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The Gonja Tradition
(409 words)

The earliest known writings from the region are of Gonja provenance. Several short pieces in khabar form date from the early eighteenth century and are, it seems, recensions of oral stories having to do with the founding of the Gonja kingdom, the origins of its dynasty, and the creation of the imamates. Use of the annalistic form (ḥawliyyāt) is also attested from at least as early as 1121/1709-10 (Wilks, Levtzion and Haight (1986), 18-20). The compiler of the Kitāb Ghanjā, a remarkable chronicle of Gonja history completed in 1165/1751-52, drew heavily upon these earlier ma…

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“The Gonja Tradition”, in: Arabic Literature of Africa Online, General Editor John O. Hunwick, R.S. O’Fahey. Consulted online on 22 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2016

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