By Amir H. Idris (auth.)
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Additional info for Conflict and Politics of Identity in Sudan
Instead, the Northern-based nationalist movement used Arabism and Islamism as pillars of the postcolonial state in the Sudan. If Arab and African identities resulted from the practice of enslavement during the precolonial period, the colonial state, however, gave it a new legal dimension by institutionalizing these racialized identities through colonial polices of indirect rule. African and Arab thus were transformed from flexible cultural identities to rigid political identities through the state policies.
9 Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Islamized Funj and Darfur kingdoms ruled the northern regions of the Sudan. According to Douglas Johnson: Sennar [Funj], established along the Blue Nile in the sixteenth century AD, raided the Ethiopian foothills, the Nuba mountains, and the White Nile plains. The Darfur Sultanate, established in the western Sudan in the seventeenth century AD, raided mainly to the south in Dar Fartit, or what is now Western Bahr al Ghazal. 11 Social relationships between the nobility and the subjects were based on subordination.
Thus, the production of the national history by the state has become a vehicle for nation-building and state-building. The power of the state is closely involved in this history, and it does not guarantee even a provisional truth. Therefore, in the case of the Sudan, we have to distinguish between two types of history: official history, which tends to be institutionalized by state policy, and the subaltern histories of those who are excluded from the state. While the former consolidates and justifies the existing nation-state, the latter seeks to question its legitimacy by reconstructing and reinterpreting the subaltern.
Conflict and Politics of Identity in Sudan by Amir H. Idris (auth.)