Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Vera DeMoultrie Nobles
Regarding African religions, the Zarma represent the complex intersect between the retentions of traditional African spiritual systems and the (forced) adoption of one or another of the major orthodox religions. In the case of the Zarma, the adopted religion is Islam. Understanding the complexity of this intersect is further exacerbated by the hegemonic technique of either omitting any detailed and respectful discussion of the traditional African spiritual beliefs or, in the discussion, codifying the traditional beliefs in denigrating or demonic terms and interpretations. It is believed that the Zarma originated from the country of Mali. (Zarma is also spelled Djerma, Dyerma, Zaberma, and Zerma.) The Zarma people are descended from the great Songhai Kingdom that flourished in the 14th and 15th centuries. Since that time, they have migrated from Mali to live in the southwestern parts of Niger and Nigeria along the Niger River. The language of the Zarma is ...