Who is the first documented African ruler

West African rulers


Oba ("King") Ewuare (Ewuare the Great) was the most important ruler in the history of the West African Kingdom of Benin. The name Ewuare (Oworuare) should mean something like "The unrest is over / The war is over". He refers to the fact that under Ewuare's rule an era of reconstruction and peace began after the armed conflicts within Benin from 1435 to 1440 AD.

Ewuare ruled from 1440 to 1473, according to other sources until 1480. His reign marks the beginning of a consolidation of royal power. His reforms laid the foundations for the Kingdom of Benin to develop into one of the leading states in West Africa in the 15th and 16th centuries. Ewuare has also considerably expanded the borders of Benin and considerably improved the infrastructure of the empire by building roads. Towards the end of his rule, Benin came into contact with Portuguese traders, which resulted in a considerable increase in its wealth and the introduction of new weapons such as the crossbow. Oba Ewuare is seen as the founder of the igue festival, which is still celebrated today in the Nigerian state of Edo, the heart of Benin.

Al-Hajj Omar

Omar Saidu Tall, called "El Hadj" or "al-Hajj", (* 1797 in Fouta Toro, † 1864) was a Muslim mystic, general and an African founder of an empire.

After the European colonization had already started, El Hadj was the last African founder of an empire. He came from the Tukulor people, a sub-tribe of the Fulbe in Senegal. After a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1820, he began to work as a preacher, but without having any particular success. During this time, however, he became an advisor to several West African rulers.

In 1850 El Hadj had the fortress Dinguiraye built in the headwaters of the Niger. A year later he began a jihad in Futa Toro, which later took him to what is now Mali, where he conquered several smaller Muslim and pagan territories and established an empire. In 1854 there was the first fighting with French colonial troops. El Hadj 'troops, lacking artillery, suffered several defeats. In 1857 his troops were defeated by the French governor Louis Faidherbe. Thereafter, El Hadj avoided further fighting with the French in Senegal and turned east. In 1861 he took Segu, the capital of the Bambara, but was severely beaten by this resistance people in 1864. Shortly afterwards he was murdered.

Alfa Molloh

Alfa Molloh (also: Alfa Molo; * 1820s as Molloh Egue in Jimara, † 1881) founded the Empire Fulladu in the 19th century.

Alfa Molloh, born as Molloh Egue in the small kingdom of Jimara in the Gambia, was a member of the Fula people. He later changed his name to Alfa Molloh. Originally a slave, he was an elephant hunter and led the revolt of the migrants of the Fula in Jimara against the leadership of Mandinka in the middle of the 19th century. Rumor has it that before 1867, Alfa Molloh met Al Hadj Omar Tall in person and joined the Tijani movement. He supported El Hadj Oumar Tall in the siege of Kansala, the capital of the Kingdom of Kaabu.

Aura Poku

Aura Poku was an Ashante princess and founder and first queen of the Baulé kingdom, which emerged in the central region of what is now the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire in the 18th century.

In 1750 the Asantehene Osai Opoku Ware I. dies and a civil war breaks out in Asante in connection with the succession to the throne. In order to ensure the continuation of his previous policy, the late king had appointed his brother Aquassi (in other sources also Daku, Darko, etc.) as his successor while he was still alive. When Opoku died in 1750, however, the kingmakers of Asante ignored Aquassi's claim and chose Kusi Obodum as the new Asantehene in his place. In the following year 1751, for example, the Danes from Christiansborg reported that Kusi had been firmly established on the throne and that Aquassi, who had contested Kusi's claim, had committed suicide and his main followers had been executed. The civil war in Asante was not yet over, however, because Kusi Obodum was roughly only installed by a certain splinter group.

