Ancient, medieval, Islamic and world history -- comments, resources and discussion.
Thursday, February 07, 2013
Senegal, Madagascar and Dr. Amadou Ba
Dr. Ba, who teaches history at Nipissing and Laurentian Universities, yesterday presented a paper entitled "African Soldiers in the French Colonial Army during the Conquest and Colonization of Madagascar."n
The several points of interested included:
the fact that there were a lot of colonial wars in Madagascar, which pretty much no one knows anything about. (Madagascar must count as the most obscure country in the world.)
that the French waged these wars mainly with West African troops, who were all called Senegalese, whether they came from Senegal or not.
that there are descendants of the Senegalese still in Madagascar, where thhey are a despised symbol of colonial oppression.
that the French are not blamed at all for the abuses of their regime. Indeed they are remembered as mitigating the brutalities of their Senegalese enforcers.
that no one in Senegal is at all aware of this Madagascar connection.
Somehow it was that last point --- that lost history -- that struck me the most. There is so much that falls through the cracks.