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The Manuscripts that Never Were: In Search of the Tārīkh al-Fattāsh in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana


This article presents a fieldwork report conducted by the authors to locate certain manuscripts – namely copies of the chronicle titled Tārīkh al-Fattāsh – listed in recent catalogues of Islamic manuscripts from Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana published by the al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation and prepared by Bābā Yūnus Muḥammad. Unfortunately, after ten days of enquiry in the two countries, it became evident that the catalogues are inaccurate and that at least some of the manuscripts described do not exist.


Cet article présente un rapport de terrain mené par les auteurs pour localiser certains manuscrits – à savoir des copies de la chronique intitulée Tārīkh al-Fattāsh – listés dans des catalogues récents de manuscrits islamiques de Côte d’Ivoire et du Ghana publiés par la al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation et dirigés par Bābā Yūnus Muḥammad. Malheureusement, après dix jours d’enquête dans ces deux pays, il apparait évident que les catalogues sont inexacts et qu’au moins certains des manuscrits mentionnés n’existent pas.

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Mauro Nobili , and Mohamed Shahid Mathee , “Towards a New Study of the So-Called Tārīkh al-Fattāsh,” History in Africa 42 (2015), 3773.

Jean-Louis Triaud , “Deux bibliothèques arabo-islamiques en Côte d’Ivoire au début du XXe siècle,” in: Christian Müller and Roiland-Rouabah Muriel (eds.), Les non-dits du nom. Onomastique et documents en terres d’Islam: Mélanges offerts à Jacqueline Sublet (Beyrouth: Presses de l’Ifpo, 2013), 161246.

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History in Africa
  • ISSN: 0361-5413
  • EISSN: 1558-2744
  • URL: /core/journals/history-in-africa
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