The Jakhanke: The History of an Islamic Clerical People of the Senegambia, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Jakhanke

The History of an Islamic Clerical People of the Senegambia, 1st Edition

By Lamin O. Sanneh


288 pages

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When originally published in 1979, this was the first comprehensive study of the Jakhanke in any language. Despite the 19th ambience of jihad, the Jakhanke maintined their tradition of consistent pacifism and political neutrality which is unique in Muslim Black Africa. Drawing on histories, interviews, and colonial reports the book traces the details of the Jakhanke pilgrimages and analyses important themes such as their system of education, their function as dream-interpreters and amulet-makers and finally the dependence of their way of life on the institution of slavery.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Historical Interpretation and sources

1. the Birth of the Jakhanke Islamic Clerical Tradition . c1200-c.1500

2. The emergence of the Core Clans of Jakhanke Clerics c.1200-c.1700

3. Jakhanke Centres in Bundu c.1700-c1890

4. Momodou-Lamin Darame and Patterns of Jakhanke Dispersion in Senegambia: The 19th Century

5. The Jakhanke in Futa Jallon: The 19th Century

6. Touba and the Colonial Misfortune: The Expropriation of Touba's Clerical Privilege 1905-11

7. Jakhanke Educational Enterprise

8. Prayers, Dreams and Religious Healing

9. Slavery, Islam and the Jakhanke

10. Conclusions

About the Author

Lamin Sanneh is the D. Willis James Professor of Missions and World Christianity at Yale Divinity School and Professor of History at Yale University. Sanneh was born and raised in Gambia. After studying at the University of Birmingham and the Near East School of Theology, Beirut, he earned his doctorate in Islamic History at the University of London.

About the Series

African Ethnographic Studies of the 20th Century

Routledge is delighted to be re-issuing 79 volumes originally published between 1931 and 1988 in association with the International African Institute. Unavailable outside a few key libraries, many of these republished volumes were at the cutting edge of a fieldwork and ethnographic revolution in African anthropology in the decades after 1930. It involved the production of a wide body of fieldwork-based ethnographic documentation about the cultures of the different societies in Africa. Secondly, it saw a methodological turn to intense, localized investigations of cultural tradition and social change in a rapidly modernizing context. These investigations involved a more sustained and systematic, more professional and ‘scientific’ form of immersion and participant observation, than anything that had gone before. The sites of engagement were urban as well as rural; the pioneering researchers were female as well as male. No longer was the journal essay the repository of the latest research in the discipline, but rich ethnographies running into hundreds of pages.

The volumes are supplemented with maps, which will be available to view on or available as pdfs from the publishers.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies