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A. K. Bennison

chief of the Sanhaja, military leader, also known as Abuʾl-Futuh Yusuf, was the son of Ziri ibn Manad, a chief of the Sanhaja, one of the main Berber peoples of the Maghrib. Many Sanhaja tribes joined the Shiʿi Fatimids when they were based in Ifriqiya (909–972 CE), while the majority of the Zanata Berber tribes offered their support to the Sunni Umayyads of Cordoba. The Kharijites of the Maghrib also opposed the Fatimids, creating a situation of permanent conflict among the tribes of the region. In 324/936 Ziri constructed the fortified town of Ashir, which al-Nuwayri describes as populated by merchants dealing in agricultural products, religious scholars, and jurists. Ziri became a prominent client of the Fatimids after they assisted the Fatimid caliph al-Qaʾim during the Kharijite siege of al-Mahdiyya in 334–5/946.

According to chroniclers Buluggin was the youngest of Ziri s ten or twelve sons but the most able ...

Article

Barry Higman

Slave populations were never truly separate from the free populations within which they existed. The number and proportion of persons in a society who lived as slaves depended on a variety of factors, some internal and some external to the enslaved population. Growth in slave populations resulted from the external processes of enslavement, forced migration, and changes in the status of individuals within societies, and from the internal process of fertility (although some of the fathers of slave children were free persons). Population decrease resulted from changes in the status of the enslaved class at large—abolition and partial abolition—or in the status of individual slaves (through manumission, coartación or maroonage from forced migration and from mortality These events and processes linked enslaved and free people in complex ways In some cases slaves were able to exercise a degree of control over the demographic events whether by acts of resistance ...

Article

Before Christopher Columbus arrived in the Caribbean islands in 1492, several indigenous peoples lived in the region. Although there is some disagreement as to how and when they settled in the islands, most scholars agree that evidence exists of an indigenous presence that dates back more than 20,000 years. The two largest groups were the Taino and Carib. They shared similar cultural practices, and both groups spoke a Native American language called Arawak.

The arrival of Europeans in the late 1400s dramatically altered the lives of these indigenous communities. Many died of diseases that were carried across the Atlantic by European sailors. Others were killed in violent disputes with European settlers. The fate of these indigenous communities provides a lens through which we can view the long history of domination and exploitation by European powers in the region.

Article

mulatto  

Peter Martin

The word ‘mulatto’ is derived from the Arabic muwallad, which originally referred to persons who were not ‘genuine’ Arabs, especially individuals born of black–white ‘misalliances’. With the beginning of the transatlantic African slave trade in the fifteenth century, the word mulatto first found its way into Portuguese, and then into almost all European languages, as the term for offspring of mixed European (Caucasian) and African (Negroid) parentage. (Only Afrikaans used the word ‘Bastard’ for such persons.)

The social position of these half breeds varied from place to place and over time On the sugar plantations of Latin America in several Caribbean colonies and in southern and western Africa where white masters faced an overwhelming number of black workers in bondage to them the mulatto and his or her descendants formed a buffer zone between blacks and whites that was indispensable for maintaining the authority and prosperity of the Europeans ...

Article

Murdo J. MacLeod

Slavery of various kinds was common on both sides of the Atlantic long before the European invasions of the Americas Among the many diverse native American cultures slavery was often temporary or specific with people assigned to the service of others sometimes for identified tasks or for predetermined periods of time Some people sold themselves into slavery as a means of paying off debts or other obligations or of recouping personal family or community fortunes Slavery could be extremely harsh In Meso america for example war captives and others were enslaved in great numbers for the purpose of sacrificing them sooner or later in large public ceremonies The practice of enslaving enemies and then eating them even allowing for exaggeration in Portuguese accounts was common in interior parts of the Amazon Basin Many semino madic groups practiced raiding for women some of whom were then enslaved These examples provide only ...

