UNESCO General History of Africa, Volume 5: Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century
This groundbreaking work was the first of its type to present the entire history of the African continent. The collection sheds light on the pre-colonial era and interweaves Africa’s destiny with the rest of humanity’s, examining its interaction with other continents and the role of Africans in the dialogue between civilizations. Published in eight volumes.
Volume V covers a crucial period in African history where populations of the different regions gathered to create social, economic, religious, cultural and politic entities which constitute contemporary African peoples. The volume studies the beginning of the slave trade and the coexistence of traditional religions with Christianity and Islam.
GENERAL HISTORY OF AFRICA- V Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth Century U N E S C O General History of Africa Volume I Methodology and African Prehistory (Editor J. Ki-Zerbo) Volume II Ancient Civilizations of Africa (Editor G . Mokhtar) Volume III Africa from the Seventh to the Eleventh Century (Editor M . El Fasi) (Assistant Editor I. Hrbek) Volume IV Africa from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century (Editor D . T . Niane) Volume V Africa from the Sixteenth to the Eighteenth
beginning of the nineteenth century further accelerated the process; and the Islamization of the Saharan Negro-Berbers and their conquest by the Sanaran Arab Hassan kabllas took it a step further, progressively converting the semi-feudal haràtïn* (which featured a warlike aristocracy combined with conquered sedentary peoples), into a more or less slave-owning system. Jonya did survive, however, amongst the traditional aristocracy of Western Sudan and the Niger-Chad region, which had suffered
influence but have to be explained in terms of internal developments. T h e main factors contributing to the adoption of the Ottoman feudal socio-economic system were the spread of the M u s l i m Emirate with the advent of the askiya in Western Sudan, the expansion of the empire of the Islamized Mai of Borno and the introduction of Kur'anic law as a result of conversion and the djihäds. In Songhay the askiya kept part of the tra6. See ch. 24 below. See also A . Hoben, 1975. 7. E . Mworoha, 1977,
different land groups. Also, they could easily m o v e themselves and their belongings to sites far away, if they felt so inclined. T h u s fishermen, w h o needed to m o v e least of all, were as well prepared to do so as hunter-gatherers or herders and could do so more easily. So far, w e have only considered the major factors involved in usual movement. W h e r e symbiosis was more developed or economies were complex, the patterns and requirements for siting territory were also more complex.
the traders. T h e booty, meanwhile, was divided quite openly between the two rulers. 154 The Ottoman conquest of Egypt impaired odjaks profits. After 1760, odjaks power weakened still further as the odjaks degenerated into mere reserves for M a m l u k retinues whose m e m b e r s were allowed to hold the rank of officer. Cultural development T h e extinction of the sovereign M a m l u k sultanate and the transformation of Egypt into a wiîàya (province) of the Ottoman empire led to