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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pleasing God and pleasing the patrons: a portrait of a female 'finoo' in The Gambia
Author:Janson, MarloesISNI
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Gambia
gender roles
social status
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40380186
Abstract:A striking feature of Gambian society is its tripartite social structure composed of nobles, artisans and descendants of former slaves. Among the artisans, the role of the 'finoo', or Islamic bard, is the least understood. While there is hardly any documentation on 'finoos', indications are that they have specialized in the Islamic traditions. This article records the life story of Mariama Fatty, a successful Gambian female 'finoo'. In addition to sketching a portrait of her prof ssion, it provides an account of a Muslim woman's involvement in Islamic practices, her engagement in the propagation of Islam, and her understanding of proper Muslim womanhood. By focusing on the female 'finoo's manoeuvring between her cultural obligations and her religious tenets, it emerges that she exercises her profession in what is not so much a contradiction as a dialectic between submission and religious empowerment. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]