Islamic and Caste Knowledge Practices Among Haalpulaaren in Senegal: Between Mosque and Termite Mound (International African Library No. 30)

Islamic and Caste Knowledge Practices Among Haalpulaaren in Senegal: Between Mosque and Termite Mound (International African Library No. 30)

By: Roy Dilley (author)Paperback

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This book examines in historical perspective the hitherto little-studied relationship between Islam and caste among the Haalpulaaren of Senegal. The Islamic uprising of the 1770s, which established a class of Islamic clerics in positions of authority in the Senegal river valley, had long-term consequences for the social relations between clerics and caste groups. The book examines how at different historical junctures attempts were made to negotiate the equalitarian claims of a universalist faith with the expression of social differentiation lying at the heart of caste inequality. While the existing literature focuses on those who established Islam within the region, this present work provides insights into how marginalised artisans, poets and musicians understood themselves and how they responded to a faith which had become the cornerstone of social prestige and status. It analyses the knowledge practices of clerics and of specialised craft groups, arguing that they are crucial for our understanding of social and cultural distinction. This involves a synthesis of historical sources and ethnography, and provides an innovative approach to the study of religious identity and specialist practitioners.

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About Author

Roy Dilley is Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews.


Preface; Chapter One The Mosque and the Termite Mound; Islam and Caste; Islam in Senegal; 'Popular' Islam; The Concept of Caste; Conceptions of Islam; Islam in Stratified Societies; Islamic 'Magic'; The Territory; The People; The Islamic Community; Caste, Knowledge and Power; The Mosque and the Termite Mound; An Ambivalent Adventure; Chapter Two Ranks and Categories: The Emergence of a Haalpulaar Social Division of Labour; Social Divisions among Haalpulaaren - Social Ranks; Social Divisions among Haalpulaaren - Social Categories; Social Categories of the Men-of-Skill (Nyeenybe); Bondsmen and Women; Patronyms; Hierarchical Relations of Political Economy; The Case of Hamadi Ounare; The Case of Doumga Rindiao; Discussion; Chapter Three Historical Origins and Social Pedigrees of Craftsmen and Musicians: Genealogies of Power and Knowledge of the Wild; Historical Origins and Sources; A History of Men-of-Skill Categories; Local Histories; The Social Division of Knowledge: Men-of-Skill and the Wild; Characterisations of Social Ranks; Gandal and the Social Division of Knowledge and Power; History and Hierarchy - A Reprise; The Fetishisation of Production; Chapter Four The White and the Black: Ideology and the Rise to Dominance of the Islamic Clerics; A Brief History of Islam in the Senegal River Valley; Formation of the Toorobe Cleric Social Category; The Construction of Toorobe Islamic Ideology; The Muslim Reformism of El Hajj Umar Taal; Umar Taal, the 'Mystical Warrior'; Concluding Remarks - Cleric Islam and the Other; Chapter Five Accommodationist Sufi Islam: Tensions and Ambiguities; The Ideological Configuration of Accommodationist Islam; Ritual Specialists and Rites of Passage; Ambivalence in Religious Thought; Islam and the Reinterpretation of Myth; Discussion; Chapter Six The Witch-Hunter and the Marabout: Competing Domains of Knowledge and Power; The Black Arts and Fields of Knowledge; The Emergence of Gandal Maabube; The Witch-Hunter and the Marabout; The Witch-Hunter; The Art of Maraboutic Magic; The Education of a Marabout; Discusssion: A Social Division of Healing; Nyengo and Spiritual Tutelage; Summary; Chapter Seven The Power of the Word: The Oral and the Written; Proverbial Sayings and the Denial of Agency; The Vocabulary of Speech and Language; The Potency and Danger of Names; Praise-songs, Poetry and Prayer; The Patterns of Language; Magical Spells, Protective Verses and Incantations; Discussion of Spoken Magic; Writing and the Order of Things; The Prose of the World; Chapter Eight Islamic Reformers, Islamists and the Muslim Community; 'Book Magic'; Developments in the Field of Education; Islamic Reform Movements; The Renegotiation of Islam and Social Exclusion; The Changing Nature of Caste and Islam; Singers, Popular Song and Islam; The Islamic Brotherhood of the Nyasiyya; Discussion; Afterword.

Product Details

  • publication date: 21/06/2004
  • ISBN13: 9780748619900
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 270
  • ID: 9780748619900
  • weight: 490
  • ISBN10: 0748619909

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