Printing and textual authority in the twentieth-century Muridiyya

Jeremy Dell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract / Description of output

Printed poems known as xasida are some of the most common forms of reading material in Senegal today. How they became so ubiquitous is directly tied to the twentieth-century trajectory of the Muridiyya and its place in the broader history of African-run printing presses in Senegal. This chapter recounts the history of early efforts to print the xasida of Shaykh Amadu Bamba (1853-1927), the Muridiyya's founding saint. Through private papers and oral histories, it tracks the efforts of Murid leaders to assert control over the printing of Bamba's xasida after his death. It further shows that these efforts were largely a response to the unregulated dissemination of Bamba's works by some of the first Senegalese-owned printing presses. Such competition, while perhaps evidence of a lack of centralized oversight, helped popularize Bamba's writings. Alongside these developments, a market for handwritten copies of Bamba's xasida remained active, influencing the aesthetics of printed xasida and informing Murid attitudes towards manuscript and print.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationManuscript and Print in the Islamic Tradition
EditorsScott Reese
PublisherDe Gruyter
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783110776485
ISBN (Print)9783110776614, 9783110776034
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2022

Publication series

NameStudies in Manuscript Cultures
PublisherDe Gruyter
ISSN (Print)2365-9696
ISSN (Electronic)2365-970X


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