A History of African Societies to 1870 By Elizabeth Isichei


“Ethnic’ identities were determined by occupation and religion as well as by language. The Dyula were a long-distance merchants, called Marka on the Niger bend; the Fulbe, ideally, pastoralist, the Bozo and Somono fisherman. The Dyula were Muslim, and the Bambara ‘pagans’. The social reality was fluid and changing, there was a Muslim presence in the Bambara states, and some Dyula were not Muslims. ‘It was not uncommon for FulBe to become Bozo, Bozo to become Somono, and…animist farmers to become Maraka Muslim traditionalist. Most Marka identified themselves as ‘white’ (the black were the recently converted).”

Source: A History of African Societies to 1870 By Elizabeth Isichei

Dana Reynolds-Marniche cited the above reference along with the following commentary:

“In other words after converting to Islam many of the Beriberi and people like the nomad Fulani and Tuareg came to refer to themselves as “whites”. The Marka Soninke (Wa’nGara/Wakar and Wa’Kore) were also called Dyula. “The Dyula were a long distance merchants, called Marka on the Niger bend…” They called themselves the whites due to their faith – IslamI told you Wa Kore and WaKara were Korah and Kore from Teras (Jeter/Jethro) but i know – many of us are in denial – too brainwashed. Believe it!

The newly remade film involving Kunta Kinte a man of Soninke/Mande stock. 

“Paradoxically the Wakoré are designated in the Tarikhs as blacks from the south, but in other sources e.g. al-Bakrî, al-Idrı¯sı – as whites from the North.”  See what I mean? Awkar, Wakara, or Wa’ngara and Wakore Malinke peoples were Beriberi from the North. The word “white” refers to their Muslim heritage.

Source: (The Wa’nGara: An Old Soninke Diaspora in West Africa. ” Andreas W. Massing 2000

“…most Marka. identified. themselves. as. ‘white’. (the. blacks were the recently converted.”)

Source: A History of African Societies to 1870 p. 223 Elisabeth Isichei 1997, Cambridge University press.

” Those who have read the peer-reviewed ‘Fear of Blackness” in West Africa would know this already. This is what was in the peer reviewed Fear of Blackness…..”

Furthermore another division of the Wakar or Wa’nGara merchants were the Songhai in some places called Zarma, Germa, Songhai i.e. Garama who founded the empire of the Garamantes.

“Like modern linguists, even colonialists knew the early Arabs used the term white for a type of blackness. Example hamam = “Being black. Becoming white. Being charred (a burning coal or billet)…”

Source: A Dictionary, Persian Arabic and English. By Frances Johnson. p. 493

Source: Dana Reynolds-Marniche

Discovering the Empire of Ghana



“Tuareg men are famous for the custom of wearing deep blue turbans and veils that cover their faces. The name for themselves is Kel Tagelmust, or “people of the veil.” The veil provides protection from the Sahara sand and dust and is removed only in the company of close family. The veil is made blue by pounding indigo dye into the cloth, which often stains their skin blue as well, which earned them the label “blue men of the desert.”

“Based on his conversations with eyewitnesses who traveled and traded with the Ghana Empire, al-Bakri described a large city of thirty thousand people, which he called “Al-Ghaba.” Today, we know this city as Kumbi Saleh. Unfortunately, al-Bakri left no information as to where the city was located, and for centuries it was truly a lost city.”

“As was common in Africa, “the city” was actually two separate cities, located about 6 miles apart. The Soninke lived in one city, and foreign traders lived in the other. The city inhabited by foreigners (mostly Muslim merchants and scholars) had large, rectangular stone houses–a North African influence. Like homes in the Soninke city, houses in the Muslim city were built along narrow streets that led to a wide avenue, where the outdoor market was located.”

“The foreigners’ city also had twelve mosques, where the Muslims worshipped. In fact, the Empire of Ghana became wealthy because of its contacts with and acceptance of Muslim traders and scholars. The Wagadou emperor lived in the Soninke city. Al-Bakri described this part of Al-Ghaba as a walled fortress. The cicular houses had clay walls and large, wooden beams that supported thatched, dome-shaped roofs. The homes of wealthy people were made of stone and wood. The largest and most elaborate house was the emperor’s palace.”

“The Wagadou emperor held court in this impressive palace, which was luxuriously decorated with paintings, sculptures, and gold. The king himself was splendidly dressed. At the height of the Ghana Empire’s power, he was the only Soninke allowed to wear imported and tailored clothing. Everyone else living in Al-Ghaba wore simpler cotton, silk, or brocade cloth draped around their bodies.”

Source: Discovering the Empire of Ghana By Robert Z. Cohen