Paradoxes of Power The Kano Mamluks and Male Royal Slavery in the Sokoto Caliphate, 1804-1903

ISBN-10: 0325070407

ISBN-13: 9780325070407

Edition: 2004

Authors: Sean Stilwell
List price: $45.00
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Description: This book is a history of royal slavery in the Sokoto Caliphate of what is now Nigeria. Shaped by the broader literature on Islam and slavery in Africa, Stilwell's study seeks to understand the historical relationship between Islam, Islamic politics, and the use of slaves in Kano - a major city in the Caliphate. By doing this, Stilwell opens a new comparative dimension in African social history. This work integrates the history of the most important state of 19th-century Islamic Africa with the broader Islamic world. Based on highly original research, as well as extensive interviews of the descendants of slaves in Kano, this book marks a significant contribution to the literature on Islam, comparative slavery, and African history. Stilwell outlines how and why slaves acquired political power. He argues that, in this African context, slavery and power were not mutually exclusive. Contesting Claude Meillassoux's argument that slaves were by definition socially isolated and kinless "o Stilwell outlines how and why slaves acquired political power. He argues that, in this African context, slavery and power were not mutually exclusive. Contesting Claude Meillassoux's argument that slaves were by definition socially isolated and kinless "outsiders," Stilwell shows how slaves constructed family networks and took advantage of court politics to contest the terms of their subjugation. In this process, royal slaves aimed not for absolute western-style "freedom," but fought to gain access to, and in some cases redefine, the political and social system of the dominant, aristocratic culture.

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Heinemann
Publication date: 4/27/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 296
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

SEAN STILWELL is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Vermont.

The beginnings of royal slavery, 1804-1855
Islamic government and royal slavery : household politics, Islamic tradition, and the Sokoto Caliphate
The paths to power and the risks of office : royal slave titles and personal power under Dabo and his successors in Kano Emirate
The consolidation of a system, 1855-1893
Kinship, household, and royal slave families : slavery and reproduction in the Kano Palace
Learning, household aprenticeship, and political power : the social uses of "slave knowledge" in the royal slave community
Political crisis and resolution, 1893-1903
Three emirs and their slaves : Amana and the crisis of legitimacy in the late nineteenth century
Conclusion : paradoxes of power resolved?
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