A contemporary Malian Shaykh: Al-Hajj Shaykh Sidy Modibo Kane Diallo, the religious leader of Dilly

Recent studies have pointed to the relationships between marabouts and power in West Africa. The present author argues that these studies should be broadened to include marabouts not necessarily linked directly to particular regimes, but whose reputations and widespread popularity put them in a complex relationship to power. He presents a biographical note on the most influential marabouts in present-day Mali, Sidy Modibo Kane Diallo, born in 1925 in the town of Dilly, in the cercle of Nara which was then the French Sudan. In 1974 he became the official ‘khalifa’ of the Kane Diallo family. Today his reputation rests in large part on his efforts to spread Islam in Mali, particularly among the Bambara of Beledugu and Kaarta. Other factors which have served to enhance Sidy’s reputation include the yearly ‘ziyara’ in Dilly and his role as a ‘khalifa’ of the Quadiriyya brotherhood. His circulation within Mali has been subject to authorization by the Malian State. Wherever he travels, he is received with great fanfare not only by villagers but also by representatives of the State who shower him with gifts and solicit him for blessings. The State cannot fail to recognize the potential benefits of its association with Sidy, and at times seems to act to exploit his influence, although he is not closely linked to the Traor regime. Notes, ref.

Title: A contemporary Malian Shaykh: Al-Hajj Shaykh Sidy Modibo Kane Diallo, the religious leader of Dilly
Author: Soares, Benjamin F.
Year: 1996
Periodical: Islam et socits au Sud du Sahara
Issue: 10
Pages: 145-153
Language: English
Geographic term: Mali
About person: Sidy Modibo Kane Diallo
Abstract: Recent studies have pointed to the relationships between marabouts and power in West Africa. The present author argues that these studies should be broadened to include marabouts not necessarily linked directly to particular regimes, but whose reputations and widespread popularity put them in a complex relationship to power. He presents a biographical note on the most influential marabouts in present-day Mali, Sidy Modibo Kane Diallo, born in 1925 in the town of Dilly, in the cercle of Nara which was then the French Sudan. In 1974 he became the official ‘khalifa’ of the Kane Diallo family. Today his reputation rests in large part on his efforts to spread Islam in Mali, particularly among the Bambara of Beledugu and Kaarta. Other factors which have served to enhance Sidy’s reputation include the yearly ‘ziyara’ in Dilly and his role as a ‘khalifa’ of the Quadiriyya brotherhood. His circulation within Mali has been subject to authorization by the Malian State. Wherever he travels, he is received with great fanfare not only by villagers but also by representatives of the State who shower him with gifts and solicit him for blessings. The State cannot fail to recognize the potential benefits of its association with Sidy, and at times seems to act to exploit his influence, although he is not closely linked to the Traor regime. Notes, ref.