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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:European Images of Islam in the Northern Hinterlands of the Gold Coast through the Early Colonial Period
Author:Weiss, Holger
Periodical:Sudanic Africa
Geographic term:Ghana
traditional polities
Dagomba polity
History and Exploration
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This article deals with one of the many stories of changing European representations and images of an African entity, namely a region which was called the hinterland of the Gold Coast and Asante (Ghana) during the nineteenth century. The 'hinterland' which is examined is Dagbon (or Dagomba) and, by extension, also Gonja, Nanumba and Mamprusi. The article does not give an outline of the history of these entities, but discusses the various images of the state of affairs in these kingdoms focusing on the representation of Islam in Dagbon. The article analyses accounts of Islam in the 'hinterland' that were produced up to the early colonial period starting with RÝmer's description of a powerful kingdom north of Asante in 1760 and ending with the accounts of the Protestant missionary Otto Schimming on Islam in Yendi in 1913. During this time span, Dagbon had been declared both a Muslim kingdom and a kingdom where 'the encroachment of Islam' was only on the verge of being felt. By displaying the gradual realization of European writers that there were no Muslim kingdoms in the 'hinterland' - as was believed in the eighteenth century - the article stresses the gradual change in the representation and image of the state of religious affairs. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]