Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké
September 6, 2003 7:50 AM   Subscribe

A single photograph taken in 1913 of Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké—the Santé Serigne Touba, founder of the Sufi sect known as the Mouride (Murid) Way, followed by millions in Senegal and elsewhere—when he was put under house arrest by the French, has provided remarkable consistency to the sect's iconography. Images of the cheikh: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and more. Story on an art exhibit and the web site of the exhibit, including more images of the cheikh. History of Bamba's life in French and in English. More on Muridism.
posted by Mo Nickels (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Mon cher Mo:

Thanks ever so much for this enlightening FPP. Perhaps the intercession of the Saint helps explain why Senegal is the least dysfunctional of post-colonial West African states.

For me at least, the so-called "War on Terror" has been the inspiration to delve deeper into matters Islamic: proof positive that it is an ill wind that blows no good. With the primary media focus on the Middle East, it is easy to forget Africa's membership in the umma. I was completely unaware of a native African Sufi brotherhood: it is good to learn something new on a Saturday morning.

FPP's like this are what MeFi is all about.
posted by rdone at 8:52 AM on September 6, 2003

Thanks Mo. The exhibition was terrific -- I was surprised it didn't get more press here in L.A. (I only knew about it because I got a freelance assignment to review it).
posted by scody at 1:04 PM on September 6, 2003

FPP's like this are what MeFi is all about.

Second the motion. I've always found the Mourides fascinating, and the comparison of all the imagery based on the one photo (carefully preserving, in most cases, the shadow beneath his chin and the one obscuring his right foot) is splendid. A great post.
posted by languagehat at 4:31 PM on September 6, 2003

Yes. A great post.
posted by vacapinta at 11:45 PM on September 6, 2003

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