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The Kingdom of Kaarta on a map, published 1825 The westafrican Kingdom of Kaarta.jpg
The Kingdom of Kaarta on a map, published 1825

Kaarta, or Ka'arta, [1] was a short-lived Bambara kingdom in what is today the western half of Mali.

Bambara people ethnic group

The Bambara are a Mandé ethnic group native to much of West Africa, primarily southern Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Senegal. Today they make up the largest Mandé ethnic group in Mali, with 80% of the population speaking the Bambara language, regardless of ethnicity.

Mali republic in West Africa

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi). The population of Mali is 18 million. Its capital is Bamako. The sovereign state of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country's economy centers on agriculture and mining. Some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, and salt.

As Bitòn Coulibaly tightened his control over Ségou, capital of his newly founded Bambara Empire, a faction of Ségou Bambara dissatisfied with his rule fled west. In 1753, they founded the kingdom of Kaarta on the homeland of the long-defunct Ghana Empire, taking Nioro du Sahel as their capital. The kingdom was destroyed as an independent force in 1854 by El Hadj Umar Tall's jihad across West Africa; Umar Tall seized Nioro, and put the Kaarta king (Fama) Mamady Kandian and his entire family to death.

Bitòn Coulibaly Ruler of the Bambara Empire

Bitòn Coulibaly founded the Bambara Empire in what is now Mali's Ségou Region and Mopti Region.

Ségou Commune and town in Mali

Ségou is a town and an urban commune in south-central Mali that lies 235 kilometres (146 mi) northeast of Bamako on the River Niger. The town is the capital of the Ségou Cercle and the Ségou Region. With 130,690 inhabitants in 2009, it is the fifth-largest town in Mali.

Ghana Empire former country

The Ghana Empire, properly known as Wagadou, was a West African empire located in the area of present-day southeastern Mauritania and western Mali. Complex societies based on trans-Saharan trade with salt and gold had existed in the region since ancient times, but the introduction of the camel to the western Sahara in the 3rd century CE, opened the way to great changes in the area that became the Ghana Empire. By the time of the Muslim conquest of North Africa in the 7th century the camel had changed the ancient, more irregular trade routes into a trade network running from Morocco to the Niger river. The Ghana Empire grew rich from this increased trans-Saharan trade in gold and salt, allowing for larger urban centres to develop. The traffic furthermore encouraged territorial expansion to gain control over the different trade routes.

In 1878 the French governor of Senegal Briere de l'Isle sent a French force against the Kaarta Toucouleur vassal state along the north bank of the Senegal River. Blocked by the colonial minister in Paris, he argued that they were a threat to the Senegalese Imamate of Futa Toro (then a French client state) with which the British were poised to interfere. The Ministry gave in and on 7 July 1878, a French force destroyed the Kaarta Toucouleur fort at Sabouciré, killing their leader, Almany Niamody. This portion of the Kaarta vassals was then incorporated into the Khasso protectorate kingdom. [2]

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Toucouleur Empire former country

The Toucouleur Empire (1861–1890) was founded in the mid-nineteenth century by El Hadj Umar Tall of the Toucouleur people, in part of present-day Mali.

Senegal River river in West Africa

The Senegal River is a 1,086 km (675 mi) long river in West Africa that forms the border between Senegal and Mauritania.

French Colonel Louis Archinard later conquered the entire territory of the former Kaarta kingdom in 1890, which was formally annexed into French West Africa in 1904.

Louis Archinard French Army general

Louis Archinard was a French Army general at the time of the Third Republic, who contributed to the colonial conquest of French West Africa. He was traditionally presented in French histories as the conqueror and "Pacifier" of French Soudan. Archinard's campaigns brought about the end of the Tukulor Empire. He also spent a large amount of energy fighting Samory Toure.

French West Africa colonial federation (1895–1960)

French West Africa was a federation of eight French colonial territories in Africa: Mauritania, Senegal, French Sudan, French Guinea, Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Dahomey and Niger. The capital of the federation was Dakar. The federation existed from 1895 until 1960.

Related Research Articles

Mali is located in Africa. The history of the territory of modern Mali may be divided into:

Nioro du Sahel Commune and town in Kayes Region, Mali

Nioro du Sahel often referred to as simply Nioro is a town and urban commune in the Kayes Region of western Mali, 241 km from the city of Kayes. It is located 275 miles north-west of the capital Bamako. The commune as of 1998 had a population of 60,112 although current estimates are nearer 69,100 people.