In the course of the succession disputes in Asante, one of the nephews of the late Asantehene and brother of Princess Aura Poku was also killed. Aura Poku then gathered her followers and the residents of her home area who were willing to emigrate and left Asante with them in a westerly direction in search of new places to settle. One finally reached the central region of today's Côte d'Ivoire, where settlements were found again between the rivers Nzi and Bandama. The Kingdom of Baulé was founded here with Warebo (near Bouaké) as its capital and Aura Poku as its first queen. The population that settled the area and with whom one was accepted had been largely displaced by the Guru in the west and the Senufo in the north and the acceptance of the Ashanti meant a welcome increase in the military force for the displaced groups. It is said that they married each other. According to legend, Aura Poku had to sacrifice her son, who was then a child, on her march on the Comoé River, so that she and her people could cross the river and move on unhindered with the permission of the river god. The news about the new Ashanti colony in the west triggered a real wave of emigration in the Akan homeland and many moved to their relatives in their new homeland. In addition to the Kingdom of Baulé, Agni (Anyi) emerged in the 18th century as another Akan state on the southwestern territory of what is now the Republic of Côte d'Ivoire. Aura Poku dies around 1760. Her successor as Queen of Baulé is her niece Akwa Boni.

Sundiata Keïta

Sundiata Keïta or Sunjata Keïta (meaning: Lion King), also Sogolon Djata (* around 1190 in Niani, Mali, † around 1255/1260), was the first ruler of the Kingdom of Mali from around 1245 until his death. He joined Islam and took the title of Mansa, which means king of kings.

His life is only known from the oral tradition of the Malian griots. "Sundiata" is perhaps identical with "Mari-Jata", who is named in the writings of the Arab historian Ibn Khaldun as the founder of the Kingdom of Mali. Ibn Khaldun's notes were based on oral reports from sources in the region in the late 14th century. Sundiata was a member of the Mandinka ethnic group. Three of his sons were successively his successors: Mansa Wali Keïta (approx. 1260-1270), Ouati Keïta (approx. 1270-1274) and Khalifa Keïta (1274/1275). One of his later descendants is Salif Keïta (musician).

Amadou dan Tenimoun

Amadou dan Ténimoun († September 15, 1899 in Guidan Roumji) was Sultan of Zinder in present-day Niger from 1893 to 1899. He is also known as Amadou May Roumji (after the place where he died) and Amadou Kouran Daga ("Amadou the fighting hyena"). An alternative spelling of his name is Amadou dan Tanimoun.

Amadou dan Ténimoun was a younger brother of the Sultan Sélimane dan Ténimoun. After his death in 1893 he was appointed the new sultan by the dignitaries of the court. The territory of the Sultan von Zinder was called Damagaram and belonged to the realm of Bornu. The empire has been in a civil war since Rabih az-Zubayr came to power, which is why Amadou could not be formally installed as sultan by Bornu. The former ruling dynasty of Bornu in exile recognized Amadou and required him to openly oppose Rabih az-Zubayr, which he avoided. Instead, he continued the policy of conquest of his predecessor Ténimoun dan Sélimane.

During the six years of Amadou dan Ténimoun's rule, Damagaram was continuously at war. The Sultan first put down independence struggles in the area east of Gouré and then turned to Machina, Nguru and Gumel, southern provinces of Bornus in what is now Nigeria. Under the command of Aboki, the serki n'foulani (Fulani leader) of Zinder, the Sultan of Machina was captured and the province of Machina Damagaram was annexed. Damagaram then conquered the Sultanate of Nguru and installed a new Sultan there, subordinate to Damagaram. However, the siege of Gumel ended unsuccessfully.

