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Word Count: 1,295
Using specific illustrations from Maryse Condes novel Segu this is an essay that discusses how the coming of Islam to Bambar society affected that peoples traditional political social and economic practices as well as challenging the Bambaras religious beliefsBefore the arrival of Islam Segu and its people the Bambaras were extremely different world from what they became under Islamic rule The Bambaras were proud people with a long history in farming and the wealthy ones worked with hundreds of slaves and planted millet cotton and fonio p 4 Their currency was cowrie shells and gold dust and they hadnt even heard of money which came with the white man With the coming of Islam manufactured goods from Europe and North Africa were making their way into Bambara households p 324 Conde described it It was not unusual to see well-born young men in boots bought from some trader Many families had silver dishes in their huts and the Mansa proudly displayed to his friends a service of fine Chinese porcelain that he never actually used Fetishists they turned to all manner of objects and all manner of gods to assure their good fortune For example Dousika used a tooth twig to increase his physical strength and sexual potency p 3 As Sira gave birth Nya ordered plants be burned to drive away the evil spirts and help the milk come p 11Much of life was extremely magical as evidenced in the way Tiekoro reacted when he first saw a man write with a pencil The animist world of Segu was rocked when the Muslim religion took over Segu was steeped in the traditions of story telling and the griots song was the way the society passed on its news and traditions The Muslim religion looks down orality while the spoken word has its mythology in Baharan culture As Cilas Kemedijo explains in The Curse of Writing Genealogical Strata of a Disillusion Orality Islam-writing and Identities
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