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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: March 2011

17 - West Africa (tenth–twelfth/sixteenth–eighteenth centuries)

from PART IV - NORTH AND WEST AFRICA (SIXTEENTH TO EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES)
Summary
Towards the end of the ninth/fifteenth century, West Africa's externality to the Muslim world began to end. The advance of Arab tribes to the south during the ninth/fifteenth century linked the Maghrib closer to the Sahel. In the east, Egyptian Shuwa Arabs penetrated the Chad region. From Tunisia, the Ottomans intervened in the Sahara trade. During the 'age of empires', Muslim existence south of the Sahara could be, very generally, depicted as one in quarantine. Muslims, hitherto, were newcomers: arriving as individuals or in family units, as traders, refugees, travellers or professionals, they settled in confined areas, which sometimes developed into urban quarters, and offered their religious services. The case of the Bambara demonstrates the particularly slow penetration of Islamic features into the vast rural triangle extending among the urban centres along the Niger, from Segu up to Timbuktu and the Senegal river.
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The New Cambridge History of Islam
  • Volume 2: The Western Islamic World, Eleventh to Eighteenth Centuries
  • Edited by Maribel Fierro
  • Online ISBN: 9781139056151
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521839570
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