The Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune

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The Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune
a 19th century Royal War
19th century junjung of Sine
Date 18 July 1867
Location Kingdom of Sine, now part of independent Senegal
14°40′N 17°25′WSenegal
Result Serer victory
Belligerents
Muslim Marabout Serer people
Commanders and leaders
Maba Diakhou Bâ
(Almamy in rebellion)

Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr Diop
(King of Cayor and Baol)
Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof
(King of Sine - "Maad a Sinig")

Maad Amad Ngoneh Joof
(King of Thiouthioune and uncle of Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof)
Units involved
Maba Diakhou Bâ: Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof :
  • Buumi - Somb
  • The Great Jaraff
  • Maad Patar (King of Patar)
  • The Sandigue Ndiob
  • Maad Amad Ngoneh Joof (King of Thiouthioune)
  • Maad Semou Gallo Joof
  • Mbagne Somb Faye
  • Makhoureja Ngoneh Joof
  • Army of Sine...etc.[1]
The Muslim Marabouts prevailed in the early hours of the battle, but the Serer army held firm. In the latter part of the battle the Marabouts were defeated. Maba Diakhou was killed and his body decapitated. Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr and Bourba Jolof Alboury Sainabou Njie fled. Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak was injured. Mama Gaolo Nyang was held prisoner.[2][3][4]

The Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune (or Thiouthiogne), also known as The Battle of Somb or The Battle of Somb-Tioutioune, occurred on 18 July 1867.[5][6] It was a religious war between the Serer people and the Muslim Marabouts of the 19th century in Senegal and The Gambia, but it also had a political and economic dimension to it: vendetta and empire-building.[7][8][9] Fandane, Thiouthioune and Somb were part of the pre-colonial Serer Kingdom of Sine now part of independent Senegal.

Background to Battle of Fandane-Thiouthioune[edit]

Prior to this battle, Maba Diakhou Bâ, the leader of the Muslim Marabouts was influenced by the King of Cayor and Baol - Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr Diop to launch a jihad in the Sine.[10] Damel-Teign Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr had a grudge against the King of Sine - Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof after he was defeated by the French at the Battle of Loro (12 January 1864) and exiled from his Kingdom. Damel-Teigne Lat Dior sought refuge with the King of Sine ("Maad a Sinig" Kumba Ndoffene Famak). The King of Sine granted him asylum. The Damel -Teigne (title for King of Cayor and Baol) asked the King of Sine to loan him some of his forces so he could fight against the French and regain his throne. The King of Sine refused to do that because he was already engaged in a long battle against the French himself in regards to the sovereignty of Joal, one of his provinces. The Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr sought the assistance of Maba (the Almamy of Rip). Maba promised to help Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr regain his throne if he converts to Islam. Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr converted and in 1867, he proposed to Maba to launch a jihad in Sine.[10][11][12][13] The Marabouts surprised the Serer people of Mbin o Ngor (variations: Mbin o Ngoor or Mbon o NGOOR), a small Serer village in the Sine (the Surprise of Mbin o Ngor 1867). In the Serer-Sine language the incident is referred to as Mbin o Ngor, in the Wolof language it is referred to as Mbeetan Kerr Ngor. "Mbeetan" mean surprise in Wolof. Although the Serers managed to drove back the Muslim Marabout forces stopping them from conquering their country, the Marabouts' attack caused significant damage before they were finally forced to retreat.[14] Some prominent Serer princesses such as Lingeer Selbeh Ndoffene Joof (daughter of the King of Sine) was abducted and forcefully married off to Abdoulaye Oulimata Bâ (commonly known as Abdou Bâ, variations : Abdoulaye Oulimata Khouma, Abdoulaye Wuli Bâ or Abdoulaye Ouli Bâ), Maba Diakhou's brother.[15][16] The princess Lingeer Fatma Tioube was also abducted along with Lingeer Selbeh Ndoffene and held prisoners by the Marabout forces. Some prominent Serer personalities and princes such as Boucary Ngoneh Joof (var : Boucar Ngoné Diouf or Bukaro Ngooni Juuf) who was a relative and counsel of the King of Sine was killed in that attack. After this incident, the Serer King of Sine – Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof sent a letter to the leader of the Muslim Marabouts (Maba Diakhou Bâ) inviting him to an open battle. In that letter, he wrote:

"This attack is undignified... If you are a man, I challenge you to come back and meet the full army of Sine in open battle."[14][17][18][19]

Fandane-Thiouthioune[edit]

After Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak’s invitation to Maba to an open battle following "The surprise of Mbin o Ngor", Maba and his army went to the Sine having acquired arms and ammunition in British Gambia. On 18 July 1867, the "Watchers" notified the King of Sine that the Rip army (the Muslim army from Nioro du Rip) is approaching Sine.[5]

The rituals[edit]

See also: Serer religion

According to Serer oral tradition, before Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak and his army made their way to the battlefield, he summoned the elders (his counselors) to perform the ancient rituals of their forefathers. He then commanded his Jaraff (head of the noble Council of Electors) also a Saltigue, - Wassaly Sene to perform the ritual of the ancestors and predict the outcome. Wassaly Sene is reported to have cited the name of Roog (the Supreme Deity in Serer religion), raised his spear to the Gods of the heavens and struck it to the ground. He then cried out "Victory!"[20][21] During the battle, Maba Diakhou Bâ is said to have recited the Shahada (Islamic declaration of faith) from the Quran.

The armies[edit]

Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof's army composed of the Buumi Somb (the heir to the throne of Somb with his army from the east); the Great Jaraff and his army from the south; Maad Patar (King of Patar) and his army from the north-east; the Sandigue Ndiob from the north; Maad Amad Ngoneh Joof (King of Thiouthioune and uncle of Maad Kumba Ndoffene Famak); Makhoureja Ngoneh Joof (variation : Makhoukhédia Ngoné, prince of Sine and younger brother of Boucary Ngoneh Joof who was killed at Mbin o Ngor); the Great Farba (his general) as well as the army of Sine, covering the west and north-west; Maad Saloum Sadiouka Mbodj (king of Saloum); etc. The griots beat junjung of Sine (the war drums) - a call for arms.[22][23]

Maba Diakhou Bâ was accompanied by his brothers Ousmane Bâ and Abdoulaye Ouli Bâ (not to be confused with the historian Abdou Bouri Bâ, grand-nephew of Maba); the King of Cayor and Baol Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr Diop (and his army); the King of Jolof, Bourba Jolof Alboury Sainabou Njie (and his army); Gumbo Gaye (king of Sanjal) - also spelt Gumbo Guèye; Biran Ceesay (Biranne Cissé); his generals such as Mama Gaolo Nyang and Tafsir Sa Lolley Jabou Samba (general and military advisor to Maba); etc.[24]

The battle[edit]

The Sine army having performed the required rituals according to Serer custom, Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof led his army to Somb (in the Kingdom of Sine), the battlefield. Serer tradition states that, Somb was the starting point of the battle but it did not end there. It ended in Fandane-Thiouthioune where the outcome was decided. Muslim tradition agrees pretty much with this account.[10][25][26]

