a1 Union College, New York
This article seeks to situate local oral traditions on Samori Touré within the contexts of both internal African empire building and French colonial conquest. It takes into account the experiences of the vanquished on the periphery of Samori's empire in an effort to reassess his legacy. It argues that local traditions not only provide a corrective to the nationalist historiography on Samori, they also complicate the notion of ‘resistance’ by demonstrating internal dissent and even rebellion against Samorian rule at a time of Samori's vaunted ‘primary resistance’ to French conquest. Finally, this article concludes by providing a contemporary reading of the southern Malian historical landscape, rooting local Samorian history and politics in particular ‘sites of memory’.
* Research and writing was made possible through grants from the Fulbright Program (IIE) and the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation. I would like to thank Melis Ece, Andy Feffer, Robert Harms, Julie Livingston, Mike Mahoney, Greg Mann, Mike McGovern and Ben Talton for their suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper. In Bamako, my gratitude goes to Sekou Camara, Mamadou Diawara and Adama Koné, and in southern Mali, many thanks to Yacouba ‘Doumbia’ Danyoko and Tlegné Coulibaly. I owe enormous thanks to the many elderly Malians who took the time to share their local histories and family oral traditions with an interested outsider. I wish to express my gratitude to Emmanuel Akyeampong and the journal's reviewers for their incisive comments and editorial guidance.