Slaves, War, and the Wider World

Walter E. A. van Beek

in The Dancing Dead

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199858149
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949489 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ritual Studies Series

Slaves, War, and the Wider World

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This is the historical chapter, one about war and slavery, about death and the uncertainty of life. The Mandara Mountains are a remote area, first sighted by a European in 1823, second in 1850, and more extensively only at the turn of the century. The text describes the internal wars of the Kapsiki/Higi, within the framework of the slave raiding by Muslim emirates, the constant background threat for this society. Special focus is on one particular slave raider, Hamman Yaji, who raided the area at the start of the twentieth century; tales of his ruthless cruelty still reverberate through the mountains. The chapter then follows the Kapsiki through colonial pacification and the strange colonial dynamics which not only created an ethnic unit, but then divided it into two by an international border.

Keywords: slave raiding; war; Hamman Yaji; colonization; pacification; ethnicity

Chapter.  9342 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religious Studies

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