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