Amadou directed his power efforts now on areas outside Bornus. The loss-making battles against the Sultanate of Kano and its dependent areas, which lasted until 1899, did not result in a final decision. In 1897, Captain Marius Gabriel Cazemajou set out for Bornu to negotiate with Rabih az-Zubayr about his respect for the French borders in West and Equatorial Africa. When Cazemajou approached Zinder in April 1898, Amadou first sent him the message that he would only accept the (colonial) rule of the Ottoman Empire, but not France over his sultanate, and finally invited him to Zinder. Amadou feared an anti-Zinder coalition between France and Rabih az-Zubayr and was also influenced by Islamic clerics, who were expecting a new crusade, and had Cazemajou and his translator murdered. Thereupon a French military expedition set in motion and defeated the Sultan on July 29, 1899 in the battle of Tirmini. Amadou ordered the evacuation of Zinder and fled to the country. On September 16, 1899, the French troops tracked him down in Guidan Roumji and killed him. Amadou dan Ténimoun's successor chosen by the French as Sultan of Zinder was Amadou dan Bassa.

Alfa Yaya from Labé

Alfa Yaya von Labé or Alfa Yaya Diallo (* 1830, † October 10, 1912 in Port-Étienne, today Nouadhibou, Mauritania is a national hero of Guinea who ruled in the 19th century in the province of Labé of the empire of Fouta Djallon in today's Guinea .

In 1867/68 he led the army of the Islamic Fulbe as part of the jihad of the Fulbe, which had seized large parts of West Africa, against the non-Islamic empire of Kaabu and finally defeated the troops of the empire of Kaabu in the battle of Kansala in 1868. The former Kaabu was then divided into two provinces, Kaabu and Fulladu, but both remained tributary to the empire of Fouta Djallon. This realm extended over the eponymous present-day region of Fouta Djallon and beyond.

At the beginning of his rule, Alfa Yaya pursued a pro-French policy with the aim of achieving the independence of Labé from the Almamy (ruler) of Fouta Djallon. He signed a kind of standstill agreement with the French on February 10, 1897, in which they recognized him in return as permanent ruler and "King of Labé, Kadé and N'Gabou". Later he conquered other areas in Fouta Djallon.

Alfa Yaya's relations with France deteriorated from 1904 when France ceded part of its sphere of influence to the Portuguese. Alfa Yaya's planned revolt was betrayed and he was deported to Dahomey, today's Benin, in 1905. After his release in 1910 he took up the fight again, was arrested in 1911 and this time deported to Port Etienne in Mauritania, where he died in 1912. Guinea's founder-president Sekou Touré styled him, regardless of his initial collaboration with the French, after Guinea's independence as a national hero of resistance against the former colonial power.

In 1969 his remains were transferred to Guinea at the same time as those of another Guinean national hero, Samory Tourés. Alfa Yaya von Labé is named after Alfa Yaya von Labé, the largest barracks in Guinea in the capital Conakry, Camp Alpha Yaya Diallo, which in recent Guinean history gained inglorious fame as the starting point of a massacre. The national anthem of Guinea, Liberté, and the 2 Sylis coin from 1971 are also dedicated to Alfa Yaha.

Abubakari II

Abubakari II (actually: Abu Bakr) is the name of a source not tangible king of the Mali Empire in West Africa. He is said to have ruled around 1310 and then abdicated to lead an expedition across the Atlantic. His brother or son is said to have been Mansa Musa, known in African history, who became famous through his pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324. The existence of Abubakari II is in the meantime disputed by the leading historians of Africa, while in the historical picture of American Afrocentrists he has become the focal point for a complete myth. In their opinion, he reached America almost 200 years before Columbus and spread African culture there, or, alternatively, Islam among the indigenous people.

The most cited source about the alleged king Abubakari can be found in the chronicle of the Syrian al-Umar (1300 / 01-1349) who moved to Egypt. About 25 years after Mansa Musa's visit, he was able to interview people who had spoken to the ruler of Mali. The governor of Cairo, Ibn Amr Hajib, had asked Mansa Musa how he became king of Mali. The ruler then said:

We come from a family in which rulership is hereditary. Now my predecessor in the rule thought that it was not impossible to convince oneself of the existence of an opposite bank in the sea al-Muhit (Atlantic Ocean). Obsessed with this idea and desiring to prove its correctness, he had a few hundred vehicles fitted out, manned them and gave them as many others with gold, mouth and water supplies in such abundance that they would need several years able to satisfy the team. On the exit, he addressed the commanders as follows: "Don't come back until you have reached the extreme limit of the ocean or before your food and water supplies are exhausted.