Bamana Empire former country

The Bamana Empire was a large West African state based at Ségou, now in Mali. This state was established after the fall of the Mali Empire and the Keita dynasty, as a smaller Bambara Empire founded by other Bambara families related to the Keita clan. It was ruled by the Kulubali or Coulibaly dynasty established c. 1640 by Kaladian Coulibaly also known as Fa Sine or Biton-si-u. The empire existed as a centralized state from 1712 to the 1862 invasion of Toucouleur conqueror El Hadj Umar Tall.

Toucouleur people West African ethnic group

The Toucouleur people, also called Tukulor or Haalpulaar are a West African ethnic group native to Futa Tooro region of Senegal. There are smaller communities in Mali and Mauritania. The Toucouleur were islamized in the 11th century; their early and strong Islamic heritage, which is seen as a defining feature, is a "matter of great pride for them". They have been influential in the spread of Islam to West Africa in the medieval era, later founded the vast Toucouleur Empire in the 19th century under El Hadj Umar Tall that led a religious war against their neighboring ethnic groups and the French colonial forces.

al-Hajj Umar ibn Sa'id al-Futi Tal, , Umar Saidou Tall, born in Futa Tooro, Senegambia, was a West African political leader, Islamic scholar, Tijani Sufi and Toucouleur military commander who founded a brief empire encompassing much of what is now Guinea, Senegal, and Mali.

Massina Empire former country

The Massina Empire was an early nineteenth-century Fulbe Jihad state centered in the Inner Niger Delta area of what is now the Mopti and Ségou Regions of Mali. Its capital was at Hamdullahi.

Siege of Medina Fort

The Siege of the Fort du Médine took place in 1857 at Médine near Kayes modern-day Mali, when the Toucouleur forces of El Hadj Umar Tall unsuccessfully besieged French colonial troops under General Louis Faidherbe, governor of Senegal.

Ahmadu Tall Toucouleur ruler

Ahmadou Sekou Tall was a Toucouleur ruler of the Toucouleur Empire (1864–92) and (Faama) of Ségou from 1864 to 1884. Ahmadu Seku's father, El Hadj Umar Tall, conquered Ségou on March 10, 1861. Not long afterwards, he began his conquest of the Fula empire of Massina, leaving Ahmadu as the Almami of Ségou.

Tidiani Tall succeeded his uncle, El Hadj Umar Tall, as head of the Toucouleur Empire following Umar's 1864 death near Bandiagara.

Amadu III of Masina, also known as Amadu Amadu was the third and last ruler of the theocratic Massina Empire in the Inner Niger Delta, now the Mopti Region of Mali. He was elected as successor to his father, Amadu II of Masina, in 1853. Throughout most of his rule he was involved in conflict with the jihadist al-Hajj 'Umar Tall, who defeated and executed him on 16 May 1862.

Ngolo Diarra was the king of the Bambara Empire from 1766 to 1795.

Khasso or Xaaso was a West African kingdom of the 17th to 19th centuries, occupying territory in what is today Senegal and the Kayes Region of Mali. Over two thousand years ago, it was part of Serer territory. From the 17th to 19th centuries, its capital was at Medina until its fall.

Imamate of Futa Toro

The Imamate of Futa Toro (1776-1861) was a West African theocratic state of the Fula-speaking people centered on the middle valley of the Senegal River. The region is known as Futa Toro.

The Battle of Ségou was a decisive point in the growth of the Toucouleur Empire (1850-1890), which spread throughout the upper Niger River and Senegal River bassins in the late 19th century. It marked the destruction of the last of the Songhay successor states, the beginning of El Hadj Umar Tall's conflict with fellow Fula Jihad leader of Macina, and a Toucouleur movement to the east under pressure from French Colonial expansion in the Senegambia.

Fula jihads

The Fulajihads were a series of jihadist wars that occurred across West Africa during the 18th and 19th centuries led largely by the Muslim Fula people. The jihads and the jihad states came to an end with European colonization.

Marka people

The Marka people are a Mande people of northwest Mali. They speak the Marka, a Manding language.

Eugène Mage French Navy officer

Eugène Abdon Mage was a French naval officer and explorer of Africa. Mage published the first detailed description of the Toucouleur Empire created by El Hadj Umar Tall.

Médine, Mali Village in Kayes Region, Mali

Médine is a village and principal settlement (chef-lieu) of the commune of Hawa Dembaya in the Cercle of Kayes in the Kayes Region of south-western Mali. The village is located 12 km east of Kayes on the left bank of the Sénégal River just downstream of the Félou Falls. The site of the village was historically important as the falls were the furthest point up the Sénégal River from Saint Louis that could be reached by boat. Navigation was only possible after the rainy season when the river was in flood.


  1. http://rulers.org/malitrad.html
  2. A. S. Kanya-Forstner, The Conquest of the Western Sudan. Cambridge University Press, (1969), pp. 57-59