Drought and coping strategies in Fulbe Society in the Hayre (Central Mali): A historical perspective

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So far the position of Fulbe pastoralists in states and in state formation has received little attention. As we shall see below in the history of Fulbe chiefdoms in central Mali, the links between states and Fulbe pastoralists have always been strained. Historically the formation of states by pastoralists leads to a widening gap between elites and nomadic groups. In this process the elite will eventually loose its affinity with the pastoral way of life, leading to the political marginalization of pastoralists. The more so when political formations of pastoralists are built into larger political entities, containing sedentary agricultural groups. The requirements of agricultural production, the administration and defense of the territory, and the maintenance of the state apparatus necessitate the reorganization of the economy and partial sedentarisation (Khazanov 1983). This is illustrated by the reforms under Seeku Aamadu of the Massina Empire in the Inner Delta of the Niger (de Bruijn & van Dijk 1993).


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Drought, Agriculture, Pastoralism, Coping strategies, Fulbe society, Hayre, Central Mali, Farm/Enterprise Scale


Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines, XXXIV, 1-3(133-135):85-108