkey; but, this is a generalization, as that nisba is generally only associated with Diabaghate.

77 Ashanti invasions of Bono (Abron) and Kong have been dated by: Nebout to 1701, Terray to 1722/1723 or 1745; Tauxier 1724; Meyerowitz 1730; Delafosse 1745. Kong traditions transmitted by Bernus report that Opoku Ware lost his life at Kong. The Ashanti king list by the Diabaghate from Bondoukou, cf. Haight (1981: Appendix IV, 614) gives Opoku Ware a reign from 1731-1742; according to Wilks & Priestley (1960).

78 K. Niamkey (1996: 1308) annex MSS by Basieri Ouattara “Les Imams de Kong”. If we count the years each Saghanogho imam has held office, the Saghanogho would not have been imams for more than 60 years; however, Niamkey situates their arrival in the reign of Kombi Watara but did not immediately obtain the imamate and were instituted in the early 19th century.

79 Here their praise name is Turé; information by Imam Abdulai of Buipe, July 10, 2005.

80 Paradoxically an “imam Mandé” family of Hausa origins holds the imamship in certain Wangara towns. Cf. Brégand (1997: 259-260). Own interview at Diougou with Malam Salia Turé, about the second gate to the imamship, Mandé from Haussa, June 24, 2004.

81 Interview at Daboya with Malam Yusuf, Sapare, June 10, 2005.

82 Personal information from one of the last imam’ grandson, Deputy District Secretary, Gambaga.

83 Except a list of imams from Braimah (1966: 240, Appendix VIII).

84 Published in the Gonja Chronicles (Wilks and al. 1986).

85 An account of imam Gasama published by Seefried reports that the king of Jabo — i.e. the Yagbumwura — assisted the Ano mercenaries with an army under his son Weio to Gambaga. Apparently there were two groups, one of Bema Bonsafo, non-Muslim and warriors, and another, that of Soma Brema Muslims and Jula. Seefried’s reported that both leaders came from Kong-Nsoko and belonged to the Watara clan. Some Gonja living in Sansane Mango have a tradition that Gonja princes were sent along with the mercenaries — which corresponds with the account that the Gonja chief sent his son Weio. Terray (1995: 344 f.) has an account of a migration by a Bini personnage named Azuma to Sansanne Mango in 1751 — perhaps to be identified with the Soma Brema of the Sansanne traditions.

86 To my knowledge no research has ever taken place in Chereponi, another important Muslim center in the Saboba district, nor in Sabari, the first center of Muslim penetration into Dagomba. The German colonial administration seems to have ignored these centres altogether.

87 “Groumania est une ville mandé-dioula fille de Kong, partant nettement musulmane […]”, “une colonie de Kong sise en pays mango”, “la première famille qui s’installa dans le ‘champ de gombos’ fut les Karamaté, ils sont restés les chefs de village; les guerres de Samory y amenèrent des fugitifs; puis vinrent des gens de Bouna et des Haoussa […] les 3 quarts d’habitants y sont dioula et perpétuellement en route” (Marty 1922: 58).

88 I discovered that typescript from 1913 along with several handwritten manuscripts from the late 19th century in the Federal Archives in 1999.

89 In their description of the genealogy of the imams N’Zara, as they labelled Sansanne Mango they write that the imams have always belonged to the Kambaya patrilineage (Roouveroy 1976: 71-74).

90 “Quand l’imam Omoru Korandi mourut, Al Hadji Sani Abdulaye fut désigné imam non seulement par les hommes du lignage Kambaya mais aussi par Issifu Nana, chef supérieur des Ano. Né vers 1873 comme fils de Mama Sani le 10e imam de N’zara et d’une femme Gurunsi (il) étudia chez Ali Oumarou Karakir et chez Ali Daboya de la maison Gónó, le seul Anufo parmi les professeurs. On l’appela à la grande fierté du Kurbi, car les Karamo du lignage de Góno voulaient détrôner l’imam du lignage Kambaya, pour éviter un déshonneur” (Roouveroy 1976: 71-74).

91 Written Gazama in van Roouveroy, Gasama in Seefried, elsewhere Kassamba or Kassambara. Qasama or Gassama in texts on the Soninke and Jakhanke, e.g. Rançon (1894), Monteil (1915), Smith (1965), Pollet & Winter (1971), Quimby (1975), Sanneh (1972, 1976, 1979), Hunter (1976).

92 Pollet & Winter (1971: 45, 192) designate the Gassama as “clan maraboutique” of the Dukure warriors, whom they consider imperfect Muslims and therefore refuse to give them their daughters in marriage. Marty (1920 IV: 24): “Le premier Soninké qui, d’après la tradition, habita ce massif — l’Asaba dans le Tagant A.M. fut Makan Malle Duo Sumare. Il fuyait ‘la persécution islamique de l’empire malinké’ et fut bientôt rejoint par des Gassama, des Sise, des Sukuna et des Kamara.”

