“Publication of “Essay on Local History by Djiguiba Camara”: disseminating the written history of Guinea from Damaro” – May 2020

Djiguiba Camara, interpreter and chief of the village of Damaro during the colonial period, wrote the history of the region, the empire of Samori Touré and the colonial wars. This important 110-page manuscript is now published by Brill and available free of charge.

The text, which is very composite, includes genealogies, foundation myths, the history of relations between the Camara, the Cissé and the Bérétés, the history of Samori Touré and finally a description of the arrival of the French in the region. This text constitutes a new source for research on African history. It is also an example of the richness of the productions of local historians, whose status has long been devalued, since they were considered as ‘auxiliaries’, ‘intermediaries’, whereas Djiguiba Camara has always claimed the status of a historian in his own right: he wanted to produce a history ‘with equal parts’ and to deliver the African part of colonial history.

Written in the village of Damaro over a period ranging from the 1930s to 1963, the date of Djiguiba Camara’s death, this “Local History” illustrates the interest of literate productions preserved in the villages.

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