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Gabon

(356 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, one of the few African countries into which Islam was introduced in the colonizer’s baggage-train. It was in 1843 that the first Senegalese soldiers (Wolofs or Tukulors) were stationed with the garrison of Fort d’Aumale and then in the camp on the plateau at Libreville; some of these soldiers, on the completion of their service, chose to settle in Gabon where for the most part they went into trade along the Ogoué, the Ngounié or the Fernan Vaz lagoon. They married Gabon women who remained Christian, and their children generally attended the Catholic school of the St. Mary mission. A garrison…

Kong

(912 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, corruption of Kpon , name of a place in the northern part of the Ivory Coast near to the watershed between the basins of the Comoé and that of the Nzi which flows into the Bandama. Kpon was founded in a very ancient period by the Senoufo of the Falafala tribe who to this day have retained their predominant rights over the land, while playing now only an unobtrusive role. Kong is an illustration of the advance of the Malinka towards the south and towards the regions producing gold and kola. This immigration took place in the period following the 16th century and t…

Kotonou

(753 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
or Cotonou, capital of the People’s Republic of Benin (formerly Dahomey). It had long been the economic capital and rival of the administrative one Porto Novo, and since independence Cotonou has established itself definitively as the capital of the republic, even if certain services still remain at Porto Novo. The village founded by the Aïzo of Allada was called Donukpa (“near the hole”, i.e. “near the lagoon”). An envoy from Abomey was struck by the reddish colour of the trees growing along this lagoon and thought that this was the result of …

Djolof

(1,160 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
( Diolof ) is the name of a kingdom which was set up on what is now Senegalese territory from the 13th to the 16th centuries. At the height of its power this kingdom included Walo, Cayor, Baol, Sine, Salūm and Dimar, as well as part of Bambūk. The inhabitants and their language are called Wolof (modern spelling: Ouolof ). Physical features. Djolof, which now designates merely one region of the Republic of Senegal, lies between 14°-16° N., and 16°-18° W. On the north it is bounded by Walo, Dimar and Fūta Toro, on the ¶ east by Fūta Damga and Ferlo, on the south by Niani-Ouli and Baol, and …

Kouandé

(1,140 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, at present a regional capital of the People’s Republic of Benin, was founded by a clan of Bariba hunters, the Tosso, specialists in the hunting of elephants, who provided a tribute of ivory tusks to the sovereign of Nikki. This settlement of hunters must have been ancient (perhaps in the 16th century), but a prolonged dynastic quarrel at Nikki brought to Kouandé considerable numbers of young warriors who must have used this city, every dry season, as a raiding-base. The prince Chabi Gada of Nikki, having killed one of his pregnant wives, was expelled and took refuge at Bi…

G̲h̲āna

(1,485 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, a town in the Nigerian Sudan in the ¶ Middle Ages, now vanished, the site of which should apparently be identified with Kumbi Ṣāliḥ (15° 40′ N., 8° W.), some 330 km./200 miles north of Bamako, 95 km./60 miles west-north-west of Nara and 70 km./44 miles south-south-east of Timbedra. Kumbi Ṣāliḥ belongs to the administrative district of Aїoun el Atrous ( ʿUyun al-ʿatrūs ) (subdivision of Timbedra) in the Islamic republic of Mauritania. The term g̲h̲āna signified sovereign in the Awkār. By extension, it denoted the capital city of the first negro ki…

Fūta Ḏj̲allon

(1,970 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
(accepted French spelling Fou ta), principal massif of tropical West Africa, situated at the north-east of the Republic of Guinea. This group of mountains has been thoroughly studied by J. Richard Molard (1913-51). It is twice the size of Switzerland and of very varied character. Its eastern section has a crystalline base which rises to about ¶ 700 m./3000 ft., with some peaks of over 1000 m./3,300 ft. The Tinkisso, a tributary of the Niger, rises there. The central Fouta is an internal “Tassili” divided into three masses: in the north the massif of …

