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From Affiniam-Boutem to Dakar : migration from the Casamance, life in the urban environment of Dakar, and the resulting evolutionary changes in local Diola organizations

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Title:
From Affiniam-Boutem to Dakar : migration from the Casamance, life in the urban environment of Dakar, and the resulting evolutionary changes in local Diola organizations
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Reboussin, Daniel A.
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Gainesville, Fla.
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University of Florida
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xii, 214 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Agriculture ( jstor )
Cash ( jstor )
Emigration ( jstor )
Gender roles ( jstor )
Labor ( jstor )
Labor migration ( jstor )
Rice ( jstor )
Slavery ( jstor )
Villages ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Anthropology thesis, Ph. D.
Dissertations, Academic UF -- Anthropology
Spatial Coverage:
Africa -- Senegal

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Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
General Note:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 191-212).

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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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AKQ8794 ( notis )
34381813 ( oclc )

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FROM AFFINIAM-BOUTEM TO DAKAR:
MIGRATION FROM THE CASAMANCE, LIFE IN THE URBAN
ENVIRONMENT OF DAKAR, AND THE RESULTING EVOLUTIONARY
CHANGES IN LOCAL DIOLA ORGANIZATIONS























By

DANIEL A. REBOUSSIN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1995


































Copyright 1995

by

Daniel A. Reboussin

















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


More people helped me complete this dissertation than reasonably

can be listed here. Several, though, provided help without which I

could not have finished at all. My advisor and committee chair through

most of this long process, Ronald Cohen, has been a true mentor in many

ways, from my first contacts with him until now. He has been a strong

supporter of all aspects of my work and a sensitive critic of my

attempts to convey complex concepts as clearly as possible given the

limitations of my writing. His persistence and success in recuperating

from a severe stroke since August 1994 continue to be an inspiration to

me and others. Since Dr. Cohen's illness and subsequent retirement, H.

Russell Bernard has been kind enough to serve as my committee chair. I

would like to acknowledge his valuable editorial advice and professional

efforts to bring this work into its present form. Each member of the

supervisory committee has been in the first instance an exceptional

teacher. I am grateful that each has dedicated himself to teaching, and

that I have had the opportunity to have studied with him. Beyond this

each has been an essential critic and advisor, greatly assisting me in

bringing specific aspects of this research report into its final form.

I wish to thank Arthur Hansen and Marvin Harris of anthropology, R. Hunt

Davis of history, and Goran Hyden of political science. Although it

need not be said, all of the errors and omissions that remain are

entirely my own.

Antoine Badji also deserves special acknowledgment. He was my

assistant and chief informant in Senegal, helping me to adjust to the

particular difficulties of life in Dakar. He thereby exposed me to some









of the difficulties faced by Diola immigrants to the capital. He also

introduced me to village life in Affiniam-Boutem, and kept me well.

Through him I would also like to thank all of his family and the people

of his village, who made my stay with them comfortable and informative.

I reserve special acknowledgement for the women of Boutem, who

constantly impressed both Antoine and me with their strength, wisdom,

and kindness toward a stranger. I am honored to have spent the time I

had with them.

Two sources of federal support have assisted me in this work. In

1988 I received a Foreign Language Area Studies summer fellowship, to

take an intensive course in Wolof at the University of Illinois, Urbana-

Champaign. The Fulbright-IIE U.S. scholar program, along with the U.S.

Embassy through its USIA American Cultural Center, also provided me with

funding. Special thanks go to Jerome Faye and El Hadji Sarr, along with

the rest of the Senegalese staff in Dakar. I will not forget their

genuine friendship and critical support.

I would like to also thank Peter Malanchuk, who approved several

leaves of absence from my position at the University of Florida

Libraries. He has been a generous and tolerant supervisor, taking on

quite a bit of extra work while I have been gone, and my appreciation is

heartfelt. Thanks also go to Jenny Konwinski, who created a superb

digital map of the village from the diverse materials I provided her.

Finally, I would like to express sincere thanks to my own family.

They constantly demonstrate to me the importance of kinship. Patricia,

my mother, has taken several months of her time to help with household

management and domestic tasks that I have neglected while writing. My

brother David and father Roland have provided me with good advice on how

to proceed with quandaries of research design and statistics. My wife

Ann Glowasky has provided constant emotional support throughout my

research, suffering along with me since before the actual research









began. She has also taken upon herself all the financial

responsibilities of income-earning during the more than six months of

leave I have cumulatively taken from my job to complete the writing

phase of this research. Most importantly she has been an unwavering

source of emotional support despite sometimes not being entirely sure of

why it is that I am doing this.


















TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . ... iii

LIST OF TABLES . .ix

LIST OF FIGURES . ... x

ABSTRACT . xi

CHAPTERS

1 INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF THE MIGRATION LITERATURE 1

The Case of Diola Women . ... 1
Migration as a Factor in Cultural Evolution 2
A Typological Outline of Migration 4
Time Period . ... 4
Duration . .. 5
National Boundaries and Distance .. .5
Economic Issues . .. 6
Purpose . .. 6
Degrees of Compulsion . 7
Typological Sketch of the Present Case 8
Time period . ... 8
Duration . .. 8
National boundaries . 9
Economic issues . 10
Purpose . ... 10
Compulsion . ... 10
Causes of Migration from Various Theoretical Perspectives 11
Neoclassical Models . 11
Social Groups as Factors in Migration .. .12
Dependency Models . ... .14
Neo-Marxism . ... .15
Conclusions on the Causes of Migration .. .17
Consequences of Migration . ... .19
Economic and Social Scientific Contributions .. .19
Dependency Views .. .21
Neo-Marxist Approaches .. .22
Conclusions on the Effects of Migration from the Village 24
Implications and Conclusions ... ... .. .25
Households and Voluntary Associations .. .25
African Women as Active and Independent Migrants 27
Conclusions . ... .31











2 A PERIODIZATION OF DIOLA HISTORY .. .


Introduction . ... .34
Periods of Diola History . .. .37
Early Sedentism and Early Circumscription .. .37
Early States in Casamance (Thirteenth to Sixteenth
Centuries) . .. 40
Early European Trade, Slavery, and "Legitimate Trade" .. 44
Twentieth Century Colonialism and the Independent State of
Senegal . ... .52
Characteristic Patterns of Diola Migration for Each Period .62
Period One: Early Sedentism .. .66
Period Two: Early States .. .67
Period Three: Early European Trade .. .67
Period Four: Twentieth Century Colonialism and
Independent Senegal .. .69

3 RESEARCH METHODS AND ORAL HISTORY OF MIGRATION FROM BOUTEM 73

Introduction . ... .73
Methods . ........ 74
Interviews . ... .75
Census . .. ... 79
Women's Association and Analysis of Dues Paying Records 81
Oral History of Migration from Boutem .. .83
Earliest Migrants to Dakar .. .89
Early Women Migrants .. .91
Diola Associations . ... .93
The Village "Men's" Association: "We Had No Big Brothers
Here" . ... 96
History of the Boutem Women's Association in Dakar 99
Summary . ... 103
Conclusions . ... 104

4 BOUTEM AND ITS CONTEMPORARY WOMEN EMIGRANTS ... .106

Introduction . ... 106
The contemporary village of Boutem .. .107
Women Migrants to Dakar: "Work Is Not for Finding Happiness" 113
Career Histories of Women Migrants .. .114
Working Conditions ... 122
Why Migrate? . .. 127
Commercial Endeavors ... 129
Household Expenses . .. 133
Rent and food ... 134
Water and utilities .. 136
Association dues .. 138
Remittances . ... 141
Clothing . 144
Health care . ... 146
School fees ...... ........ 147
Transportation ... 148
Summary . ... 149
Census Results . ... 150
Representativeness of Interviewees .. .155
Dakar Women's Association: The Contemporary Situation .158
Description of Women's Association Membership ... .163
Discussion . ... 167


. 34











5 CONCLUSIONS .. 171

Migration Theories ... 171
Historical Patterns of Diola Migration ... .175
The Case of Boutem .. 177
Discussion .. 179

APPENDICES

A INTERVIEW SCHEDULE FOR FEMALE RESIDENTS OF DAKAR
AND QUESTIONNAIRE FOR VILLAGE CENSUS OF BOUTEM .. .181

B CENSUS CODEBOOKS FOR THE VILLAGE CENSUS AND FOR FEMALE DAKAR
RESIDENTS .. 183

GLOSSARY .. 187

LIST OF REFERENCES . 191

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . 214


viii

















LIST OF TABLES


Table page

1 Historical periods and associated characteristic forms of
migration . ... .. 72

2 Comparison of migrants' years away from the village ... 153

3 Percent of residents with given family name and quarter of
origin for three residential categories, women's association
membership, and interviewee status ... 156

4 Mean ages of all women, Dakar emigrants, association members
and interviewees . ... 158

5 Dues-payments as a percentage of membership paying in three
categories of regularity ... 161





































ix

















LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

1 Map showing the Casamance region and the research site in
relation to the rest of Senegal . 9

2 Village of Boutem, Senegal . ... 109

















Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

FROM AFFINIAM-BOUTEM TO DAKAR:
MIGRATION FROM THE CASAMANCE, LIFE IN THE URBAN
ENVIRONMENT OF DAKAR, AND THE RESULTING EVOLUTIONARY
CHANGES IN LOCAL DIOLA ORGANIZATIONS

By

Daniel A. Reboussin

December 1995

Chairperson: H. Russell Bernard
Major Department: Anthropology

This is a case study of rural-urban migration among the women of

Affiniam-Boutem, a predominantly Catholic Diola village in the

southwestern Lower Casamance region of Senegal, West Africa. It

includes the results of research conducted in 1989 and 1990, employing

several sources of information. Thirty interviews were undertaken in

Dakar with female emigrants of the village, and oral histories of

emigration and associated urban voluntary associations were collected.

In the village, a census focusing on migration histories was also

conducted. Migration from Boutem is best understood in terms of a

modified, contemporary approach to classical social scientific migration

theory. There are few opportunities for Diola women to earn money in

the rural setting. Because they have cash responsibilities towards the

support of their families, they have left their villages since the

beginning of this century to work in wage labor. .There are few social

constraints on their free movement, but voluntary associations in the

urban setting do restrict and direct the behavior of all emigrants to

some extent. Fines are levied for members who do not return to the



xi









village by a set date to encourage wet season agricultural activities,

especially the planting and harvesting of rice.

Created among Boutem's emigrants to Dakar as social clubs in the

nineteen-thirties and nineteen-forties, these associations were later

employed as a means of collecting money for an early crisis: the first

death of an emigrant villager. Once regular dues were collected the

organizations changed, becoming increasingly formal to keep and record

these dues. While they maintain some aspects of more traditional rural

voluntary associations, which have helped the Diola to adapt to other

forms of migration for centuries, these changes were unlike previous

adaptations. They were enabled by an increasing number of formally

educated emigrants. My research found that the women's association was

able to collect substantial amounts of money over a few year's time.

These funds are employed to conduct development projects in the village,

such as improvements to the school and maternity clinic, and therefore

they represent an important means of improving the quality of life

there.

















CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF THE MIGRATION LITERATURE



The Case of Diola Women



This is a case study of rural-urban migration among the Diola of

Senegal, primarily focusing on women from the village of Affiniam-

Boutem. This case is particularly interesting insofar as Diola women,

both single and married, frequently migrate in greater numbers to urban

Dakar than do either single or married men from the same village. Diola

women often travel and live in groups, without other family members.

They also have achieved, on the whole, far greater success in gaining

urban employment than men from their villages.

The case of Diola women's migration is apparently unique in

Africa. In this dissertation, I present the results of nine months of

field research, and attempt to explain the causes and consequences of

the facts they represent. In accounting for the adjustment of Diola

women to the urban service sector, I apply theories of economic

development, gender roles, and migration. I examine local Diola social

institutions and show how they have survived in the transfer from rural

Casamance to Dakar. These institutions deserve special study, because

they can provide insight into the nature of state-society linkages in

Africa more generally.











Migration as a Factor in Cultural Evolution



Migration has played a key role in the evolutionary processes that

established human populations throughout the world. We have long known,

for example, that agriculture spread to Europe from the Middle East

during the Neolithic. The routes of specific cultigens have been

traced. Recently, one study examined evidence from 26 genetic systems

collected in 3,373 locations, finding that "the spread of agriculture

through Europe was not simply a case of cultural diffusion, but involved

significant differential reproduction of the new farmers whose origins

can be traced to the Near East" (Sokal et al. 1991:143). The authors

conclude that migration played a central role in the spread of

agriculture to Europe.

The literature on African migration overflows with examples of how

the movement of people has affected nearly every aspect of life,

profoundly changing economies, politics, religions, and social

organizations across vast periods of time. Archaeological and

linguistic evidence documents the role of early population movements in

shaping cultural, ecological, and demographic relations among African

peoples (e.g., Haddon 1911; Greenberg 1963; Mabogunje 1976; Shaw 1976;

Phillipson 1985; Rouse 1986; Johnson and Earle 1987; Austen 1987).

The literature on early states and long distance trade further

associates population movement with critically important processes in

African history (see Leary 1970; Quinn 1972; Oloruntimehin 1972, 1974;

Levtzion 1973, 1976; Ajayi 1974). Migration played a central role in

African political and economic systems as part of regular, systematized

patterns of village fissioning (Murdock 1949; Wilson 1951; Cohen 1978;

Johnson and Earle 1987).

When European traders established themselves in coastal Africa,

continental patterns of migration followed the changing loci of trading











activities. The commercial centers near trans-Saharan routes in the

interior slowly suffered due to the exclusive growth of what often

became coastal enclaves (see Hoselitz 1960:189; also Thomas 1960;

Mitchell 1969a; Rodney 1970; Leary 1970; Hopkins 1973; Flint 1974;

Austen 1987; and Hart 1987).

Contemporary Africa experiences ever more rapid change as migra-

tion urbanizes the continent at an unprecedented pace (Clarke and

Kosinski 1982; Adepoju and Clarke 1985:6-7; Hart 1987). Contemporary

migration in Africa must be considered within the context of a rapidly

growing work force, low job growth, and a set of multidimensional crises

that threaten the quality of life on many levels (Adepoju 1991).

With rapid change in the economic environment, migration provides

a quick way for people to adjust. Historically, West Africans have

actively used migration as an efficient means of adapting to changing

economic conditions (Hill 1963; Berg 1965; Little 1965; Coquery-

Vidrovitch 1991). Migration continues to function as a cultural means

of adjusting to economic changes in the present. The relationship

between the environment and migration, however, is complex and systemic

rather than causal. Migration causes urbanization to some extent, but

also functions as a means of adaptation to an increasingly urbanized

social and economic environment. While historically migration was used

to respond primarily to changes in the ecological environment,

increasingly it is used as a response to changes in the social and

economic environment.

As this case study illustrates, social institutions also play an

important role in this model. As I will outline in Chapter 2, certain

social organizations among the Diola served one purpose in historical

times, but since have been adapted to serve another purpose under

contemporary conditions. In particular, voluntary associations have

both affected how migration occurs and have themselves adapted to











changes in migration. The association of women migrants from Affiniam-

Boutem will be one focus of Chapter 3.



A Typological Outline of Migration



The migration literature is truly enormous, extending across all

world regions, academic disciplines and theoretical orientations. A

review of the literature on African migration alone (including

literatures on prehistory, on resettlement, on refugees, on labor

migration, and for example, on migration's role in economic development)

would require a book in itself. Heberle (1955), Petersen (1958),

Mangalam (1968), Du Toit (1990) and especially Byerlee (1972), Pryor

(1982), and Eades (1987) offer explicit, theoretically derived

typologies of migration.' In order to focus on the issues most relevant

to my own research, I outline some categories that I find useful for

comparison between the case with which I am most familiar and other

migration flows in Africa.


Time Period


First, I am concerned here with contemporary migration, not with

migrations in general or with precolonial migrations. I mention several

aspects of migration theory in general elsewhere in this chapter, in

order to locate the discussion in the context of the literature.

Several aspects of migration's role in prehistorical Africa have been

noted above, and I will consider precolonial migration patterns of the

Lower Casamance region of Senegal in particular in Chapter 2.






'For a typological essay focusing specifically on the forms of female
migration, see U.N. Secretariat (1993).











Duration


Second, duration is a critical variable for understanding cases of

migration. One may be absent from home for less than a single day, for

many years--or one may never return. In some cases, as in pastoralist

or hunter-gatherer groups, movement from place to place within a given

territory is a permanent part of life (see Petersen 1955).

Most often, however, migration is defined as movement from a

sedentary residence and as either permanent or temporary depending on

the duration of absence.2 There is of course a certain arbitrariness in

defining the length of time that separates an absence from home from a

migration. Seasonal migration introduces another complication. The

duration of movement is relatively short, perhaps three months, but the

number of individuals involved and the routinized nature of the

phenomenon may make seasonal migrations critical for the economies of

certain social groups or areas. Despite this, seasonal migration often

remains undocumented, especially in less-developed countries.


National Boundaries and Distance


The distances involved and whether or not migrants cross borders

are also important variables for comparing cases of migration. Crossing

a border in Africa may not be different in any practical sense from

remaining within a single nation. Except during crises, African bound-

aries are often abstract concepts to all but national bureaucrats and

foreign observers.









2See Mangalam (1986:7) and Beijer (1969:13) for two useful collections
of various social scientific definitions of migration; see also the
well-known formulation by Lee (1966:49-51).











Economic Issues


Most contemporary writers on African economies now explicitly

recognize the web of connections among rural and urban populations. A

single family may send members to both smaller local towns and the

capital city. There are cases where migration breaks up a community,

but more often migration creates connections among localities. Among

the benefits of these connections for rural dwellers are cash remit-

tances sent from urban kin (Keely and Tran 1989; Russell 1992), although

some theorists question the value of their impact on sending communities

(e.g., Kamiar and Ismail 1991). These questions "relate mainly to pro-

cesses of socioeconomic development per se" (Appleyard 1989:487), and

are not fruitful points for comparison among cases.

Especially when poorer members of a society migrate, there is some

evidence of a positive effect, relieving poverty (Russell 1992:273).

Remittances, for example, can be critical to the survival of rural

families and are frequently used to finance the construction of schools

and health facilities (Conde et al. 1986:108). Such social investment

is an important outcome of migration in the present case. Most urban-

ites remain strongly attached to their rural homes (Gugler 1969:148-151;

Peil et al. 1988), often strengthening their ties to the home village by

sending regular cash remittances.3


Purpose


From the perspective of economic development, changing one's

employment from the agricultural to a non-agricultural sector of the

economy may be more important than the fact of migration itself




3See also the literature on voluntary associations and their role in
maintaining rural/urban ties in Africa and elsewhere (Mangin 1959;
Meillassoux 1968; Reveyrand 1986/87; Peil 1981).











(Johnston 1986; Mellor 1989). Since one may be employed in either or

both economic sectors regardless of one's residence, migration research

instruments cannot assume rural-urban migration and sectoral shifts in

employment are one and the same (Byerlee 1972). It would be best to

collect complete employment records of migrants. However, often

researchers are able to gather only information on the work a migrant

leaves and the job he or she gets (or hopes to acquire) at the destina-

tion of the move (see Winchie and Carment 1989).


Degrees of Compulsion


Finally, an important issue related to the purpose of a move is

the degree to which it is voluntary. The most dramatic illustrations of

this issue are found in the tragic cases of contemporary refugees4 and

the historical Atlantic slave trade." Other examples of involuntary

migration include forced labor such as corv6e, and village relocations

or resettlement, for which there is also a large literature (e.g., see

Koenig 1986, 1987; Fall and Mbodj 1989; Echenberg 1991; McMillan 1993;

Cook 1994).

Actually, much migration is not easily categorized as voluntary or

involuntary. Many people migrate to get better health care and other

social services, for economic gain, for better access to civil services

and infrastructures, or to be near family or friends as is the case

especially for many elderly women in Africa (Gugler 1989; Peil et al.

1988). Generally, Marxists tend to consider migration for economic




4See Brokensha and Scudder (1968); Cernea (1988); Chambers (1979, 1982); Gor-
man (1987); Hansen and Oliver-Smith (1982); INADES (1986); Kibreab (1985);
Koenig (1986); Refugee Studies Programme (1988); Schultheis (1989); Spring
(1979); UNHCR (1981); and U.N. Secretariat (1985).

SSee Curtin (1969) and Inikori (1982). Also, Basil Davidson's The African
Slave Trade contains an excellent reading guide for this most severe case of
involuntary migration (1980:289-293).











benefit as more compelled, while non-Marxists tend to consider such

migrations to be more a matter of choice. Underlying such contradictory

interpretations is the neoclassic theorists' assumption of individual

incentive and choice versus an emphasis by the collectivist thinkers on

the coercive capacity of social institutions.

As with many polar differences in interpretation, identifying

whether a migration is forced or chosen is insufficient. We need scalar

measures, so that examples of migration may be considered as more or

less voluntary rather than as either voluntary or compelled. The key to

understanding degrees of compulsion in migration is in the disaggrega-

tion of the implied variables. For example, factors hindering or

contributing to a particular movement can be elaborated with greater

precision, and the outcomes of a move may be defined more clearly in

terms of destination, purpose, economic effects, and duration.


Typological Sketch of the Present Case


The case of Diola women migrants is presented here briefly, to

introduce it in terms of the typology suggested. We will return to this

case in more detail in Chapters 2 and 3.


Time period

Wage labor migration became an important economic phenomenon

regionally in Lower Casamance only during the 1930s, although migration

for trade was a precolonial phenomenon. Historical migration patterns

are discussed in Chapter 2.


Duration

Today, large majorities of young Diola migrate during the dry

season (roughly January through June) from many villages to urban areas,

primarily Ziguinchor and Dakar.











































Figure 1: Map showing the Casamance region and the research site in
relation to the rest of Senegal. Source: Adapted from United States.
Defense Mapping Agency. 1992. Digital chart of the world. (The source
permits free reproduction and adaptation).

National boundaries

Migration to the regional capital of Ziguinchor, as well as to

provincial towns such as Bignona, is common. Because of the peculiar

nature of the national borders of The Gambia, which itself is located .

entirely within the borders of Senegal, overland migrants from the

Casamance to Dakar must cross two international borders (see Figure 1).

The Diola certainly consider this an international migration. They most

frequently say "I'm going to Senegal" rather than "to Dakar" when they

travel to the capital. Nevertheless, this case is most appropriately

considered an internal migration, since both points of origin and

destination are within the national borders of a single country.












Economic issues

The purpose of my research was to investigate economic issues.

Findings from the research are presented in Chapter 3. Briefly,

however, I found that cash remittances were reported to be sent home

when a migrant had close relatives there. Most immigrants also bring or

send cash to their families at planting and harvest time, to pay for

cooperative labor groups. Voluntary associations in Dakar also organize

more substantial collections in cash and in kind for projects to repair

or construct schools, health facilities, and other village improvements.

This latter function was particularly interesting to me.


Purpose

Most immigrants in my study, including almost all of the thirty

members of the women's association interviewed in Dakar, left family

farms in Casamance to work as domestic maids in the informal sector of

urban Dakar (see Lubell and Zarour 1990).


Compulsion

The question of how freely one undertakes a move from, for

example, a village with very limited land for staple rice agriculture,

is certainly a legitimate issue for debate. However, the village of

Affiniam-Boutem, the focus of this case, is universally understood to

have more than adequate arable land for both groundnuts and rice, as

well as a diverse set of natural resources providing adequate and nearby

fishing areas, fruit trees, and construction materials such as thatch

and clay. For residents of Affiniam-Boutem, it is a cliche to insist

that "we have everything we need here, except money."











Causes of Migration from Various Theoretical Perspectives



Neoclassical Models


Neoclassical explanations of migration begin with the assumption

that migration is caused predominantly by economic motives. Ravenstein

(1885, 1889) was the first to systematically formulate theoretical

statements about migration from this perspective. Despite their venera-

ble age, Ravenstein's "papers have stood the test of time and remain the

starting point for work in migration theory" (Lee 1966:47).

Social scientists have now applied this theoretical orientation to

various aspects of migration for over a century, making it one of the

longest-studied social phenomena. With such a long tradition of work on

this problem, researchers have had ample time to test many elements of

various theories, comparing them against both competing hypotheses and

entirely different models. The neoclassical approach is by no means the

only perspective garnering a substantial following in contemporary

migration research. However, it retains its vitality through adaptation

under sustained critique from traditional social scientists as well as

from its more recent radical critics, the dependency theorists and neo-

Marxists.

Economistic models within this orientation have tended to use

somewhat coarse units of observation throughout its history. Some

influential writers (e.g., Ravenstein 1889; Lewis 1954, 1955; Harris and

Todaro 1970; Todaro 1976) began modeling by associating broad economic

sectors (e.g., modern versus traditional) with whole geographic regions

(e.g., urban versus rural).6 Such models appear simplistic in



6The overly simplistic concept of the fully modern city surrounded by
increasingly distant and traditional villages, like the very definitions
of rural and urban, has inspired long and contentious debate. For a
recent review see Coquery-Vidrovitch (1991:6-10).











retrospect because the variability within such broad categories has

since been demonstrated repeatedly throughout the literature. Scholars

working within this orientation have, however, reacted creatively to

valid criticism, improving the power of this approach to explain the

causes of migration. For example, criticism of the 'dualism' supposedly

inherent to the model has been incorporated over time as a more fine-

grained approach to the observation of certain key variables has

developed.

Thus, groups previously assumed to be homogeneous (i.e., peasants)

are now commonly defined as members of smaller units according to a wide

range of cultural and other factors such as land tenure patterns,

specific economic conditions, political characteristics, and specific

measures of households' labor availability in relation to cultivable

land holdings (Byerlee 1972; Byerlee and Eicher 1972:4; Gluckman 1943;

Gulliver 1957, 1960; Harris 1959; Hill 1970, 1986; Miracle and Berry

1970; Niddrie 1954; Skinner 1960). Similarly, rural economies have been

demonstrated to have many elements, both modern and traditional, as do

urban-based enterprises (Byerlee and Eicher 1972:6,16) to which they are

often linked.


Social Groups as Factors in Migration


Regardless of the issue of unit scale in data observation, some

economists have argued that migration can be sufficiently explained with

economic data alone (e.g., Fields 1982; Knight 1972; Todaro 1976, 1980).

Proponents of this view have had to answer the criticism from their

colleagues that analyses based exclusively on economic data are often

insufficient to fully explain important noneconomic social phenomena

(Yotopoulos and Nugent 1976:220).

A consideration of social organizational factors improves the

analysis of such complex phenomena as migration. Neoclassical theory











has been modified (especially in the "new household economics" school)

to incorporate measures of such diverse factors as social networks, risk

aversion, stages of the life cycle, dependency ratios, and other infor-

mation theoretically influencing migration decisions (see Bender 1967;

Caldwell 1970; Epstein 1969, 1975; Goldstein and Goldstein 1981; Hammel

and Laslett 1974; Leslie and Richardson 1961; Sandefur and Scott 1981;

Sanjek 1982; Speare et al. 1982; Stark and Levhari 1982; Stark 1984a,

1984b; Tuma et al. 1979; Uhlenburg 1973).