They drove off and stayed away for a long time; a long time passed without anyone returning. At last a single vehicle was found again. We asked the driver of this vehicle what had happened. He replied: "Prince, we drove a long time up to a moment when we encountered a violent current, like a river, on the open sea. I drove after the other fleet. All vehicles in front of me continued their journey, but as soon as one came from them to this point, they disappeared without our being able to find out what had become of him. I didn't want to plunge into the adventure of this vortex myself, so I turned back. "

The Sultan did not want to believe the report and disapproved of the behavior. He then had 2000 ships (... equipped, half of which were meant for him and the men in his ...) company, the others for the transport of supplies and drinking water. He entrusted the government to me and set off with his companions on the sea of ​​al-Muhit. We saw him and the others for the last time on this occasion. I remained the unlimited ruler of the empire.

It is noticeable that this anecdote, handed down from second or third hand, does not mention a name and also does not explain the relationship between this ruler and Mansa Musa. Neither do you find out details about the port or the region from where the fleets set out to sea. On the other hand, the numbers regarding the ships seem very improbable, unless they are to be understood more metaphorically in the sense of "very, very many". It should be noted that there is no mention of the search for a distant world at the other end of the ocean and all the details mentioned by American and African historians and writers cannot be derived from this brief account.

While one of the leading experts on Senegambia's medieval history, Raymond Mauny, denies that West Africans had the technical and logistical prerequisites for an Atlantic voyage at the beginning of the 14th century, Jean Devisse and Sa'ad Labib do not want to rule out that at least the attempt has been made. However, they are skeptical about its success. If the Malian ships had actually succeeded in using one of the ocean currents that flow in the direction of the Caribbean, they might have made it as far as America, but they would not have been able to return. However, as Gaoussou Diawara claims, for example, they could not have reached the coast of Brazil, and entry into the Amazon would have been impossible for them because of the current directed towards the sea. It should also be noted that the surviving captain is said to have expressly reported that the other ships had been swallowed by a vortex. This suggests less of a sea current going west, but rather is reminiscent of the medieval myth of the Abyss devouring ships.

The story passed down by al-Umar is not confirmed by any other source, not even in the otherwise very detailed chronicles of Timbuktu (Tarikh al-Fettash and Tarikh al-Sudan). A company as large as the equipping of 2,000 ships should have become known throughout the Islamic world, especially in Egypt, which had good relations with Mali even before the rule of Mansa Musas.Even Ibn Khald Man, who is always well informed, has nothing to report about this expedition. However, similar stories of rulers who intended to challenge fate were apparently already circulating in different parts of the Orient in the 13th century, so that we can also assume that al-Umar used elements of this wandering legend to make his account appear credible .

Notwithstanding the fact that the existence of a ruler Abubakari II is denied by the established scientific community, the leading exponents of the historical research known as "Afrocentrism" (Molefi Kente Asante, John G. Jackson, Ivan Van Sertima) declare that the king is a historically verifiable person and reached America almost 200 years before Columbus. The Afrocentrists declare that a denial of the existence of Abubakari and his achievement of discovery amounts to a denial of the greatness of African history and fulfills the facts of "white racialism". Critics accuse the Afrocentrist in turn of manipulative handling of sources, facts and data and the use of e.g. Sometimes dubious literature as well as dogmatism and the creation of an unhistorical myth that does not serve to research historical truth, but to cultivate Afro-American self-confidence.