On the day of the battle, there was a heavy rain.[27][28] Maad Semou Gallo Joof (son of Maad Amad Ngoneh) with his cousin Mbagne Somb Faye and their griots led an offensive attack on the Muslim Marabout forces. The Serer strategy was to push the Muslim Marabout forces into Somb where a strong resistance had been prepared and to prevent them from entering Thiouthioune. The strategy failed. Maba and his army successfully entered Thiouthioune. However at Thiouthioune, Maba's army faced a strong resistance by some of the retinue forces of King Amad Ngoneh of Thiouthioune, which included Maad Semou Gallo Joof and the princes: Gniba Dior Joof, Madior Latdjigué and Biram Joof. The battle took place between Somb and Thiouthioune and lasted three quarters of the morning.[1] In the early stages of the battle, the Muslim Marabouts prevailed. The princes and Maad (King) Semou Gallo Joof were killed. The prince Mbagne Somb Faye committed suicide when he was captured by the Muslim Marabouts.[12] Around 12 pm, it started to rain. Maba and his army took refuge in the coppices which surrounded the pond of Fandane and attempted to dry off their arms. Around that time, Maad Kumba Ndoffene Famak had left Ndoffane Nomad with his army and moving towards Fandane to defend it. Before his arrival, Damel-Teigne Lat-Dior Ngoneh Latyr and Bourba Jolof Alboury Sainabou (both valiant and experienced warriors) contemplated withdrawing from the battle at around 2 pm (tisbâr time – Muslim prayer time in the afternoon). Damel-Teigne Lat Dior reported to Maba that, he had heard the sound of Sine's junjung approaching, and Maad Kumba Ndoffene Famak is bound to be among them. He tried to discuss an exit strategy because the Sine army would be too strong for them. Maba was not interested in an exit strategy, his mission was to Islamize and conquer Serer Sine.[9][11][12][29] When Maad Kumba Ndoffene Famak and his army, accompanied by the King of Patar; the King of Poukham and the Sandigue Ndiob arrived on the scene, they interposed between the Muslim Marabout forces and the Kingdom of Saloum locking the Marabouts in Sine and cutting off their exit route into Nioro du Rip (Maba's residence), via Saloum. Damel-Teigne Lat Dior Ngoné Latyr and Bourba Jolof Alboury Sainabou Njie realising that the cause has been lost, abandoned Maba in the battlefield. They fought their way out of the battlefield, the Damel-Teigne escaped and headed towards Cayor and the Bourba Jolof towards Gossas.[12][30][31] The Serer army defeated the Muslim Marabouts. Maba was killed at Fandane and so was the Serer Prince Makhoureja Ngoneh Joof whom according to some was responsible for killing Maba.[30][32] The King of Sine was injured. Many of Maba's men fell at Fandane-Thiouthioune. His generals such as Mama Gaolo Nyang were held prisoners. Mama Gaolo was released two days after the battle to go and relay the incident in his country.[12][30] After Maba had been killed, Maad Kumba Ndoffene Famak had his head cut off and his limbs dismembered. He then sent an arm and the head, with a letter to the French commandant at Gorée to announce his victory. The remains of Maba's body were scattered in several parts of Sine, including Felir, Samba Toude, Ndialgué and towards Thiamassas (var :Tiémassass).[30][33][34] According to some scholars such as Diagne, Becker, Cheikh Diouf, Klein, etc., Maad Kumba Ndoffene Famak's letter and action was a threat to the French administration in Senegal, especially his succeeding letter sent to the French governor which listed the prominent members of Maba's army that had fallen in the Sine.[12][33][35][36] The French administration in Senegal under the governorship of Émile Pinet-Laprade kept out of the battle. They armed neither side nor did they involved their forces.[37] The French also had limited ammunition and forces (they were dying from the wars and diseases).[38] Although Lamprade tried to gain more arms and French forces from France for the protection of French interest in the colony, the French government in Paris refused to sanction it and decided to devote all French resources in France due to the crisis in Europe, and their ultimate defeat in the Franco-Prussian War. As such, Laprade was ordered "to stay on the defensive" and told "he would not even receive white troops" to replaced those who have died from disease.[39]

Abdoulaye Ouli Bâ (Maba's brother) was not killed in the battle. In a revenge attack, he was castrated for participating in the surprise of Mbin o Ngor, the kidnapping of Lingeer Selbeh Ndoffene Joof (Maad Kumba Ndoffene Famak's daughter), forcefully marrying her and making her pregnant. Although released, he went missing for some time people thought that he had died like his two brothers (Maba and Ousmane) at the battle. He resurfaced by January 1868 during the raidings of the Mandinka principalities of Niani and Ouli, in the Gambia.[40][41][42]

Victory anthem of Sine[edit]

At the end of the battle, the victorious King of Sine Kumba Ndoffene Famak nursed his injuries and led his army back home. The griots of Sine beat the junjung and chanted the following hymn in his honour (the hymn is still chanted in his honour):[43]

"Coumba Ndoffene crushed their rebellion. Maba Diakhou, leader of the insurgent will be wiped out with his troops and buried without pomp in the heart of Sine."

Pathé Diagné,[54]

Controversy[edit]