93 Al-Bakri, writing about 1067 A.D., mentions that the ruler of Takrur, War Diabi converted to Islam and was responsible for introducing Islamic law (shari’ah) into his state, and that he died in 1042 A.D. From al-Bakri it seems that a contingent of “Diakhanke” had settled in Silla, west of Galam and south of Takrur (c. 900 A.D.) (Monteil 1968: 68).

94 Ibid.

95 Ibid. et Person (1968, t. 1: 222, n. 40). “Les généalogies placent vers 1720 la naissance des frères Sira-Za et Sira-Nkoma qui conquirent le pays sous les ordres de leur père Kunadri. Celui-ci serait mort à Fulalaba (Bougouni) alors que ses fils avaient déjà établi leur première capitale à Ndeu” (fondation du Nafana) et 2206 (interviews des Dyarasuba dans le Nafana).

96 Cf. Massing (2004) on the Baghayogho lineage (Person 1968, t. I: 169). During my 1998 research in Timbuktu, I was unable a Kamaghate lineage, though in Djenne they were mentioned to reside in the neighbourhood, namely at Ouan and Poromo. More research into the Marka in the Kala is needed.

97 According to Marty (1922: 130). Traoré (1992) has argued that the pilgrims of the tarikh could not have been on one and the same pilgrimage as they lived at different times. We know that Mhd. Baghayogho made the hajj with his uncle around 1580 (Massing 2004).

98 However, the intersecting set of jamu with those mentioned for Diakha-sur-Bafing is limited. Cf. Rançon (1894: 632) mentions the “principal Diakhanke amilies” Diaby-Gassama, Dibassy-Fadiga, Diakité; Souaré, Sylla, Saouané, Ly, Tounkara, Dramé, Doumbya, cf. Monteil (1915: 358) mentions companions of Fode Haji Salim Souaré in the Diakha — south of the Khasso “deux autres de ses élèves sont également très connus: l’un fut Salla Kébé, l’autre Baba Wagué, ancêtre des Kamara — Wagué, qui sont Kagoro. Vinrent aussi à Dyakha-sur-Bafing des membres de la fameuse famille des Dyabi, dont les branches sont très nombreuses”; cf. Sanneh (1979: 244-245) according to Tarikh Bani Israila. I am reasonably certain that the Kamara, reported in the Soninke communities of Boundou and Dyafunu were not Manding Kamara but Soninke Kamaghaté.

99 According to Sanneh (1979: 50) the major lineages gathered by Suware at Diagha were Silla, Suware, Darame, Jakhabi, Gassama, Sise, Kaba, Fadiga, Ture and Fofana and others. See also Rançon (1894: 632-639), Monteil (1915: 358).

100 Hunter (1976: 437, n. 15) claims the maninka-mori were a tradition distinct from the Diakhanke clerical tradition. But Moundekeno insists they were also Sarakolle from Wagadu and mentions the same jamu Souaré, Silla, Béreté, Cissé Diané and Koma (Kama?).

101 However, the jamuw of these “Jula” were rather Malinke than Marka-Soninke — we point out that they were jamuw of chiefs and not of clerics.

102 Blondiaux (1897) obviously overlooked the difference of Ligbi and Bambara.

103 The Diomande-Kamara colonized the mountains of the Konian, and the Conde the Sankaran.

104 “D’après Soumaila Diabi, chef de village à Samatiguila, leur ancêtre serait Fode Kasamba Diabi, originaire de Dyaga ou Dyaa au Mali” on one hand the tradition states that the Silla were first at Samatiguila, on the other hand claim the Diabi to be founders of Samatiguila. They mention however that the Silla came from the Kaarta — and not from Dia — and had “been at” (founded?) Tiémé, the oldest Muslim settlement in the area — where they are still the imams.

