Arabic Literature of Africa Online

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(153 words)

This chapter is written by Albrecht Hofheinz and R.S. O’Fahey

The poetic tradition of the northern Nilotic Sudan which uses colloquial Arabic as its medium of expression was before the present century essentially oral. Poetry was also perhaps the most fundamental form of “literary” expression and in its oral and sung forms very highly developed and structured. The bulk of the poetry that survives from the nineteenth century is in praise of the Prophet and during the Mahdist period, in praise of the Mahdi.…

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“Introduction”, in: Arabic Literature of Africa Online, General Editor John O. Hunwick, R.S. O’Fahey. Consulted online on 21 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2016

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