Chapter

The Present in the Past: How Narratives of the Slave-Raiding Era Inform Current Politics in Northern and Central Nigeria

Roger Blench

in Slavery in Africa

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780197264782
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754012 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197264782.003.0016

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

The Present in the Past: How Narratives of the Slave-Raiding Era Inform Current Politics in Northern and Central Nigeria

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Although slavery had long existed in Nigeria, the nineteenth century undoubtedly saw a major expansion of long-distance slave raiding fuelled by the rise of the Hausa states. This had significant negative consequences for the minority populations of the Middle Belt, impacting on their settlement patterns, interethnic relations, trade, and religion. During the colonial era, the strong support given to Hausa‐Islamic culture through the system of Indirect Rule had the consequence of suppressing minority views about this era. However, since independence, greater access to education and thus to local political power has dramatically reversed relations between the Muslim north and the Middle Belt. This chapter considers how local, Middle Belt publications are now attempting to reverse the narrative currents of the colonial era, by reframing the history of the slaving period.

Keywords: slavery; Hausa states; Middle Belt; Hausa‐Islamic culture; colonial era; Muslims

Chapter.  10676 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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