Dendi Kingdom

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Dendi Kingdom
Capital Lulama
Languages Songhai
Religion Islam
Government Monarchy
 •  1591–1598 Askia Nuh I
 •  1887–1901 Askia Malla
 •  Established 1591
 •  Conquered by the French 1901
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Songhai Empire
French West Africa
Today part of  Niger

The Dendi Kingdom (1591–1901) was a West African state in modern-day Niger founded by the Songhai people after the collapse of the Songhai Empire. It was conquered by France in 1901.


After the Songhai Empire was defeated at the Battle of Tondibi by invading Saadi dynasty of Morocco,[1] the reigning Askiya dynasty of Songhai fled the city of Gao as the Saadi approached and resettled in their native Dendi region of Niger. The Askiya dynasty reorganized itself under Askiya Nuh I. A new capital was established at Lulami, and continued the traditions of the Songhai Empire.

Conflict with the Saadi dynasty[edit]

Little record exists between 1591 and the early 18th century reign of Hanga in the Dendi Kingdom. In 1609, the Malian city of Djenné revolted against the Saadi pashas (governors) with Dendi support. The Saadi were eventually able to regain the city, but with a lack of support from their homeland, they soon abandoned the area, leaving it to Tuareg and Fulbe nomads.

In 1612, Askiya al-Amin came to power in Dendi. His short reign of six years was followed by the rule of Askiya Dawud. Dawud killed many people during his reign including relatives and members of the military. His brother, Isma'il, fled to Timbuktu and sought Saadi support to overthrow al-Amin. Isma'il returned in to Dendi and deposed his brother in 1639. Upon attempting to send the foreign army back, he was deposed and replaced by a ruler that the pashas felt would be easier to deal with. This ruler was eventually removed by the Songhai people.


Dendi existed for the next two and a half centuries witnessing increasingly unstable reigns, coups and counter-coups. When France entered the region, Dendi was in no shape for battle. In 1901, the French deposed the last askiya of the Dendi, ending Songhai's control of either Mali or Niger until independence.

See also[edit]



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