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 A PROXY WAR PARTLY LED TO THE COLLAPESE
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Momodou



Denmark
11567 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2024 :  18:12:23  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
A PROXY WAR PARTLY LED TO THE COLLAPESE OF THE MANDING EMPIRE: ENTER A THIRD FORCE OF THE PORTUGUESE IN CREATING FUTA TORO

By Dembo Fatty


History as I always try to explain, is a detective work and those who refuse to take things at face value, or have an eye for detail, will always make historians.

There have been many accounts of the fall of the Manding Empire and a plethora of reasons given. However, what never took center stage was the influence of Europeans especially the Portuguese.

A certain group of Portuguese called Lancados or Lancar, which literally means “cast away”, were a group of Portuguese particularly Portuguese Jews forcibly converted to Christianity and others also forced to embrace Christianity, left Portugal to West Africa and embraced the local cultures and traditions.

Gambia has had her fair share of these Lancados, and were probably the first group of Strange farmers. Many stayed in what is now Nuimi. That is a different topic for a different day.

In what is today’s Guinea Bissau, many Lancados too will find refuge and integrated with the locals. A lot of them were running away for the overbearing control of the state especially in the area of religion.

One such personality was a man nicknamed Ganagoga, a Jew by heritage. Ganagoga in the Biafida language of the area means “someone who speaks multiple languages”, a testament to his ability to speak at least a few national languages.

Ganagoga was actually named Joăo Ferreira but this named became obscured after a long sojourn in West Africa. He led attacks against Manding in 1599 after the defeat of Manding Mansa Mahmud IV at Jenne on behalf of Futa Toro and his main targets were the gold mines. The Morrocans were part of the showdown at Jenne.

So Manding Empire fell partly because of employment of western interests, a reason that is yet to take center stage in our historical discourse.

Now we know that the Denianke Dynasty (Bah clan) of Futa Toro could not have succeeded without the help of the Portuguese. In fact the Portuguese also helped Saloum to revolt against Manding by supplying them with iron bars for their military arsenal.

“However, the Portuguese had already begun to meddle in the domestic conflicts of the coastal countries. For instance, around 1482, one Bemoy, a regent on the throne of Jolof, received aid from the king of Portugal against the legitimate heirs. These 'friendship' missions were also sources of information on the internal situation of the old empire. Another Portuguese policy was to give trading advantages to the small coastal chiefs and thus induce them to free themselves from the yoke of the Mande mansa. That was what happened in the kingdom of Salum. (General History of Africa, Part V, page 183)

In Baddibu, there is an oral tradition that the Marong were once guests at the Royal Palace in Madrid. For what reason, we don’t appear to know but it is very likely that they too may have been assisted by the Spaniards. A local song was minted thus: “Marongl beh spain” which means the Marongs are in Spain.

History has the tendency of giving you more than you bargained for when you are thorough and dedicated to research.

References:
1. General History of Africa, Part V, page 183, UNESCO
2. Equal Partners? Proselytising by Africans and Jews in the 17th century Atlantic Diaspora by Tobias Green

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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