105 Yarhabi = Diaghaby = Diaby in Marty (1922: 149), “Tarikh of Ripert”.

106 Marty (1922: 56); it is unclear how the Diaby came to adopt the surname Senoussi.

107 Described by Clozel & Villamur (1902).

108 Marty (1922: 121, 126, 130, 146, 149, 160, 165, 166 169, 176), Person (1968, t. III, Annex B, 2195 ff.). On the basis of Person’s additional identification Kanaté = Kamaghaté, and the spelling variants such as Kanaaté, the group of centers can even be extended to Sarhala (Person 1975, vol. III: 1626, n. 262). “Encore il y a erreur de lecture car les clans Konaté et de Kanaaté n’ont rien en commun et il n’y a pas de Konaté à Sarhala. Kanaaté est une contraction de Kanaghaté, dyamu d’un groupe musulman venu au Byelu dans le courant du XVIIIe siècle” (ibid.). Bamba was the jamu of the chiefs of the Sia, another small Mandé group adjacent to the Gouro (Marty 1922: 150); “Les Sya, installés entre Marawé et Béré parlent un dialect malinké aberrant mais leurs institutions coutumières sont proches de celles du Koyara. Si les traditions relatives à Syalè Morifin Bamba sont exactes, ils étaient installés au XVIIe siècle plus au sud, a Syalenga […]” (Person 1968: 1609 f., n. 141). It seems that Kamaghaté were earlier associated with Bamba, and therefore with Sya and Ligbi. This leads me to the very tentative conclusion that they were a maraboutic lineage of the earliest Mandé diaspora which were the Hwela/Nigbi, these again being a subgroup of the Marka-Sarakolle (western Mande).

109 Dioula-Marka, Dafin (Traoré 1992: 154-157), Marka-Bolon (ibid.: 182-187), Dagari Dioula (ibid.: 358-362).

110 The Kaya Maghan of the Tarikh es-Sudan are none other than the Cisse-Diaby of Wagadu.

111 “Mamadi Sefandan Kotte Sako, neveu de Wakkane Sako, tua le serpent, pour sauver sa fiancée Asya Yatabare. Il s’enfuit à Saman, village de sa mère. La bénédiction fut levée et les Soninké n’avaient plus la pluie et les récoltes et commencèrent de se disperser” (Pollet & Winter 1971: 18).

112 The following after Owusu-Ansah (1987).

113 “Uthman Kamagatay was the first Asante Nkramo imam. He was a member of the Gbuipe-Sakpare family which provided not only Gonja imams but were also consulted by Asantehene Osei Tutu Kwame in the early nineteenth century. Uthman Kamagatay was brought to Kumase in 1844 from Daboya where Asante forces had, in 1841, been involved in military expeditions to restore law and order in that territory” (Owusu-Ansah 1982: 176).

114 Wilks, Levtzion & Haight (1986: 205). David Owusu-Ansah, Interview with Limam al-Hajj Sumaila ibn-Mumuni, dd. Kumase 22 and 24 January 1984. “When Imam Uthman died, at an advanced age and seemingly in the mid-1890’s, the Asantehene Agyeman Prempe I sent his official messenger to escort Abu Bakr [b. Kamagatay from Buna where he was studying] back to Kumase to assume the imamate vacated by his father’s death Abu Bakr returned with his son, ‘Abd al Mu’min, who had been born in Buna about 1860, and had been schooled there. ‘Abd al Mu’min in turn succeeded his father [unofficially in 1908 because of Abu Bakr’s advanced age, and] in 1919 [when his father died he officially assumed the position as imam] and held the imamate until his death in 1964. Limam al-Hajj Sumaila ibn-Mumuni, the son of ‘Abd al Mu’min, became Asante Nkramo imam in 1964 and still holds the position.”

115 Told after interview with Limam Sa’id, Asante Nkramo imam of Nkenkaasu, in the presence of Al Hajj Ibrahim, Malam Muhammad and Abdullah Usman — all of the Nkenkasu Muslim community — dd. Nkenkaasu, 18 December, 1979, in Owusu-Ansah (1982: 180).

116 He claims their ancestors were the first to serve Asante kings in the capacity of Muslim marabouts. The pre-eminence of the Kumase Asante Nkramo of Uthman Kamaghate’s descendants presented above, is perceived by the Nkenkaasu lineage as a historical distortion intended by the former to usurp their current position. In their version the Nkenkaasu Asante Nkramo stress their pre-eminence as the king’s original Muslims (176 ff.)

117 Owusu-Ansah (1982: 182), Interview with al-Hajj Limam Abu Bakr Adam, dd. Aboabo-Kumase, 31 January 1984.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Black Volta valley and localisation of Begho (ms encarta, 2000). Begho and its relations with Bondoukou, Bouna and Bole
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Titre Ethnolinguistic groups of northern Ghana (Goody 1954: 3)
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Titre Table 1. Settlements & languages in the vicinity of Begho ( after Kropp-Dakubu ibid.)
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Titre Table 2. The exodus to Bondoukou
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Titre Table 3. Jamu and Qabila in Begho and Bondouku46474849
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Titre Table 4. Bouna’s Qabila
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Titre List Of Jula Centres In Northern Côte-D’Ivoire
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Andreas Walter Massing, « Imams of Gonja », Cahiers d’études africaines [En ligne], 205 | 2012, mis en ligne le 03 avril 2014, consulté le 23 août 2017. URL : http://etudesafricaines.revues.org/16965

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Auteur

Andreas Walter Massing

Goethe University, Frankfurt.

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