The thesis that an African or Muslim ruler had reached America in the early 14th century was first proposed by the Egyptian historian Ahmed Zéki Pasha, the first modern editor of al-Umar's writings, in 1920, the author emphasizing the importance of emphasized Arab nautical at this company. The German overseas historian Egmont Zechlin did not want to rule out the possibility that an Arab-Malian fleet could have reached America. His colleague Richard Hennig, who specializes in medieval voyages of discovery, examined al-Umar's report more closely and came to the conclusion that the expedition of the ruler of Mali, if it had actually taken place, was doomed to failure. The Turkish historian of science Fuat Sezgin recently dealt with the question and, in view of the "cartographic achievements" and the astonishingly high development of nautical science in the Arab-Islamic cultural area, "believes he can say that" Muslim seafarers "" have been around since the beginning of the 9th. 15th Century have not only reached the great oceanic mainland, but have even begun to map it. ”In his opinion, it was Arab and not black African explorers.

Apparently without knowledge of the report at al-Umar, Leo Wiener (1862-1939) put forward the thesis between 1920 and 1923 in an extensive and extensively documented work that America had been colonized from the West African mandes in pre-Columbian times. Wiener relied primarily on actual or apparent similarities between Indian and African languages, but also on the occurrence of plants that were found on both sides of the Atlantic and, according to Wiener, had been introduced from Africa to the Caribbean. I.a. he tried to prove that tobacco smoking originated in Africa, which the majority of ethnologists rejected as inaccurate. The criticisms of the predominantly white scientists were mostly negative, while an Afro-American reviewer described the results as extremely important for the reinterpretation of history and deduced from Wiener’s book that the Mandingo had at least radically reshaped pre-Columbian cultures, if not even created them in the first place .

The Malian playwright Diawara is of the opinion that Abubakari's fleet crossed the Atlantic from the Gambia and reached the Brazilian coastal area at Recife and named it Pernambuco, in memory of the two gold-richest areas in the Mali Empire, Buré and Bambuk. The Guinean historian Madina Ly-Tall admits that a "fruitless attempt to sail the Atlantic" may have been undertaken under the predecessor of Mansa Musa, but he emphasizes that the Senegambian provinces of the Mali Empire and the ocean, including the estuaries, are the channels of communication didn't matter. This only changed with the arrival of the Portuguese.

Afrocentric authors such as Ivan Van Sertima and Mark Hyman often point out that Columbus himself reported that he had received several reports about black people in the Caribbean, although it should be noted that Columbus and his contemporaries usually matched the skin color of the Indians with that of the " moros "compared. However, this meant the inhabitants of North Africa. What is also overlooked is the fact that Columbus declared unequivocally that he had not met any "black people like in Guinea" in the countries he "discovered". The Spanish chroniclers Francisco López de Gómara and Pedro Martir d'Anghiera, who have never been to America themselves, noted in their works on the exploration and conquest of the New World that conquistadors like Vasco Núñez de Balboa saw not only isolated blacks in today's Panama . You wrote of entire settlements in which allegedly only "negros" lived. But these are second-hand accounts, even if Van Sertima and others treat them like reliable eyewitness accounts.

Since the 1950s, the archaeologist Mervyn D. W. Jeffreys has championed the thesis that the Mandingo seafarers brought maize from America to West Africa as early as the early 14th century. As evidence, he refers to African myths and images of ceramics, which he classifies as medieval, and claims that maize as a staple food could not have spread so quickly in the early modern era if it was first introduced into West Africa by the Europeans after 1500 would have been. His critics state that the linguistic evidence that he provides is not conclusive and that he cannot prove whether corn or sorghum is meant in the individual case.

Since the mid-1990s, a shift in emphasis can be observed in the assessment of Abubakari's discovery achievement. While Afrocentrists had previously emphasized the influence of black African seafarers on the autochthonous cultures of Old America, Americans with a Muslim background are now emphasizing the primarily Islamic character of the discovery. While it is admitted that the continent was discovered and civilized by the Mande, emphasis is placed on the thesis that the Indians were primarily converted to Islam. The originator seems to be the physicist and Muslim functionary Dr. To be Youssef Mroueh. As proof of his claim, which is nowhere else to be found, he explains that Columbus even sighted a mosque in Cuba in 1492. Mroueh's claim is completely out of thin air.