Another challenge to the neoclassical approach involves studies of

the experience of individuals rather than of larger-scale (economic or

cultural) processes. The focus is on changes in the attitudes or values

of individual migrants. Scholars in this tradition assert that non-

traditional attitudes and values cause the breakdown of traditional

authority in addition to increasing the incidence of migration. Such

studies essentially challenge neoclassical assumptions by adopting

alternate presuppositions. They do so, however, in an abstract fashion

without providing any empirical support for their choice of assumptions.

To conclude from variant rates of migration across social groups that

one must study only individual migrants lacks sufficient basis. The

causes of migration in a given context cannot be established through

intensive studies of individual migration experiences. Rather, research

should be directed toward controlled comparisons of migration among

different groups and contexts. Case study work may be a necessary step

toward such comparative research goals.

Gugler (1968, 1969) provides an excellent discussion of the

differences resulting from a focus upon the individual incidence of

migration as opposed to an emphasis on the rate of migration in a given

population. He credits Mitchell (1959) with the earliest elaboration of

this distinction. While Mitchell considered the variables determining

migration to be either economic or personal, there are in fact many non-











economic factors that can be considered as political, social, or

domestic, among other categories (e.g., see Winchie and Carment 1989).

Examples include bottlenecks in labor availability, tax collection

intervals, domestic or life cycles, and dependency ratios. Variant

rates of migration among groups are most likely to be explained by

multidimensional variables including economic, cultural, social network,

household or family, and personal (e.g., demographic) factors.

While an atomistic approach to migration studies was common in the

1960s, it was challenged in the 1970s by models that used macro-level

units of analysis. The most popular of these new models was dependency

theory.


Dependency Models


As it does for other issues, the dependency approach to migration

stresses that the bifurcated rural/urban division, like the categorical

division of modern versus traditional, is a misguided attempt to depict

contemporary Third World societies simply. Writers from this perspec-

tive emphasize the interrelatedness of rural and urban economies, with

migrants carrying labor value out of the 'periphery' to the 'core' of

the world economic system.7

The value of the dependency critique was that it popularized

important inadequacies of the 'dual sector' model (e.g., see Lewis 1954,

1955). The dependency critique also established the importance of

international market factors more generally, emphasizing the effects of

the inequitable 'distortions' of market transactions undertaken between

Third World enterprises and those of the developed world (Emmanuel






7Shoemaker (1976) was the first writer to apply the dependency perspec-
tive to migration theory (Kearney 1986:339).












1972). Nevertheless, the dependency critique was itself rather

simplistic.

A key theoretical oversight of dependency models was their repro-

duction of the dualism of which they were so critical. In retrospect,

this dualism was probably a result of utilizing the very coarse units

adopted by both dependency models and the neoclassical models that were

targeted for criticism by this popular academic school.

The core/periphery division is no more successful as an analytical

tool for social science than the labeling of modern and traditional

factors. Empirically, these tools divide societies in very similar

ways. Without a successful analytical method capable of innovative

analyses of existing data, social research might still produce new data

through fieldwork guided by innovative theoretical insight.

Unfortunately, however, the dependency approach provides no theoretical

guidance for empirical research.

There is little detail even at the abstract level regarding the

mechanisms underlying the flow of labor and value in ways assumed by the

dependency theory. As Booth explained, the theory "could not specify

the mechanisms by which what capital 'needed' was translated into

reality at the local level" (Booth 1985:768). The 'core' economies

cause migration from without by means of the same vague mechanisms that

subject 'peripheral' areas to unequal economic treatment on inter-

national markets.


Neo-Marxism


Interestingly, some of the most thorough and convincing critiques

of the dependency school have come from within the same tradition that

spawned it (e.g., de Janvry 1981; Brenner 1977; Warren 1980; see also

Palma 1978). Essentially, other Marxists have challenged dependency

models for their attribution of external causes for change in









16

'peripheral' society. Economic growth (and consequently, migration) is

explained only in negative terms by a "law of underdevelopment" (Frank

1967; Sweezy 1972; Amin 1974b).

The neo-Marxist ('modes of production' or 'articulation') orien-

tation is more convincing and withstands more intense criticism,

focusing on 'class' divisions within societies outside the developed

world and how these have influenced changes from within these societies.

This perspective emphasizes the diversity and vitality of rural

production, inquiring how the tenacity of indigenous organization is

maintained in the face of political and economic encroachments by

capitalist firms (see Goodman and Redclift 1982; Binsbergen and

Geschiere 1985).

Much important empirical research was undertaken in response to

the neo-Marxist French anthropologists working in Africa (e.g., Rey

1973; and Meillassoux 1972, 1981), particularly regarding social

patterns observable within villages and even households. The wider

social and political influences of such patterns upon women's roles,

their utility in explaining certain other gender-related patterns

(migration among them), and the effects of dense rural-urban linkages

are major emphases within this literature. Because of the attention it

places on interrelations between rural and urban economic activities

this approach is sometimes referred to as 'articulationism' (see Kearney

1986), but this term is jargon and offers no additional clarity.

Neo-Marxist writing has theoretically identified the household as

the pivotal locale from which individuals can be observed working,

consuming, and engaging in their own 'reproduction' as well as that of

their social structure. Rural areas maintain the structures of states

in the Third World first of all by subsidizing urban industry with

artificially low producer prices (Bates 1981). Additionally, these

areas provide services to laborers who can migrate to live temporarily












in urban areas without placing expensive demands on state distributions

for social services and welfare (Meillassoux 1972; Wolpe 1975). These

services are instead performed in rural areas, often by women in unpaid

roles within the household or by others in the village and throughout

the depressed rural economy, which benefits little itself in terms of

development (Schmink 1984; Mamdani 1985).

The focus on domestic, social 'reproductive' contexts in relation

to local political structures and economic production has proven a

fertile ground for research, cultivating vigorous debate relative to

issues of migration (e.g., Burroway 1976; CNFNA 1983). The popularity

of this literature is due in part to the fact that dependency theory

failed to gain any significant empirical support through field research.

Another important alternative to dependency theory is the literature on

women and inter-household relations in the Third World.S The atomism of

neoclassical economic models and the macro-level approach of the dual-

sector modernization and dependency models obscured the local contextual

determinants of migration. The latter became more visible through the

adoption of middle-range units of observation, largely inspired by

research and critiques from the neo-Marxist perspective.


Conclusions on the Causes of Migration


A valid critique of classical theory notes that broad economic

conditions cannot provide an adequate explanation of migration patterns

on the local level. There are nonrandom, measurable differences in the

rates of migration across social groups at this level. Individuals do

not react to economic conditions as atomistic units, as the classical




8For some examples from a burgeoning literature on the household, see
Chayanov (1966); Meillassoux (1972); Guyer (1981); Wood (1981); Netting
et. al. (1984); Schmink (1984); Leacock and Safa (1986); Moock (1986);
Boyd (1989); Bullwinkle (1989); and Pedraza (1991).











libertarian economic theory assumes. Rather, theoretical explanations

of variability in the rates of migration among different social groups

and categories provide satisfactory means of understanding why general

economic conditions do not affect everyone similarly. This challenges

the applicability of the assumption of rational and knowledgeable

individual decision making units (e.g., Harris and Todaro 1970). Econo-

mists such as Todaro (1981) and Harris (1978:110) have recast the

problem of migration in terms of behavioral adaptations to inequalities

in the structure of markets, responding to an essentially valid critique

from the left (see Kearney 1986:335-336).

The categories adopted by dependency writers were as monolithic

and cumbersome as the dualistic concepts used by the modernization

writers. Moreover, the dependency school has failed to adapt

successfully in the face of theoretical and empirical challenges. So-

called conventional theory, in contrast, has adapted well to

intermediate units of analysis.

The decade of the 1980s saw the development of an increasingly

sophisticated view of social organization by researchers interested in

economic and migration variables, among other research areas. As noted

above, economists incorporated concepts of household, small consumer

group behavior, and empirical 'distortions' in the marketplace from

other social science fields. Investigations into local social organiza-

tion and behavior were successful at disaggregating coarse, monolithic

categories such as 'rural', 'urban', 'modern,' and 'traditional' into

more meaningful variables and observable units. The resulting

intermediate-level units often have complex interactions among them. In

some sense, these improvements also were due to pressure from Marxist-

derived critiques of classical economic theory.











Consequences of Migration



Economic and Social Scientific Contributions


From the point of view of the receiving community, the effects of

migration are depicted most often in terms of the labor market. High

rates of migration reduce the cost of (especially unskilled) labor to

urban industry. Related food policy issues, such as whether governments

should subsidize consumer staples, are also important from this

primarily urban perspective (see Bates 1981; Timmer et al. 1983).

The literature on African urbanization points to many other issues

relevant to the communities receiving large influxes of migrants. These

include problems related to rapidly growing needs in housing, urban

infrastructure, and public services such as health and education, as

well as the difficulties of incorporating formerly rural peoples into

multi-cultural urban settings (see Mangin 1959; Gluckman 1961; Kuper

1965; Little 1965; Plotnikov 1967; Mayer 1969; Hance 1970; Middleton

1979; Hannerz 1980; Peil 1981; Coquery-Vidrovitch 1991).

The effects of migration on sending communities were rarely

considered prior to studies conducted by the British social

anthropologists during and after World War II (see the exceptional early

work by Thomas and Znaniecki 1927; Sorokin et al. 1932; and Thomas

1938). In British colonial Africa, a seasonal or "circulatory" pattern

of migration was the dominant means by which labor was supplied to urban

enterprises in many of the white settler economies.

This "circulatory labor" phenomenon appeared to damage rural wel-

fare, as in some cases there were not enough men left in rural areas to

grow the amount of food needed by consumers there (Richards 1939; Wilson

1941). The survival of traditional authority and culture seemed to be

at risk (Schapera 1947). For the administrators of indirect colonial











rule, this was a threatening possibility (Eades 1987). Fortunately,

however, the improved worldwide economic climate after 1945 averted

rural disintegration and the crisis it would have created for rural

peoples as well as colonial governments (Eades 1987; see also Hart 1987;

Hopkins 1973).

In the years since World War II, most non-Marxist anthropology

research has supported a moderately positive view of emigration from

rural areas. In Africa, rural households often receive half their total

incomes from remittances returned by members employed in urban areas

(Schapera 1947:62; Hyden 1980; Keely and Tran 1989; Russell 1992).

Empirical studies undertaken throughout Africa have demonstrated that

migration may in some cases strengthen traditional forms of authority by

providing resources to senior members of rural households, supporting

economic growth and innovation in rural agriculture (Read 1942; Watson

1958; Van Velson 1961; Hill 1963). Such work did much to weaken the

atomistic assumptions of neoclassical economists regarding rural Africa.

Early models of African migration assumed that labor was abundant

to the point of surplus, though unproductive in rural areas (Harris and

Todaro 1970; Lewis 1954; also see Ravenstein 1889). Field studies of

rural labor undertaken during the 1960s demonstrated instead that most

African countries face both seasonal labor peaks and bottlenecks during

different points in the agricultural cycle (de Wilde et al. 1970; Cleave

1974). Thus, rural labor was not plentiful and unproductive as it

appeared in such models, but instead faced constraints associated with

severe seasonal fluctuations in demand.

By concentrating people into areas that can both more efficiently

use labor resources and provide goods and services to increasingly large

conglomerations of consumers, migration plays a key role in the

development process (Caldwell 1969:204; Todaro 1976, 1980, 1981; Knight

1972; Harris 1978; Southall 1979). West African history contains












numerous examples of migration serving as an efficient adaptation to

changing economic conditions in both urban and rural areas (Berg

1965:161; Hill 1963; Little 1965).


Dependency Views


Writers in the dependency school have been particularly uninspired

with regard to research on the effects of migration on rural areas. The

model assumes a net loss in value for sending areas in the 'periphery.'

It provides no theoretical support for empirical research in the context

of these points of origin. These facts together have resulted in a

distinct lack of dependency research on this topic. With little empiri-

cal research spawned by this orientation, there is a correspondingly

small need to discuss any contributions of dependency theory toward

understanding the effects of migration on rural sending communities.

The dependency literature has provoked research on the effects of

so-called 'free trade zones,' with an almost singular focus on 'runaway

shops.' A relatively recent phenomenon in some Third World areas, this

term refers to contracts with large multinational firms that sponsor

satellite assembly operations for the garment and electronic industries.

Because these firms once operated only in developed economies, they are

called 'runaways.' Relocations from developed areas are often encour-

aged by favorable government policies in the Third World as well as

international trade treaties such as NAFTA. Another factor drawing such

firms to less developed countries is a plentiful supply of cheap (often

primarily female) labor for such operations in parts of East Asia,

Africa, and the Caribbean (see Lim 1978; Frobel et al. 1980; Nash and

Fernandez-Kelly 1983; Sassen-Koob 1983; Safa 1986; and Pedraza 1991).

Notwithstanding important work on this phenomenon, statements by

dependency researches often over-generalize from such specific cases.

An example is the following assertion: "Modern labor migration is a









22

very highly organized State-controlled movement of workers" (Kamiar and

Ismail 1991:562). Only a very specific and overly restrictive

definition of "modern" could make this a reasonable statement in light

of the numerous and highly variant cases of migration to urban areas

throughout the Third World.


Neo-Marxist Approaches


The neo-Marxist literature, in contrast, has supported a great

deal of research on a variety of specific local effects of migration

from rural areas. It demonstrably is more open to debate on the issue

of the net effects of emigration from rural areas than the dependency

school has been (Kearney 1986; e.g., see de Jonge et al. 1978). One of

the important aspects of this debate has been whether or not return

migrants contribute positively to the local economy. Do such indi-

viduals invest in productive growth either directly or through remit-

tances to relatives in the rural area? Or are they more apt simply to

improve their own families' level of consumption, without spreading

benefits more generally within the local economy?

The issues of return migration and remittances are related, in

that an evaluation of the role each plays in the home village often

signals an evaluator's attitudes toward migration and economic

development in general. Evaluations ostensibly weighing the economic

outcomes of diverse case studies instead often appear simply to use such

cases as evidence cited in support of a prior position on development.

Kearney summarizes the literature, primarily Latin American

(1986:346), and suggests a lack of empirical support for the thesis that

local economic benefits are a likely outcome of return migration (see

Mines and Massey 1985; Reichert 1981; Rhoades 1978, 1980; Stuart and

Kearney 1981; Swanson 1979; Wiest 1979). Indeed, studies undertaken

from diverse theoretical orientations suggest that expenditures by











returnees are more likely to be made for the purchase of consumption

goods for the family, including housing, land, and the education of the

return migrants' children (Cornelius 1978; Dinerman 1982; Chilivumbo

1985). However, as Gmelch (1987) argues, returning students and

professionals may bring more benefits back to their rural home areas

than migrant laborers (see Miller 1984). Furthermore, levels of

productive investment appear more significant if expenditures for such

'necessary' costs as housing are excluded from the analysis (Gmelch

1987:137). Finally, expenditures for so-called consumptive purposes can

have important, positive effects in economically depressed rural

communities.

The debate is not focused on the issue of whether (or how much)

money returns to the home village either through remittances or returns.

An enormous sum, representing an international financial exchange second

only to the trade in crude oil, is estimated to return annually to

villages worldwide through remittances (Russell 1992:269). Rather, at

issue is whether or not these monies represent a positive contribution

to economic development, either locally or nationally. Responses to

this question often have more to do with how individual writers evaluate

economic development itself than to analysis of remittance data

(Appleyard 1989:487).

Many writers disregard the value of local consumptive expenditures

to economic development. Nevertheless, particularly in the Sahel, these

have been "crucial to financing expansion of educational facilities in

rural areas" (Russell 1992:275; see Cond6 and Diagne 1986; Gould

1988:4.1.49; and Bradshaw 1988). Such expenditures, including the

construction of health care facilities and relying heavily on

remittances, represent an important investment in human capital. The

migrants I studied in my own research actively invested in just these

kinds of facilities in their home village. More generally, it has been











noted that especially when poorer members of a society migrate, while

"there is no automatic mechanism by which. migration and remittances

result in development. .limited available evidence suggests a positive

effect on poverty" (Russell 1992:273).


Conclusions on the Effects of Migration from the Village


The question of whether rural areas experience net material losses

or in fact gain from migration is an important research topic, ripe for

further empirical inquiry. Relatively few data have been collected to

clearly indicate actual capital flows in and out of specific rural areas

(Eicher and Baker 1982:226).

Notwithstanding the important issue of net capital flows,

empirical research on the diverse effects of rural emigration has

documented such dependent outcomes as the growth and expansion of

markets serving small urban centers (Southall 1979, 1989; Middleton

1979; Nicolas and Gaye 1988), increased national integration (Paden

1980; Skinner 1985), improvements in rural family consumption and

education levels (Chilivumbo 1985; Cond6 and Diagne 1986; Russell 1992),

and changes in the gender composition of the rural labor force (Staudt

1975; Chaney and Lewis 1980; Palmer 1985).

Dependency writers often claim that modernization and classical

social science theories assume that change, such as an increased rate of

rural-urban migration, is good (see Lipton 1980; Swanson 1979). In

fact, this is an often-repeated (but false) depiction of much of the

social science literature of the first half of this century. As noted

before, some colonial British anthropologists in fact argued that

migration was destructive of traditional African culture (e.g. Richards

1939; Wilson 1941; see Eades 1987). Reacting to such conclusions,

others have countered that it is wrong to assume that migration is

harmful to rural welfare (Read 1942; Watson 1958; Van Velson 1961).












Dependency models themselves generally consider certain outcomes

as foregone conclusions. An example is the assumed loss of value in

rural areas due to urban migration (Kearney 1986:354-355; see also

Griffin 1976; cf. Amin 1974a; Bohning 1975; Swanson 1979). Empirical

evaluation of specific outcomes is not supported by the theoretical

model. The value of empirical social research is instead that the costs

and benefits of such a phenomenon can be measured and weighed against

one another (Miracle and Berry 1970).

Only in subsequent academic generations have Marxist collectivist

traditions begun to actively support empirical research. Field

researchers in the neo-Marxist school have since observed migration in

its local context and gathered data concerning the functions of diverse

household strategies, including migration. It is no surprise that

empirical field research challenges the validity of outcomes that were

assumed in the dependency literature. Empirical work from the neo-

Marxist school has recently demonstrated that migrants may bring

significant benefits to their rural communities of origin (Wood 1981,

1982; Schmink 1984; Hart 1987; Griffin 1976).



Implications and Conclusions



Households and Voluntary Associations

A focus on village and inter-household social organization has

proven an innovative and useful way to consider specific local causes of

migration. In my view, the most useful aspects of this perspective owe

more to 'conventional' anthropologists than to Marxists. Certainly,

though, the interaction of these traditions has heightened interest in

this fertile research area. The household focus successfully provides a

means to combine macro- and micro-level analyses, as well as both












structural and individual approaches to the study of the causes and

consequences of migration.

The concept of the household as a basic domestic unit of

production and consumption remains difficult to operationalize, since it

cannot be defined similarly for all places and times (see Yanagisako

1979). However, in any given context it can be a heuristic interme-

diate-level model for reconciling problems encountered with analysis at

the structural or individual level. The household provides a context in

which various migration situations or circumstances can be interpreted.

Processes operating at the highest levels of social analysis, such

as urbanization, international trade, economic development, and the

like, have important consequences that affect individual choices to

migrate. At the same time, individual variables, including demographic

characteristics and personal migration experience for example, have also

proven to be important determinants of migration. At an intermediate

level of analysis, meanwhile, "the control the productive unit in the

rural economy is able to exert over the timing and length of the mi-

grants' absence can be crucial" (Gugler 1969:476).

At another, also intermediate level, as we have discussed,

voluntary associations often have an important effect on members'

contributions in support of basic needs in the home village. To

understand the role of these intermediate level institutions requires

location- and context-specific research in the field. However, this

focus promises to elucidate, for any specific case, causes of

variability in migration rates left unexplained by either macro-level or

individual variables. Households and voluntary associations have

important influences on their members, as has been demonstrated in the

migration literature (Mangin 1959; Little 1965; Plotnikov 1967;

Meillassoux 1968; Mitchell 1969b; Peil 1981, 1988; Wood 1981; Speare et

al. 1982; Schmink 1984; Traeger 1984; Boyd 1989; Lambert 1994; Woods












1994). Thus, studying the household as well as voluntary associations

and their influences upon members can provide important insights into

the determinants of specific migration patterns.


African Women as Active and Independent Migrants


Empirical research on women's roles as migrants anywhere in the

world remains uncommon and certainly is not yet well represented in the

literature. Research in Africa frequently has focused on women left

behind in rural villages, managing homes and farms alone, while men

undertake urban migration (e.g., Richards 1939; Wilson 1941; Cooper

1979; Chaney and Lewis 1980; Wilkinson 1983; Hirschman and Vaughan 1984;

Palmer 1985). Much of the research that does address women as migrants

assumes they are associationall" movers, accompanying husbands or

families, rather than undertaking to move independently. This notion is

largely outdated (Bilsborrow and Zlotnik 1992) but persists in the

literature just the same.

Some research on female migration per se has been published in

recent years, although there are still few examples of any kind (see

Diner 1983; and Lee 1989 for two historical examples; and Pedraza 1991

for a general review). In the past those that considered women in the

migration stream itself often focused on normative issues, rather than

questions chosen to advance theoretical or contextual understanding.

For example, unmarried or independent migrant women were frequently

assumed to be prostitutes (e.g., Nadel 1942; see also Little 1965, 1973;

Plotnikov 1967; Gugler 1968, 1969; but cf. Cock 1980; Brydon 1987;

Sudarkasa 1977). While this role does exist for African women migrants,

the presumption is distorted and accentuated by cultural bias both

within some African cultures and by Western observers (Pittin 1984;

Brydon 1987:167).











There is still a need for more case studies focusing on women as

migrants (Byron 1994), and particularly as independent migrants seeking

legitimate work. The image of the woman migrant as either a prostitute

or the dependent of a migrating man, while not entirely baseless,

certainly is not indicative of the important role many women migrants

play in contemporary Africa. In West Africa, for example, commerce has

provided an important attraction for women to leave their rural homes:

"Most of the millions of women involved in internal migration within the

various countries [of West Africa] would fall under the category of

commercial migrants" (Sudarkasa 1977:183). While this may overstate the

case, it indicates that the role of women as commercial migrants is

important in this continental sub-region. Other important research on

African women as independent migrants and important economic actors in

the urban setting includes Little (1965), Schuster (1979), Hansen

(1985), Moran (1990), and Bozzoli (1991). Hansen (1985) and Bozzoli

(1991) are concerned most directly with female migrants as domestic

servants, the focus of my own research.

Stichter (1985) asserts that relatively high rates of female

migration in Asia and Latin America indicate the greater economic

subjugation of women in these regions, calling them "free laborers."

Meanwhile, the general lack of female mobility in Africa indicates a low

social status for women, where in precolonial times their "status was

not dissimilar to that of slaves or serfs" (Stichter 1985:148). A view

of African women as entirely dependent on men for their mobility is not

without precedent nor is it entirely false in certain cultural contexts

(see Nadel 1942; Thandi and Todaro 1979, 1984; Cock 1980; Shah 1983;

Brydon 1987; Boyd 1989). However, African women migrate in surprising









29

numbers9 where there are the combined conditions of independence at home

and opportunity abroad, while remaining quite distinct from the Marxist

notion of a landless 'free laborer' (for West Africa see Caldwell 1969;

Hamer 1981; Oppong 1983; Sanjek 1976; Sudarkasa 1977; Yacoob 1983;

Zachariah and Nair 1980; also see Ochollo-Ayayo n.d. for evidence of

migration for East African single women; and Wells 1982 for the same in

South Africa). My own research supports the view that under certain

circumstances, "gender differences in the division of labor may favor

migration of women more than men" (Boyd 1989:657). In this case, the

reasons have more to do with the gender division of labor than with

issues of women's social status.

As elsewhere in the undeveloped world, high quality migration data

for Africa are scarce (Adepoju and Clarke 1985:17). It is rare to find

any data set in which gender variables are associated with valid

indicators of migration. National level census data are even less

likely to be adequate for investigating women migrants. Male migration

in Africa has been relatively well documented over a substantial period

of time, but information on women migrants is almost totally lacking.

Among other things, because women are more likely to work in the

informal sector, data on them are especially difficult to collect

(Bilsborrow and Zlotnik 1992; see Lubell and Zarour 1990). In

particular, specific "evidence on the determinants of female migration

in Africa remains virtually nonexistent" (Brockerhoff and Eu 1993:561;

see Thadani and Todaro 1984).

African women increasingly are migrating, both internationally and

alone (Adepoju 1991). If historical data from elsewhere are indicative

of the future trends in Africa, women's migration rates there will



9Brydon's (1987) data indicate that in Ghana, Avatime women leave for
the same reasons as men, and for those women under the age of thirty,
leave in much the same numbers as men.











continue to increase over time (see Byerlee 1972; Byerlee and Eicher

1972; Caldwell 1969; Connell 1984; Easterlin 1980; Fawcett et al. 1984;

Khoo et al. 1984; Melville 1978; Orlansky and Dubrovsky n.d.; Singh

1978; Roy 1983; Thadani and Todaro 1979; Thomas 1970; Traeger 1984;

Whiteford 1978; Lee 1989). Therefore, documenting female migration and

(perhaps more importantly) discovering the relationships between male

and female migration in Africa will become increasingly important.

Empirical data collected in Africa on women indicate that they

generally migrate at a younger age than do men. They are constrained

from migrating by such things as high fertility and marriage (Bilsborrow

and Zlotnik 1982; Brokerhoff and Eu 1993; U.N. Secretariat 1993).

Interestingly, women also are less likely than men to return to their

home villages once they move to an urban setting. This leaves many

African cities with predominantly female populations, especially among

the older age groups. Among the issues deserving of further research

attention are the feminization of older urban populations, inter-house-

hold relations among migrant families, and the economic roles women

migrants play in rapidly changing African cities. Migration also can

have important effects on gender relations, fertility, and the division

of labor in rural areas. "Internal migration, and particularly its

rural-urban form, is inextricably linked with other demographic phenom-

ena, as in the case where regional fertility differentials essentially

reflect the age-sex selectivity of migration" (Pryor 1982:25; see Farber

and Lee 1984; Brokerhoff and Eu 1993).

