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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Caliphate expansion and sociopolitical change in nineteenth-century lower Benue hinterlands
Author:Ochonu, MosesISNI
Periodical:Journal of West African History (ISSN 2327-1876)
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Sokoto polity
political change
social change
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/jwestafrihist.1.1.0133
Abstract:This article analyzes the processes of jihad, migration, and sociopolitical change in the lower Benue hinterlands of nineteenth century central Nigeria. It examines the dynamics at work in the expansion of the territorial, commercial, and symbolic frontiers of the Sokoto caliphate in this sector, as well as the impact commercial and political events spawned by caliphate expansion and consolidation in this area had on the experiences, sociopolitical organization, economies, and institutions of some non-Muslim communities. The author explores the nonreligious lives that a religious movement progressively took on as it made its way through this multiethnic, politically diverse region of precolonial central Nigeria, focusing in particular on the experiences of the Agatu, a subset of the Idoma people, with the vagaries of the jihad. The article considers the proactive and reactive responses and adaptations of non-Muslim communities to the intrusions, raids, and demands of Hausa and Fulani Muslims possessing various degrees of caliphate affinities and affiliations. The author argues that, although inspired by an expressed desire to construct and extend the frontiers of an ideal Islamic state, the jihad assumed a commercial character in this sector. Characterized by slave raiding and military intrusions, it left profound social and political legacies that those who encountered it had to contend with and adapt to during the tumultuous mid- to late nineteenth century. Notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]