West African challenge to Empire: Culture and history in the Volta-Bani anticolonial war

West African challenge to Empire: Culture and history in the Volta-Bani anticolonial war

Author: 
Saul, Mahir
Royer, Patrick
Place: 
Oxford
Publisher: 
James Currey Limited
Phys descriptions: 
XIII, 404p., ill., maps, photos
Date published: 
2001
Record type: 
Region: 
ISBN: 
0852554796
Call No: 
325.83 (66) SAU
Abstract: 

IN THE FINAL MONTHS OF 1915, the prominent residents of eleven villages in the Volta region of French West Africa gathered around a shrine to take an oath and declare war on the colonial administration . Thus started the Volta-Bani war, one of the last and bloodiest confrontations of the colonial occupation of West Africa. This book presents a historiagraphic account and an anthropological interpretation of this extraordinary series of events. It provides simultaneously a cultural and sociological analysis that reconsiders the historical ethnography of the region. the context for the colonial encounter, and a chronological narrative of the political and military realities of the anticolonial movement. The anticolonial leadership taking the initiative for the war had not gone into this dangerous affair blindly or in a fit of anger. They had calculated their odds well and had undertaken a tremendous effort of preparation. They were well armed, hey knew the art of fighting, they had confidence in their spiritual agencies, and as it turned out they were also geniuses of military tactics and strategy. They defeated the first expeditions that the administrator of the circle (province) of Dedougou hastily arranged with the means at his disposal. They also defeated the larger military column that was put together by the governor-general of French West Africa, which included companies from other parts of the colony and an artillery unit. World War I was raging in Europe, and the military apparatus of he colonial government had been reduced to the absolute minimum. The government's inability to crush the opposition confirmed the claims of the anticolonial partisans that the time had come to force the French out of the region. The movement spread. By

Language: 
Series: 
Western African Studies

CITATION: Saul, Mahir. West African challenge to Empire: Culture and history in the Volta-Bani anticolonial war . Oxford : James Currey Limited , 2001. - Available at: http://library.au.int/west-african-challenge-empire-culture-and-history-volta-bani-anticolonial-war-3