Historical evidence on coastal areas of West Africa during the

early twentieth century indicates that women were demonstrating an

economic independence from men in both the commercial arena (Brooks

1976) and in wage employment. The latter case is supported by the fact

that at least some Diola women in Casamance were being employed as dock

workers (seasonally, after the groundnut harvest) in Bathurst (Banjul)











as early as the 1880s, and in Ziguinchor by 1910 (Mark 1985:74; Roche

1976:316; Snyder 1978:240). Such opportunities would not be sufficient

to cause migration from a given community. However, this would require

a social environment that both supported the participation of women in

the cash economy and allowed their movement independent of men.

Presumably, this also indicates a need for cash among Diola women at

that time. This particular aspect will be discussed in Chapter 2.

In my own research, I focused on contemporary Diola women

originally from the Casamance region of Senegal. Many of them were

seasonal migrants, earning wages in the urban service sector, working as

domestic maids. I was interested in whether or not their migration

functions as a means of attaining capital for agricultural and other

productive investments in their village of origin. Women are prominent

in the migration flow from Casamance, and are particularly successful at

gaining urban employment. In the village, the division of agricultural

and other labor has undergone extensive change through time,

particularly since the colonial era (Linares 1970, 1981, 1985). Subse-

quent expenditures in their home village, including a repair of the

school roof and the construction of a maternity clinic, were financed

through dues and other contributions to one of several voluntary organi-

zations. Some funds, either sent as remittances or brought with them on

their return to the village, were used to hire cooperative labor groups.


Conclusions


No general theory of migration exists to integrate multiple and

competing models successfully. Because they often operate at different

levels of analysis, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive (Massey

et al. 1993). Several have benefitted from critical interaction with

their academic competitors. The models that have benefitted most from

continual modifications are able to operate effectively at intermediate











levels of analysis. The household concept provides one means by which

both macro- and micro-level data can be integrated and considered within

a given cultural context. However, it remains a heuristic device,

without promise of integrating diverse theoretical models.

Perhaps there is no need for an integrated theory of migration,

except in terms of its role in economic development. Migration patterns

diverge greatly depending on a great number of contextual situations and

variables. Careful case study work remains to be done to adequately

describe the full range of contexts in which women migrate. But if

there is no need for a separate theory of migration, there certainly is

no more reason to develop a separate theory of the female migrant. In

the case of Diola women, as we shall see in Chapter 2, women began to

use migration as a means of acquiring cash in the newly transformed

economy soon after Casamance was integrated into the colonial state of

Senegal. They were affected by economic changes differently from men

because of their social position in the agricultural economy. Diola

women's migration from the Casamance does not indicate that they were

targeted for exploitation. In fact, their status in traditional society

was relatively strong. They owned land and could divorce their

husbands, for example (Pelissier 1966:687). However, becauseQf_-the.

changes introduced by the colonial administration, their role as rice

producers was inadvertently devalued. As cash became increasingly

necessary, they sought access to the cash economy and found no

opportunities for earning wages in the rural setting. Thus, they sought

work in town, first nearby in Ziguinchor, but eventually further afield

in Dakar.

If we are to understand the causes and effects of migration in the

truly complex context faced by African women, more data are needed on

historical as well as contemporary economic opportunities at home and

abroad. These data need to be understood within the specific social











context of the source community, with its network of connections to

individuals and groups at the destination. Nevertheless, this is a

neglected aspect of migration research overall, and the particular

context of female migration may vary a great deal from that of men in

the same cultural setting. This situation requires specialized research

agendas and a particularly focused attention by researchers if good,

valid data are to be collected for women migrants. Similarly, while

there is no need for an "African theory of migration" (Byerlee 1972:17),

migration research in Africa is a specialized task requiring preparation

in a diverse range of background material. Wage-earning opportunities

have been generally unavailable to African women, perhaps due in some

degree to the colonial legacy. Some exploration of the cases in which

these opportunities have existed over time is therefore warranted.
















CHAPTER 2
A PERIODIZATION OF DIOLA HISTORY



Introduction



Any discussion of the history of Diola migration before the

twentieth century must acknowledge the constraints implicit in the

scarcity of relevant, valid data. The available data are insufficient

to support the construction of a complete history of Diola migration,

and my goal is decidedly not to predict trends. It is nevertheless both

possible and useful to synthesize what data are available, interpreting

them in the light of comparable cases. The goal of this chapter is to

identify particular periods in Diola history during which the rates of

change were sufficiently slowed and sustained to permit a generalized

description that is applicable during a relatively long, rather well-

defined span of time.

The result of any such exercise is necessarily limited in its

usefulness as history. However, it may provide a useful

characterization of long term historical trends for a chosen cultural

phenomenon, in this case the changing patterns of Diola migration. The

goal of describing such long term trends in the patterns of Diola

migration will be pursued systematically in this chapter by first

introducing the criteria used to identify particular historical periods.

The identification and characterization of these periods will be the

focus of the second section of the chapter. The third section will

outline and describe the general characteristics of Diola migration

during each of these periods. Finally, the characteristics of Diola









35

migration during each period will be summarized in a table at the end of

the chapter.

What we know about the history of Diola migration is determined,

largely although not completely, by the limited availability of

information on the Diola before the twentieth century. Epistemological

issues are fundamental to the evaluation of scientific work, as they are

for all claims to knowledge (Kaplan 1964; Lakatos 1970). Such issues

are merely highlighted in a case such as this, where sources of data are

particularly scarce. In light of this scarcity, the criteria used to

identify generalized periods of Diola history are provided explicitly

below. They form relatively (not absolutely) stable periods within the

long history of dynamic change characteristic of the area. These

periods are emphatically heuristic categories. That is, they are useful

for my purposes--the study of Diola migration--but of unknown utility

for particular historical research, whether within or between identified

periods.

Periods of Diola cultural history are defined here in several

ways. For example, archaeological data indicate that important changes

in Diola subsistence patterns were taking place during the earliest

period. Because such patterns are theoretically associated with certain

types of migration, the first period is defined to separate the time

before such a change from the time after it. Thus, the first criterion

for defining a period is evidence for a theoretically important subsis-

tence change. In this instance, local evidence is considered signifi-

cant because we can infer changes in the dependent variable, migration,

based on observed changes in the independent variable, subsistence.

The second way periods are defined is based on a change in broader

regional conditions that is hypothesized to act as a selective factor

influencing specific local outcomes. For example, historians of the

broader region have documented the influx of other ethnicities into the











local area. Evidence of such large-scale population movements is also

observable in local archaeological data. The establishment of political

organizations that defended particular trade interests and

transportation routes in the local area restricted Diola territorial

expansion. This restriction, in effect, would have selected for certain

subsistence strategies, specifically for economic intensification and

increased sedentism.

Finally, a period may be identified by historical events having a

known effect either directly on the group itself, or on a range of

groups that may be compared with the Diola and its effects inferred

based on known cultural similarities and differences among these groups.

A relevant example is the effect of the Atlantic slave trade on the

Diola. While little specific information on Diola groups in particular

is available (e.g., see Bowser 1974; and BUhnen 1993), historical

documentation does exist regarding the effects of slavery on neighboring

groups such as the Balanta and Manjaku. Particular cultural

characteristics of these groups may be compared and contrasted with the

Diola in order to infer how they were affected by this important

historical process.

To summarize the criteria used to define each period of Diola

history in this chapter, I have focused on three kinds of evidence.

First, archaeological evidence of change in local subsistence patterns

is the best means of defining the earliest period. Second, historical

evidence of change in broad regional conditions, such as the

establishment of new trading patterns or states, has been used to define

the second period. Third, indirect evidence of change inferred from

documented changes in similar, nearby cultural groups is used to define

the third historical period. Finally, direct historical evidence is

available for the most recent period. For the purposes of this chapter,

I consider evidence for rapid cultural change based on these sources as









37

sufficient for separating historical periods. In the second section of

this chapter I will identify and define four historical periods using

the above criteria. In the third and final section, I will characterize

the forms of migration that are associated with each period.


Periods of Diola History



Early Sedentism and Early Circumscription


Linguistic, archaeological, and oral history data indicate that

Diola peoples originated along the Upper Guinea Coast of the Atlantic,

somewhat further south than their present location. A long-term, large-

scale movement of Diola populations northward brought them to the

southwestern corner of the present day Lower Casamance area of Senegal

as early as A.D. 200 (Linares 1971:41-43; Mark 1985; Baum 1986). This

trend continued until the eighteenth century when Diola advances into

the Fogny district to the northeast (primarily at the expense of the

Banyun ethnic group) were reversed by the Mandinka, whose own large-

scale, state-reinforced migration from the interior succeeded in pushing

the Diola back south and west of the Songrougrou River (Lauer 1969:59;

Quinn 1972:25; Brooks 1993).

Archaeological data for the description of this period come

exclusively from the work of Olga Linares (1971) Linares' evidence

suggests that the Diola were coping with subsistence stresses due to

persistent population growth as early as the second century A.D. Her

analysis is based on the changing frequency distribution of shellfish

species in the shell midden strata of the part of Lower Casamance

longest occupied by the Diola. Linares interprets these changes as the



IThis is the only article I know of reporting Diola archaeological
evidence. The limitations of a view based on a single source apply,
although its findings are consistent with other data sources.











result of particular shellfish resources, important foods at the time,

becoming scarce due to over-exploitation. Thus, new resources--

different shellfish species--had to be located where familiar ones could

not be exploited more effectively. Smoked oysters, for example,

continue to be an important protein source for many Diola in the

present.

The earliest evidence of Diola culture in the Lower Casamance

indicates a reliance upon mixed agriculture as well as these foraged

marine resources. The arrival of Diola peoples in the Lower Casamance

probably was the result of groups moving northward to exploit new lands

suitable for paddy production, and toward more abundant supplies of pre-

ferred marine resources. There is evidence, already deposited in the

archaeological record by A.D. 200, of rice cultivation2 and animal

husbandry in the area. The presence of cattle bones in the record

suggests an early trade in cattle.3 Other domesticates such as pigs and

dogs, common in contemporary Diola villages, only appear in the record

about the time of European contact (Linares 1971:43).

Mixed agriculture was probably becoming an increasingly important

means of subsistence throughout the period. A population that continued

to rely extensively upon gathering dwindling natural resources would

have faced increasing nutritional deficiencies and disease. The Diola,

however, were already familiar with the benefits of a subsistence

strategy that included agriculture. From the second through about the

twelfth century, various Diola groups spread throughout the tidal

ecological zone of southwestern Lower Casamance (see Adams 1993). As




2West Africa may represent an independent point of origin for irrigated
rice (see Dresch 1949; Porteres 1956, 1970; Johnny et al. 1981).

3Herds of trypanosome-resistant N'Dama cattle are maintained in the
Lower Casamance, but their rates of reproduction are very limited.
Trade is the only feasible means of expanding herds (see Starkey 1984).









39

this occupation became increasingly complete, eventually villages could

no longer simply fission to maintain a balance between people and

natural resources (see Cohen 1978:35,53). Instead, they had to rely

increasingly on subsistence resources for which production could be

intensified through management, primarily through the increased

application of manual labor in agriculture. Irrigated rice production

is particularly responsive to this strategy.

In summary, during this first period, the primordial process of

village fissioning or hivingg off" most familiar among foragers and

horticulturalists continued alongside the intensification of rice

agriculture and other relatively newly-introduced economic strategies,

such as cattle trade and husbandry. Increasingly then, the Diola

pursued sedentary strategies as populations expanded relative to marine

and forest resources, and as less territory was available for exploita-

tion in the coastal ecological zone. Archaeological evidence from this

period indicates that single Diola villages expanded in population and

area over the course of up to four hundred years in some cases. This

process required a substantial intensification of inhabitants' subsis-

tence activities, through such enterprises as land reclamation from the

saline mangrove marshes and the artificial irrigation of these new rice

paddies (Linares 1971:41-43; Vieillefon 1977; Loquay 1981; Pellissier

1966). While large scale population movements into new areas were

becoming a less important means of maintaining the balance between

people and resources throughout this period, groups within these now

sedentary villages continued to fission from them and to diffuse

throughout the Lower Casamance. Eventually, these groups established

new villages in some of the most remote delta plateaus to the north of











the Casamance River4 by the late seventeenth century (Roche 1976:24;

Baum 1986:74; Linares 1983).


Early States in Casamance (Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)


Given the evidence of cattle bones in the archaeological record,

as well as the limitations of trypanosomiasis, the Diola were presumably

involved to some extent in cattle trade from the time of their earliest

occupation of Lower Casamance. Even if trade was not undertaken until

much later, it remains clear that relations with the indigenous states

of the western Sudan were well established by the Middle Ages. Mande

population expansion and migration5 from the interior westward facili-

tated contact between these states and the stateless peoples of the

Atlantic coast.6 This migration was therefore an event of great

regional significance.7 Archaeological data support historical sources,

indicating that Mandinka peoples expanded from the interior westward and

southward toward the Upper Guinea Coast during the Middle Ages through

about 1700 (Lauer 1969:59; Leary 1970:39-43; Rodney 1970; Quinn 1971:9-

10, 1972:25; Mark 1985:11; Baum 1986:80). They had organized trade

there sufficiently to be exporting kola nuts, "that eminently perishable

product," to North Africa by the twelfth century (Person 1984:304).





4Sapir (1965) provides a map of about fifteen Diola dialect differences,
illustrating the linguistic effect of fissioning and the subsequent
separation of groups into many remote locales.

5Brooks (1993:87) attributes this migration to an extended dry interval
in the interior climate from about 1100-1500, approximately concurrent
with this second period.

6The Diola, Balanta, and Manjaku ethnicities all speak languages in the
Bak group of the West Atlantic family, and therefore probably are of
similar origins (Lauer 1969:7-8; Sapir 1971:45-112; Fivaz and Scott
1977:17-18, 309).

7Person (1984:318) compares its importance with the nineteenth century Zulu
migrations in southern Africa.









41

The Mande peoples are particularly important to the early history

of the western Sudan, as they built the powerful Mali empire during the

1200s. Mali controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, kola, salt, and

slaves for four centuries, surviving until the mid-1600s. Indigenous

populations of the Upper Guinea coastal region were contained or

circumscribed (Carneiro 1970) by the fragmented population expansion

from the interior and by the growing Mande states, established in the

area from about the thirteenth century. The arrival of small states in

the area surrounding the Lower Casamance marks the beginning of a second

historical period. Early 'colonists' from the interior were traders

with ties to North Africa as early as the eighth or ninth century,

leaving no archaeological evidence of subsistence activities adapted to

the coastal environment (Person 1984; Linares 1971:38). Among the

peoples moving westward from the interior were the Banyun,' who played a

particularly important role vis-a-vis Diola migration during the third

period. Thus, the four major ethnic groups occupying the area between

the Gambia and Geba Rivers today, as they did prior to 1500, are Diola,

Balanta, Manjaku and Banyun (Lauer 1969:3-7).










'The Banyun originated in the area that is presently northeastern
Guinea, as indicated by linguistic evidence, and were probably pushed
westward by the Mande expansions (Lauer 1969:7-8). While they call
themselves "Iagar" or "Ihadja", they are known by various names,
including Bainunk, Bagnun, and Banhun, all derived from Portuguese
Creole. The Banyun language is a member of the Eastern Senegal-Guinea
group of the West Atlantic family, along with Tenda and Biafada, among
others (Westermann and Bryan 1952; Greenberg 1963:6-41; Lauer 1969:6-8;
Sapir 1971:45-112; Fivaz and Scott 1977:18-19, 309). The Bassari of
southeastern Senegal also speak a language in this group (see Person
1984:306). By local tradition the Banyun are considered autochthonous
to the Lower Casamance (Niane 1989:9; Baum 1986:102-103), although the
ethnic origins of the area's original inhabitants are far from clearly
established (see Baum 1986:46-57).











The Mali empire reached the Atlantic coast from its core on the

Upper Niger by the thirteenth century.9 The trade of goods between

coastal Casamance and the interior consisted primarily of salt, but

included rice, slaves, dried or smoked fish, and even perhaps smoked

oysters in return for iron, horses, and small amounts of gold (Lauer

1969:26; Person 1984:313; Niane 1989:10). In order to control similar

trade, the Mandinka founded states all the way to the Atlantic on the

north bank of the Gambia River. Significantly, however, on the south

bank these states reached only to the Vintang Creek, the terminus of the

Banyun trade network (Brooks 1980:6). This network, dominated by the

primarily Banyun state of Kasa, flourished over the long term (Mark

1985:14-15), eventually linking all peoples of the Lower Casamance.

Over time, its traders forged communications and exchange ties from the

Lower Casamance to the south bank Gambia state of Geregia to the north,

the Mali and Kaabu empires to the east, and south to the Portuguese

commercial enclaves by means of the "most important commercial channel

to Cacheu until the nineteenth century" (Mark 1985:11-15; also see

Brooks 1980:6, 1993)'.

These Banyun trade routes were controlled by the small Kasa state,

oriented toward the interior from its location in eastern Lower Casa-

mance. This state, sometimes referred to as Cassanga, was itself

originally an outlying vassal province of the Mali empire (Lauer

1969:61; Baum 1986:80).1" Over time, however, this formerly peripheral

region began to assert political control as Mali's power waned in the




9Lauer (1969:25) estimates a Malinke arrival in the lower Gambia by the
early fourteenth century, while in Brooks' (1980:6) judgement Mandinka
trade routes were established there during the eleventh or twelfth
century (see also Person 1984:304).

"Note 81 on the cited page refers to the following historical sources:
Rodney (1970:109-113); Pereira (1971:88); Boul6gue (1972:6); Monod et al.
(1951:57-58); and LeBlanc (1649:28-31).









43

fifteenth century. An indication of this westward shift in the relative

center of political power was the incorporation of the Kasa state into

the Mandinka Kaabu empire (Brooks 1980:7; see also Quinn 1972:33; Person

1984:313; Forrest 1992:9; Girard 1992).

The existence of the Kasa state was first documented by European

writers between 1580 and 1669 (Mark 1985:25). Parenthetically, Mansa is

the Mandinka term meaning kingdom, thence the generally recognized

origin of the regional name of Casamance. The subjects of this kingdom

were known as Cassanga, although the term has also been used variously

to refer to a Banyun clan and a purportedly independent ethnicity (see

Baum 1986:46-57; Person 1984:314; Brooks 1980:13; Lauer 1969:25). The

Cassanga were apparently an ethnically diverse people, incorporating

Diola, Balanta, and Banyun peoples, as well as Luso-African langados

after European contact (Mark 1985:17; Brooks 1980).

To summarize the most influential features of this second period,

trade grew in importance from the time that Mande population expansion

brought the trans-Saharan trade network as far west as the Lower

Casamance. While this expansion brought with it new trading opportu-

nities, it also circumscribed the Diola, limiting opportunities for

continued territorial expansion as well as for political and economic

independence. Most importantly for the Diola, the state of Kasa con-

trolled a Banyun trade network that linked them with the other states of

the region, including the Mali empire until its decline during the

fifteenth century. Kasa's political organization, economic functioning,

and ethnic composition are all rather poorly documented in the

historical record. Diola were noted by early European observers to form

one part of its citizenry (Mark 1985:14-15). Most probably, however,

the state was composed primarily of Banyun, and organized along the











lines of other Mandinka states founded on the exploitation and defense

of valuable trade resources and transportation routes.'


Early European Trade, Slavery, and "Legitimate Trade"


More so than the second, this third period (dating from about the

fifteenth to nineteenth centuries) is defined by the activities of

political organizations far removed from the Diola themselves.

Specifically, the arrival of European merchants was a critical factor in

catalyzing and speeding changes already taking place. The Banyun, for

example, had already demonstrated the economic and political power of

Kasa by preventing powerful Mande states from encroaching on their

territory. Banyun economic strength was, however, increasingly linked

to the fortune of European merchants (especially the Portuguese) as the

importance of the Atlantic slave trade grew. This was to play a central

role in the eventual failure of the Banyun to predominate in their

territorial conflicts with the Diola in Lower Casamance.

The introduction of new trading opportunities with European

merchants had the effect of raising the stakes of competition among the

various political groups of the Lower Casamance. However, other factors

were as important as the increased economic value of the early European

trade. For example, trade with Europeans oriented African economic

activities toward their coastal enclaves, rather than toward the

overland routes controlled for centuries by the states of the interior




"The Banyun developed a strong reputation as traders among newly
arrived Europeans (Lauer 1969:7-8), and were noted as the sponsors of
large market fairs every eight days, for example (Mark 1985:12). Later,
the Banyun were most often hired for extensive periods as navigators of
trading craft, compradors, and the like (Brooks 1980:5). In contrast,
the Diola, Balanta and Manjaku groups were noted by Europeans during the
fifteenth century as generally avoiding extensive involvement in trade
relations (Lauer 1969:32-35). They "excluded Portuguese and Luso-
African traders from their territories and restricted commercial
exchanges to places and arrangements of their choosing" (Brooks 1980:5).












(Hopkins 1973:79). This economic and geographic "about face" had pro-

found effects on the relative political strengths of many groups.!

The nature of the slave trade in particular also had penetrating

effects on the societies among whom slaves were captured, and indeed

perhaps more so among those who participated in raids for the capture of

people for sale. There is evidence that those societies most intimately

tied to and benefitting from this trade in human chattel were also those

most devastated by it.

Finally, the vastly increased availability of iron due to the

European trade was a remarkable fact in itself, as it was a critical

resource in both warfare and agriculture. The Diola were "pre-adapted"

(see Cloak 1986) or best suited to take advantage of this profound

change in the environment. This was due in part to the fact that the

Diola, unlike the Banyun, used iron not only to trade or to fabricate

effective weapons, but also to make agricultural tools. Iron enabled

further intensification of their agricultural economy (Lauer 1969:62).

The increased availability of iron through trade allowed them eventually

to succeed in gaining a relative political advantage over the Banyun

that was never relinquished. Today the Banyun have largely been

incorporated into Diola communities (Mark 1985:19-20,31).

While the effects of the slave trade and the increased availabil-

ity of iron had an importance independent of their economic value, the

value of these trade activities is well documented and does provide an

indication of the general importance of European trade in the Lower

Casamance during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For example,

by one estimate between fifteen and twenty-five metric tons of iron were

imported to the Lower Casamance annually during the late sixteenth




12The effect of such changes in geo-economic orientation will not be discussed
here, but see Austen (1987:81-108); and Hart (1982).











century (Mark 1985:29). This large amount of iron was exchanged for

slaves in addition to material goods. Slaves in particular were being

exported from the area in very large numbers during this period; in

1676, for example, documents indicate that 220,000 people were sold into

slavery from Lower Casamance (Baum 1986:154)."

The dramatic expansion of trade that accompanied the establishment

of European outposts in the Lower Casamance gradually drew Diola

participation. This is indicated by an increasing Diola population in

the south bank Gambian state of Geregia (Mark 1985:24). Nevertheless,

the Diola continued to maintain their noted distance from direct trade

with the Europeans. The export trade in goods such as beeswax, ivory,

hides, and eventually captives, although undertaken within Diola vil-

lages, was most likely conducted by Banyun traders, who traveled among

many Diola villages at the time (Mark 1985:24; see also Coelho 1953:30).

A combination of political, economic, and ecological factors

increasingly supported a Diola advantage over the Banyun. Early in the

seventeenth century, the Banyun were at the peak of their political and

economic power. They were preying on the Diola for captives to sell to

the Portuguese slave trade, and had recently gained their independence

from Kasa (Lauer 1969:55-56; Mark 1985:24-25). However, the Portuguese

trade itself was in decline by mid-century. The Diola, particularly

north of the Casamance River, were able to continue their access to

trade through British and French posts (Mark 1985:53). Furthermore,

they could use the trade in iron greatly to their advantage. As noted,

iron was a key factor supporting an intensification and expansion of





"This sort of precise information on trade reflects the substantially
improved historical sources available for the late seventeenth century
(Mark 1985:22): see Coelho (1953); Teixeira da Mota (1977). Cultru
(1913) describes the voyage of de la Courbe in 1685, an account later
plagiarized by Labat (1728); see also Froger (1698).












their staple rice agricultural system, as well as an important resource

for their military power (Lauer 1969:62).

While the slave trade along the Gambia River continued through to

the nineteenth century, it peaked there during the late seventeenth

century (Quinn 1972:8).11 Quinn attributes this relatively early

decline in comparison with elsewhere in West Africa to the high prices

that Senegambian suppliers began demanding during the eighteenth

century. The Diola appear to have begun the seventeenth century with a

defensive posture toward the slave trade (Quinn 1972:10). However, by

the eighteenth century at least some Diola groups participated heavily

in it. Raiding among Diola villages became commonplace (Mark 1985:25-

31; Baum 1986:157).

Other ethnic groups in the area apparently suffered more during

this period, perhaps due to an earlier participation in slave raiding.

Internal factors such as greater social stratification, as well as

external factors such as vassalage to politically dominant states, were

also important differences between the Diola and many neighboring

groups. Lauer (1969:32-33) notes that large numbers of Manjaku and

Biafada have been reported in studies of some New World slave popula-

tions. He attributes their relative over-representation in the Americas

to these factors.15

The Diola reaction to slave raids against their villages was

primarily defensive at first. Houses in the affected areas, in Fogny

for example, were often surrounded by pikes and thick walls to defend

against raids from the Mandinka and Banyun (Pelissier 1958; Thomas 1968;

Quinn 1972:10; Linares 1983; Mark 1985:26; Baum 1986:96, 184-185). By




"See also Curtin (1975).

1But see Baum's (1986:155) reference to Bowser's documentation of 387 Diola
slaves being taken to Peru in 1605 (Bowser 1974:40-42; also see BUhnen 1993).












the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, however, the Diola

had begun trading with Europeans more fully (Lauer 1969:35). This in-

cluded participation in the Atlantic slave trade, albeit rather late in

its history, and often through African middlemen rather than directly

(Baum 1986:155-156). Eventually many Diola communities saw exhaustive

participation in the slave trade as both victims and aggressors,

including raids between Boulouf and Bandial (north and south shore)

Diola groups (Quinn 1972:26; Mark 1985:25-31; Baum 1986:159-163). By

way of confirming the extent of their participation Baum (1986:164-175)

reports a set of detailed rules among the Esulalu Diola regarding the

capture and sale of slaves. Baum reports an "increasing frequency of

raids for captives during the second half of the eighteenth century"

(1986:184).

As the Atlantic slave trade declined and legitimate forms of trade

with Europeans increased, a new set of opportunities arose for young

Diola men in particular. Like the slave trade, the legitimate trade had

profound effects on the structure of Diola society. At the same time,

Europeans were experiencing great difficulties with trade in the highly

factionalized and competitive West African economic environment (Hopkins

1973; Austen 1987). Unfortunately for the historian, the decline in

Portuguese trade in Lower Casamance left fewer sources for the

eighteenth century than are available for the seventeenth century. The

sources that do exist, however, confirm earlier accounts regarding the

transition of political power in Fogny from the Banyun to Diola, and the

disruptive effects of the slave trade (Linares 1983; Mark 1985:53).

