Known to be the people who ran the empire of Ghana (Wagadu) between 5th and 11th century, soninkos are mainly in four West African countries (Mauritania, Mali, Senegal and The Gambia).
Apart from these country, strong diasporas are present in several countries (in Europe, in America and in Central Africa). Islamized for several centuries, soninkos cling to their customs and traditions that govern their life together. For this reason, in the collective imagination Soninke, we can see an almost haughty pride in the quality of being soninke.
Our modest work of reflection will be dissecting this Soninkaaxu pride in its cultural aspect, social-political and religious. We try to bring a light reflected on certain terms (promoting culture, marriage, solidarity and fraternity) and their realities in Soninke society.
At birth a baby Soninke , our congratulations and greetings go to parents with passion and dedication. The day of the baptism of the baby, our most prevalent in the place of the newborn and his parents - invocation prayer is: May Allah make the best parents in the course .. !
In the collective imagination Soninke this prayer carries the hope that the newborn is fraternal, friendly , supportive and a very good Soninke marrying her middle passively by the rules, usages and conditions in place. This sense to condition the human being from his infancy is the first steps of the caste system . Anyone who understands the caste system , has included a large portion of said Soninkaaxu pride.
This system is based on a well maintained different groups that make up the soninkos hierarchy . This social hierarchy is perceived differently depending on the group to which the individual belongs . Indeed the individual may suffer or to inflict on others . In this context special form specific groups where the individual regardless innate physical and intellectual abilities is subject to determinism by birth as good Soninkaaxu conveniences .
Who are the different groups that make up this system almost deified by the Soninkaaxu pride. ? ? We distinguish four distinct castes and we briefly see the details of each of them and their place in the social stratification.
• The horo ( the feudal nobles according to location )
The system is usually designed by them and work for them in their promotion of almost divine right. In this group , the individual is born Horé and it assumes as good conveniences Soninkaaxu political power ( traditional chiefs or more). It must ensure the device so that the system continues as long as possible .
The sociological imagination and collective group wants and determines it to be the best in many things in any place in relation to others. They can be identified by last names based on geographic areas. In this group, we can assimilate Mangu that play an intermediary role
Nowadays , some families from this group are proud to have unconditional slaves. Some people consider themselves the only legitimate to occupy certain positions in Soninke honorary environment.
• The Modini ( religious marabouts )
This group holds a dual role to endorse religiously the merits of the system and through and benefit from its advantages status. Determinism by birth cited above is that a member of that group either educated in religious sciences and the only legitimate whatever their level of education to conduct certain religious ceremonies or other .
Formerly MODINI initiate members of all groups to basic education and basic know-how ( and other prayers ) of Islam. By their more than questionable understanding of the legal principles of Islam, ethnic clergy did not hesitate to transpose pride - SONINKAAXU ( ancestral customs Soninke ) on the precepts of Islam in adapting them.
• The Niaxamalani ( griots , blacksmiths and others)
Composed of several sub - group , this group is supposed to hold the collective memory. These people can be effective social mediators to resolve conflicts at various levels of society, but they also play their status complicit role in maintaining the system.
They believe that any opening up this social stratification is a regression to the past supposedly glorious Soninkaaxu . The modern side is seen by the fact boast the fortunes of rich and different groups in relation to their alter ego less generous. This group is integral in many cases with the first two groups ( Horo and Modini ) .
• The Komo ( former slaves and recognized as such in SONINKAAXU )
Their status as slaves has no valid Islamic source in ancient history as the recent soninkos . They are the majority in almost any entity Soninke group . Formerly owned by Horo , the Modini and some Niaxamalani through slave labor , these people are the real victims snapshots of today's pride - Soninkaaxu .
The system is designed against them and on them, and in the collective imagination as good conveniences Soninke , promotion in all areas would be illegitimate for them. They are seen by others , if they agree to be subordinate eternal predisposed to certain behaviors unenviable ( dances , vulgar and other languages) . Of today 's slave labor does not exist in reality but persistent sequelae, Komo are very often related to families of old masters who seem to maintain their former pride.
The KOMO were economically and intellectually emancipated in the modern world become a big village, but the Pride- Soninkaaxu system continues to exert a negative influence recalling their past and their lower status. Indeed, this is marked by the customary relationship called Laadalamaxu organizing all social and political relations in the Soninke community.
3 All thoughts and reflections that dare to question this vicious malicious device are taxed at the place of Soninkaaxu . In this group Komo , you can add a sub- group called Dionkourounko , and people of this sub- group feel superior to former slaves Komo who worked for feudal families . Some group members are psychologically scarred and do not even dare think about the system that devalues both their human dignity.
After this short description that summarizes our sense the practical exercise of Pride- Soninkaaxu through the components groups, we ask the following questions:
How can we promote this Soninkaaxu system described that selects honors, pride and dignity of its members who are all Muslims ... ?
In all seriousness, the Soninke man clinging to this social stratification can it be done humanely and open in this 21st century world ... ?