Senegal's Ministry of Culture states that, Maba was buried in Mbel Fandane – the mausoleum which is venerated by people in honour of Maba.[55] Serer Sine's oral tradition refute this. According to the Serers of Sine, after Maba was killed, he was dismembered and his body parts scattered in various parts of the country. An arm and the head were sent to the French Commandant at Gorée accompanied by a letter from Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak Joof. Their tradition went on to state that, the mausoleum that is venerated is that of Makhoureja Ngoneh Joof and not that of Maba Diakhou Bâ. It was Makhoureja Ngoneh who was buried there not Maba.[12][56][57] According to Cheikh Diouf, in a letter marked 31 July 1867 deposited at the National Archives of Senegal, the French replied to Maad Kumba Ndoffene Famak's previous letter in which they asked : "What do you want us to do with his remains?"[58]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Diouf, Niokhobaye. pp 727-729 (pp 16-18)
  2. ^ N. Diouf. pp 727-729 (pp 16-18)
  3. ^ Klein pp 90-91
  4. ^ Sarr. pp 16-18
  5. ^ a b Sarr, Alioune. Histoire du Sine-Saloum. Introduction, bibliographie et Notes par Charles Becker, BIFAN, Tome 46, Serie B, n° 3-4, 1986–1987. pp 37-39
  6. ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye. Chronique du royaume du Sine. Suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. (1972). Bulletin de l'Ifan, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, (1972). (pp 727-729, pp 16-18)
  7. ^ Sarr, Alioune. Histoire du Sine-Saloum. Introduction, bibliographie et Notes par Charles Becker, BIFAN, Tome 46, Serie B, n° 3-4, 1986–1987. pp 37-39
  8. ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye. "Chronique du royaume du Sine." Suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. (1972). Bulletin de l'Ifan, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, (1972). (pp 727-729, pp 16-18)
  9. ^ a b Klein, pp 63-236
  10. ^ a b c Bâ, Abdou. pp 20-22
  11. ^ a b Diouf, Niokhobaye. pp 727-729
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Sarr, pp 37-39
  13. ^ Bâ, Tamsir Ousman. Essai historique sur le Rip (Bur Sine Mahecor Diouf; Latgarand N'Diaye & Abdou Boury Bâ). BIFAN. 1957
  14. ^ a b Bâ, Tamsir Ousman. Essai historique sur le Rip (Bur Sine Mahecor Diouf; Latgarand N'Diaye – Chef d'arrondissement at Sokone & Abdou Boury Bâ). BIFAN, XIX, p. 585
  15. ^ Sar, Alioune, 36-39
  16. ^ Camara, Alhaji Sait. "Maba Diakhou" in Sunu Cossane. GRTS (Gambia)
  17. ^ Klein, Martin A. Islam and Imperialism in Senegal, Sine-Saloum 1847-1914. Edinburgh University Press (1968). ISBN 0-85224-029-5. pp 90-91
  18. ^ L'epopee de Sanmoon Fay. Ethiopiques n°54 revue semestrielle de culture négro-africaine Nouvelle série volume 7 2e semestre 1991
  19. ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye. Chronique du royaume du Sine. Suivie de Notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin (1972). Bulletin de l'Ifan, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, 1972. (pp 726-727; pp 16-18)
  20. ^ Diouf, Mahawa. L’INFORMATION HISTORIQUE : L’EXEMPLE DU SIIN. Ethiopiques n°54 revue semestrielle de culture négro-africaine Nouvelle série volume 7 2e semestre 1991
  21. ^ Klein, Martin A. Islam and Imperialism in Senegal Sine-Saloum, 1847-1914. Edinburgh At the University Press (1968). pp 90-91
  22. ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye, p 729 (p 18)
  23. ^ Klein, p91
  24. ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye. p729 (p18)
  25. ^ "La famille Juuf." [in] l'epopee de Sanmoon Fay. Ethiopiques n°54 revue semestrielle de culture négro-africaine Nouvelle série volume 7 2e semestre (1991)
  26. ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye. Chronique du royaume du Sine. Suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. (1972). Bulletin de l'Ifan, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, (1972). (pp 727-729, pp 17-18)
  27. ^ Sarr, pp 37-38
  28. ^ Klein, pp 90-91
  29. ^ Lipschutz, Mark R. and Rasmussen, R. Kent. Dictionary of African historical biography. 2nd Edition. University of California Press, 1989. ISBN 0-520-06611-1. p 128
  30. ^ a b c d Diouf, Niokhobaye. pp 728-729
  31. ^ Klein, p 90
  32. ^ Bâ, Abdou Bouri. Essai sur l’histoire du Saloum et du Rip. Avant-propos par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. pp 20-22
  33. ^ a b Diouf, Cheikh. Fiscalité et Domination Coloniale: l'exemple du Sine: 1859-1940. Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar - (2005)
  34. ^ Diagne, Pathé. Pouvoir politique traditionnel en Afrique occidentale: essais sur les institutions politiques précoloniales. Présence africaine, 1967. pp 93- 94
  35. ^ For a reprint of that Telegram from Maad Sine Kumba Ndoffene Famak, see Sarr pp 37-39. The report of Samba Fall regarding the death of Maba can also be found in Sarr. Samba Fall's report is more detail which gives the number of deaths etc. See also:
    • Diouf, Niokhobaye. pp 728-729
  36. ^ Klein, pp 46-235
  37. ^ Klein, p 92
  38. ^ Klein, pp 88-89; 94
  39. ^ Klein, pp 88-89, 94
  40. ^ Diouf, Cheikh. Fiscalité et Domination Coloniale: l'exemple du Sine: 1859-1940. Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar - (2005)
  41. ^ Ba, Abdou Bouri. Essai sur l’histoire du Saloum et du Rip. Avant-propos par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. pp 20-23
  42. ^ For Abdou Bâ's resurface, see: Klein, p 98
  43. ^ Klein p91
  44. ^ Amad Ngoneh Joof (King of Thiouthioune). See Sarr and Diouf, Niokhobaye
  45. ^ Maad a Sinig Kumba Ndoffene Famak's father. See: Diouf, Niokhobaye
  46. ^ Talibeh - English spelling in Gambia or Talibé - French spelling in Senegal can mean little begger (children sent to beg by their Quranic teachers in Senegambia see Human Rights Watch) or disciple (religious student)
  47. ^ A small stream. See: Gravrand. Horizons Africains, p15
  48. ^ The name of Maba's horse that he took to the battle. See: Sarr and Niokhobaye Diouf
  49. ^ Supreme Deity in Serer religion
  50. ^ The French quarter in Senegal
  51. ^ Jahu Dob (French in Senegal: Diakhou Dièye or Jahu Jaay in English speaking Gambia) was Maba's mother. See: Gravrand. Horizons Africaines, No. 68. p 15.
  52. ^ Gravrand, Henri. Horizons Africaines, No 68, p 15
  53. ^ Klein, Martin A. Islam and Imperialism in Senegal Sine-Saloum, 1847-1914. Edinburgh University Press (1968). p 91
  54. ^ Diagne, Pathé. Pouvoir politique traditionnel en Afrique occidentale: essais sur les institutions politiques précoloniales. Published: Présence africaine, 1967. p 94.
  55. ^ See: REGION DE FATICK, Département de Fatick Commune de Fatick, entry number 12
  56. ^ Diouf, Niokhobaye, pp 727-729 (pp 16-18)
  57. ^ Diagne, Pathé. pp 93-94
  58. ^ Diouf, Cheikh. Fiscalité et Domination Coloniale: l'exemple du Sine: 1859-1940. Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar - (2005)

