Chapter

Between a rock and a hard place: coastal mangroves in pre-colonial times

Sarró Ramon

in The Politics of Religious Change on the Upper Guinea Coast

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780748635153
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653003 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748635153.003.0003
Between a rock and a hard place: coastal mangroves in pre-colonial times

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This chapter highlights the importance of the mangrove ecology, with the Fouta Djall on its periphery, in shaping a distinct cultural identity. It show that the mangrove zone inhabited by peoples described in the sources as ‘Baga’ since the late fifteenth century has been crucial in providing them with a distinct cultural identity. The chapter also shows that their peripheral connection to a pre-colonial Fula state is as important as the ecology. The presence of the Fouta on Baga geographical, social and historical horizons is so important that the historian Mohamed N’Daou once suggested that ‘if the Fouta did not exist, Baga would have had to invent it’.

Keywords: mangrove ecology; cultural identity; Baga; pre–colonial Fula; Fouta Djall

Chapter.  11560 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: African Studies

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