From the northernmost districts of Fogny and Combo the Diola had

access to British trading posts along the Gambia (Mark 1985:65-66).

There, the exchange of wild rubber and palm kernels became a popular

means of acquiring cash and consumer goods in the late nineteenth

century (Leary 1970:223; Mark 1985:70-74). Men could incorporate some









49

of this newly introduced form of trading activity with their traditional

dry season migrations for fishing or collecting palm wine (Thomas 1958-

1959:495-498). Further south, the Banyun maintained a better commercial

position relative to the Diola and Mandinka around Ziguinchor (Mark

1985:55). South of the Casamance River in Esulalu, warfare between the

Diola and Banyun, "the Koonjaen wars," continued until the early eigh-

teenth century (Baum 1986:101). A notable decline in commerce at

Ziguinchor slowed the establishment of Diola trade in forest products

and rice on the south bank until the French opened their first post in

the area, at Carabane in 1836 (Mark 1985:55).

The nineteenth century saw a general decline in trade as a result

of difficulties associated with the transition from the Atlantic slave

trade to economic colonialism, including a decline in the barter terms

of trade (Leary 1970:225; Hopkins 1973:135,142-155). As a result of the

decline in Portuguese commercial fortunes, the French were able to

pursue an aggressive and successful policy of expansion in the Lower

Casamance from 1800-1880. This expansion was marked by the establish-

ment of a trading post at Carabane Island in 1836, which was successful

at halting trade between the Portuguese and Diola and Banyun groups in

the area (Mark 1985:55-57). Sedhiou, further up river in Middle Casa-

mance, became an important comptoir (trading post) for the newly intro-

duced trade in groundnuts" by 1850 (Mark 1985:55-57; Baum 1986:203-

266). Groundnuts had only been introduced from Brazil during the 1840s

(Quinn 1972:9), but gained an immediate acceptance as a cash crop with

the Mandinka, who accounted for much of the trading activity at Sedhiou.

Interestingly, the increased demand for cash-cropping labor in the






"Known as peanuts in the U.S., this term is considered derogatory by
Anglophone West Africans. Therefore, I use groundnut here.









50

Middle Casamance spurred raiding for slaves in the Lower Casamance (Mark

1985:55).

During the 1870s through about 1900, the French as nominal

colonial authorities attempted to fund their local military operations"

through lower prices offered at their trading posts in Lower Casamance.

Diola traders north of the river simply responded by transporting their

goods to British posts in The Gambia (Mark 1985:65-66,94). This

experience led to an increasing emphasis by the French upon tax

collection as a means of supporting their colonial operations in the

area during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Mark

1985:93). Several means of establishing an institutionalized monetary

economy were available to the officials of Afrique Occidentale Frangaise

(A.O.F.). Corv6e (a form of taxation in kind through forced, unpaid

labor) and regular in-kind tax collections of rice proved the most

brutal and effective means of all (Geschiere 1985; Fall and Mbodj 1989).

In Lower Casamance between 1910 and 1916, while cash payments were being

required of individuals rather than the former village payments in kind,

the threat of military coercion had to be invoked directly against each

village in order to enforce its compliance with this new demand (Roche

1976:187,311). The expense of such an ad hoc enforcement of colonial

policy was too great to sustain for long.

In summary, indigenous states of the western Sudan were probably

trading with the Diola for salt, dried fish, and rice, as well as

raiding for domestic slave markets before the beginning of this third

period. These activities all continued throughout the period, but the

arrival of European merchants vastly increased the scale of the markets



"Where, for example, French troops were indirectly drawn into fighting
associated with the Marabout-Sonink6 wars and conflicts resulting from the
Islamic revolts led by the Fulani against Kaabu, as well as direct conflicts
associated with Diola "pacification" (Leary 1970:153-155; Roche 1976:91-
96,180-187).









51

and qualitatively changed the nature of trade in many ways. Perhaps the

most important example of this is the slave trade, which became

incorporated into a plantation complex that spanned the Atlantic Ocean

(Curtin 1990). As a result of this enormous increase in the demand for

slaves, many African states established direct ties to European

merchants and began intensive slave raiding on a much larger scale.

Eventually the Diola were involved not only as victims, but as agents

and captors as well.

Clandestine slavery continued into the nineteenth century in the

Lower Casamance, well after the official abandonment and condemnation of

the trade. However, as the overseas demand dwindled and enforcement of

new anti-slavery laws became more effective, the relative profits

attainable in the legitimate trade increased. European merchants

reacted with a vigorous pursuit of the sources of beeswax, gum, rubber,

and other forest products, all of which the Diola would provide in

exchange for iron, guns, and cloth. A strong competition among buyers

of these natural products of the forest, combined with relatively

uncontrolled access across the nominal borders introduced by the

European states, worked in favor of Diola suppliers.

Unfortunately for many Diola, the French reaction was to invoke

military and police powers in order to force them to support the

imposition of a colonial state organization in Lower Casamance through

taxation, forced labor, and artificially low rice prices. At first,

threats of force were insufficiently certain to induce widespread

compliance. Actual military attacks were rare. The Diola also were

notoriously evasive, and tax collection from them was totally inadequate

(from the colonial point of view) until the 1920s, after the implementa-

tion of an integrated, systematic means of control was finally insti-

tuted.












Twentieth Century Colonialism and the Independent State of Seneaal


The third period of Diola history, exemplifying quantitative in-

creases in European mercantile influence over the Lower Casamance, and

the fourth period, representing qualitative changes from that influence

to actual political control there by the French, are best divided about

1930. In my interpretation, the historical division between these two

periods can be established only after the A.O.F. administration

successfully implemented its Brunot plan in 1917 (see Roche 1976:339-

345). In fact, French control was not firmly in place until the late

1920s or early 1930s in many remote villages. The Lower Casamance

remains relatively isolated to this day (Linares 1992:211-212), and a

violent secessionist movement has caused serious trouble for the current

government in the 1990s (Cormier-Salem 1993; DaCosta 1993; Marut 1994).

The trend toward relative political control and the institution of a

cash market, however, began in earnest for much of the area about 1930.

Characterizing the sixty-five years from 1930 to present as a

single historical period may require some justification. However, it is

by far the shortest period in this schema. Because it is relatively

shorter than the other periods, one could reasonably expect greater

justification be offered to divide this relatively brief span of years

into shorter periods. Nevertheless, the convention for Africa has been

to consider the colonial and independence years as separate for most

purposes. Therefore it is appropriate that we briefly direct our

attention to this issue.

As is true for much of Africa, an important continuity exists for

Senegal from colonial times through the present. As with previous

periods, our characterization of the fourth period is directed at

identifying relatively consistent conditions. Among these are a

politically dominant, centralized state power, the use of its political












power to insulate strategic economic domains from market forces, a

growing civil service sector," and the general isolation and exclusion

of the Casamance region from the benefits of the political system.

Thus, the thirty years from the implementation of effective colonial

power in Casamance about 1930 until national independence in 1960, are

considered here together with the thirty-five years from independence

until the present.

The continuity of colonialism and independence throughout Africa

is not simply an academic issue. Of course it runs counter to

nationalist ideology and teaching by independent governments, as is the

case in Senegal. The Diola themselves express this continuity, however,

when they say "Inje bei Senegal"("I'm going to Senegal") instead of "I'm

going to Dakar."'1 They demonstrate a lack of identification with the

national culture too when they complain about the increasing use of the

Wolof language (and the power of Wolof traders) in Ziguinchor: "Igi on

est trop colonis6 par le Wolof" (Julliard 1991:48). The fact that a

secessionist movement exists in Casamance today, and that it is

perceived as a continuation of the anti-colonial struggle, lends further

credence to my categorization of colonialism and independence together

in this fourth period. Before elaborating the reasons for the

incomplete integration of the Lower Casamance region into the

independent state of Senegal, we first need to consider the history of

its incorporation into the colonial state.






"Rapid and sustained civil service sector growth has fostered increased
urbanization in Senegal from the time Dakar was the administrative
capitol of A.O.F., and is one result of a clientelistic governing
strategy (Diop 1981). Only recently has this growth been checked by
structural adjustment policies dictated by international donor agencies.

"Linares (1992:212) has published this example, but use of the phrase
is ubiquitous among the Diola.











By the time it initiated serious efforts to integrate the Lower

Casamance, the French colonial administration had been consolidating its

hold over the rest of Senegal for many years. During the 1800s, for

example, French administrators successfully established an economy based

upon the large-scale cash cropping of groundnuts, most famously in the

Sine-Saloum region, but elsewhere as well (see Klein 1968). By 1852,

for example, primarily Mandinka farmers in Middle Casamance were

producing one quarter of the national output of groundnuts (Roche

1976:87). This fact implies that an important economic change had

already occurred in a neighboring region by then. The Mandinka were

traders rather than farmers until the French essentially forced them to

accept the cash cropping of-groundnuts. They had been the Diola's

longstanding source for cattle, for which they exchanged their

indigenous varieties of rice."2

Since just after the turn of the century, the French colonial

authorities had used tax collection and artificially low prices at their

comptoirs in the Casamance as a means of supporting local military

operations. The Brunot plan of 1917 had as its goal the full

incorporation of Lower Casamance into the Colony of Senegal. At the

same time it would reduce the cost of establishing colonial authority.

From 1910 until 1916, administrators had to enforce their authority to

collect taxes there through annual military operations in each village

where they wanted to collect cash payments (Roche 1976:311). Such

direct and ad hoc coercion was too expensive to maintain; Brunot's plan

proposed to make it unnecessary. It was successful largely because it






2As noted earlier, some varieties of West African wet rice are probably
indigenous in the sense that they were not imported from Asia even prior
to European contact (see Dresch 1949; Porteres 1956, 1970; Johnny et al.
1981).












implemented an integrated strategy that incorporated many of the most

successful tactics already operating elsewhere in the colony.

The plan had as a primary objective pacification, or the

imposition of complete political-economic control throughout Casamance.

It would establish a cash economy in Lower Casamance and create a free

circulation of labor. Once individual men were wrested from their

traditional labor obligations, they could grow cash crops and use their

earnings to pay taxes. To meet these objectives, colonial authorities

employed the use of political power to prevent market forces from

operating freely in several economically strategic areas, notably the

cash cropping sector and in particular the groundnut market (see

Geschiere 1985). Until then, Diola traders often traded at British

posts in The Gambia (Mark 1985:65-66,94). Thus, borders had to be more

effectively controlled.

Other efforts to introduce a cash economy included the devaluation

of traditional exchange goods (primarily rice), the institution of

corv6e to initiate a free circulation of labor," and universal adult

male taxation. Among the tactics employed were an aggressive military

recruitment, the installation of non-Diola chiefs at the village

level,22 the suppression of some still-continuing inter-village slave

raids, and increased control over the power of Mandinka traders. All of

these together represented an effective, integrated effort to support

policies of total disarmament, universal tax collection, and broad price

controls over the sale of cash crops (see Roche 1976:339-345).




21Though its use was more limited in Senegal than in Guinea or Sudan,
corv6e labor was responsible for all road construction in Senegal up
until 1936. Defined as a demand on tax payers for a fixed number of
days labor in addition to taxes paid in cash, eight days were required
annually of adult men in 1926 (Fall and Mbodj 1989: 256-260).

'2Previously, there had been no political integration at the village
level (Linares 1992).











Colonial initiatives to establish control operated to undermine

traditional Diola political authority in several ways. First, rice was

imported from Indochina for exchange with groundnuts. The Mandinka were

more receptive to farming groundnuts than were the Diola, contributing

to the production in Casamance of one quarter the national output of

this crop in 1852 (Roche 1976:87). French imports were cheaper than

Diola rice, undermining the position of Diola seniors who had relied on

this trade with the Mandinkas as a primary means of controlling benefits

in their villages. By 1906, rice was the most valuable import to

Casamance, further eroding the Diola position in traditional exchange

relations (van der Klei 1986:85; Pelissier 1966:762; Roche 1976:317).

Second, male labor was consequently redirected away from its traditional

employment (especially during the dry season) in maintaining irrigation

dikes and in preparing the rice fields. Instead, an increasing number

of men engaged in commercial trade or produced cash crops, particularly

groundnuts (Linares 1981:568). By the 1920s, labor migration, a simple

way to earn cash wages in order to pay the newly instituted individual

cash taxes, had become a pervasive dry-season activity among the Diola

(Thomas 1958-1959; Mark 1985:49).

Diola senior men for centuries had relied upon Mandinka trade

networks to exchange locally-produced rice for cattle. These long-

established trade ties were critically weakened as the Mandinka began

favoring the purchase of cheaper French rice imports from Indochina with

the proceeds of their groundnut crop sales. Thus, the price of

indigenous Diola rice was undercut during the early part of this

century, its external market value essentially destroyed by subsidized

imports. The enforcement of cash tax collection (Roche 1976:341)

created political pressure for men to earn a regular cash income. This

began to force an acceptance of groundnut cultivation among most Diola

men during the mid-1930s. At the same time it encouraged many young men









57

to enter into more extensive dry season trade activities away from their

home villages." The exchange of rice had been the principal means by

which Diola seniors controlled access to the main prestige good,

cattle"4 (Pelissier 1966:760-762). Thus, the loss of the indigenous

rice market removed the basis for their legitimate authority and their

control over labor was rendered impotent (Pelissier 1966; Roche 1976;

van der Klei 1986).

Many Diola men gained their first experience farming groundnuts by

migrating to Mandinka farms as agricultural laborers (Thomas 1958-1959).

By the 1920s, Diola men were beginning to appreciate the benefits of the

new cash crop on their own fields. They were further encouraged to

adopt groundnuts after 1921, when the newly established Soci6tes de

Prevoyances (early marketing boards, later replaced by ONCAD) began to

provide seed on credit in the Casamance, to be reimbursed in kind upon

harvest (Robinson 1950; Mark 1985:105). This institutional

encouragement combined with the significantly lower labor requirements

of groundnuts relative to the arduous inputs necessary in the indigenous

rice farming system (Loquay 1981:98) did much to encourage the adoption

of groundnuts and, importantly, of the cash economy as a whole.

Again, these activities were outside of lineage elders' control.

Cash was earned individually through trade or wage labor, unlike

traditional economic activity, which was developed and maintained

communally under senior male control. Wealth was becoming,

increasingly, an individual characteristic. In a sense, the control of



23This economic conversion was, interestingly, synchronous with a widespread
religious conversion from the Diola indigenous religion, known as kawasen, to
Islam, primarily north of the Casamance River (see Leary 1970; Mark 1985;
Linares 1986).

24The religious importance of cattle beyond simple luxury should not be
overlooked. "A man without cattle is not just poor; he is without the
ability to protect himself spiritually against calamities and sudden
twists of fate" (Baum 1986:365; see also Mark 1988).











prestige itself was being wrested from its traditional source. The

influence of the French colonial state upon Diola political society was

perhaps unintentional, but nevertheless direct and pervasive. From the

point of view of young Diola men, this was a liberating experience. As

a result of this weakening in traditional authority, young men became

free to pursue economic activities on their own. These changes, of

course, had a powerful effect on Diola women as well.

As young men continued to migrate out of the village during the

dry season, either to trade or earn wages, and as those who remained in

the village put more effort into cultivating groundnuts, staple rice

agriculture was relatively neglected. Traditional late dry season

activities for men included the preparation, maintenance, and expansion

of irrigation dikes, and the preparation of nursery beds for rice

seedlings (Pelissier 1966; Linares 1970, 1981; Loquay 1981). A general

movement away from these activities both slowed the expansion of the

most productive form of staple rice agriculture, and over the long run

probably has reduced the productivity of those paddy lands that were

already actively in production. The Diola continue to cultivate rice,

but because men in particular pursue cash-earning opportunities during

the dry season, the former long-standing expansion and intensification

of rice paddies has been reversed.

These changes in men's labor practices have had an important

impact on the traditional division of household responsibilities for

Diola parents (Hamer 1983:75-78). Fathers were expected by tradition to

provide rice for their children during the wet season, while mothers did

so from their granaries during the dry season. As staple rice

production has fallen relative to population, women are often unable to

grow enough rice for their children's needs, requiring their own cash to

buy imported rice when their granary supplies are low. The most

important result of this introduced difference is that women began











migrating to the urban areas to find work for wages. In contrast, men

can still earn a cash income growing groundnuts or perhaps vegetables in

the transformed rural economy.

Groundnut cultivation not only excludes women from the production
process, it also alienates men from rice production; its influence
goes even further than the sexual division of labor. By eroding
rice production, growing groundnuts undermines the very rituals
that insure overproduction, reciprocity, and redistribution of
paddy at the village level. It encourages the abandonment of
paddy fields--especially the deep fields in the mangrove swamps
that required a great deal of work even before the 1970s drought--
and makes it increasingly more difficult for the Jola to shift
resources between the subsistence and money sectors of the economy
when conditions demand it. (Linares 1985:92)

While both men and women continue to work the rice fields to the

present day, productivity cannot be maintained at traditional levels

without extensive labor inputs in soil preparation and dike repairs.

Since the 1920s and 1930s, women's labor has been unavailable at suffi-

cient levels to replace the efforts formerly contributed by men. With

this trend toward lower yields due to insufficient labor availability,

women have increasingly left the rural areas of Lower Casamance for wage

labor during the dry season (Hamer 1981). As has been previously noted,

the precedent for female wage labor is old in Lower Casamance: women

were noted as exclusively comprising the labor force on the docks at

Ziguinchor in 1910 (Roche 1976:316; Journet 1976:197).25

These economic trends, the need for cash incomes among both men

and women, and the resulting popularity of wage labor migration, have

been sustained and reinforced consistently in the Lower Casamance since

the 1930s. Political circumstances have also remained relatively

consistent since the incorporation of Casamance into the colonial state

of Senegal. In order to strengthen my assertion that a political






2"Linares (1992:79) attributes their association with this work to the
heavy lifting activities Diola women perform in agriculture.











continuity exists from about 1930 through the present, I will now turn

my attention to issues of governance.

A loose style of control was typical of African colonial

governments, which often were required to rule under difficult

circumstances and with limited administrative budgets.26 In the absence

of broad political legitimacy, a patrimonial strategy of governing often

was pursued (see Foltz 1969; Lemarchand 1972; Flynn 1974; Eisenstadt and

Lemarchand 1981; Colvin 1986; Fatton 1987; Young and Kant6 1990).

Benefits were distributed to those few subjects who could demonstrate

relatively strong influence over civil groups. Often the only benefits

available for distribution by administrators were prebendal offices.

Thus, a tax collector or village chief might not be so closely

supervised that corruption and graft for his personal benefit would be

prevented. A chef de canton judging a dispute might rule in favor of

businesses that could reward him directly for his trouble. In this

manner, as they grew in power, local fiefdoms could develop into

regional political forces that could exert certain influences over the

central government. Civil service jobs might be exchanged for political

support, for example. Senegal's civil service, seated in the capital of

Dakar, was swollen under colonialism to administer the entire A.O.F.

territory until independence in 1960. After five years of independence,

the civil service budget amounted to a staggering 47.2 percent of total

government expenditures. It continued to grow into the 1980s, and

continues to be an especially burdensome and sensitive issue today (see

Cruise O'Brien 1971:271-272; Zecchini 1984).

The key to understanding the incomplete integration of the

Casamance region into the state of Senegal lies not-oly in its




2"See Migdal (1988) and Rothchild and Chazan (1988) for the development
of the concept of the weak state.












geography, but also in the nature of patrimonial politics. Under

patrimonialism, a delicate balance must be maintained between support

for regional patrons who can deliver votes to the central government's

leadership and suppression of broader regional movement that threaten

the government's control. Regional political movements and their

centrifugal potentials in particular are feared by the central

authorities who govern weak states; often, therefore, radical strategies

are employed against such unities. As independent Senegal's first

president from 1960-1971, Leopold Senghor was widely noted to be a

master of this style of rule.27 He was able to play regional and other

political coalitions against one another in a way that maintained just

enough instability in his opposition to maintain his own relative

political strength.

The Mourides and other locally-dominant Islamic sects have for

many years garnered the majority of political support throughout rural

Senegal north of the Casamance River. Through their religious

institutions, and through their control of many important economic

firms, they have proven themselves the most influential leaders in

Senegalese civil society. They have been the primary power to be

reckoned with for every government from colonial times to the present

regime of Abdou Diouf, a follower of Mouridism himself (see Cruise

O'Brien 1971; Diop 1981).

To a large extent, this is the source of contemporary conflicts

between the Lower Casamance and the Independent state of Senegal:

regional politics there, because they threaten the integrity of the





27The following studies draw a "remarkably consistent portrait" of post-
Independence politics in Senegal (Boone 1990:346): Behrman (1970);
Zuccarelli (1970); Adamolekun (1971); Barker (1973); Cruise O'.Brien
(1975); Schumacher (1975); Coulon (1981); and Jackson and Rosberg
(1982).









62

state, are suppressed through policies that disfavor it economically as

a region:

Casamance particularism is explained by the geographic isolation
of the region, the poor quality of its infrastructure, and more
generally by the neglect of the region from Dakar. It also stems
from the growing presence of merchants and bureaucrats from the
'North' who tend to impose their language and their religion. .
as the only legitimate ones. Faced with this 'internal
colonialism', a strong sentiment of frustration produces the
search for a distinctive identity (Coulon and Cruise O'Brien
1989:159; see also Darbon 1984, 1985; Benoist 1991). (Linares
1992:211-212)


Characteristic Patterns of Diola Migration for Each Period



Migration is in constant flux because it changes dynamically with

change in the environment, although the relationship in not direct. It

is a cultural means by which people adapt to change in the environment.

Because migration is used by people, who perceive and react to different

aspects of their environment at different times, what the environment is

(in terms of any model of migration) must be flexible enough to reflect

such changes. Each particular characterization of a period here defines

what is meant by or interpreted as environment for that particular time.

Linares (1992) focuses on the physical environment for her model of

Diola migration. I find her model convincing, but she tends to exclude

the social environment and contemporary forms of rural-urban migration

among the Diola. Migration is a long-established aspect of Diola

culture, rather than a modern introduction. It cannot correctly be

labeled as a simple indicator of social disintegration in the face of

colonialism and the encroachment of Western culture (see Thomas 1960).

Certainly, however, the forms migration has taken have changed over

time. For example, under colonialism Diola men were subject to con-

scription into foreign military service. These new experiences of

forced migration (and, at times, the avoidance of them) led some to

undertake voluntary migration, at times to urban areas, in search of











wage labor. Women soon followed the village men to Dakar, eventually

overtaking them in terms of their predominance in the migration stream.

By 1961 there were 100 Diola women for every 60 men in Dakar.2-

Certain cultural institutions pre-existed this new form of migra-

tion, providing the basic structures that contemporary urban migrants

have manipulated to suit their needs in this relatively new setting.

Such institutions, in this case voluntary associations, may be consid-

ered as serendipitous "pre-adaptations" to cultural ecological changes

(see Cloak 1986). The pre-existence of these associative institutions

has allowed Diola culture to adjust more rapidly to a situation that,

while it has had important negative effects, has also provided villagers

with opportunities that might otherwise have remained unfulfilled.

Because migration has had a long history of full integration into

Diola culture, it exists as one aspect in a nexus of cultural adapta-

tions, an "adaptive tradition" common to many Diola groups. Some other

aspects of this tradition include: a diverse set of associations,

social institutions that mediate relations between various cultural

categories; an established means of incorporating foreigners or

strangers more or less completely into the life and functioning of the

village; an ethic of treating strangers as guests;2' and finally, a

flexible set of kinship and land tenure rules and social regulation

thereof that can accommodate and adapt to large-scale movements of indi-

viduals over time.30






28Hamer (1983:250) citing this figure, refers to Martin (1968:368).

2"See Baum (1986) on how this was broken down during the slave trade,
but also how shrines were established to protect people from the threat
of this tradition's dissolution.

"See Linares (1983); see also Girard (1969);.Snyder (1977, 1981); and
Hamer (1983).











Linares (1992) provides a model of the historical changes and geo-

graphical movements of Diola groups that illustrates the cultural

adaptations these groups have made to accommodate the conditions

challenging them in the historical past. Her model adopts three

villages in three different parts of Lower Casamance, illustrating the

cultural differences in each setting. The cultural differences are, she

argues convincingly, the result of each group's adaptation to the

different cultural ecology in each of these three areas.

As Diola groups migrated north across the Casamance River from

about the sixteenth century, they encountered a physical environment

that was quite different from the one that they had left further south

(e.g. savannah rather than forest, lower average annual rainfall, and

much less land on which rice could be cultivated). They also found

themselves in a new cultural environment. They were faced with a

majority of neighbors, ethnic Mandings, who followed Islam, a very

different religious tradition from their local kawasen religion.

Linares has chosen one village to study in each of the three zones to

represent "pre-change," "transitional," and "post-change" periods of

time. She presents a descriptive analysis of land tenure, kinship, and

labor practices, among other things, in each of the three villages.

These differences are the result, she asserts, of the specific cultural

ecological conditions present in each of the three settings. She makes

it clear, however, that all of these groups continue to change in

observable ways, even during the relatively short period of her study.

She also argues the importance that ideological changes have

played in mediating material aspects of the transitions. Traditional

associations functioned, among other roles, to mediate conflicts among

genders, generations, residential wards or quarters, families, and

other potentially fissive categories and groups via the kawasen spirit

shrines. These associations served a cohesive role, socially cementing











together people who might otherwise have a tendency to break away from

the group. Associations achieved this cohesive function by establishing

patterns of labor sharing, for example, among all women who have married

into the village (see Linares 1988, 1992:50).31

That these sorts of associations existed as traditional institu-

tions was a fortuitous circumstance for urban Diola migrants, who were

able to adapt traditional forms of associations quite rapidly into

institutions that could help to serve important new functions in this

new environment. Associations rapidly evolved into what became perhaps

the most important means of cementing group relations in the city.

These associations now act to assist new urban migrants in fulfilling

their needs, but eventually are often also successful in re-directing

their attention back to the village, at least during important periods

of the agricultural cycle.

In order to understand contemporary Diola migration, it is

important to consider how and why migration patterns have changed over

time. Linares is convincing in her model of the changes necessitated

with the move north across the Casamance River. My goal here, though,

is to take a broader view of history, presenting changes in migration

that have taken place over a longer span of time. Having elaborated

four periods of Diola history in the previous section, I will present

the forms of migration associated with each period. Then, in Chapter 3,

I will present the data I collected on contemporary Diola migrants to

Dakar.











31Hamer (1983) and Reveyrand (1986-87) elaborate some other functions of
rural women's groups in particular.











Period One: Early Sedentism


In cultural evolutionary terms the most important change in

migration accompanies the transformation from reliance on a nomadic or

hunting and gathering subsistence strategy to dependence on sedentary

agriculture. I call the pre-sedentary form "carrying capacity"

migration, because groups move, generally, toward higher concentrations

of natural resources upon which the group relies most for its

subsistence. The primary factor determining migration in this setting

is the relationship of population to subsistence resource availability.