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bâ, Abdou Bouri. Essai sur l’histoire du Saloum et du Rip. Avant-propos par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. Publié dans le Bulletin de l’Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire. Tome 38, Série B, n° 4, octobre 1976, p. 813-860.
  • Bâ-Curry, Ginette. In Search of Maba: A 19th Century Epic from Senegambia, West Africa (Preface of the Play by Edris Makward, Emeritus Professor of African Literature, Univ of Wisconsin, USA), Phoenix Press International, Maryland, 2011 [Category: Drama].
  • Diouf, Niokhobaye. Chronique du royaume du Sine. Suivie de notes sur les traditions orales et les sources écrites concernant le royaume du Sine par Charles Becker et Victor Martin. (1972). Bulletin de l'Ifan, Tome 34, Série B, n° 4, (1972).
  • Bâ, Tamsir Ousman. Essai historique sur le Rip (Bur Sine Mahecor Diouf; Latgarand N'Diaye & Abdou Boury Bâ). BIFAN. 1957
  • Diouf, Cheikh. Fiscalité et Domination Coloniale: l'exemple du Sine: 1859-1940. Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar - (2005)
  • Gravrand, Henri. Horizons Africaines, No 68, p 15
  • Diagne, Pathé. Pouvoir politique traditionnel en Afrique occidentale: essais sur les institutions politiques précoloniales. Published: Présence africaine, 1967.
  • L'épopée de Sanmoon Fay. Ethiopiques n°54 revue semestrielle de culture négro-africaine Nouvelle série volume 7 2e semestre 1991
  • Diouf, Cheikh. Fiscalité et Domination Coloniale: l'exemple du Sine: 1859-1940. Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar - (2005)
  • Diouf, Mahawa. L’INFORMATION HISTORIQUE : L’EXEMPLE DU SIIN. Ethiopiques n°54 revue semestrielle de culture négro-africaine Nouvelle série volume 7 2e semestre 1991
  • Klein, Martin A. Islam and Imperialism in Senegal Sine-Saloum, 1847–1914. Edinburgh At the University Press (1968).
  • Lipschutz, Mark R. and Rasmussen, R. Kent. Dictionary of African historical biography. 2nd Edition. University of California Press, 1989. ISBN 0-520-06611-1.
  • Sarr, Alioune. Histoire du Sine-Saloum. Introduction, bibliographie et Notes par Charles Becker, BIFAN, Tome 46, Serie B, n° 3-4, 1986–1987.
  • Thiam, Iba Der. Maba Diakhou Bâ, Almamy du Rip (Sénégal), Paris, ABC, Dakar-Abidjan, NEA, 1977, p44.