This article aims to demonstrate the place of taxation in the relations between the French colonial power and the Fulani sovereign of Fuladu, Musa (Fr.: Moussa) Molo, between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to being an instrument of economic profitability and of economic and social development, taxation became for the French colonial power a political lever to control and supervise Musa Molo’s action. Aware of the importance of owning and controlling tax revenues to sustain economic survival and political leadership, Musa Molo worked to increase avoidance strategies and insubordination acts vis-à-vis the French colonial authority until his departure in The Gambia in 1903. It was in the aftermath of this “voluntary” exile that France undertook to reorganize the territory and introduce the necessary tax reforms for the development of the Fuladu in particular, and of Casamance in general.
Keywords: Casamance; Colonization; France; Fuladu; Taxation; Musa Molo; Fulani
The failure of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) to implement the use of ox-carts in place of human porters in East Africa in 1876-78 is conventionally attributed to their misunderstanding of African peoples, environment, and diseases. This article contends that there were further factors, specific to the years of their attempt, that undermined the missionaries’ designs. These were, firstly, that heightened levels of rainfall, associated with an El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) event alongside a positive Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), expanded tsetse habitats and contributed to an epidemic of trypanosomiasis; and secondly, that the murder of CMS personnel on the southeastern shores of Lake Victoria necessitated the leader of the ox-cart experiment abandoning any designs on future attempts. There is evidence to suggest that missionaries could have implemented travel by ox-cart if they had made attempts at almost any time in the nineteenth century other than in 1876-78.
Keywords: Trypanosomiasis, Climate, Rainfall, Tsetse Flies, East African History
Dɔrɔ. Ethnography of a Ritual Festival in Northern Ghana
By providing an ethnographic description of the main events that unfold during the period of the Dɔrɔ ritual festival, the author shows the vitality and the complexity of ritual practices in Northern Ghana today. The festival, performed by the Kuole people of Tanchara, is a multi-faceted event that speaks to such key anthropological concerns as secrecy, taboo, fertility, sexuality, marriage and social memory. The exploration of the complexity of this event is supported by constant reference to the social organisation of the community and its system of religious belief. Dɔrɔ is an eccentric and jealously guarded occurrence which escapes the logic behind the organisation of neo-traditional festivals that thrive in the region.
Keywords: Ethnography; Ritual; Festival; Northern Ghana; Dɔrɔ
The onset of the 2014 global oil crisis brought stagnation to Angola after a decade of rapid expansion. The article investigates the temporalities emerging in this transitionary phase from fast growth to stagnation, focusing, in particular, on West African traders operating in the import sector. While West Africans experienced their businesses as stalling, they also “stalled for time”, actively waiting to see how the crisis would evolve. Comparing and contrasting it with other modes of waiting in Africa, the article highlights stalling for time as a tactic reflecting both the temporal regimes of the capitalist economy and West African migrants’ historical experience of volatility.
Keywords: Currency; Time; Uncertainty; Waiting; West African Migration.
This article tries to explore the mutation of migrations in Guinea. By adopting a historical perspective, the article shows how migrations have been changing according to migratory culture of different ethnical groups and affiliation to migratory networks. It focuses on the inequalities to the access to migrations, caused by the individuals’ different positions in lineages, communities and global society, that lead to the formulation of different migratory strategies. After arguing that the main motivation of Guinean migrants is a quest of upward social mobility, the article recalls the difference between objective and subjective mobility, that thrives the migratory imaginary. Finally, in a perspective of dynamic socio-anthropology, migration is considered as an historical construction that is associated with internal dynamisms of Diakhanké communities in the Boke region. The observation of this community in 2017 reveals a transformation of migrations, namely in terms of democratization of the possibility to migrate for ethnic groups not affiliated to migratory networks, but also for youngsters and women who migrate individually, without taking into account the advice of the community and the extended family. On one hand, by elaborating alone their migratory project, many young people have tried to emancipate from their elders; on the other hand, young women can realize their dream independently from their husbands’ consent or the decision made by parents and elderly people.
Keywords: Migration, Guinea, Social and Geographical Mobility, Inequalities in Access to Migration, Migratory Networks, Diakhanké, Conakry, Boké Region.
This article explores how Namibian narratives about the experience of rural migrations contribute to the process of personal growth that determines profound transformations of the self. The decision to migrate is often described in the literature as the result of a family strategy to diversify risk and overcome structural constraints. The findings of the study on which this article is premised indicate that there are other personal motives behind the movement. The article thus argues that, while depending on existing social structures and norms, the migrant also struggles to escape from them, balancing the responsibilities towards the family with his/her own plans. The article also intends to show how the experiences and knowledge obtained during the migration process influence the social structure and norms, and contribute to the migrant’s reconstruction of his/her new self.
Keywords: Internal Migration, Namibia, Structure-Agency Dichotomy