Period one marks this division for the Diola. At the beginning of

this period the Diola began to rely less directly and exclusively on

foraging for marine and forest resources. Instead, they began to rely

more on rice production. As populations grew, the Diola developed a

mixed agriculture economy, relying less on gathered shellfish, for

example, and more upon cattle trade and husbandry as time progressed.

Throughout the period one would expect an increasing trend towards

agricultural intensification, although expansion into new areas

continues into the present (Linares 1992).

As the Diola began to settle permanently and as they relied more

substantially upon agriculture, their movements were increasingly

determined by the availability of cultivable paddy land. Migration was

determined by more complex circumstances through period one, including

the relationship of village populations to cultivable land, perhaps

political rifts within villages causing fissioning, the viability of

current technologies to intensify production on available paddy land, or

even the ability of labor managers to induce others to work harder. As

the amount of land suitable for rice cultivation became more scarce, an

increasing reliance had to have been placed on the intensification

option. Linares presents archaeological evidence that these processes











were in fact occurring in Casamance from about the second century A.D.

(Linares 1971).


Period Two: Early States


The large-scale population movement of Mande peoples from the

interior westward provided new trade opportunities for the Diola. As I

have discussed in previous sections, they eventually developed an

economic system that relied to an important extent on the exchange of

locally-grown rice for cattle. The presence of small states in the

region from the thirteenth century also had other consequences for the

Diola. While they provided opportunities for trade, these states also

circumscribed the Diola, limiting their ability to continue historical

patterns of territorial expansion. As populations grew in Diola

villages, agricultural intensification was much more a necessity than an

option during this period and into the next.

It is during the second period that early patterns of seasonal

trading were probably established. These fit well into older patterns

of dry-season migration directed toward the collection of forest

products and fishing for consumption. These were forms of migration and

not simply another off-farm economic activity, because they often

involved periods of several months away from the village. However, they

were migration and not simply a continuation of a hunting and gathering

subsistence strategy because individuals lived in sedentary villages,

cultivating crops for much of the year.


Period Three: Early European Trade


The third period, spanning the fifteenth through nineteenth

centuries, is the least stable of this schema. Nearby Mande states vied

during this time for control over lucrative trade routes, expanding

warfare and slave raiding activities. North of the Casamance River, the












Diola and Banyun were often at odds over the same territory and

consequently in a constant state of war. The Diola eventually gained an

advantage over the Banyun in the early seventeenth century, partly due

to the way they employed the iron received in trade with Europeans.

During the second half of the eighteenth century the slave trade gained

in importance, further extending this long period of conflict and

uncertainty. Many Diola responded by withdrawing from contact with

outsiders, defending their villages but retreating from trade

activities. During periods of conflict, capture into slavery (a form of

forced migration) was a constant threat to those who ventured away from

the confines of the village, so voluntary migrations were severely

limited.

While the Diola were generally noted by Europeans to be

uninterested in trade, they had for centuries exchanged a number of

forest and coastal products with other Africans. After the abolition of

slavery, the European legitimate trade emphasized exchanges for wild

rubber and palm kernels. In Casamance, this trade was greatly expanded

between the French and Diola after the establishment of the trading post

at Carabane in 1836. Earlier, some Diola traders had crossed into The

Gambia to get the better prices offered by the British posts there.

Despite a general decline in European (particularly Portuguese)

trade during nineteenth century, the French maintained an aggressive

trade expansion in the Casamance from 1800-1880. Groundnuts were

introduced during the 1840s. The post at Sedhiou in Middle Casamance

became important as a trading center by 1850, due to the extensive

adoption of this cash crop by the Mandinka there. This date therefore

marks the earliest possible beginnings of Diola male wage labor

migration, widely initiated to harvest groundnuts on Mandinka farms in

order to pay the cash taxes imposed by the French as early as 1910.











Period Four: Twentieth Century Colonialism and Independent Seneaal


Each successive period of this schema illustrates the addition of

one or more forms of migration overlying the continuing patterns that

existed in previous periods. Subsistence foraging, the basis of the

economy prior to period one, was incorporated during the first period as

an additional activity pursued along with sedentary farming. These

forest and marine resource collecting activities were very similar to,

and most likely continued alongside migration undertaken for trade in

the second period. During the third period, with the beginnings of the

slave trade in the Casamance, forced migrations into slavery were an

additional (albeit undesirable) possibility, although other forms of

trade continued to exist together with new forms introduced by

Europeans.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but most

commonly during period four, military conscription and corv6e labor were

imposed by the French colonial government on Diola men. A less clearly

forced form of migration, though still indirectly imposed by the

colonial administration, was male wage labor migration to Mandinka

groundnut farms. Further removed from forced migrations, but still

indirectly caused by colonial impositions was the female wage labor

migration noted at the docks at Ziguinchor early this century. These

forms all preceded the more contemporary form of rural urban migration

that has become increasingly popular since the 1950s.

Wage labor migration began among the Diola well into the present

century. It grew in popularity as a means of earning cash, which was

needed primarily to pay newly-imposed taxes. Migration to Dakar in

particular began with the first military conscriptions, but expanded

with the growth of the civil service sector there. Temporary dry-season

wage labor was available for men in Ziguinchor, too: examples of men









70

working as carpenters and masons were documented during the ethnographic

interviews I conducted in 1990. The growing A.O.F. bureaucracy in Dakar

also created a demand for technicians, soldiers, police, and other

salaried positions.

A large, seasonal "rural exodus" of young Diola to Dakar dates

from about the 1950s. From soon after the earliest migrations from

rural Casamance to urban Dakar, women have represented a high proportion

of these movers (see Martin 1968:368). The reasons for this unusual

situation are complex, but can be explained within the context I have

provided in the description of the fourth period. To summarize my

discussion of twentieth century events, French colonial policies

diminished the value of Diola rice with Indochinese imports. This was

part of a deliberate systematic effort to replace the indigenous economy

with one based on cash, which would allow taxation. Men were targeted

for taxation and cash earning opportunities in the rural areas,

particularly the promotion of groundnuts as a cash crop, were

effectively provided only to men.

These colonial policies were an important cause initiating Diola

women's migration. However, they would not have necessarily had this

particular effect if Diola social organization, specifically the social

division of labor, were different (see Hamer 1983:75-78). Women's roles

in rice agriculture are essential and preeminent but, as rice was

devalued, men diverted their efforts to the favored crop, groundnuts.

Women did not have the same opportunities to grow this cash crop as men.

This was due in part to colonial efforts to target men as workers and

taxpayers, but also to traditional Diola practices. Women own and work

lower fields suited to rice, but not rainfed fields in which groundnuts

are cultivated (Pelissier 1966:687). Without the former level of male

labor inputs into the intensive cultivation of rice, productivity in












this traditional staple crop dropped and could not be maintained by

women alone.

At the same time, women in the modern economy are expected to

provide for themselves and their families, and their monetary

obligations have expanded over time (Hamer 1983:76). Without access to

cash earning opportunities in the rural setting, women tended to migrate

to urban areas to find.wage employment. I noted the case of Diola women

working the docks at Ziguinchor early in the century as the earliest

example of rural-urban migration. This job in particular fits with

traditional women's agricultural work, which includes the transportation

of water and wood to the home, and cow manure to the rice nurseries.

These tasks all involve heavy lifting. Most importantly, however, this

case demonstrates that women were seeking cash earning opportunities

quite early in this century. As opportunities developed in other areas,

Diola women were willing to travel, and in fact since the nineteen-

fifties they have been in particular demand as maids in Dakar.

There are a number of reasons why Diola women in particular found

it to be relatively easy to find employment in Dakar. There was a

growing demand in the market of the colonial capital for maids, in part

due to the number of expatriate men (with or without their families)

working in the colonial government there. More local Wolof families

were also earning cash wages at the time, and they too were interested

in having domestic workers to cook, clean, and care for their children.

At the same time, the French, most of whom were Catholics, preferred

hiring Catholic maids. This is perhaps simply a matter of prejudice,

but is probably also attributable to a sense among expatriates of

alienation from the majority Muslim community of Africans in Dakar.

Furthermore, the Mandinka and Wolof societies were based upon a caste

system that discouraged women in these groups from seeking work in

domestic service. The majority of Diola from south of the Casamance









72

River are Catholic, and being from a relatively egalitarian society, see

no stigma attached to domestic labor. On the contrary, they view such

work as quite honorable.

In the following chapter I will present the data I collected in

thirty ethnographic interviews, conducted in Dakar in 1990. In

particular, Chapter 3 is focused on the history of the women's

association. However, as a whole the chapter provides a sense of what

migration from Casamance to Dakar entails for the women who undertake

it.


Table 1: Historical periods and associated characteristic forms of
migration


Data source


Evidence
characterized


Inferred changes in
migration patterns


Period
and
approx.
dates
(A.D.)


1. archaeological early sedentism population expansion
200-1100 evidence on and mixed through ecological zone,
subsistence agriculture then intensification of
agriculture

2. regional encroachment, trade, dry season
1100- history of circumscription migration patterns
1400 Western Sudan by states of established
Mali and Kasa

3. history of early European expansion of trade
1400- related trade, wars and migration, but
1800 groups, some slavery, then withdrawal in times of
local history establishment of war; evasion and "exit"
1800- (least stable legitimate trade from control
1930 period)

4. direct cash markets wage labor migration
1930- historical firmly patterns established
present evidence developed,
colonialism and
independence

















CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHODS AND ORAL HISTORY OF MIGRATION FROM BOUTEM



Introduction



In this chapter I begin to present the data I gathered during

field research conducted in Senegal, both in Dakar and the Casamance

region. I use a case study approach to illustrate this example of

twentieth century West African rural-urban migration, focusing on the

recent history of migration from the village of Affiniam-Boutem, known

simply as Boutem. While the historical importance of slavery and

warfare should not be disregarded as limiting factors, urban migration

represents the most important change in the pattern of migration among

the Diola since they first began to rely on agriculture for subsistence

(see Table 1). Because of the gender division of agricultural labor in

Diola society and because of the way that the Diola and the Casamance

region have been incorporated into the economy of Senegal, Diola women

migrate from the Casamance in particularly large numbers (see Hamer

1983:74-78). The case study approach of this chapter provides some

insight into the nature of this migration for the residents of and

emigrants from Boutem.

I first report briefly how I conducted various aspects of the

research, including interviews, a census, and an analysis of the

membership of the women's association. Then I describe the recent

history of migration from the village of Boutem, as it was told to me by

residents and emigrants. The final section describes Diola voluntary











associations more generally, and provides a short history of several

Diola associations in the urban setting of Dakar.


Methods



The data presented in this chapter and in Chapter 4 were collected

during field research in Senegal, conducted during the nine months from

December 1989 through August 1990. The core of the data collected

consists of two parts. First, thirty directed, open-ended interviews

with emigrant women from the village of Boutem were conducted at their

residences in Dakar. Second, I completed a census, including the

migration histories of all individuals in each household of four

quarters (wards) of Boutem.' Many of the data presented here were

gathered during these two activities.

I also gleaned much additional information through daily

conversations with my principal informant and research assistant,

Antoine Badji, himself an emigrant from Boutem. Together we attended

general meetings of the village and women's associations, steering

committee meetings with the officers of these associations, and met with

individuals he considered to be particularly knowledgeable about

specific aspects of the research. Several conversations with Emile

Djiba, the former president of Boutem's youth association in Dakar, were

particularly fruitful, and he was kind enough to lend me documents

relating to the historical boundaries of the village. The officers of

the women's association also eventually allowed me to copy information

from their official record book, and I was able to interview the

president. I am especially grateful for their trust in lending me their




'No census data were collected from either the Bougafou or Boutoupa
quarters. For the purposes of this aspect of the research, these
quarters are not considered as part of the village.









75

records, because this book included three years of dues payments records

and was closely guarded. It was a unique and invaluable source of

documentation for my work.

Later, during about ten weeks spent in Casamance, we met with the

village women's association, separately with its officers, and with the

members of its maternity clinic committee. We also gathered a focus

group of emigrants resident in Ziguinchor for a discussion of the costs

and benefits of migration. Regular visits with many members of

Antoines' family, friends, and relatives in the village, Dakar,

Ziguinchor, and elsewhere, as well as attendance at his family

association in the Ouakam neighborhood of Dakar, rounded out the diverse

set of information sources I was able to draw upon.


Interviews


Interviews with emigrant women were arranged through the village

women's association in Dakar. I first arranged to meet with the Boutem

women's association soon after my arrival in Dakar in December 1989,

when I attended a village association meeting at a neighborhood Catholic

church, the Martyrs de Louanda. At the first meeting I attended, on

January twenty-first, after members completed old business, I was

invited to present my project to the group. I explained my research

purpose, goals, and desire to work with them. Their response was

favorable, and I was asked to attend their next meeting to present my

work in further detail to the rest of their membership. The following

week I met with the group's officers. Together we agreed that, in

exchange for members' cooperation and help, I would help the association

to pursue funding for their current project, the construction and

equipping of a maternity clinic in Boutem.

After these meetings with the membership of the group, and after

some disagreement over the nature of the exchange among the members,












this arrangement was finally approved. Members agreed to meet with me

and answer my questions, while I would help the group to plan and fund

the building of a maternity clinic in the village. I would donate what

money I could afford to the project upon completion of my research. I

insisted the amount of my donation would be quite limited, less than

fifty U.S. dollars. However, I promised to look for and indeed was able

to locate a funding source, a small-projects development fund at the

U.S. embassy. The application I helped Antoine to complete was

eventually approved after my return home, and I have since received news

that the clinic itself has been completed and inaugurated. Meanwhile,

no individual compensation for interviewees was requested or offered.

I met with the entire women's association three more times,

attending their monthly meetings in the Benn Tali neighborhood in March,

April, and May. These were held outside the small concession or group

of homes inhabited by two interviewees and their families. I missed two

of the monthly meetings scheduled during the time I was in Dakar. I

tried to find the meeting place alone for the second meeting and was

unable to locate it, and I was sick the day of one other meeting.

However, I considered meeting with the women's association important,

and did my best to attend each monthly meeting. I also met with the

officers at their monthly executive meetings twice, in January and

March, when I was invited to discuss specific issues with them.

I attended all of these meetings with my principal informant and

research assistant, Antoine Badji, who translated my presentations,

which I made in French, into Diola. He also would translate questions

and answers, at times with added input from younger women who were more

fluent in French. The treasurer of the association was particularly

helpful in this regard. Antoine's credibility with the group was an

essential part of the success of our arrangement to work with the women.

While most members understood French, often using it at work, they were












not generally comfortable with a presentation conducted in French.

Antoine was also able to clarify issues that came up, since he was

familiar with the research goals and procedures of the research.

Initially I believed we could interview every member of the

women's association. I was told that we could acquire a list of the

entire membership early on, but this took longer than expected. I also

thought that we could conduct interviews more quickly than we, in fact,

could. It often took several days to successfully meet with potential

interviewees, and we often had to make several attempts to meet with a

woman at her home, either after work or during her day off. Once it

became clear that we would have to limit ourselves to interviewing about

thirty of the 100 or so members, interviewees were selected for

questioning based largely on convenience. However, we planned

interviewee inclusion to provide as wide a range of representation from

as many families, ages, neighborhoods of Dakar, and quarters of the

village as was possible in the time we had. I targeted employed women

for inclusion, in part because several studies of migrant women have

already focused on the youngest and most vulnerable populations (e.g.,

see CNFNA 1983; Philpott 1986). We avoided interviews with more than a

few of Antoine's relatives, friends, or close neighbors from the

village. I often had other contacts with them, and used informal

conversations in family settings to ask questions of them as they

occurred to me.

Interviews themselves were conducted in Diola. Although most

interviewees used French to communicate at work, they generally were

uncomfortable with using it outside of that context. Because Diola is

not taught in the U.S., before undertaking this research I studied Wolof

in an intensive study program for eight weeks at the University of

Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wolof is Senegal's lingua franca, and I

developed some conversational ease with it in the field. However, the












Diola do not speak Wolof natively. I therefore studied Diola in

Senegal, but lost my tutor after only a few weeks of formal lessons. I

progressed enough on an informal basis to exchange greetings and make

simple statements about, for example, such common topics as eating, who

I was, where I was from, and what I was doing.

In order to conduct the interviews, I developed a schedule of

questions after much discussion with Antoine. I then translated it into

French and analyzed it with him point by point. We discussed the goals

of the work together, and modified the presentation somewhat before he

translated it into his native Diola. We worked on back-translating it

several times before beginning our first interview. Finally, we made a

few changes after certain questions required explanation to several of

the early interviewees. I kept longhand notes of each interview,

recording it on audio tape as Antoine posed questions in Diola according

to our schedule. Many interviews included some responses made directly

to me in French, often when a particular point interested the

interviewee, or during more informal conversation as we closed the

session.

After each interview, Antoine would translate from the tape,

orally and (after the first five or six sessions, which were translated

more loosely in the third person) verbatim into French. I would

transcribe his translation in longhand, writing in English. This was a

cumbersome process: after pouring over my own translations from his

French, I would read them back to him in French to confirm or correct my

interpretations. We generally had to listen to audio taped interviews a

second time. It was often a very difficult and frustrating task for the

two of us to fill-in for my benefit much information that was implicit

in an exchange between two Diola speakers. I did, however, learn much

about village life in Boutem from these intense exchanges. Finally, I

would write out a corrected translation. This entire process often









79

required three or more hours of work around the kitchen table for every

recorded interview of perhaps forty-five minutes. In the end it took

seventeen weeks, averaging about one interview every four days from

February through May, to complete thirty interviews.


Census


The village census was organized in conjunction with the officers

of the village youth association in Boutem. Forming six teams, we

contacted one member at each residence in four quarters in the village

during the first week or so in July. Each team filled out a simple one

page questionnaire for each household.2 It requested information on the

name, gender, age, relationship to the household head, and the migration

history of each household member. I recorded each response in my notes,

and then questioned team members if I found inconsistencies or any

missing information. After my return to the U.S., the data were entered

into a computer file for analysis.

The village-based phase of the research design was intended in

part to confirm interviewees' responses regarding plans to return to

Boutem during the current rainy season. I asked each respondent if she

planned to return for the 1990 season. Almost every interviewee said

she did. However, most often this response was qualified, with "God

willing," or "If I can possibly do so." Therefore, I decided that as

well as censusing the entire village, I would list all of the

interviewees who actually returned before the beginning of the

agricultural season. This seemed to be a particularly simple and

convenient procedure, because the village association sets a date after







2The census and interview instruments are translated and reproduced in
Appendix A, while the codebooks for each are included as Appendix B.












which, if a member has not returned, he or she is fined.3 I would

simply count returnees on that date, at the village association meeting

itself. I had been told that everyone attends, so we could set up a

table in the meeting hall and record returnees, perhaps tracking down

the few who remained home that day for one reason or another.

Unfortunately, the August fifteenth meeting of the village

association was a complete disaster. The officers were drunk well

before noon (the president literally fell off of his stool), attendance

was low, and one young woman, whom I had interviewed and visited with

socially several times in Dakar, was informed during the meeting that

her son, about eight years old, had suddenly died. The fact that

attendance was so low despite reports that everyone would be there was

the first disturbing event that day. It prevented me from completing an

important part of my work. Antoine was visibly upset at the poor

attendance and behavior at the meeting. This annual meeting was not

being taken as seriously now as it had been just five years ago, when he

last attended. In a relatively short time, the village young people

apparently had lost interest and involvement in their local government.

This change is another indication that their attention is increasingly

focused away from the home village, toward the cities and migration.

I never completed the list of returnees, but did witness a

dramatic set of events that day, including the stricken child's wake,

funeral and burial. He reportedly had not been ill before the meeting.

These events were punctuated with loud disagreements and witchcraft

accusations. One of the first storms of the season added to the human

drama. A thunderstorm produced threatening clouds during the wake,

poured cold rain on the procession to the village church, and pounded




3See Snyder (1978) for a description of what he calls a village police.
I also recorded a set of Boutem's village association laws.












its corrugated roof so loudly that the short funeral service was nearly

inaudible. The rain subsided for the burial itself. The mother of the

dead child left the grave side wailing, in tears, and accompanied by the

women who had attended with her the wake, funeral, and burial. After

they had left the small cemetery, a clearing in a small but dense stand

of forest near the church, several men engaged in a loud argument. As

they lowered the shrouded body down into the muddied earth, one man was

shouting and standing in the grave itself. I later learned that they

were arguing, among other things, over who had the right (normally

reserved for a close relative) to take the cloth used as a shroud.

The next day, as I was leaving Boutem for the last time, I passed

by a home behind which a teen-aged girl was screaming. A daughter of

the attendant of a spirit shrine4 at which we had several times paid our

respects, was fully entranced and writhing on the ground, in the midst

of voicing a witchcraft accusation regarding the child's sudden death

the previous day. This was an aspect of village life I had not sought

out, but events associated with witchcraft and its suppression

confronted me on several occasions. Witchcraft, its prevention and

related intrigues are important aspects of village life. I was shaken

up by the experience, but also felt gratified to have witnessed these

dramatic events. However, my list confirming those emigrants who

actually returned never was completed.


Women's Association and Analysis of Dues Paying Records


Construction of this data set was begun from a list of all women's

association members compiled from the association's record book, which

was lent to me to copy with the explicit approval of the association



4The particular shrine (chin) is devoted to kajumo, "the renowned." The
general term for such spirits is bokin (pl. inaati) (see Mark 1985:32-
33).












officers. Sixty-nine members who could be identified in the village

census were included in the first phase of constructing the data set,

leaving sixty-four individuals for whom dues paying data was collected

but who could not be linked to census information. While these members

were included in an earlier, preliminary analysis of dues paying

behavior, they were dropped from the present analysis because their dues

payments could not be associated with any other characteristics. The

association of dues information with data collected in the village

census was of critical importance, because it enabled the comparison of

dues paying behavior with the member's age and, for example, her

migration history information collected in the village census.

To complete the construction of the data set, nine additional

cases were added from information gathered in my interviews with indi-

vidual members of the association, some of whom no longer had relatives

in the village to report on them for the census. While complete census

data for these individuals were not available, in all but a few cases

they did provide me with complete information on their income and

duration of residence in Dakar, to which I could add their dues paying

records from the association book. The other twenty-one interviewees

had already been identified in the census, and were included among the

original sixty-nine cases. About half of these women self-reported a

different number of years residence in Dakar than had been recorded for

them in the census by family members resident in the village. In these

twelve cases the length of residence in Dakar was corrected to match the

self-reported figures.

Seventy-eight cases were therefore made available for analysis in

this data set, although every case did not include all of the types of

information gathered. The representativeness of this sample can be best

assessed by comparing a description of its characteristics to that of

the other sub-groups and categories of the relatively more complete











population as censused in the village. Such a description is provided

in the discussion of the association members, based primarily on the

sixty-nine women for whom I have census data available.


Oral History of Migration from Boutem



It is difficult to gather oral histories among the Diola that

cover the time before contemporary adults' personal memories begin.

Unlike many Senegalese and other West African (especially Muslim)

groups, the Diola do not recite geneologies or exhibit much interest in

their family or cultural past. Elders generally do not discuss their

own lives with their children either, as I discovered during many of my

interviews with migants to Dakar: "My parents never spoke about their

life, so I don't know if they ever migrated" (Interview 12). Many other

respondents also told me they had no idea whether their parents had ever

migrated or not: "I wonder if [my mother] even knows her way around

Ziguinchor!" (Interview 9). "They never told me about that, and I was

never curious enough to ask them" (Interview 30).

When one elicits them successfully, however, local oral accounts

generally agree with the migration history of the area as presented in

Chapter 2. Everyone I spoke with on the subject agreed that Diola

migrants into Boulouf had originated south of the river. It is likely,

given this and other evidence, that a general migratory movement

northward brought individuals just north of the Casamance River to

villages such as Affiniam and (probably somewhat later) to Boutem. Oral

accounts also point to Affiniam as the parent village of Boutem: among

other indications, it was referred to me as the "old village" at one









84

point.5 From there, people likely moved further north to other Boulouf

villages such as Thionk-Essil.6 "Boutame" is one subward of Thionk-

Essil (Hamer 1983:289). This fact, in particular, is interpreted by the

villagers of Boutem as proof that Thionk-Essil was founded by emigrants

from there.7 Hamlets such as Bode and Djilapao, located nearby the

relatively larger village of Boutem and sitting on either side of it,

most likely were founded or expanded as a result of fissioning from the

larger villages, as Boutem probably split off from Affiniam. Violent

disputes over agricultural land continue to break out at times in the

area. Boutem was actively "at war" with Diatok, to its north, during

the mid-1970s; its residents do not consider the dispute settled to this

day. This dispute led to the dissolution of the village association

comprising Affiniam, Boutem and Diatok, as is elaborated in an oral

history of the women's association presented later in this chapter.

In Chapter 2, we considered various forms of migration that

predominated during each of a set of four defined historical periods

(see Table 1). Several forms of migration characteristic of the earlier

periods can be observed in contemporary Lower Casamance. For example,

men still leave their villages to fish during extensive dry season

expeditions (diapang). This form of traditional rural-rural migration,

which can extend through an entire six-month dry season, consists of

camping and trapping fish along the rivers and marigots. It was



5The name Affiniam originates from village residents who tried to sell
fruits in Ziguinchor. When they failed to negotiate successfully they
would complain "Attiham" (literally, "You ate me") or, "you tricked me".
They were so ill-suited to commerce, the story goes, that they became
known in town by a corruption of this phrase, Affiniam.

6Hamer (1983:230) dates the origin of Thionk-Essil at about 1720, based
on an oral history of named circumcision ceremonies, which among the
Diola occur at more or less regular intervals of about twenty years.

7Interestingly, the residents of Thionk interpret the historical
sequence precisely in the reverse, and this is the basis for a joking
relationship between the two groups.











mentioned in only one of my interviews when I asked whether a migant's

parents had ever migrated themselves:

My mother never went to the city, she always stayed in the village
until she became old. She never went to the city. If she
traveled, it was to other villages. She stayed in the village and
did agricultural work. My father only went fishing, he'd go
diapang. (Interview 28)

Alternatively, contemporary village residents, men in particular, may

undertake similar journeys to collect palm wine. These collecting trips

are often taken into Muslim areas, where the demand for this alcoholic

product is clandestine, if present at all. Selling the collected

product of such expeditions can represent a significant portion of a

rural resident's income. Furthermore, as Linares (1992) demonstrates

for another form of migration that was particularly important in the

past, the expansion of Diola communities northward into areas where they

did not reside previously, far from being only a historical process,

continues to this day.