What do we mean under Allies , Partners , and Fraternal if marriage meant weaving and stir the peoples of the world in peace is prohibited between our different groups of the same ethnic group ? ...
Today , initiatives by any type of associations are numerous in Soninkara everywhere to promote the Soninke culture. The fact is that the acts are rare courageous reformers to review the relationship between the different groups. You can even attend a reaffirmation of this social stratification by certain circles who see thereby the foundation of identity Soninkaaxu . In this context, it is to promote understanding of the members of each group they should maintain their status and their offspring to inherit .
For a contrary approach , we define "promote Soninkaaxu " by a discourse of truth to ourselves to build healthy and fair basis on which emerge a new type of " Soninke ". This new Soninke must free all hypocrites and false conveniences that secure the accidental past an individual stigmatized for life by generations. The past of an individual or a people can not be erased , but it discusses and reviews its present reform to improve its future hope .
Promote Soninkaaxu in 2013, reviving the Soninke language , denounce misplaced pride based on the determinism of birth in relation to each other and finally work the minds of the masses to abandon language shortcuts that undermine the dignity and injure the consciences of some of us .
Ensure that the Soninke identity can marry the dignity of the human species and the brotherhood of the Muslim community. Our Prophet Muhammad ( peace and salvation be upon him) said: "The Muslim is the brother of another Muslim , he should not deceive or betray .
Everything that belongs to the Muslim is sacred to the Muslim : his honor , his property and his blood. The fear of Allah is here ( he says , indicating his heart ) . Merely despise his Muslim brother is enough for the person in the dark evil. " Oh dear Soninko this hadith of our beloved peace and salvation in him we may be instructive to review the quality of being a Muslim home.
4 mixed by marriage is this possible in soninkaaxu ...
Our customary etiquette , social castes are not equal , and the marriage covenant source , blending and mixing of peoples is prohibited between certain groups and others. We will focus our work on the marriage might involve an individual supposedly noble lineage and another from former slaves .
Marriage, an act humanely , civilly and religiously honorable and recommended is manipulated by pride - Soninkaaxu to save questionable nobility of feudal families compared to former slaves. The worst that can happen feudal people is one of their binds through marriage with a former slave .
Dishonorable humanely and allowed extramarital sex ( HARAM ) in Islam are preferable and even tolerable in hypocrisy that any legal marriage in all areas ( civil and religious).
We authorize the blameworthy unworthy and imaginary greatness misplaced , it is prohibited honorable , fair , and just . Faced with this contradictory situation born of blind pride, our religious are rare to denounce this headlong , by clear and sharp view that shock .
And we refer to the following prophetic hadith Abu Hurairah after ( May Allah be pleased with him ) , the Messenger of Allah ( peace and salvation be upon him) said : "When comes to you for a marriage application , the you are satisfied with regard to his religion and moral behavior , marry it! If you do not, this will cause corruption in the land and a wide corruption. "
For many of our traditional religious, without analyzing the sources of slavery referred to in Islam , they inherit and transpose passively slavery Arab traditions, their fellow race, religion and ethnicity . Some jurisprudence designed by Arab thinkers, codify slavery islamisant the same , but by chance it does not apply to other non- Arab Muslim peoples themselves .
The marabout Guidimaxa enacting his brothers accused of former slaves or slaves would be considered a slave in the collective imagination of the Muslim Arab world. In this case, logic dictates that our thinkers , our scholars and students of religious sciences reconsider their positions passive followers of certain doctrines called Islamic Arab traditions but more than anything else.
We find an unexpected hope that emerges within Muslim communities in Europe ; it is more common to encounter a mixed " Black African and Arab" couple Paris region throughout Mauritania. These young Muslims born in the West have realized that Islam has a philosophy of man that does not prioritize people according to a supposed superiority subsidiary but unless the degree of faith in Islam account .
In another less reassuring , we see in some forums on social networks ( facebook ) where other young Soninke looking for a future spouse highlight their social caste among the selection criteria within the community.
Hence we see that the transmission of this social stratification works within Soninke families in the West but at the same time we are witnessing family tears for youth who violate the rule.
Paradoxically, this particular social caste and hindering problem to intra -community diversity through marriage becomes less problematic for the family when there is a project of the couple with a stranger to the community. In the latter case , families interested in the religion of the foreign person ( Muslim or not) , its social origins are not scanned. We understand why the caste system is a vice assumed in Soninke society which will not in the future.
5 Funny postage
In the middle Soninke , status Islamized slave is based on some case law inherited from the Arabs. Strenuous supporters of the caste system have exploited these controversial jurisprudence on slavery, to give a legal character in their actions.
Eg today, a woman who loses caste komo her husband should observe that half of the statutory period of mourning for a free woman . Some of our religious seem to endorse these facts and that more legitimate system in place.
It is worth noting a few exceptions ; Mr. Madiakho Tandjigora of Senegal, a thinker Sheikh Soninke was engaged for several years in a work of deconstruction through written , audio - visual materials denouncing and challenging the merits of slavery and through the name of the Islam.