Fulbe

(5,131 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, pl. of Pullo (called Fula(s) in Gambia and Sierra Leone; usual French name: Peuls; usual English name: Fulani; their language is variously called Fula, Fulani, Peul (French usage), Ful (German usage), their own name for it being variously Pular , in Senegal, Gambia and Sierra Leone, and Fulfu̇lde , in Mali and territories further east), a pastoral people—the only people of white (or red) stock in negro Africa—the ‘cattle-men’ who for more than a thousand years have been moving in groups across Africa at its greatest wid…

Kubafolo or Bafilo

(447 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, the centre of the administrative region of Northern Togo, situated in lat. 8° 40′ N. and long, 1′ 30’ E., 73 km. north of Sokodé. It owes its origin to the unforeseen halting of a column of Gonja warriors led by Mama, ruler of Pembi, and which was returning from a campaign against Djougou at the beginning of the 19th century. They stopped at Séméré (now in the People’s Republic of Benin), and a group settled there. The warriors were tired by a long march through the mount…

Guinea

(1,562 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, an independent republic on the West coast of Africa (246,000 sq. km), bounded on the north by Portuguese Guinea, Senegal and Mali, on the east by the Ivory Coast, and on the south by Liberia and Sierra Leone. Within these limits, between 7° and 13° N., and between 7° and 17° E., every type of terrain and climate is to be found, starting with Lower Guinea which has a width of from 40 to 90 km, and where extensive deltas have been formed by the neighbouring rivers, often lined with mud-flats or …

Kandi

(343 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, a town in North Dahomey (11° 2′ N., 2°9′ E.), is said to have been founded by a hunter from Nikki or Sinendé who, finding a large number of elephants, exclaimed sinounou ba kamme! (“I have come upon a great many elephants”). The word kamme is said to have become Kan-ni and then Kandi. According to another tradition, some women who slipped on the bank of a nearby watercourse fell down and broke their pitchers, kanʾdi . Kandi was founded by Saka, the son of the king of Nikki. Having been sent by his father to fight against the king of Niampangou, he was welcomed with so m…

Kabou

(391 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, alocality in Togo(9° 25′N., 0° 50′E.), 24 km. to the north of Bassari, an important market whose prosperity, in pre-colonial times, was based ¶ partly on the barter of crude iron given to the Kabre iron-smiths of Lama-Kara in exchange for slaves, and partly on its function as a halting place on the kolacaravan routes. The presence in Kabou of Muslim outsiders (particularly Ḥawsa and D̲j̲erma) was therefore not unusual. It was a certain Oukpane, a native of Kalanga (about ten km. to the west of Bassari), who founded the village of Kabou, probably during the first …

Ḥawḍ

(1,186 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, usual spelling Hodh ( ḥawḍ > ḥōḍ = a horsetrough, made of leather mounted on a wooden frame), name of the natural depression situated in south-eastern Mauritania in the angle of the Senegal and Niger basins. It is bounded on the north by an escarpment, Dhar Tichitt ( ẓahr tis̲h̲it ), stretching from Tichitt to Aratane and marking the limit of the Adafer plateau. In the north-east the escarpment which curves round above Oualata (Dhar Oualata = ẓahr Walata ) and Nema, forms the boundary of the table-land of Djouf (D̲j̲awf). The western boundary of the …

Liberia

(693 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, an African republic in which, according to the sources, Muslims account for no more than 15 to 20% of the population. They are concentrated mainly between Monrovia and Robertsport on the frontier of Sierra Leone as well as on the frontier of Guinea. Their number is estimated at 300,000, but because the censuses take no account of religious allegiance, there exists no precise figure for a Muslim population whose Islamic culture was until recently extremely primitive. Islam was a late manifestation in Liberia. Certain groups related to the Mandingo peoples and arriving, …

