Slavery and Social Life in Nineteenth-Century Turco-Egyptian Khartoum

Terence Walz and Kenneth M. Cuno

in Race and Slavery in the Middle East

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9789774163982
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781617970221 | DOI:
Slavery and Social Life in Nineteenth-Century Turco-Egyptian Khartoum

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Turkish policies involved rapid expansion of commerce, slavery and slave trade, migration, urbanization, and social dislocation. This chapter elucidates on one aspect of this extraordinary transformation, namely the development of urbanism as a way of life and leisure. Examining the life of marginal groups in nineteenth-century Khartoum offers a new perspective on Sudanese history in which Anglo-Egyptian colonial rule (1898–1956) tends to be seen as the main catalyst for social change. The few studies that dealt with the legacy of slavery in northeastern and North Africa have focused mainly on the role of ex-slaves in the dissemination of the zar cult (spirit possession) and other religious practices. Fair's work illustrates the numerous ways in which former slaves realized emancipation at both the ideological and practical levels as well as dramatic transformations in personal identities.

Keywords: commerce; urbanization; social dislocation; zar; emancipation

Chapter.  8821 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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