Sultanate of Damagaram - History - Apex

Apex

Damagaram had a mixed relationship with the other major regional power, the Sokoto Caliphate to the south. While it provided aid to the animist Hausa led refugee states to its west (in what is now Niger) who were formed from the rump of the states conquered by the Sokoto Caliph, Damagaram also maintained good relations with its southern neighbors. Damagaram sat astride the major trade route linking Tripoli to Kano, one of the more powerful Sokoto sultanates, which provided the economic lifeblood of both states. An east west trade from the Niger River to Bornu also passed through Zinder, making relations with animist neighbors like Maradi or the Gobirwa as profitable, and thus important. Damagaram also covered some of the more productive of Bornu's western salt producing evaporation mines, as well as farms producing Ostrich feathers, highly valued in Europe.

In the mid 19th century, European travelers estimated the state covered some 70,000 square kilometers and had a population over 400,000, mostly Hausa, but also Tuareg, Fula, Kanuri, Arab and Toubou. At the center of the state was the royal family, a Sultan (in Hausa the Sarkin Damagaram) with many wives (an estimated 300 wives by visitor Heinrich Barth in 1851) and children, and a tradition of direct (to son or brother) succession which reached 26 rulers by 1906. The sultan ruled through the activities of two primary officers the: Ciroma (Military commander and prime minister) his heir-apparent the Yakudima. By the end of the 19th century, Damagaram could field an army of 5,000 cavalry, 30,000 foot soldiers, and a dozen cannons, which they produced in Zinder. Damagaram could also call upon forces of the allied Kel Gres Tuareg who formed communities near Zinder and other parts of the sultanate.

Read more about this topic:  Sultanate Of Damagaram, History

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