Toucouleur Empire

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Toucouleur Empire

Tidjaniya Caliphate
Umars jihad state map general c1864.png
the greatest extent of the Toucouleur Empire at the time of Omar Tall's death in 1864
Capital Segou
Common languages Fula
Sunni Islam
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Blank.png Segu Empire
Blank.png Kaarta
Blank.png Massina Empire
Blank.png Imamate of Futa Jallon
French West Africa Flag of France.svg
A contemporary German map showing states prior to the rise of Omar Tall, coloured to represent his empire in 1861. Conquered capitals in green, French forts in blue. The unoccupied region in the center is the waste of Hodh. Stein 1861 Africa Umars Jihad State.jpg
A contemporary German map showing states prior to the rise of Omar Tall, coloured to represent his empire in 1861. Conquered capitals in green, French forts in blue. The unoccupied region in the center is the waste of Hodh.

The Toucouleur Empire (also known as the Tijaniyya Jihad state or the Segu Tukulor) (1861–1890) was founded in the mid-nineteenth century by Omar Saidou Tall of the Toucouleur people, in part of present-day Mali.



Omar Tall returned from the Hajj in 1836 with the titles of El Hadj and caliph of the Tijaniyya brotherhood of the Sudan. After a long stay in Fouta-Toro (present day Senegal), he moved to Dinguiraye (to the east of Fouta Djallon in present-day Guinea). This became the staging ground for his 1850 jihad.

Abandoning his assault on the French colonial army after an 1857 failure to conquer Medina fort, Omar Tall struck out against the Bamana Empire with much greater success - first Kaarta and then Segou. [1] Following a decisive victory in the Battle of Segou on March 10, 1861, he made Segou the capital of his empire. A year later he left its management to his son Ahmadu Tall to move against Hamdullahi, the capital of the Fula empire of Massina. Omar Tall failed to conquer Timbuktu, and retreated to Deguembéré, near Bandiagara of the Dogon region. In 1864, he died there in an explosion of his gunpowder reserves.

His nephew Tidiani Tall succeeded him and installed the capital of the Toucouleur Empire at Bandiagara. At Segou, the son Ahmadu Tall continued to reign, successfully suppressing the attempts of several neighboring cities to break away. He came into increasing conflict with his brothers.

In 1890, the French, allied with the Bambara, entered Ségou. Ahmadu Tall fled first to Massina and after his fall in 1893 to Sokoto in present-day Nigeria, marking the effective end of the empire.

See also

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  1. "Umar Tall", African Legends

Further reading