In contrast, the forced migrations common only a few decades ago

are not directly observable in present day Lower Casamance, although as

elaborated above, older forms of rural-rural migration remain common.

Men who experienced corv6e labor, military conscription into the

colonial armies, or who migrated to The Gambia in avoidance of these

still live in the village, and therefore their experiences are

accessible to contemporary researchers. As discussed in the previous

chapter, corv6e labor was required by the French colonial administration

as a form of direct, in-kind taxation.8 The imposition of corv6e was

pervasive throughout Lower Casamance, as it was elsewhere in Senegal,

during and after the conquest of individual Diola villages. I was told

that "many" local men died as a result of the terrible conditions




8Fall and Mbodj (1989); see also Hamer (1983:240-241) for a
consideration of its effects in the nearby village of Thionk-Essil.









86

imposed upon them during their corv6e service. The French used whips to

force them to work beyond their normal capacities. Crews of Diola men,

using their long-handled traditional shovel, the kayendo, built many of

the roads that continue to be used today throughout the Lower Casa-

mance.' They also built many bridges along the river, using the trunks

of local ronier palms. They were required to construct these bridges

over deep water, which was particularly dangerous.

One of the themes of my interviews with migrants to Dakar was the

history of migration among their parents. As I noted above, many

respondents simply did not know if their parents had ever travelled to

the city. Furthermore, short term events were apparently not regarded

as "real migration" by the interviewees themselves. If a parent

travelled to urban areas in search of health care, or for example if a

woman's mother came to Dakar to stay with her daughter for a few weeks

while she sold lemon juice, interviewees tended to discount these events

as too short to be considered migration. This was so even when such

incidents were explicitly cited and successfully elicited in interviews.

These events, like military service or corv6e labor, were not generally

perceived as migration per se by contemporary emigrants from Boutem, and

therefore are likely to remain unreported, even when one asks

specifically about a parent's history of migration.

My mother said migration didn't begin in her generation, but this
work started with her younger sisters. She said that her younger
sisters went to work in Ziguinchor for a few months. My father
never migrated, except perhaps for. .military service. .
(Interview 20)

Interestingly, although this information never came to light by

other means, including the census, Antoine volunteered during one

conversation on this topic that his father had served time performing




'The first road constructed in Lower Casamance, from Bignona to Tobor,
was completed in 1921 with corvee labor (Mark 1985:106-107).









87

corv6e labor. At that moment, and later, when this man and his wife so

generously shared their home in the village with me, I was struck by the

immediate accessibility of this unfortunate but nevertheless important

aspect of migration history. In a very real sense, the men who served

in corv6e labor groups represent the first modern migrations out of

Boutem and many other Diola villages. Nevertheless, despite the real

hardships they represent, these migrations were quite temporary: they

were confined to a week or two during the dry season, and appear to have

had little acculturative affect on participants, as much victims as

pioneers. Perhaps it is because of this lack of permanency and

acculturative affect that current migrants tend to discount the

importance of this form of migration, undertaken only a generation or so

ago.

Corv6e caused some men to leave the village for the first time, so

on one hand (in a limited sense, because as I've explained above, the

acculturative effect was minimal) it may have increased the integration

of the village of Boutem into the rest of Senegal. On the other hand, I

was also told by villagers that as a result of corv6e they learned to

flee at the first sight of whites heading toward their borders.

Therefore, I was told, when missionaries first came into Boutem to try

and open its first school they were left alone, sitting in an empty vil-

lage "with nothing to do."10

While corv6e labor apparently had minimal acculturative effect on

the individuals forced to serve under this aspect of the colonial

Indigenat, others left Casamance to avoid the imposition of its hard-

ships. These men were among the earliest rather long-term modern

migrants from the village, most often traveling north into The Gambia.



'"Roche (1976) discusses this form of whole village desertion as a
generalized form of passive resistance to colonial rule that was
employed by Diola villagers throughout Lower Casamance.











One of my interviews also touched on an example of this form of

migration, although it was not explicitly related to corv6e itself.

My father used to go to The Gambia, when Jacques's father was
there. He'd stay until the rainy season, but he didn't work. .
He just stayed with relatives until the rainy season. He was
offered a job, but since he was an only son, and his father was
old, he had to return to cultivate. The only son can't stay away
from the village during the rains. He wanted to stay, because he
was asked to stay so that they could get him work, but that's what
stopped him from staying there. (Interview 27)

I was told specifically that the avoidance of corv6e was what "pushed"

one man, V. Manga, to go to The Gambia. Several alternate means were

employed quite skillfully by others in their attempts to avoid military

conscription and corv6e. For example, I was told of the example of L.

Djiba, a highly respected school teacher who now has retired from a long

career teaching in Ziguinchor. He first went to school (probably in

Ziguinchor) through the completion of his brevet." In a successful

effort to avoid corv6e service, he then continued his schooling at a

Catholic seminary. He left the seminary before completing his studies

there because, I was told, he had always intended to use it simply as a

"stepping stone."

The role of the World War II veterans (who served in the famous

Tirailleurs Sen4galais) is emphasized in local accounts of early

migrants from the village. This is an appropriate emphasis since, among

other things, these men often were the first individuals from the

village to learn French. Later, many young men became educated,

migrated for some time to Dakar, and returned to the village for the

rainy season. As part of the village association's rainy season

activities in the village, they organized comical skits that poked fun

at the poor or incomplete French language skills of the elder veterans,





"A diploma awarded in the French school system for the completion of
the first "cycle" of secondary school.




Full Text


146
For clothing, during the whole year I buy three outfits, but I pay
into a tontine at 5,000 CFA each, so when it's my turn I get
45,000 CFA and I use this for my three outfits, even if there's
some left over. (Interview 20)
When I get paid, I take out 15,000 CFA for a tontine. The rest I
bring back home, take out for the children's clothing. . When
I have something, I buy clothes for the children or other little
things. I don't save specifically for clothes. . (Interview
13)
As with the other expenses discussed above, some individuals get
by without buying any new clothing. "I don't have enough to set aside
for clothing, I don't have enough. It's all spent" (Interview 19). As
with other expenses, however, a married woman may rely on her husband
for clothing as well, if he is able to afford this expense from his own
salary. "As you know, the Diola buy clothes for the holidays. If [I]
don't have the money when the women's association asks for everyone to
wear uniform dress, then I ask my husband for this" (Interview 12).
This year, I have no money. I can't save for clothes. For Easter
[my husband] gave me some money to buy clothes, but at Christmas I
was in the village. (Interview 26)
"When I was working, I used to save for clothes, but now I rely on my
husband. Sometimes he gives me 10,000 and says, 'here, go buy some
clothes'" (Interview 24).
Merchants also offer credit to their regular clients, another way
of making clothing expenses, like those of other household needs, more
manageable. "I have a dealer that accepts 5,000 CFA as a guarantee for
cloth, so I can pay off the rest over several months [for a total of
about 15,000 CFA]" (Interview 16).
For clothing I have a Toucouleur cloth seller who will give me
five or six meters, which I can pay over time and when it's done I
can buy more. But I can't afford to save enough in one month to
do this [each month]. (Interview 17)
Health care
Generally, expenses for health care were considered among the most
unpredictable, and sometimes largest, parts of a household budget. Many
women told me that they simply could not maintain an amount of savings


115
that they had the presumed advantage of having trained "with the nuns,
in a technical school home economics course in either Dakar or
Ziguinchor.
That first year I went back to the village [after training with
the nuns in Dakar]. I came back again after the harvest in 1979.
Then I worked for a Senegalese [Wolof] family. . Since coming
back this time, on March thirtieth, 1985, I've been working with
Europeans, and haven't been back to the village since. (Interview
9)
I first worked for a Toucouleur, then for a Portuguese, and then
for a Frenchman. Frankly, the Toucouleur was very nice to me. He
bought me clothes in addition to my salary of 15,000 CFA.J The
Portuguese was nice, but just paid the 15,000 CFA salary.
(Interview 10)
When I was old enough my cousin said, "OK, now you're ready to
look for work." She looked for a job for me for 2,000 CFA a month
with a Serawhollie [this was more than twenty years ago]. He was
very good to me, I can't lie about that. He was a relative of my
cousin, and he treated me like family. (Interview 11)
In other cases, young women told me that they were successful at
getting jobs with European employers right away: "[My] first job was at
5,000 CFA3 with a French employer. This was a lot of money at the time,
when a sack of rice [100 kilos] cost 1,500 CFA, and [I] could afford all
[my] expenses with this salary. [I] never worked for Africans, [and]
never got any vacations" (Interview 4). A. Manga has worked for
thirteen years in Dakar, first migrating in 1977. "I went to a nun I
knew in the village, who works with a placement service for maids, and
quickly got work with whites" (Interview 7). O. Diatta, has been in
Dakar for four years, and also found work with a European on her first
season migrating, but points to one of the insecurities of this kind of
'At the time of my research in 1990, the U.S. dollar was worth about 300
CFA. Common salaries for maids ranged from 20,000 to 50,000 CFA, or
from U.S. $70 to about $165 a month. This interviewee has been in Dakar
more than twenty-five years, so her salary at that time was very good
indeed.
lAgain, this figure represents salaries from a long time ago, as she
continued to explain she'd worked for twenty-six years in Dakar.


93
lese men, left the country with them, and have never returned. Other
women found work in Dakar and stayed for their entire careers. Women
who worked for Europeans earned more money than any of the emigrant men
could make in Dakar. The early women migrants who stayed in Dakar, in
turn, funded the migration of other villagers; E. Djiba told me that he
himself is a good example of this. They would house and feed, buy
clothing, pay for health care, transportation, association dues, and
provide everything for those they supported in Dakar. Two examples of
women who sponsored many other migrants are C. Djiba and M.-T. Manga.
Piola Associations
Among the Diola peoples of the Lower Casamance, rural traditional
associations are formed on an extremely diverse set of membership
criteria. An individual married woman typically may belong to as many
as seven or eight associations at one time, based on membership in, for
example, her mother's family, her father's family, her husband's family,
the general village association, residence in a quartier, the village
women's association, a choir or other Catholic church group, a group
associated with one of several spirit shrines, or perhaps a cooperative
labor group.14 In particular, Hamer (1983:186-196) emphasizes the role
of fertility associations among rural Diola women who have married into
their husbands' villages. The Gaenaelene group functions to nurture and
protect childless married women from the possible causes of their
infertility. Other rural women's associations function as mutual aid
societies for agricultural labor (Hamer 1983:203).
14These examples apply to a hypothetical village resident of Boutem.
Other rural membership possibilities are elaborated in Reveyrand (1986,
1986/87, 1987). I also elicited a number of other possibilities for the
village of Boutem myself.


104
funeral. This was a critical moment in the history of Boutem's
emigrants, as the year 1914 had been for the families of Diola
conscripts who died at the battle of Arras and were buried in France
(Roche 1986:326). In taking financial responsibility for their fellow
villager's burial, and because no one had much money, the emigrants were
forced to solicit their membership to raise the necessary funds. Even
so, they could not afford to transport her remains back to Boutem, and
her funeral was held locally in Dakar. I was told in several contexts
that this is why the association formed. In fact, my interpretation is
that it was this crisis that forced the association to become more
formal, and why it began to collect dues from its members. Once they
routinely collected dues, record-keeping and institutional formality was
also increasingly bound to be favored.
Similar conditions were undoubtedly experienced by other Diola
emigrants to Dakar at about the same time. In 1958, the Boutem
association joined with others to form a regional group. Lambert
(1994:91-92) found that, for people from the village he studied, this
regional Boulouf association was the first that emigrants joined. By
about 1960, though, with increasingly large groups of emigrants arriving
in Dakar from each of the constituent villages, this larger group became
less manageable, and broke up into smaller village-based organizations.
Similarly, the interim attempt to maintain an association composed of
both Affiniam and Boutem also failed. In fact, in other cases, as
Lambert (1994) found, quartier associations have replaced village
associations in their importance and level of activity.
Conclusions
The first section of this chapter elaborated my research methods
which included participant observation, interviews with thirty migrant


182
For each member of the family resident during this dry season, write the
name, age (approximate), and relationship to the head of the household.
If he or she has migrated, indicate the town and duration of absence in
each place.
For each member of the family absent during this dry season, write the
name, age (approximate), relationship to the head of the household, and
indicate the current town of residence.
For each, respond to the following questions:
Number of seasons absent
Did he or she return during the past rainy season?
If not, how long has it been since the last return?
How many times has he or she returned during the last five
rainy seasons?


158
women censused, and of all female residents of Dakar. The mean age of
women's association members is 30.7 years, and that of interviewees is
35.2 years. This is probably explained by my targeting of employed
women for interviews, as they are likely to be older than the general
population, which includes infants and girls too young to work. The
range of interviewee's ages is almost an exact match to association
members and in fact doesn't appear significantly different from other
subsets of the censused population, other than that their minimum ages
reflect the fact that this is an adult working population (see Table 4)
TABLE 4: Mean ages of all women. Dakar emigrants, association members,
and interviewees
mean o mean mean + o
Entire fem. pop.
(n=293)
10.7
30.9
41.1
Dakar fem. res.
(n=84)
17.8
28.7
39.6
Women's assoc.
(n=56)
22.0
30.7
39.4
Interviewees
(n=21)
25.9
35.2
44.5
Dakar Women's Association: The Contemporary Situation
As I noted in Chapter 3, I am unable to point to any clear
benefits of association membership for contemporary individual urban
residents. Their social role as a meeting place persists from their
earliest days. Both the women's and village associations were
formalized to provide funeral insurance. Later, the village association
in particular strove to initiate and train new arrivals to the city, but
this role has now completely disappeared. Most migrants now have plenty
of family members to rely upon for similar help. If individuals are
willing to pay regular dues, one would think that there must be


3
activities. The commercial centers near trans-Saharan routes in the
interior slowly suffered due to the exclusive growth of what often
became coastal enclaves (see Hoselitz 1960:189; also Thomas 1960;
Mitchell 1969a; Rodney 1970; Leary 1970; Hopkins 1973; Flint 1974;
Austen 1987; and Hart 1987).
Contemporary Africa experiences ever more rapid change as migra
tion urbanizes the continent at an unprecedented pace (Clarke and
Kosinski 1982; Adepoju and Clarke 1985:6-7; Hart 1987). Contemporary
migration in Africa must be considered within the context of a rapidly
growing work force, low job growth, and a set of multidimensional crises
that threaten the quality of life on many levels (Adepoju 1991).
With rapid change in the economic environment, migration provides
a quick way for people to adjust. Historically, West Africans have
actively used migration as an efficient means of adapting to changing
economic conditions (Hill 1963; Berg 1965; Little 1965; Coqury-
Vidrovitch 1991). Migration continues to function as a cultural means
of adjusting to economic changes in the present. The relationship
between the environment and migration, however, is complex and systemic
rather than causal. Migration causes urbanization to some extent, but
also functions as a means of adaptation to an increasingly urbanized
social and economic environment. While historically migration was used
to respond primarily to changes in the ecological environment,
increasingly it is used as a response to changes in the social and
economic environment.
As this case study illustrates, social institutions also play an
important role in this model. As I will outline in Chapter 2, certain
social organizations among the Diola served one purpose in historical
times, but since have been adapted to serve another purpose under
contemporary conditions. In particular, voluntary associations have
both affected how migration occurs and have themselves adapted to


68
Diola and Banyun were often at odds over the same territory and
consequently in a constant state of war. The Diola eventually gained an
advantage over the Banyun in the early seventeenth century, partly due
to the way they employed the iron received in trade with Europeans.
During the second half of the eighteenth century the slave trade gained
in importance, further extending this long period of conflict and
uncertainty. Many Diola responded by withdrawing from contact with
outsiders, defending their villages but retreating from trade
activities. During periods of conflict, capture into slavery (a form of
forced migration) was a constant threat to those who ventured away from
the confines of the village, so voluntary migrations were severely
limited.
While the Diola were generally noted by Europeans to be
uninterested in trade, they had for centuries exchanged a number of
forest and coastal products with other Africans. After the abolition of
slavery, the European legitimate trade emphasized exchanges for wild
rubber and palm kernels. In Casamance, this trade was greatly expanded
between the French and Diola after the establishment of the trading post
at Carabane in 1836. Earlier, some Diola traders had crossed into The
Gambia to get the better prices offered by the British posts there.
Despite a general decline in European (particularly Portuguese)
trade during nineteenth century, the French maintained an aggressive
trade expansion in the Casamance from 1800-1880. Groundnuts were
introduced during the 1840s. The post at Sedhiou in Middle Casamance
became important as a trading center by 1850, due to the extensive
adoption of this cash crop by the Mandinka there. This date therefore
marks the earliest possible beginnings of Diola male wage labor
migration, widely initiated to harvest groundnuts on Mandinka farms in
order to pay the cash taxes imposed by the French as early as 1910.


FROM AFFINIAM-BOUTEM TO DAKAR:
MIGRATION FROM THE CASAMANCE, LIFE IN THE URBAN
ENVIRONMENT OF DAKAR, AND THE RESULTING EVOLUTIONARY
CHANGES IN LOCAL DIOLA ORGANIZATIONS
By
DANIEL A. REBOUSSIN
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1995


144
Because of the different markets in which Diola emigrant men and
women compete for jobs in Dakar, women are generally able to secure
employment more easily. Men, although they tend to have to look harder
and wait longer to find a position, are more likely to secure salaried
positions that pay more. Therefore, it has become a cultural ideal
among older, rural Diola to have a daughter be the first emigrant to
Dakar (Lambert 1994:204-205). She can begin remitting early, although
perhaps less regularly and in smaller amounts than a son, who although
he begins to remit later will be more regular in sending larger amounts
of money back home to his parents. I only encountered a single migrant
who indicated to me that she had fulfilled her part of this reported
ideal and passed the responsibilities on to her younger male siblings.
"I used to send remittances to the family, but now all of my younger
brothers work, so it's their responsibility to do this now" (Interview
20) .
Clothing
Many migrants cited the need to clothe themselves as one of the
main reasons for coming to Dakar in the first place. Therefore, as one
might expect, interview respondents who could afford to do so at times
spent relatively large amounts of money on clothing. Even for the less
well-to-do, clothing is a major expense. "We mothers can't save easily
for clothing, but normally I save 5,000 for cloth and 3,000 for the
tailor" (Interview 22). "I save 5,000 CFA for clothing, without
counting tailoring" (Interview 29). This woman, who is well established
in town, indicates that these expenses can be quite a bit higher than
that if the fabric and design are more extravagant. "I buy clothes to
dress myself [when I get paid]. It depends on what fabric I buy. If
it's expensive, I spend more, up to 25,000 CFA for everything [e.g.


50
Middle Casamance spurred raiding for slaves in the Lower Casamance (Mark
1985:55).
During the 1870s through about 1900, the French as nominal
colonial authorities attempted to fund their local military operations1
through lower prices offered at their trading posts in Lower Casamance.
Diola traders north of the river simply responded by transporting their
goods to British posts in The Gambia (Mark 1985:65-66,94). This
experience led to an increasing emphasis by the French upon tax
collection as a means of supporting their colonial operations in the
area during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Mark
1985:93). Several means of establishing an institutionalized monetary
economy were available to the officials of Afrique Occidentale Frangaise
(A.O.F.). Corve (a form of taxation in kind through forced, unpaid
labor) and regular in-kind tax collections of rice proved the most
brutal and effective means of all (Geschiere 1985; Fall and Mbodj 1989).
In Lower Casamance between 1910 and 1916, while cash payments were being
required of individuals rather than the former village payments in kind,
the threat of military coercion had to be invoked directly against each
village in order to enforce its compliance with this new demand (Roche
1976:187,311). The expense of such an ad hoc enforcement of colonial
policy was too great to sustain for long.
In summary, indigenous states of the western Sudan were probably
trading with the Diola for salt, dried fish, and rice, as well as
raiding for domestic slave markets before the beginning of this third
period. These activities all continued throughout the period, but the
arrival of European merchants vastly increased the scale of the markets
17Where, for example, French troops were indirectly drawn into fighting
associated with the Marabout-Sonink wars and conflicts resulting from the
Islamic revolts led by the Fulani against Kaabu, as well as direct conflicts
associated with Diola "pacification" (Leary 1970:153-155; Roche 1976:91-
96,180-187).


26
structural and individual approaches to the study of the causes and
consequences of migration.
The concept of the household as a basic domestic unit of
production and consumption remains difficult to operationalize, since it
cannot be defined similarly for all places and times (see Yanagisako
1979). However, in any given context it can be a heuristic interme
diate-level model for reconciling problems encountered with analysis at
the structural or individual level. The household provides a context in
which various migration situations or circumstances can be interpreted.
Processes operating at the highest levels of social analysis, such
as urbanization, international trade, economic development, and the
like, have important consequences that affect individual choices to
migrate. At the same time, individual variables, including demographic
characteristics and personal migration experience for example, have also
proven to be important determinants of migration. At an intermediate
level of analysis, meanwhile, "the control the productive unit in the
rural economy is able to exert over the timing and length of the mi
grants' absence can be crucial" (Gugler 1969:476).
At another, also intermediate level, as we have discussed,
voluntary associations often have an important effect on members'
contributions in support of basic needs in the home village. To
understand the role of these intermediate level institutions requires
location- and context-specific research in the field. However, this
focus promises to elucidate, for any specific case, causes of
variability in migration rates left unexplained by either macro-level or
individual variables. Households and voluntary associations have
important influences on their members, as has been demonstrated in the
migration literature (Mangin 1959; Little 1965; Plotnikov 1967;
Meillassoux 1968; Mitchell 1969b; Peil 1981, 1988; Wood 1981; Speare et
al. 1982; Schmink 1984; Traeger 1984; Boyd 1989; Lambert 1994; Woods


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
The author was born in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1961. Attending
primary and secondary schools in Beloit, Wisconsin, he graduated from
Beloit High School in 1979. Undergraduate studies were undertaken at
Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa. He graduated from the college with
a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology in 1983.
His graduate studies have all been in the Department of
anthropology at the University of Florida, where he earned a Master of
Arts degree in 1986. His minor was in faming systems research. He was
awarded a Certificate in African Studies in conjunction with the M.A.
Prior to dissertation fieldwork, the author completed a summer intensive
language course in Wolof at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
with funding from the Foreign Language Area Studies program. The
present research was undertaken in Senegal during December, 1989, and
completed in August, 1990. It was supported with a Fullbright-IIE
dissertation research award.
He is currently employed at the University of Florida George A.
Smathers Libraries, in the collection management Department. His duties
are associated entirely with the support and development of the Africana
collection.
214


129
daughter of a peasant, I got discouraged and figured that I
couldn't succeed when even they have trouble. I decided it was a
waste of time, that I'd migrate and earn what I can. (Interview
8)
In the following case, the interviewee was quite specific about
considering marriage and the economic situation she would face then.
When I decided to quit school and look for work in the city, I
firmly held on to my work. I told myself I'd have to stay, since
school wasn't going well: I'd better go to the city. It's not to
earn anything, but just to make enough money to dress myself and
take care of my little needs. I knew that sooner or later I'd get
married, so I kept working since I had to feed and clothe my
children and look after their needs. ... In the village I was
in school, but I saw that my father was getting old and couldn't
afford my fees. I saw that the groundnut prices were falling, and
he earned all of his money from groundnut sales. I decided to go
look for work and leave him more to spend on my mother, I could
dress myself. He died two months after I left, and I went back to
the village, so that's why it took me four months to get a job.
(Interview 14)
Commercial Endeavors
A few of the women I spoke with support themselves (often,
apparently, as a last resort, but in a few cases by predilection) in
whole or in part by means of commerce. For example, one woman had a
small stall in her home's detached garage, facing the street. Her
children were selling matches and other small convenience items there
when we arrived to interview her (Interview 13). She was unemployed at
he time of our interview, while her husband had a salaried position as a
school principal. These circumstances surely meant that the market
stall was supported by her husband's income. I will consider two other
cases of commercial enterprises operated by women from Boutem below.
Following these, I will discuss a more common (and less directly
commercial) practice, the support of rural relatives in Dakar to sell
produce from the village. Very limited commercial practices (requiring
only a small capital investment), such as reselling food in the market,
or taking in laundry or ironing, is another apparent means of getting by
when other work is not forthcoming. Following these examples, I support


165
mean length of time it had been since these women had returned was about
six years (5.96), and only 8 percent had returned sixteen or more years
ago.
Information about a person's salary is generally considered a
secret among the Diola, a fact associated with agricultural societies
(Diola granaries are hidden inside their homes, and if one moves
residences, belongings are tranferred only at night). In several cases,
the woman I was interviewing told me that no one else knows what she
makes, including her roommates, her sisters, or her husband (as noted
above, this is associated with husbands and wives keeping separate
granaries). When I asked about this, other people familiar with Diola
practices told me that this was normal, and some expressed doubts that
the women would tell me what they earned. Nevertheless, all but two of
my interviewees, a total of 28 women, told me the amount of their
monthly wages. Their responses fit well with the range of wages that
employers told me they paid, and seemed to Antoine and me in keeping
with each respondent's level of experience. In several cases, as was
noted in the interview section above, women earned extra money by
selling goods in the market, income that was not accounted for here. In
a few other cases, women had recently lost their jobs. If an
interviewee was employed within the last four months, I considered her
employed for the purposes of this analysis, and included her wages at
that time. Six women (21 percent) had been unemployed for longer than
four months. The mean monthly wage was 28,710 CFA, the equivalent of
about U.S. $95.70 at the time. Eighteen percent were currently employed
with monthly incomes from 20,000 to 29,000 CFA per month (U.S. $66.67-
$96.67). More than half of the women (54 percent, or 15 individuals)
earned 30,000 CFA (U.S. $100) or more per month, and five women (18
percent) earned a monthly income of 50,000 CFA (U.S. $166.67) or more.
Given the local context, these women are earning relatively high


153
TABLE 2: Comparison of migrants' years awav from the village
mean o mean mean + o
Current village res.
(n = 66)
1.8
8.7
15.6
All current migrants
(n = 257)
2.7
9.8
16.9
Current Dakar res.
(n = 146)
4.0
10.9
17.8
Women's assoc, mbrs.
(n = 54)
5.8
12.2
18.6
Interviewees
(n = 19)
6.7
13.7
20.7
Interestingly, fewer current Dakar residents were reported to have
previously migrated to destinations other than the capital than current
village residents. It is important to note that this finding is
suspect, as it is based on responses to the census by village-resident
family members. Current village residents apparently do not remember
(or did not feel it was important to report) each absent family member's
residential history. Ninety-five percent of current Dakar residents
reportedly had no other previous migration destinations, and only three
individuals reportedly had migrated to Ziguinchor, two to Dakar on
previous occasions, and six to other destinations. This finding
seriously under-reports previous migration destinations as reported by
interviewees. As noted in the previous section, they often told me that
they had previously lived in Ziguinchor or other regional cities before
finally arriving in Dakar. I therefore question this census finding,
and consider it invalid.
I was curious whether or not villagers would support emigrants in
their anecdotal reports of returning for the rainy season and its heavy
agricultural labor. I therefore asked census respondents how many times
in the past five years each emigrant had returned for the rains. For
all current emigrants, it was reported that close to half (48 percent)


CHAPTER 2
A PERIODIZATION OF DIOLA HISTORY
Introduction
Any discussion of the history of Diola migration before the
twentieth century must acknowledge the constraints implicit in the
scarcity of relevant, valid data. The available data are insufficient
to support the construction of a complete history of Diola migration,
and my goal is decidedly not to predict trends. It is nevertheless both
possible and useful to synthesize what data are available, interpreting
them in the light of comparable cases. The goal of this chapter is to
identify particular periods in Diola history during which the rates of
change were sufficiently slowed and sustained to permit a generalized
description that is applicable during a relatively long, rather well-
defined span of time.
The result of any such exercise is necessarily limited in its
usefulness as history. However, it may provide a useful
characterization of long term historical trends for a chosen cultural
phenomenon, in this case the changing patterns of Diola migration. The
goal of describing such long term trends in the patterns of Diola
migration will be pursued systematically in this chapter by first
introducing the criteria used to identify particular historical periods.
The identification and characterization of these periods will be the
focus of the second section of the chapter. The third section will
outline and describe the general characteristics of Diola migration
during each of these periods. Finally, the characteristics of Diola
34


55
implemented an integrated strategy that incorporated many of the most
successful tactics already operating elsewhere in the colony.
The plan had as a primary objective pacification, or the
imposition of complete political-economic control throughout Casamance.
It would establish a cash economy in Lower Casamance and create a free
circulation of labor. Once individual men were wrested from their
traditional labor obligations, they could grow cash crops and use their
earnings to pay taxes. To meet these objectives, colonial authorities
employed the use of political power to prevent market forces from
operating freely in several economically strategic areas, notably the
cash cropping sector and in particular the groundnut market (see
Geschiere 1985). Until then, Diola traders often traded at British
posts in The Gambia (Mark 1985:65-66,94). Thus, borders had to be more
effectively controlled.
Other efforts to introduce a cash economy included the devaluation
of traditional exchange goods (primarily rice), the institution of
corve to initiate a free circulation of labor,21 and universal adult
male taxation. Among the tactics employed were an aggressive military
recruitment, the installation of non-Diola chiefs at the village
level,22 the suppression of some still-continuing inter-village slave
raids, and increased control over the power of Mandinka traders. All of
these together represented an effective, integrated effort to support
policies of total disarmament, universal tax collection, and broad price
controls over the sale of cash crops (see Roche 197 6:339-345) .
21Though its use was more limited in Senegal than in Guinea or Sudan,
corve labor was responsible for all road construction in Senegal up
until 1936. Defined as a demand on tax payers for a fixed number of
days labor in addition to taxes paid in cash, eight days were required
annually of adult men in 1926 (Fall and Mbodj 1989: 256-260).
22Previously, there had been no political integration at the village
level (Linares 1992).


