The Métis of Senegal

The Métis of Senegal

Urban Life and Politics in French West Africa
Hilary Jones
Distribution: World
Publication date: 03/18/2013
Format: Paperback 9 b&w illus., 5 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-00674-5
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The Métis of Senegal is a history of politics and society among an influential group of mixed-race people who settled in coastal Africa under French colonialism. Hilary Jones describes how the métis carved out a niche as middleman traders for European merchants. As the colonial presence spread, the métis entered into politics and began to assert their position as local elites and power brokers against French rule. Many of the descendants of these traders continue to wield influence in contemporary Senegal. Jones’s nuanced portrait of métis ascendency examines the influence of family connections, marriage negotiations, and inheritance laws from both male and female perspectives.

Author Bio

Hilary Jones is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Maryland, College Park.


“An important contribution to African history that traces the rise and decline of the métis community of St. Louis-du-Sénégal, one of the mixed race communities that sprouted in the various corners of the European empire.”
 — Martin Klein, University of Toronto

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Urban Life, Politics, and French Colonialism
1. Signares, Habitants, and Grumets in the Making of Saint Louis
2. Métis Society and Transformations in the Colonial Economy (1820-1870)
3. Religion, Marriage, and Material Culture
4. Education, Association, and an Independent Press
5. From Outpost to Empire
6. Electoral Politics and the Métis (1870-1890)
7. Urban Politics and the Limits of Republicanism (1890-1920)
Appendix: Family Histories

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