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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The medium of 'tradition': Amadou Hampâté Bâ's confrontations with languages, literacy, and colonialism
Author:Austen, Ralph A.ISNI
Periodical:Islamic Africa (ISSN 2154-0993)
Geographic term:West Africa
Subjects:language usage
writing systems
Fulfulde language
About person:Amadou Hampaté Bâ (1900-1991)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/21540993-90000017
Abstract:In his efforts to communicate his research on 'African tradition', more specifically oral texts, Hampâté Bâ was faced with a choice of languages and alphabets. Much of his work appeared only in French, the language of his main formal education and administrative training. In collaboration with several French colonial scholar-administrators (Henri Gaden, Colonel R. Figaret, and Gilbert Vieillard) Hampâté Bâ eventually developed a system for writing his native Fulfulde in Roman characters. However, for his own Fulfulde religious poetry ('mes seules oeuvres de 'création''), Hampâté Bâ used Ajami (Arabic letters representing non-Arabic languages), a writing system that he also promoted as a medium of wider Fulbe literacy. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]