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Title:The Sahelian crisis and the poor: the role of Islam in social security among Fulbe pastoralists, central Mali
Author:Bruijn, Mirjam deISNI
Periodical:Focaal: tijdschrift voor antropologie
Geographic term:Mali
social networks
Abstract:This paper examines how poor members of Fulbe society, a group of agropastoralists in the Sahel, central Mali, are surviving after two decades of environmental disaster. The focus is on the Jalloube of the Hayre in central Mali. Social security relations and institutions based on Islam seem to be becoming more important for these people, who are not sufficiently supported anymore by 'traditional' social security mechanisms. Islam has a long history in the Hayre, as have its institutions such as 'zakat' (the basis of the Islamic principle of charity), Koranic schools and networks of Moodibaabe (Islamic scholars). The harsh circumstances in which the Jalloube live have given new values and importance to these institutions and to social relations based on Islam: new networks based on Islam are being explored; 'zakat' has become much more an institution directed at alleviating poverty and is replacing other obligatory kinship-based gift relations; Islamic knowledge and the status related to it open up new possibilities of survival. Fieldwork for this study was carried out in 1990-1992 in the 'cercle' Douentza. Bibliogr., notes, ref.