Article

Nok  

The name Nok was given to the culture of a group of people who lived in what are now the northern and central parts of Nigeria, in the area north of the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers, from 900 b.c.e. to 200 c.e.. Remains of this culture were first discovered in the area of the Jos Plateau, and similar artifacts have been found in the middle valley of the Benue River.

The Nok were also the earliest people yet known in this part of Africa who made iron tools and weapons. They also produced very fine sculpture, usually of human forms, in terra cotta (baked clay). These magnificent pottery heads and figures are the earliest known African sculptures. It is believed that the Nok had a well-organized economy and administrative system and that their culture influenced later peoples of the region.

Article

racism  

H. Augstein

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term describes ‘the theory that distinctive human characteristics and abilities are determined by race’. The word itself is rather recent, probably going back only to the 1930s. There are two attitudes towards the concept of racism: one says that ‘racism’ is usefully applied only where it is derived from a perception of race and the ensuing fixation on ‘typical’ racial traits. In this sense ‘racism’ describes the racialist attitudes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, deriving from the merger of physical anthropology und ethnography on the background of the idea of evolution. Another school has argued that racism consists in intentional practices and unintended processes or consequences of attitudes towards the ethnic ‘other’. According to this line of thought, it is not necessary to possess a concept of ‘race’ to entertain prejudices towards other peoples.

As the term was coined in reaction ...

Article

Brian H. Biffle

second king of the Barghwata people and self-proclaimed prophet. The Barghwata peoples of Tamasna, located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, comprised one of several Berber communities in southern and central Morocco. These small, localized kingdoms existed among numerous independent Berber peoples who lived in prestate political communities. The Berber population was diverse and included pastoralists, peasants, and camel-herding nomads. The Berbers were known under several names, including Masmuda, Sanhaja, and Zenata. The Barghwata established their kingdom in the mid-eighth century after participating in the Kharidit insurrection of Maisara. The Barghwata remained under the rule of the descendants of Salih ibn Tarif until the middle of the eleventh century when they were conquered by the Almoravids.

Salih ibn Tarif succeeded his father Tarif ibn Shamaʾun ibn Yaʾkub ibn Ishak to become the second king of the Barghwata His reign coincided with that of the caliphate of the Ummayad Hisham ibn ...

Article

Duane W. Roller

leader of the Musulamii, a Numidian tribe, was active from 17 to 24 CE in opposing the power of the established governments in north central Africa, in other words, the Romans and the Mauretanian allied kingdom of Juba II. His career is known solely from the Annals of Tacitus, the point of view of the Romans who defeated him, and thus the data must be considered with caution.

Tacfarinas is an early example of the indigenous leader skilled in Roman ways who used his knowledge to fight against Roman power. As the Roman Empire spread, increasing numbers of peoples on its frontier became accustomed to Roman civilization without accepting Roman political control. In North Africa there was also the constant conflict between the agriculturalists—both indigenous and European settlers—and the transhumant peoples who found their routes blocked by the agrarian population, a historic problem still apparent today in many areas.

Tacfarinas ...

Article

Stephen Cory

was founder of the Zanata Berber Zayyanid dynasty and leader of the Banu ʿAbd al-Wad people, which ruled over portions of modern Algeria from the mid-thirteenth to the early sixteenth centuries. Although not as well known as their cousins, the Marinids, who ruled Morocco during roughly the same time period, the Banu ʿAbd al-Wad built a sophisticated capital in Tlemcen, whose cultural life, scholarship, and architecture are said to have rivaled that of the Marinid capital in Fez.

Yaghmurasan’s political fortunes arose as Almohad power declined in the central Maghreb. Following their 1212 defeat at Las Navas de Tolosa in southern Spain the Almohads began to lose control over their North African empire As central governance weakened the Almohads were replaced by regional Berber allies the Almohads were Berbers as well who were increasingly able to exercise independent authority the Hafsids in Ifriqiya present day Tunisia the Marinids in ...