The thesis that America was already largely Islamic before the arrival of the Spaniards is supported by authors such as Mroueh with the assertion that entire Indian tribes (Cherokee, Blackfoot) wore Moorish costumes, gave themselves Arabic names and founded places with clearly Islamic names (e B. Tallahassee = "God will redeem you in the future"!), Left numerous Kufic inscriptions and even operated a network of Koran schools and Islamic universities (e.g. in Arizona and New Mexico), which were later, presumably, run by the European conquerors, had been destroyed. The Cherokee in particular are said to have been Muslims until the 19th century, had their own imams and carried out regular pilgrimages in the style of Hajj. Sometimes there is talk of America's "Islamic legacy" without it being made clear what the purpose of this formulation is. While the thesis of the pre-Columbian Islamization of the Native Americans is encountering increasing resistance from the organizations of the "Native Americans" (Indians), it is accepted with approval in Muslim circles and discussed with approval on appropriate web forums. The relevant texts, for example by Mroueh and Pimienta-Bey, are also presented or linked here. The "World Federation of Muslim Mission (The Minaret)" takes up Mroueh's allegations uncritically and deduces from the alleged research results that the American continent was originally Islamized and that every Muslim therefore has the obligation, through his commitment to the work of conversion (dawah) to restore this state.


Mansa Musas on a map of the Catalan World Atlas from 1375. He is holding a gold nugget in his hand.

Mansa Musa

Kankan Mansa Musa I († 1337) was king of Mali from 1312 to 1337. Under his reign the country flourished and Timbuktu became one of the most important cities in Africa.

Mansa Musa was considered the "richest man of his time". His pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324/25 became legendary. The fabulously wealthy king spent so much gold on the trip that it ruined the value of the gold-based Egyptian dinar for years to come. He felt this himself on his return journey. Since his gold no longer had its original value, he had to borrow money from a merchant. He died in 1337 and was succeeded by Mansa Magha.

Samory Touré

Almami Samory Touré (* around 1830; † June 2, 1900) was a Muslim ruler and military leader in West Africa. Touré came from the Touré clan from the Malinke people of the Beyla region. First he fought as a soldier for a tribal leader, but then sat himself at the head of a tribe and built an army around 1870 that controlled the area between Fouta Djallon in the west and the land of the Ashanti in the east. Touré called himself "Almamy", made Islam the ideological basis of his empire, and built a functioning tax and judicial system. From Sierra Leone he was supplied with modern weapons by the British.

From his capital Bissandougou, Touré initially met the French advancing from the coast with diplomacy. In the period from 1880 to 1893, however, protracted and bitter fighting broke out over the hinterland of Guinea, which the French wanted to colonize. The wars lasted 13 years, with Touré also encountering internal resistance from the non-Muslim population in view of his policy of Islamization, which led to a popular uprising in 1888. In 1887 Samory besieged Sikasso, capital of Kenedugu, with 12,000 men, but had to withdraw again. In 1887 France was forced to recognize the conquest of its protectorate by Touré in a treaty. When the contract was signed, the negotiating French officer referred to his counterpart as "Bonaparte des Sudan".

The other eastern conquests of Touré led from 1892 to renewed battles with France. After France had managed to get all of Guinea under control, Touré initially withdrew to the east via Odienné, but was nevertheless taken prisoner by the French in 1898 and after a suicide attempt was deported to a small island in the Ogowe River near Lambaréné (Gabon). There he died of pneumonia two years later.

His great-grandson, Ahmed Sékou Touré, became the first president of independent Guinea in 1958 and was able to build on the clan tradition of anti-French resistance. He had the remains of his great-grandfather transported to the state funeral in Conakry, the capital of Guinea. In 1970 he also had him set a musical monument on the state-owned Syliphone label with the Bembeya Jazz National Orchestra's LP Régard Sur Le Passé.


