Remembering the Nation: The Mourid Maggal in Saint Louis, Senegal

Ferdinand de Jong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Every year on the 5th of September, the Murid brotherhood of Senegal re-members a prayer conducted by Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, founder of the brotherhood.  This prayer was said by the Saint when tried and condemned to exile by the French colonial authorities.  This article presents a history of the Prayer and an ethnography of the pilgrimage that Murid disciples undertake to commemorate this prayer as an act of resistance against the colonial regime.  It analyses the Prayer as a palimpsest performance that re-members historical relations between secular and Sufi leaders in the present, while merging civic and religious subjectivities in the citizens/disciples. Suggesting that the Prayer performs a range of different temporalities while it is itself framed by the Gregorian calendar, the article suggests that the Prayer produces a hybrid subjectivity of belonging to both Muslim brotherhood and Senegalese nation. The article demonstrates how the Senegalese nation is produced through remembrance, rather than historicism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-151
Number of pages29
JournalCahiers d'Études africaines
Issue number197
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Cite this