It is noted in this legalistic logic based on Islam , cases of emancipation of slaves and petty and ridiculous complicity of some people from the caste komo . These people who allow themselves to this procedure postage, no more more humble believing themselves superior to their blood brothers . Worse, they have no chance to marry members of the caste Horo or achieve any honorary status.
What can we do to deconstruct the root system of castes in which the different castes are not equal ?
We're all victims in one way or another. Proponents obsessed maintenance may fall in primary pride linked to a so-called line elected to preserve and contradict morality and Muslim brotherhood. It is known that in Islam , the brother of religion prevails over the blood brother of different worship.
The salutary advice to these people is simply ; if you became Muslim dignity by availing quality Muslim on the customary status of an obsolete . The Muslim does not dishonor his fellow does not stigmatize his family and does not humiliate his brothers in religion on unmentionable bases.
People who suffer the injustices of the system must revise their behaviors that generate stigma and contempt towards them. They must learn , look and speak freely without taboos on the evil of this social stratification for them.
They need to challenge certain customary conveniences ( Ladalamaxu ) who maintain the system in a peaceful version looks vicious but at the bottom linking different families. These ties that bind families Horo caste and other caste Komo could be fraternal and enriching by possible marriages in the Muslim and human dignity.
We make an urgent appeal to our intellectual and educated in all disciplines ( religious and other ) for recording courageous and freed from all the conveniences of the original middle positions. They must leave the intellectual contradictions in their open world of today reflections, the fight for the dignity and honor of the man there can not be untouchable areas.
At a state level , even global , we would be victims of racism from other people, but at the same time we forget that their own social caste stigmatizes and dishonors other social castes in the same ethnic group. Relativism is not allowed in the struggle against injustice affecting the essence of man , we are asked a serious commitment and just whatever the scale in which we operate ; in our world, in our country, in our city , in our village , and even in our family.
6 An opening in law traditional leaders should be considered outgoing exclusivity to one caste , nowadays it is unacceptable that an older person in our community is illegitimate for the leadership because of its any social caste.
Young people from the caste Horo should have back and discernment necessary to admit a person of the same age as their parents must have the same considerations as honors and noble standards of our Islamic faith which is essentially just .
How can we estimate honored when 60 years old must move you, young 40 years for the management of community affairs ?
We must highlight the skills of people without disqualification by social status in the management of our business ( religious and other ), for example by Imam should be recognized expertise and not inherited due to office .
Our brothers in recognizing caste Niaxamala must review their role in society by highlighting the truth about our past with constructive criticism and abandoning the legendary tales that do not fit . They must work for a dignified and responsible reconciliation based on Islamic principles and human values that do not select dignities by caste.
A positive contribution will be requested to our artists in their productions, to encourage and promote this new situation that we grow as people of the 21st century.
We must salute the courageous initiatives, such as the case of a Soninke journalist Moussa Camara Seydi is known for the progressive engagement of his pen. This native of the Mauritanian Dafort Guidimaxaa is responsible for the newspaper La Nouvelle Expression in Nouakchott.
He is a keen observer of Mauritanian abolitionist movements whose IRA ( Initiative for the Resurgence Abolitionist ) Biram Dah Abeid of which inspired the recent revival of the anti -slavery commitment in Mauritania since 2008. Mr. Moussa Camara Seydi scored his audience during a conference in Massy ( Paris region ) March 30, 2013 denouncing the stigma suffered by former black Mauritanian slaves today.
He illustrated by the Soninke case he knows well by taking a unique position in this field in the Soninke environment where everything is done often and is known but nothing is said openly .
We call on all people determined to join the ARMEPES - France (Association of Mauritanian nationals for the Eradication Practices Slavery and its sequelae ) to do away with these flaws in our system and method with intelligence and not by accusatory approach on particular individuals.
It is an association created by people from caste Komo and open to everyone (see www.mauritanie - egalite.org ) whose purpose is to educate the black African or Negro- Mauritanian world slavery effects that persist through behaviors and attitudes.
Actions have been carried out since its inception, such as a conference in 2011 led by Sheikh Abdoulaye Traore Tistayé Guidimaxaa of Mauritania , one of the founding members of the association. Primary objective is to remove the taboo nature of the subject and prepare the minds and attitudes of a new approach terms like Equality, Justice , Honor , Dignity and Brotherhood among men , particularly among Muslims .
We will have this synergy to change attitudes and behaviors in our respective reports everywhere . In this way , we are convinced that a new soninke emerge and it would be more humane and noble Muslim and customary meaning less proud and sectarian sense.
yes , yes, yes :
7 Soninkaaxu rhyme magnitude if
Our original weakness ended with Islam
Islam took place on the ignorance of Bida misfortune
Bida misfortune Wagadu without Islam
Islam frees man from Wagadu obscure pain
Pockets of dark taint Soninkaaxu man
The Soninke man today leaves interfere with the harmful stigma of misfortune Wagadu
Then understood and applied Islam treats all evil in man
Soninkaaxu finally chooses Islam happiness .. !
By Koundou Soumare modestly .
Member Armepes - France