Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

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(552 words)

(Arabic ḳawm ; French goum ), the usual form and pronunciation, in the Arab countries of North Africa, of the name given to a group of armed horsemen or fighting men from a tribe. The derivative gūma signifies “a levy of gūm s, troops, a plundering foray”, “sedition”, “revolt”.

It was the Turks who, in the former Regencies of Algiers and Tunis, gave the gūms an official existence by making them the basis of their system of occupation of the country. All the tribes had been divided by them into mak̲h̲zen or auxiliaries, who were exempt from most taxes, and raʿiyya , who were liable to all taxes…

Cite this page
Cour, A., “Gūm”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 13 August 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_SIM_2560>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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