188
Campements de
touriste:
C.E.P.:
C.E.S. :
C.F.A.:
Cap Vert:
Carabane:
Castors:
Certificat:
Chef de canton:
Chin:
Circumcision:
Circumscription:
Combo:
Compradors:
Comptoir:
Corve:
Derkl:
Diatok:
Dj ilapao:
Djugut:
Elana:
Elora:
Tourist hostels. In the Lower Casamance, these are
often built in a traditional Diola construction style,
either in the form of a ring (impluvium) or at their
most impressive, in two stories.
French primary school diploma.
French secondary school diploma.
Communaut Financier Africaine, a financial
organization issuing the currency of many of the
francophone West African countries. The "franc CFA"
is the name of the currency.
Hook-shaped peninsula on which Dakar is located, also
the region of Dakar.
Island in the Casamance River, an early French
comptoir.
Neighborhood of Dakar.
French primary school diploma.
French colonial district officer.
Diola word for a spirit shrine.
The Diola male initiation ceremony, bukut involves the
circumcision of initiates.
Environmentally, economically, or politically
surrounded.
Former region of Casamance near The Gambia.
Luso-African middlemen between European and African
traders.
Trading post.
Form of in-kind taxation requiring a certain period of
labor.
Neighborhood of Dakar.
Diola village near Affiniam-Boutem.
Neighboring village of Affiniam-Boutem.
Former region of Casamance North of the River.
Neighboring village of Affiniam-Boutem.
Neighboring village of Affiniam-Boutem.
Eluhol:
Broad Diola kin group with the same patronym.


178
interviewees. Finally, the members of the women's association were
described in terms of age, income, emigration history, and dues-paying
behavior. The census and interviews, along with information provided
from the women's association record book, allowed me to analyze the
situation of emigration more broadly than was possible with any single
source. I was also able to compare the results from one source with
another, as in the case of emigrants' previous destinations (where
interview data were judged more reliable than census responses).
Emigration from Boutem to Dakar is a relatively recent phenomenon.
The earliest migrants are recalled by name among young adults, and some
are still alive and available to interview personally. Interviewees
were often among the first emigrants in their own families, although a
number of respondents were able to point to examples of the kinds of
wage migration their parents had engaged in. Most often, their parents
migrated only a few times or for only short periods, for example to
Ziguinchor, which is easily accessible from the village by boat. That
current emigrants stay away from the village for longer periods of time
than returnees was also confirmed in the census. Interviewees were not
selected at random, and tended to be older and had been gone from the
village for longer than had the set of all Dakar emigrants. They were,
however, judged to represent emigrants from their village relatively
well in terms of family and quartier of origin.
Women migrants from Boutem, like other Diola women, seek
relatively unskilled work in Dakar (although as the interviewees
explained, they do spend a certain amount of time training themselves
for their work as domestic maids). They therefore are able to find work
more easily than men from the village, who compete in a different job
market. Men's work, career histories, incomes, and contributions to
household expenses were not among my research topics, but it would


36
local area. Evidence of such large-scale population movements is also
observable in local archaeological data. The establishment of political
organizations that defended particular trade interests and
transportation routes in the local area restricted Diola territorial
expansion. This restriction, in effect, would have selected for certain
subsistence strategies, specifically for economic intensification and
increased sedentism.
Finally, a period may be identified by historical events having a
known effect either directly on the group itself, or on a range of
groups that may be compared with the Diola and its effects inferred
based on known cultural similarities and differences among these groups.
A relevant example is the effect of the Atlantic slave trade on the
Diola. While little specific information on Diola groups in particular
is available (e.g., see Bowser 1974; and BUhnen 1993), historical
documentation does exist regarding the effects of slavery on neighboring
groups such as the Balanta and Manjaku. Particular cultural
characteristics of these groups may be compared and contrasted with the
Diola in order to infer how they were affected by this important
historical process.
To summarize the criteria used to define each period of Diola
history in this chapter, I have focused on three kinds of evidence.
First, archaeological evidence of change in local subsistence patterns
is the best means of defining the earliest period. Second, historical
evidence of change in broad regional conditions, such as the
establishment of new trading patterns or states, has been used to define
the second period. Third, indirect evidence of change inferred from
documented changes in similar, nearby cultural groups is used to define
the third historical period. Finally, direct historical evidence is
available for the most recent period. For the purposes of this chapter,
I consider evidence for rapid cultural change based on these sources as


101
what underlay the common feeling among the members of this rather small
group that they all were facing the same difficult situation as one.
At the time there was a real feeling of solidarity among us: if
your friend didn't have the means to pay her dues, you paid it for
her. These dues of 15 CFA held us for six years. After six years
we saw that the association was growing, and we called a meeting
to raise the dues up to 30 CFA. (Interviews 5/27/90 and 5/29/90)
The focus on dances as the group's main function also reflects
what was a conscious strategy to increase membership. The association
continued to grow, and the meeting place was moved from Ouakam to the
Hainoumane neighborhood. From there, it moved again, this time to Fass,
where the group met at I. Badji's home. The association then was dis
banded for four or five years in the early-to-mid 1970s as a result of
unresolvable disagreements about membership dues: "We decided to divide
up our treasury funds, and what we finally did was each member took her
money and did with it what she wanted. But I, [I. Badji], I bought an
outfit of clothing" (Interviews 5/27/90 and 5/29/90).
When the women reorganized the association in about 1976, monthly
dues were reintroduced at a reduced rate. By then the group was meeting
in the Koloban neighborhood, its fourth meeting place. For the first
time membership was opened to all women from Boutem, increasing
membership greatly. By this time, more of the younger members had been
educated in the village school, and the group began to keep records. A
formal set of rules was adopted and recorded. As soon as a woman
arrived in the city from Boutem, she now was considered a full member,
and her name was inscribed in the record book. From that point, she had
all of the same rights and responsibilities of the older members. Orga
nized projects sponsored by the association were first undertaken after
this reorganization of the mid-1970s, although I was told that none of
these have been both independent of the village "men's" association and
also successful.


37
sufficient for separating historical periods. In the second section of
this chapter I will identify and define four historical periods using
the above criteria. In the third and final section, I will characterize
the forms of migration that are associated with each period.
Periods of Piola History
Early Sedentism and Early Circumscription
Linguistic, archaeological, and oral history data indicate that
Diola peoples originated along the Upper Guinea Coast of the Atlantic,
somewhat further south than their present location. A long-term, large-
scale movement of Diola populations northward brought them to the
southwestern corner of the present day Lower Casamance area of Senegal
as early as A.D. 200 (Linares 1971:41-43; Mark 1985; Baum 1986). This
trend continued until the eighteenth century when Diola advances into
the Fogny district to the northeast (primarily at the expense of the
Banyun ethnic group) were reversed by the Mandinka, whose own large-
scale, state-reinforced migration from the interior succeeded in pushing
the Diola back south and west of the Songrougrou River (Lauer 1969:59;
Quinn 1972:25; Brooks 1993).
Archaeological data for the description of this period come
exclusively from the work of Olga Linares (1971).1 Linares' evidence
suggests that the Diola were coping with subsistence stresses due to
persistent population growth as early as the second century A.D. Her
analysis is based on the changing frequency distribution of shellfish
species in the shell midden strata of the part of Lower Casamance
longest occupied by the Diola. Linares interprets these changes as the
^his is the only article I know of reporting Diola archaeological
evidence. The limitations of a view based on a single source apply,
although its findings are consistent with other data sources.


184
24 'Cap Skirring'
31 'Marassoum'
32 'Sedhiou'
34 'Velingara'
41 'Tambacounda'
42 'Kedougou'
52 'Kaolack'
53 'Thies*
54 'St. Louis'
57 'Mboro'
60 'Dakar'
81 'Gambia'
82 'Ivory Coast'
84 'France'
85 'other Europe*
86 'Mexico'
90 'various not Dakar'
91 'cant find placename'
92 'various incl. Dakar'
93 'Military/various'
98 'reports no past migrtn'
todrtn
35-36
yrs. absent migr. in past (vill. residents)
nodrtn
38-39
duration current migration (non-vill. res.)
lstret
41-42
last returned to village X years ago
pctrt5
44-46
percent returns in last five years
intvwe
48
indiv. was interviewee in Dakar?
0 'not interviewed'
1 'interviewed'
fmascn
50
member of womens association in Dakar?
0 'not in assoc'
1 'current member'
2 '88 or 89 member'
II. Age,
dues, and
salary data for female residents of Dakar
Variable
CP^Wing
BefipAtiQb
caseid
1- 3
individual ID no. (from village census)
quartr
5- 6
village quartier of origin
vilmap
8
is village HH of origin on Boutem map?
hhnumb
10-11
ID number of village household
age
13-14
calculated from "year born" census data
dryres
16-17
current residence during dry season
pastmg
19-20
previous migration destination
nodrtn
22-23
duration of current migration (self report)
lstret
25-26
last returned to village x years ago
pctrt5
28-30
percent returns to vill. in last five years
intvwe
32-33
interview number (if interviewed in Dakar)
fmascn
34
current member of womens assoc., or 88/89?
dues88
36
no. times indiv paid dues (200 CFA) in 1988
dues89
37
no. times indiv paid dues (200 CFA) in 1989
dues90
38
no. times indiv paid dues (200 CFA) in 1990
family
40
family name (fewer than in village census)
salary
42-43
monthly wage earnings in 1,000s of CFA
Value, labels
QUARTR
01
' Elegnande'
02
'Sambousoulier'
03
'Bafican'


began. She has also taken upon herself all the financial
responsibilities of income-earning during the more than six months of
leave I have cumulatively taken from my job to complete the writing
phase of this research. Most importantly she has been an unwavering
source of emotional support despite sometimes not being entirely sure of
why it is that I am doing this.
v


76
this arrangement was finally approved. Members agreed to meet with me
and answer my questions, while I would help the group to plan and fund
the building of a maternity clinic in the village. I would donate what
money I could afford to the project upon completion of my research. I
insisted the amount of my donation would be quite limited, less than
fifty U.S. dollars. However, I promised to look for and indeed was able
to locate a funding source, a small-projects development fund at the
U.S. embassy. The application I helped Antoine to complete was
eventually approved after my return home, and I have since received news
that the clinic itself has been completed and inaugurated. Meanwhile,
no individual compensation for interviewees was requested or offered.
I met with the entire women's association three more times,
attending their monthly meetings in the Benn Tali neighborhood in March,
April, and May. These were held outside the small concession or group
of homes inhabited by two interviewees and their families. I missed two
of the monthly meetings scheduled during the time I was in Dakar. I
tried to find the meeting place alone for the second meeting and was
unable to locate it, and I was sick the day of one other meeting.
However, I considered meeting with the women's association important,
and did my best to attend each monthly meeting. I also met with the
officers at their monthly executive meetings twice, in January and
March, when I was invited to discuss specific issues with them.
I attended all of these meetings with my principal informant and
research assistant, Antoine Badji, who translated my presentations,
which I made in French, into Diola. He also would translate questions
and answers, at times with added input from younger women who were more
fluent in French. The treasurer of the association was particularly
helpful in this regard. Antoine's credibility with the group was an
essential part of the success of our arrangement to work with the women.
While most members understood French, often using it at work, they were


139
Because of the burden of such a large expense, some interviewees
told me they simply don't attend association meetings. "I never went to
the women's association meetings, and have never paid dues. I don't
have the fare to attend [the trip is long and inconvenient, and requires
two kaar rapit fares each way]" (Interview 29). Many other women told
me that they manage dues payments by rotating their contributions from
one association to the next.
I can't pay my dues regularly, since with 20,000 CFA [salary] I
can't take out a fixed amount. I pay dues to the women's
association from time to time, one month to the village and the
next to the family, but it's not every month that I can do this.
During all the years that I didn't have a job, I had trouble since
I couldn't afford to pay my dues to the family association. I was
obliged to go ask for money to pay my dues. My husband couldn't
afford to pay rent, buy food, and pay the dues all alone. It's
too much for just one person. This came up at the women's
association meeting, since those who can't afford the dues are
ashamed to come to the meetings. We're obliged to go and ask each
woman why she doesn't attend. They either aren't working
themselves, or their husband isn't working and they just can't
afford the dues. (Interview 17)
For my association dues, I take out 300 CFA for the village, for
the women's association I take out 300 CFA, for my family
association it's 200 francs, for the women's association of my
husband's village I pay 500 francs and for the second [her
husband's] village association I pay 200 CFA [a total of 1,500 CFA
per month if she were to pay all these each month]. So what I do
is to put aside 5,000 CFA to use for these dues, but if I need
this in an emergency I can use it, since I don't pay all the dues
every month. (Interview 16)
Without explicitly referring to this strategy of rotating
payments, many respondents indicated that they pay what they can, when
they can. "For the women's association, if I have 1,000 CFA I keep it
to pay dues" (Interview 28). "I can't save for dues, but if I have a
meeting when I get paid I contribute what I can" (Interview 19). "For
all my dues I set aside 2,500 CFA, for the village ["grand
association"!, the family, and for the women's association each end of
the month [payday]" (Interview 18). "I don't save for dues, but each
time I go to a meeting of the family I pay 300 CFA, for the village
association I pay 300 CFA, and for the women's association I pay 200 CFA


23
returnees are more likely to be made for the purchase of consumption
goods for the family, including housing, land, and the education of the
return migrants' children (Cornelius 1978; Dinerman 1982; Chilivumbo
1985). However, as Gmelch (1987) argues, returning students and
professionals may bring more benefits back to their rural home areas
than migrant laborers (see Miller 1984). Furthermore, levels of
productive investment appear more significant if expenditures for such
'necessary' costs as housing are excluded from the analysis (Gmelch
1987:137). Finally, expenditures for so-called consumptive purposes can
have important, positive effects in economically depressed rural
communities.
The debate is not focused on the issue of whether (or how much)
money returns to the home village either through remittances or returns.
An enormous sum, representing an international financial exchange second
only to the trade in crude oil, is estimated to return annually to
villages worldwide through remittances (Russell 1992:269). Rather, at
issue is whether or not these monies represent a positive contribution
to economic development, either locally or nationally. Responses to
this question often have more to do with how individual writers evaluate
economic development itself than to analysis of remittance data
(Appleyard 1989:487).
Many writers disregard the value of local consumptive expenditures
to economic development. Nevertheless, particularly in the Sahel, these
have been "crucial to financing expansion of educational facilities in
rural areas" (Russell 1992:275; see Cond and Diagne 1986; Gould
1988:4.1.49; and Bradshaw 1988). Such expenditures, including the
construction of health care facilities and relying heavily on
remittances, represent an important investment in human capital. The
migrants I studied in my own research actively invested in just these
kinds of facilities in their home village. More generally, it has been


128
migration among the Diola (see Chapter 2) agrees with that of other
writers. Once married, women need cash to contribute to their household
according to cultural expectations, while they have relatively few
opportunities for earning of any kind within the rural economy. Before
marriage, womean clearly think about training themselves for migrant
work, and they are expected to compile a trousseau prior to marriage.
Boutem is widely regarded as having an abundance of natural resources,
so that its people are said to only ever need leave to the village in
order to earn cash. Many people told me that the only reason they leave
is to earn money, because they have "everything else" in the village.
While men may earn money from groundnut sales without leaving the
village, women have extremely limited cash-earning opportunities within
the rural economy.
Interestingly, however, if one asks an individual why she left the
village, she is likely to say that it was to earn money to dress
herself. "[I] had to leave for Dakar to look for work after primary
school [at about age fourteen] when [my] father couldn't provide for
[my] clothing" (Interview 2). Alternatively, a number of young women
left the village to attend secondary school in Ziguinchor. But
unfortunately they face a certain amount of discrimination from their
parents. "When I was old enough to go to school I went through the
third year [of primary school] and my father said, "It's not worth
paying school fees for a girl."
I left the village first in 1968, not to work but for secondary
school, which I attended in 1968, 1969, 1970: up until 1971, when
I no longer had anyone to pay for my courses and I was obliged to
work as a bonne. (Interview 15)
Some of the women themselves seem to have internalized this kind
of discrimination against educating women, as in this example:
I first came on the migration in 1986. In the village I went to
school up to the quatrime [secondary school]. I saw that even
the parents who were rich had trouble paying the fees, and as the


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure page
1 Map showing the Casamance region and the research site in
relation to the rest of Senegal 9
2 Village of Boutem, Senegal 109
x


98
may have felt less empathy for individuals from distant communities when
they faced family or personal crises.
In fact, after some time, the combined village association of
Affiniam and Boutem also broke up into two separate associations. This
resulted from an attempt to incorporate Diatok, a third neighboring
village, into the group. Diatok and Boutem were traditionally enemies,
fighting over the control of agricultural land, and have yet to settle
their dispute (see Hamer 1983:63-64 on other such conflicts in Boulouf).
Boutem thus established its independent association. The actual name of
Boutem's village association, stamped onto its official documents, is
Association des Rassortisants de Boutem.19
I. Badji recounted that the Boutem "men's" or village association
formed as a result of the women's organization activities. At another
time, E. Djiba explained to me how the women's association developed as
a result of the activities of the village organization. To be fair,
they are probably both correct, simply seeing the same facts somewhat
differently: he apparently dates the origin of the village association
to the time before Boutem had an independent association, while she
refers to its founding after it broke apart from the group incorporating
its neighboring villages, Affiniam and Diatok. The historical
importance lies not with the question of which group formed first, but
rather with the fact that both groups developed at about the same time,
out of the common conditions and experiences of the early migrants from
Boutem in Dakar.
Men were first invited to join the women's association after an
Easter holiday dance in 1963, according to I. Badji. This is the event
19This is best translated as the Association of Boutem Natives. The
French verb used in the title means "to reunite that which belongs
together," and conveys a certain poetic meaning. I believe, however,
that the original intent was to use the more common French term, ressor-
tisants meaning "natives."


I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
_J*
H---Rtrssell Bernard, Chair
Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I
conforms to acceptable
adequate, in scope and
Doctor of Philosophy.
have read this study and that in my opinion it
standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Arthur Hansen
Associate Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Marvin Harris
Graduate Research Professor of
Anthropology
I certify that I
conforms to acceptable
adequate, in scope and
Doctor of Philosophy.
have read this study arid that in my opinion it
standards of scholarly/presentation^ and is fully
quality, as a dissertation for thv deu/ee of
Goren Hyden
Professor of
Science
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December 1995
Dean, Graduate School


124
together. This caused quarrels but finally she said I should eat
with them. But this isn't important, the essential thing is
making the salary. Any little problems like this, you just need
to tolerate them. Even if you get angry, you need to remind
yourself why you're there. (Interview 10)
The latter cases seem to represent a symbolic importance regarding
the maid's social status vis a vis her employers. I found the
significance that migrants place on this aspect of work, whether or not
they eat together with their employers, to be particularly interesting.
In the village, families eat their meals in a manner that is not at all
communal. Rather, they take their meals as smaller groups within the
household. Young adults, for example, eat together in a separate room
from their elders. Regardless of their habits at home it is clear that
the maids understand the meaning of being placed apart at meals in this
setting and that they resent the implied status difference it
represents. To the extent that maids become acculturated into the urban
setting they may be ambivalent of their status in the workplace without
their employers intentionally evoking status differences. For example I
found it quite difficult to get Antoine's sister, who I paid to cook and
launder for us in Dakar while we were busy interviewing, to eat her
meals along with the two of us. Another case supports the notion that
some maids are ambivalent about eating with their employer.
Sometimes things are good and sometimes they're not so good, but
the husband is nicer than the wife. They've asked me to eat with
them, but I prefer to eat separately [she adds, "but I'm ashamed
to do so"]. I don't feel right eating with them, I'm more at ease
and have an appetite if I eat alone. (Interview 11)
In other cases, maids expressed real satisfaction with their work.
"I have never had problems with them, they even would invite my husband
or my children over for dinner. Any time I ate with them I was served
first. They liked me so much that I was taken in like a member of the
family" (Interview 13). "My first year of work was very good: I left
at eight and worked until nine, ate well, and they treated me well.
It's my current job that's not so good" (Interview 14). "I was treated


192
Bender, Donald R. 1967. "A refinement of the concept of household:
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pologist 69(5):493-504.
Benoist, Joseph R. de. 1991. "Pour une solution dfinitive du conflit
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Berg, Elliot. 1965. "The economics of the migrant labor system." in
Hilda Kuper (ed). 1965. Urbanization and Migration in West
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{./^ilsborrow, Richard E. and Hania Zlotnik. 1992. "Preliminary report of
the United Nations Expert Group Meeting on the Feminization of
Internal Migration." International Migration Review 26(1):138-
161.
Bohning, W. R. 1975. "Some thoughts on emigration from the
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Boone, Catherine. 1990. "State power and economic crisis in Senegal."
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Booth, David. 1985. "Marxism and development sociology: Interpreting
the impasse." World Development 13 ( 7):761-787.
Boulgue, Jean. 1972. "Aux confins du monde Malink: Le royaume du
Kasa (Casamance)." Paper presented to the Conference on Manding
Studies, London.
Bowser, Frederick. 1974. The African Slave Trade in Colonial Peru,
1524-1650. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Boyd, Monica. 1989. "Family and personal networks in international
migration: Recent developments and new agendas." International
Migration Review 23(3) :638-670.
Bozzoli, Belinda. 1991. Women of Phokena: Consciousness. Life
Strategy, and Miarancv in South Africa. 1900-1983. Portsmouth,
NH: Heinemann.
Bradshaw, Y. W. 1988. "Urbanization, personal income, and physical
quality of life: The case of Kenya." Studies in Comparative
International Development 13(Winter):15-40.
Brenner, Robert. 1977. "The origins of capitalist development: A
critique of Neo-Smithian Marxism." New Left Review 104(Julv-
August) :25-92 .
Brokensha, David and Thayer Scudder. 1968. "Resettlement." in Neville
N. Ruben and William M. Warren (eds.). Dams in Africa: An Inter
disciplinary Study of Man-made Lakes in Africa. New York: A. M.
Kelley.
Brokerhoff, Martin and Hongsook Eu. 1993. "Demographic and
socioeconomic determinants of female rural to urban migration in
sub-Saharan Africa." International Migration Review 27(31:557-
577 .


45
(Hopkins 1973:79). This economic and geographic "about face" had pro
found effects on the relative political strengths of many groups.-
The nature of the slave trade in particular also had penetrating
effects on the societies among whom slaves were captured, and indeed
perhaps more so among those who participated in raids for the capture of
people for sale. There is evidence that those societies most intimately
tied to and benefitting from this trade in human chattel were also those
most devastated by it.
Finally, the vastly increased availability of iron due to the
European trade was a remarkable fact in itself, as it was a critical
resource in both warfare and agriculture. The Diola were "pre-adapted"
(see Cloak 1986) or best suited to take advantage of this profound
change in the environment. This was due in part to the fact that the
Diola, unlike the Banyun, used iron not only to trade or to fabricate
effective weapons, but also to make agricultural tools. Iron enabled
further intensification of their agricultural economy (Lauer 1969:62).
The increased availability of iron through trade allowed them eventually
to succeed in gaining a relative political advantage over the Banyun
that was never relinquished. Today the Banyun have largely been
incorporated into Diola communities (Mark 1985:19-20,31).
While the effects of the slave trade and the increased availabil
ity of iron had an importance independent of their economic value, the
value of these trade activities is well documented and does provide an
indication of the general importance of European trade in the Lower
Casamance during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For example,
by one estimate between fifteen and twenty-five metric tons of iron were
imported to the Lower Casamance annually during the late sixteenth
12The effect of such changes in geo-economic orientation will not be discussed
here, but see Austen (1987:81-108); and Hart (1982).