Gao

(1,392 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, a town in the republic of Mali, situated on the left bank of the Niger (10,000 inhabitants), is one of the oldest commercial centres in West Africa, standing at the point where the caravan route from Tilemsi reaches the Niger. In older writers, Gao is referred to under the names Kaukau, Kawkaw, Kookou, Kankou and Kounkou. Two etymologies are suggested: according to al-Bakrī ( Description de l’Afrique , 399), the name Kaukau derives from the sound of tom-toms; Houdas ( Taʾrīk̲h̲ al-Sūdān , 6, n. 3) suggests that it is an abbreviation of kokoy Korya (the king’s town). Probably founded in abou…

Kaarta

(759 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, a region of Mali with an area of around 54,000 square km. It is bounded on the north by Mauritanian Hōd̲h̲, on the south by Beledugu and Fuladugu, and on the west by the River Senegal from the western branch of the River Kulu as far as the Baoulé junction. The rivers of this vast schistose plateau tilting to the south east flow into Senegal. The climate is that of the Saharan zone: a brief season of abundant rain followed by a very long dry season. The vegetation is wooded or shrubbed ¶ savannah. The land on the river banks often produces two harvests. The main crops are millet, maize…

Libéria

(687 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, République africaine dont les Musulmans ne représentent guère, suivant les sources, que 15 à 25% de la population. Ils sont concentrés surtout entre Monrovia et Robertsport, sur la frontière de la Sierra Leone, ainsi que sur la frontière de Guinée. Leur nombre est estimé à 300 000, mais les recensements ne tenant pas compte des religions, il n’existe aucun chiffre précis d’une population dont la culture islamique était jusqu’à une date récente très fruste. ¶ L’apparition de l’Islam au Libéria est tardive. Quelques groupements rattachés aux ethnies mandingues venant de…

Kotonou

(697 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
(Cotonou), capitale de la République du Bénin (anc. Dahomey). Longtemps capitale économique, rivale de Porto Novo, capitale administrative, Cotonou s’est affirmé depuis l’indépendance comme capitale à part entière de la République populaire du Bénin même si certains services sont encore à Porto Novo. Le village fondé par des Aϊzo d’Allada s’appelait Donukpa («près du trou», c’est-à-dire «près de la lagune»). C’est un envoyé d’Abomey qui, frappé par la couleur un peu rougeâtre des arbres bordant cette lagune imagina qu’il s’agissait de sang. On c…

G̲h̲āna

(2,887 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, ville du Soudan nigérien médiéval aujourd’hui disparue, dont la localisation paraît devoir être faite à Kumbi Ṣāliḥ (15° 40′ N., 8° O.) à quelque 330 km. au Nord de Bamako, 95 km. A l’Ouest-Nord-ouest de Nara et 70 km. au Sud-Sud-est de Timbedra. Kumbi Ṣāliḥ dépend du cercle d’Aīoun el Atrous ( ʿUyūn al-ʿatrūs, subdivision de Timbedra) en République Islamique de Mauritanie. Le terme g̲h̲āna signifiait souverain dans l’Awkār. Par extension, il a désigné la ville, capitale du premier royaume noir du Soudan nigérien. Al-Fazārī (avant 184/800) cite le premier «…

Ḥawḍ

(1,104 words)

Author(s): Cornevin, R.
, orthographe usuelle Hodh ( ḥawd > ḥōḍ = abreuvoir en cuir monté sur un bâti de bois), nom de la cuvette naturelle située au Sud-est de la Mauritanie dans l’angle des bassins du Sénégal et du Niger. Il est bordé au Nord par une falaise, Dhar Tichitt (ẓahr tis̲h̲it), allant de Tichitt à Aratane et qui borde le plateau de l’Adafer. Au Nord-est, la falaise qui s’infléchit sur Oualata (Dhar Oualata, ẓahr Walata) et Nema limite la région tabulaire du Djouf ( Ḏj̲awf). La limite du Hodh à l’Ouest est moins bien marquée; après une pointe en direction de Bassikoknou et Nara, elle engl…
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