Samory Touré

Oumar Tall

Oumar Tall came from the Tukulor people, a sub-tribe of the Fulbe in Senegal. After a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1820, he began to work as a preacher, but without having any particular success. During this time, however, he became an advisor to several West African rulers. In 1845 he wrote his Arabic work "Spears of the Divine Party against the Throats of the Devil's Party" in Jegunko in the Futa Jalon, a manual for carrying out religious exercises. With this work and a number of smaller tracts he had a great influence on the thinking of many intellectuals in West Africa.

In 1850 El Hadj had the fortress Dinguiraye built in the headwaters of the Niger. There he also housed his wives and numerous concubines. A year later he began a jihad in Fouta Toro, which later took him to what is now Mali, where he conquered several smaller Muslim and pagan territories and established an empire. In 1855, Oumar had the "Christian" merchandise confiscated by Muslim traders from Saint-Louis. He warned in scriptures against loyalty (muwālāt) to Christians.

As early as 1854 there was the first fighting with French colonial troops. El Hadj 'troops, lacking artillery, suffered several defeats. In 1857 his troops were defeated by the French governor Louis Faidherbe. Thereafter, El Hadj avoided further fighting with the French in Senegal and turned east. In 1861 he took Ségou, the capital of the Bambara, and moved his harem there. In 1864, however, he was severely beaten by the Bambara and murdered shortly afterwards.

After Oumar's death, his son Amadou Schechu succeeded him on the throne. He ruled from Ségou and installed brothers in Nioro du Sahel and Dinguiraye as governors. Fights with these governors took much of his attention. His brother Agibou, who ruled Dinguiraye, accepted a French protectorate in 1887 and the establishment of a French garrison in 1891.

Amadou Schechou, on the other hand, stuck to his anti-French course, but in 1890 and 1891 the French commander Louis Archinard captured his two cities, Ségou and Nioro, and expelled those who had immigrated from the Fouta Toro

Bandiagara, Amadou Schechou's last fortress fell in 1893. While Archinard Agibou was enthroned as the new "King of Massina", Amadou and his followers performed the hijra in the areas near Niamey that were still under Muslim rule. Some returned to Bandiagara in 1894/95 and came to terms with the French colonial power, others emigrated to Hausaland in 1897. Amadou died that same year near Sokoto, the capital of the still independent Sokoto Caliphate, near his mother's home.

The French gave their ally Agibou little autonomy, and in 1902 he was downgraded to a simple head of Bandiagara. Alfa Haschimi (approx. 1866–1939), a cousin of Amadou Schechou, became the most important leader of the Oumarians after the turn of the century. He emigrated to Medina after the British occupation of Hausaland in 1904/05. His dormitory there became an important point of contact for West African pilgrims.

Other important leaders of the Oumarians at the turn of the century were Muntagou Amadou, a son of Amadou Schechou, who had joined Samory Touré after the fall of Ségou in 1890 and returned to Ségou in 1905, and Murtada Tall, a son of Oumar Tall, who lived in Nioro du Sahel for a long time lived, and was allowed to return there in 1906. With French approval, he made the pilgrimage to Mecca in 1910/11 and helped the French recruit soldiers during the First World War. Among the Oumarian returnees in the Fouta Toro, the leading figure was the legal scholar Amadou Muchtār Sacho (1860s-1934), who was appointed Qādī of the new tribunal noir by Xavier Coppolani in 1905. He developed close relationships with Henry Gaden (1867–1939), who later became governor-general of Mauritania.

Seydou Nourou Tall, a grandson of Oumar Tall, entered the service of the French colonial government in the 1930s and traveled on their behalf through the various regions of French West Africa to promote French colonial policy among the population. During the Second World War he worked intensively with the Vichy regime.