137
service. The offices and staff were extremely bureaucratic,
inefficient, and unhelpful in my own experience, as they were by
reputation and in every other case I observed. Unexplained service cut
offs were common, at times without cause. Almost any time I passed by
the office in my neighborhood when it was open I could see long, slow
lines of patrons waiting to pay their bills or restore service. Even
with active service, there were daily periods of service interruption,
leaving the neighborhood without water or electricity. Understandably,
a number of women I interviewed had been living without either
electricity or water service for long periods of time.
Given the inefficiencies of service, the condition of the
infrastructure, and the inherent expense of providing utility service,5
I was impressed by its relatively low cost and presume it is subsidized
by the government. Nevertheless, with a limited income and insecure
job, the expense is significant for most residents. "Water is about
3,500 CFA [every two months], electricity 2,000 CFA [it was cut off at
the time of the interview]" (Interview 7). "Water is sometimes 1,000
CFA, since we get bills every two months, and we divide the water bill
with the owner [of the house where they rent a room]. The electricity
is sometimes 3,000 CFA" (Interview 27). These costs can increase
dramatically if one operates any appliances at all. "For electricity, I
have a television and a 'fridge, so it's between 16-18,000 CFA"
(Interview 12). With some frugal use of their power, others can easily
I pay less: "I pay 1,750 CFA for electricity each month. They cut off
I the water last year; it's been a year since we've had any water, so I
1 get it from a neighbor and every month I pay 1,500 CFA" (Interview 19).
5Until the hydroelectric station at the Manantali dam on the Senegal
River comes on line, all electricity in Senegal is generated by diesel
turbines.


CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHODS AND ORAL HISTORY OF MIGRATION FROM BOUTEM
Introduction
In this chapter I begin to present the data I gathered during
field research conducted in Senegal, both in Dakar and the Casamance
region. I use a case study approach to illustrate this example of
twentieth century West African rural-urban migration, focusing on the
recent history of migration from the village of Affiniam-Boutem, known
simply as Boutem. While the historical importance of slavery and
warfare should not be disregarded as limiting factors, urban migration
represents the most important change in the pattern of migration among
the Diola since they first began to rely on agriculture for subsistence
(see Table 1). Because of the gender division of agricultural labor in
Diola society and because of the way that the Diola and the Casamance
region have been incorporated into the economy of Senegal, Diola women
migrate from the Casamance in particularly large numbers (see Hamer
1983:74-78). The case study approach of this chapter provides some
insight into the nature of this migration for the residents of and
emigrants from Boutem.
I first report briefly how I conducted various aspects of the
research, including interviews, a census, and an analysis of the
membership of the women's association. Then I describe the recent
history of migration from the village of Boutem, as it was told to me by
residents and emigrants. The final section describes Diola voluntary
73


27
1994). Thus, studying the household as well as voluntary associations
and their influences upon members can provide important insights into
the determinants of specific migration patterns.
African Women as Active and Independent Migrants
Empirical research on women's roles as migrants anywhere in the
world remains uncommon and certainly is not yet well represented in the
literature. Research in Africa frequently has focused on women left
behind in rural villages, managing homes and farms alone, while men
undertake urban migration (e.g., Richards 1939; Wilson 1941; Cooper
1979; Chaney and Lewis 1980; Wilkinson 1983; Hirschman and Vaughan 1984;
Palmer 1985). Much of the research that does address women as migrants
assumes they are "associational" movers, accompanying husbands or
families, rather than undertaking to move independently. This notion is
largely outdated (Bilsborrow and Zlotnik 1992) but persists in the
literature just the same.
Some research on female migration per se has been published in
recent years, although there are still few examples of any kind (see
Diner 1983; and Lee 1989 for two historical examples; and Pedraza 1991
for a general review). In the past those that considered women in the
migration stream itself often focused on normative issues, rather than
questions chosen to advance theoretical or contextual understanding.
For example, unmarried or independent migrant women were frequently
assumed to be prostitutes (e.g., Nadel 1942; see also Little 1965, 1973;
Plotnikov 1967; Gugler 1968, 1969; but cf. Cock 1980; Brydon 1987;
Sudarkasa 1977). While this role does exist for African women migrants,
the presumption is distorted and accentuated by cultural bias both
within some African cultures and by Western observers (Pittin 1984;
Brydon 1987:167).


64
Linares (1992) provides a model of the historical changes and geo
graphical movements of Diola groups that illustrates the cultural
adaptations these groups have made to accommodate the conditions
challenging them in the historical past. Her model adopts three
villages in three different parts of Lower Casamance, illustrating the
cultural differences in each setting. The cultural differences are, she
argues convincingly, the result of each group's adaptation to the
different cultural ecology in each of these three areas.
As Diola groups migrated north across the Casamance River from
about the sixteenth century, they encountered a physical environment
that was quite different from the one that they had left further south
(e.g. savannah rather than forest, lower average annual rainfall, and
much less land on which rice could be cultivated). They also found
themselves in a new cultural environment. They were faced with a
majority of neighbors, ethnic Mandings, who followed Islam, a very
different religious tradition from their local kawasen religion.
Linares has chosen one village to study in each of the three zones to
represent "pre-change," "transitional," and "post-change" periods of
time. She presents a descriptive analysis of land tenure, kinship, and
labor practices, among other things, in each of the three villages.
These differences are the result, she asserts, of the specific cultural
ecological conditions present in each of the three settings. She makes
it clear, however, that all of these groups continue to change in
observable ways, even during the relatively short period of her study.
She also argues the importance that ideological changes have
played in mediating material aspects of the transitions. Traditional
associations functioned, among other roles, to mediate conflicts among
genders, generations, residential wards or quartiers, families, and
other potentially fissive categories and groups via the kawasen spirit
shrines. These associations served a cohesive role, socially cementing


157
avoided over-representing those groups most closely associated with his
personal background.
Another dimension along which interviewees might differ from other
emigrants is age. Because older women appeared in general to have found
more economic stability, it is important to consider interviewees ages
relative to other members of the emigrant population. If their ages
differ significantly from other emigrants, they cannot be considered
representative of the population from which they were selected.
The youngest mean age reported in the census was for men in
Ziguinchor, where it is 22.3 years or about 7 years less than the mean
age for the entire censused population. This may be the result of
village families sending a disproportionate number of boys to be
schooled in Ziguinchor, where there is a secondary school (Sacre Coeur
de Ziguinchor) and where many families have relatives who can board
these youngsters. Interestingly, the mean age of both men and women
residing in Dakar falls within one year of the population mean.
Boutem is the location with the greatest variance in mean ages,
with a standard deviation of 24.68 for women and 23.80 years for men.
These figures are close to twice the level of variance reported for any
other location, and probably are the result of a phenomenon common to
rural African villages, where the oldest and youngest members tend to
stay while young adults leave to maximize their potential for wage labor
earnings.
I also compared the mean ages (for those individuals I could
positively identify and link to data gathered in the village census) of
members of the Dakar women's association (56 total members were
identified in the census) and of the set of interviewees (21 identified
in the census). I found that the mean age for each of these groups is
somewhat higher than that of the entire censused population, of all


59
migrating to the urban areas to find work for wages. In contrast, men
can still earn a cash income growing groundnuts or perhaps vegetables in
the transformed rural economy.
Groundnut cultivation not only excludes women from the production
process, it also alienates men from rice production; its influence
goes even further than the sexual division of labor. By eroding
rice production, growing groundnuts undermines the very rituals
that insure overproduction, reciprocity, and redistribution of
paddy at the village level. It encourages the abandonment of
paddy fieldsespecially the deep fields in the mangrove swamps
that required a great deal of work even before the 1970s drought--
and makes it increasingly more difficult for the Jola to shift
resources between the subsistence and money sectors of the economy
when conditions demand it. (Linares 1985:92)
While both men and women continue to work the rice fields to the
present day, productivity cannot be maintained at traditional levels
without extensive labor inputs in soil preparation and dike repairs.
Since the 1920s and 1930s, women's labor has been unavailable at suffi
cient levels to replace the efforts formerly contributed by men. With
this trend toward lower yields due to insufficient labor availability,
women have increasingly left the rural areas of Lower Casamance for wage
labor during the dry season (Hamer 1981). As has been previously noted,
the precedent for female wage labor is old in Lower Casamance: women
were noted as exclusively comprising the labor force on the docks at
Ziguinchor in 1910 (Roche 1976:316; Journet 1976:197).25
These economic trends, the need for cash incomes among both men
and women, and the resulting popularity of wage labor migration, have
been sustained and reinforced consistently in the Lower Casamance since
the 1930s. Political circumstances have also remained relatively
consistent since the incorporation of Casamance into the colonial state
of Senegal. In order to strengthen my assertion that a political
25Linares (1992:79) attributes their association with this work to the
heavy lifting activities Diola women perform in agriculture.


35
migration during each period will be summarized in a table at the end of
the chapter.
What we know about the history of Diola migration is determined,
largely although not completely, by the limited availability of
information on the Diola before the twentieth century. Epistemological
issues are fundamental to the evaluation of scientific work, as they are
for all claims to knowledge (Kaplan 1964; Lakatos 1970) Such issues
are merely highlighted in a case such as this, where sources of data are
particularly scarce. In light of this scarcity, the criteria used to
identify generalized periods of Diola history are provided explicitly
below. They form relatively (not absolutely) stable periods within the
long history of dynamic change characteristic of the area. These
periods are emphatically heuristic categories. That is, they are useful
for my purposesthe study of Diola migration--but of unknown utility
for particular historical research, whether within or between identified
periods.
Periods of Diola cultural history are defined here in several
ways. For example, archaeological data indicate that important changes
in Diola subsistence patterns were taking place during the earliest
period. Because such patterns are theoretically associated with certain
types of migration, the first period is defined to separate the time
before such a change from the time after it. Thus, the first criterion
for defining a period is evidence for a theoretically important subsis
tence change. In this instance, local evidence is considered signifi
cant because we can infer changes in the dependent variable, migration,
based on observed changes in the independent variable, subsistence.
The second way periods are defined is based on a change in broader
regional conditions that is hypothesized to act as a selective factor
influencing specific local outcomes. For example, historians of the
broader region have documented the influx of other ethnicities into the


150
Household expenses, of course, reflect a wide range of personal
and family circumstances. Interestingly, even when a husband and wife
share expenses, they frequently are unaware of each other's level of
contribution or income. I was told that this was related specifically
to the tradition of spouses maintaining separate granaries and having
separate responsibilities for its consumption in the rural setting.
Some younger women migrants to Dakar pool their incomes with friends,
siblings, or other relatives to cover shared expenses for a room, meals,
and utilities, for example. Many people can make do without public
utility service at their home by getting water at a neighborhood tap,
using only kerosene lamps, or by cooking with charcoal instead of
bottled gas. Others are able to operate electrical appliances for
convenience (e.g. a refrigerator), entertainment (television) or
commerce (as with the deep freezer for making ices).
Census Results
The census I conducted in July 1990 counted a total of 739 Boutem
villagers, with 394 away during at least one previous dry season (about
January through June) and 345 individuals resident during the entire
year. Only four of the six quartiers were successfully censused and
mapped, as noted above in the description of the village. No census
data were gathered for Bougafou or Boutoupa, nor were these quartiers
included on the map. Only a few homes in Boukiak are visible on the
map. Further social categories are recognized within the village, as
well. For example, some distinct sub-quartiers or concessions (loose
groups of homes here, rather than fenced enclosures as in other villages
such as Affiniam) are recognized. The brevity of my stay prevented me
from including these categories in the census.


7
(Johnston 1986; Mellor 1989) Since one may be employed in either or
both economic sectors regardless of one's residence, migration research
instruments cannot assume rural-urban migration and sectoral shifts in
employment are one and the same (Byerlee 1972). It would be best to
collect complete employment records of migrants. However, often
researchers are able to gather only information on the work a migrant
leaves and the job he or she gets (or hopes to acquire) at the destina
tion of the move (see Winchie and Carment 1989).
Degrees of Compulsion
Finally, an important issue related to the purpose of a move is
the degree to which it is voluntary. The most dramatic illustrations of
this issue are found in the tragic cases of contemporary refugees' and
the historical Atlantic slave trade.5 Other examples of involuntary
migration include forced labor such as corve, and village relocations
or resettlement, for which there is also a large literature (e.g., see
Koenig 1986, 1987; Fall and Mbodj 1989; Echenberg 1991; McMillan 1993;
Cook 1994).
Actually, much migration is not easily categorized as voluntary or
involuntary. Many people migrate to get better health care and other
social services, for economic gain, for better access to civil services
and infrastructures, or to be near family or friends as is the case
especially for many elderly women in Africa (Gugler 1989; Peil et al.
1988). Generally, Marxists tend to consider migration for economic
4See Brokensha and Scudder (1968); Cernea (1988); Chambers (1979, 1982); Gor
man (1987); Hansen and Oliver-Smith (1982); INADES (1986); Kibreab (1985);
Koenig (1986); Refugee Studies Programme (1988); Schultheis (1989); Spring
(1979); UNHCR (1981); andU.N. Secretariat (1985).
5See Curtin (1969) and Inikori (1982). Also, Basil Davidson's The African
Slave Trade contains an excellent reading guide for this most severe case of
involuntary migration (1980:289-293).


145
cloth, fasteners, tailor]" (Interview 28). Tailors generally charge
their fees based on the value of the fabric they are hired to work with.
I don't save for clothing. It comes "tic-tac" [on impulse]. If
I've got money, I'll buy six meters. [How much do you pay for
it?] You know SOTIBA Lagos [locally manufactured prints] cost 500
CFA per meter, so six meters cost 3,500. [Seven meters, then?]
Yes. [What to you pay for tailoring?] One thousand, five
hundred. (Interview 23)
For my clothing, each payday I put 1,500 CFA in a little wooden
lock-box. I only buy clothes right before holidays so I put this
in the "safe" every month and if I have any other needs I can take
out of there. [For example to go to the village, as she had the
previous week for a relative's funeral]. (Interview 18)
This latter passage indicates an obvious point, that many women
cannot afford new clothes every month. Instead, they often save their
money for purchasing new clothes on special occasions, such as holidays.
In some cases a special Easter or Christmas outfit may be a woman's only
new clothes purchase for the year: "I bought new clothes once this
year" (Interview 6). Other occasions may require similar clothing
expenses. When the women's association organizes a celebration, for
example just before the expected return to the village, members may be
required to dress uniformly in the same print. Spending on clothes may
be considered less discretionary in (urban) Diola culture than our own,
although there is clearly a discretionary factor involved.
I try to take out enough for clothes, health costs, etc. or else I
can't make ends meet. For clothing, it depends if I have
something left over, then I'll buy some clothes for myself and the
children. It just depends on the month's expenses. (Interview 7)
Another means of pooling resources, used especially for clothing,
is the tontine, a group composed of members who contribute a given
amount regularly, then draw in a kind of raffle for the right to take
home the resulting "pot." Antoine told me that "all the women" do this.
For clothing, I can't save a sum apart for it. When I was in the
village, my husband had a monthly tontine with 12 people. . .
Each month each [person] one would draw twice. The rest of the
money [If he won], he used that to buy clothes. If someone is
sick, my husband takes care of it. (Interview 27)


189
Esulalu:
Former region of Casamance South of the River.
Fass:
Neighborhood of Dakar.
Fogny:
Former region of Casamance bordering The Gambia.
Groundnuts:
In West Africa what Americans call peanuts are known
in English as groundnuts; the term peanut is
considered derogatory.
Hainoumaine:
Neighborhood of Dakar.
IPRES:
A Senegalese social security and family welfare
agency.
Indignat:
Colonial laws requiring, among other things, corve
labor.
Inspection:
Either the Inspection de Travail or Inspection de la
Main d'Oeuvre. The agency controlling employment
conditions in Senegal.
Kaar rapit:
Private commercial van, running relatively scheduled
routes in competition with busses and other
transportation.
Kajumo:
A spirit to whom one of Boutem's shrines is devoted,
the name means "the reknowned."
Kaolack:
A city South and East of Dakar, known as a commercial
center.
Kawasen:
The Diola name for their indigenous religion.
Kayendo:
Long-handled iron-tipped traditional shovel used by
the Diola in agriculture.
Koloban:
Neighborhood of Dakar.
Lancados:
Africanized Portuguese (Luso-African) traders.
Lbou:
Wolof sub-group, the original inhabitants of Cap Vert
Manj aku:
Ethnic group of the Casamance region.
Marigot:
A winding estuarial waterway.
Mboro:
Small city located North of Dakar along the Atlantic
coast.
Mbour:
Small city located North of Dakar along the Atlantic
coast.
Mourides:
Shi'ite Islamic sect or brotherhood, predominant in
Senegal.
ari Tali:
Wolof phrase meaning "two streets." Neighborhood in
Dakar bordered by a large boulevard.


118
anger. It was very hard work, but [I] put up with the
difficulties. [I] was lucky to be with [my] aunt, as [I] even
considered returning to the village several times, and probably
would have if this job were with a Wolof family. (Interview 5)
My first year was hard, I worked very hard. But the most
difficult time was where I lived, with my "tutor" [her maternal
aunt]. I was treated poorly and had to sleep on the floor. It
really didn't seem worth it to stay in town, and I asked myself
why I was there. (Interview 13)
In other cases, the relationship with tutors is apparently more
convivial, with the young women accepting their lack of pay with the
understanding that they will eventually leave their relative's homes to
find employment, using the skills that they have gained there among
family. M. Badji, who is thirty-two years old and has been in Dakar
about twenty years, has since boarded many of her own younger relatives,
putting some of them through school. "My first year here I was under
the care of my father's younger brother. I just took care of his
children" (Interview 19). A few more examples help to illustrate the
range of experiences interviewees encountered with tutors.
Before coming to Dakar to work, I worked two years for a cousin, a
year in Brin and a year in Mlomp [Diola villages south of the
Casamance River, nearby Boutem]. She's a teacher, and I watched
her children. At the end of the second year, I said that I want
to go to Dakar to look for work, because now I've learned how to
cook, etc. here. I've been in Dakar ever since, but I can't say
how long it's beenmore than twenty-five years. (Interview 10)
I don't remember when I first came to Dakar, but I was young ["I
didn't have breasts yet."] I was brought to watch the children of
my cousin. Here is where I grew up and learned how to work. When
I was old enough, my cousin said, "OK, now you're ready to look
for work." (Interview 11)
When I left the village I went to the daughter of my maternal aunt
in Ziguinchor. She told me to watch her children and paid me
3,000 CFA a month. After her husband was sent to Kolda [a job
related transfer], they all had to go there. I asked her, "If I
go to Kolda, would you pay me 5,000 CFA a month?" She said, "No,"
she couldn't afford that. So, I went to work elsewhere.
(Interview 22)
I came to Dakar when I was ten years old for [primary] school. I
was in school for five years, and left to go to work. As soon as
I left school, I went to watch after my older sister's children
for three years. I wasn't paid. [Her husband interjects, "She
bought you clothes every month."] Yes, she bought me clothes. At


4
changes in migration. The association of women migrants from Affiniam-
Boutem will be one focus of Chapter 3.
A Typological Outline of Migration
The migration literature is truly enormous, extending across all
world regions, academic disciplines and theoretical orientations. A
review of the literature on African migration alone (including
literatures on prehistory, on resettlement, on refugees, on labor
migration, and for example, on migration's role in economic development)
would require a book in itself. Heberle (1955), Petersen (1958),
Mangalam (1968), Du Toit (1990) and especially Byerlee (1972), Pryor
(1982), and Eades (1987) offer explicit, theoretically derived
typologies of migration.1 In order to focus on the issues most relevant
to my own research, I outline some categories that I find useful for
comparison between the case with which I am most familiar and other
migration flows in Africa.
Time Period
First, I am concerned here with contemporary migration, not with
migrations in general or with precolonial migrations. I mention several
aspects of migration theory in general elsewhere in this chapter, in
order to locate the discussion in the context of the literature.
Several aspects of migration's role in prehistorical Africa have been
noted above, and I will consider precolonial migration patterns of the
Lower Casamance region of Senegal in particular in Chapter 2.
For a typological essay focusing specifically on the forms of female
migration, see U.N. Secretariat (1993).


113
impressed with the ostentation of many young returnees, who often
sported new hair styles, costume jewelry, flashy cothes, and shoe
styles. These all seemed to be more urban than their own habitual style
of dress in Dakar, and even more out of place in this quiet rural
village. The celebration of their return included dance parties than
ran throughout several nights as well as special church services,
drumming and singing occasions, and finally the big meeting of the
village youth association that signaled the end of my stay.
Women Migrants to Dakar: "Work Is Not for Finding Happiness"
The amount of time that women I interviewed had lived in Dakar
ranged from less than one to more than twenty-five years, but all had
grown up in the village of Boutem. Importantly, each had made the
transition from the rural setting to an urban life more or less on her
own. Many had first left the village, whether many years ago or just
recently, after finishing only a minimal amount of formal education
(perhaps including a few years of secondary school in Ziguinchor).
After some amount of time in practical training, often with family
"tutors," these women began working in the homes of foreigners, largely
cut off from their own families and culture. Frequently a younger woman
may share time with friends and family for only one day a week before
returning to her employer's home for another week of work. There, it is
not unheard of for her to be mistreated, and it is fairly common to face
a certain amount of prejudice and humiliation.
Clearly, these women face many hardships. They are employed
within other people's homes and out of the public eye, often by people
with much more wealth and a higher social status. When they are
mistreated, they have little recourse. They generally remain stoic,
however, and persevere in difficult jobs until they are able to improve


112
obvious. Affiniam, in contrast, had a small store that was easily
recognizable along the footpath into town from the road. In Boutem, a
small church is the most prominent visible sign of the village as seen
from the road; behind it are the school and the youth foyer (a dance
hall and meeting place). In the newer parts of the village, some houses
are close to the road, and a few more are visible across the open
groundnut fields. Older parts of the village are not visible from the
road.
Because we arrived before the first rains, the pace of life was
indeed slow in the village during the first few weeks we were there.
Most of the people that had remained there during the dry season were
relatively old or quite young. The children spent their days either
fishing or gathering fruit high in the trees, while many of their elders
seemed to spend much of their time doing little else but drinking bunuk,
palm wine. As time passed, though, household and other groups of
villagers began to clear fields in preparation for the groundnut
planting season, then moved on to clear nursery fields for rice
seedlings, which would later be transplanted into the open paddies
closer to the marigot.
I amused Antoine's family by attempting to assist in the creation
of the large furrows upon which seeds are planted, wielding the kayendo,
a long handled Diola shovel. It does not take long to appreciate the
difficulty of such work, and I did not do more than scratch a small
amount of soil with one of these truly beautiful teak and iron
implements. Other important work included the building of livestock
enclosures and the herding of animals into them, the only way to protect
fields from damage by wandering goats, pigs, and cattle.
Once the migrants began to return, there was an even more marked
change in the nature and level of farming and other activity. I was


94
Contemporary urban Diola associations are of the voluntary "self-
help" type that is common throughout West Africa and elsewhere (Little
1957, 1971; Taylor 1964; Meillassoux 1968; Acquah 1974; Barnes 1975;
Kerri 1976; Barnes and Peil 1977; Schtz 1977; Kerr 1978; Wunsch 1978;
Barkan 1991; Peil 1984; Keirn 1970; Woods 1994). Membership is somewhat
less voluntary than in other West African self-help groups.15 Peculiar
to the Diola form of such associations is the fact that, like their
traditional rural forms, they are founded upon a diverse set of
membership criteria. As in the contemporary rural setting, in Dakar one
may be expected to pay monthly dues to three-to-five associations. For
example, Antoine paid monthly dues to his "nuclear family" (which
included his second cousins), to his "big family" (all emigrant Badjis
from Boutem), and to the village association.16
In another situation Antoine might also have been obliged to pay
dues to the village association's youth section. He also explained that
his mother's family does not require dues of him, although they could.
He explained that they recognize the difficulty of maintaining monthly
dues payments to the many groups that require these in the already
difficult economic conditions many migrants face in Dakar. In contrast,
a close friend of his, who was about the same age and grew up in the
neighboring house in Boutem, pays dues to both his father's and mother's
family associations.
Many individuals I interviewed in Dakar complained bitterly that
the burden of paying monthly dues to several groups was at times over-
15For example, the women's association investigated habitual absentees,
expelling those who could not account for their behavior. Reminders of
past due payments were sent to members as well.
16See Linares (1983:139-141) for a discussion of these social
categories: the eluhol is a broad group, a patrilineage of those
sharing the same patronym; the buayu is smaller and generally de-
emphasized, an extended patrilineal family.


148
Boutem is a Catholic village. Nevertheless, there were several cases
where women from there had either married (or had children with) Muslim
men. "My son goes to Koranic school for 500 CFA per month, plus 25 CFA
on Wednesdays" (Interview 8).
In other cases, the children's fathers pay for their education,
regardless of their marital status. "I don't pay for my child's school
fees; their father pays for these [she is unmarried, about twenty-one
years old]" (Interview 6). "School, I don't pay for. I have an older
son in the village but I don't know if my father pays his school fees or
not ['it's not my problem']". . (Interview 7).
Transportation
Transportation costs can vary largely, depending on such factors
as where one lives in relation to where one works, if one's employer
covers these fees in the monthly salary, and such things as the number
of association meetings one attends, where these are held, and if one
attends these on a regular basis. Some women are able to walk to work.
"[I] walked to work [before quitting a few days ago], in Point E, since
it was fairly close" (Interview 5).
Others are paid for their transportation to and from the job.
"The boss gives me my transportation fees separately from my salary"
(Interview 22). "For my transportation and meals at work, the boss
gives me this on top of my salary: every noon he gives me enough for
the restaurant, and for the round-trip fare to work when I go home"
(Interview 19).
Some respondents, although their transportation fees to and from
work are covered by their employers, prefer to walk back and forth in
order to save this extra money for more pressing needs. "My salary
includes 8,500 CFA for transportation. They figure it in, but if I use


24
noted that especially when poorer members of a society migrate, while
"there is no automatic mechanism by which. . migration and remittances
result in development. .limited available evidence suggests a positive
effect on poverty" (Russell 1992:273).
Conclusions on the Effects of Migration from the Village
The question of whether rural areas experience net material losses
or in fact gain from migration is an important research topic, ripe for
further empirical inquiry. Relatively few data have been collected to
clearly indicate actual capital flows in and out of specific rural areas
(Eicher and Baker 1982:226).
Notwithstanding the important issue of net capital flows,
empirical research on the diverse effects of rural emigration has
documented such dependent outcomes as the growth and expansion of
markets serving small urban centers (Southall 1979, 1989; Middleton
1979; Nicolas and Gaye 1988), increased national integration (Paden
1980; Skinner 1985), improvements in rural family consumption and
education levels (Chilivumbo 1985; Cond and Diagne 1986; Russell 1992),
and changes in the gender composition of the rural labor force (Staudt
1975; Chaney and Lewis 1980; Palmer 1985).
Dependency writers often claim that modernization and classical
social science theories assume that change, such as an increased rate of
rural-urban migration, is good (see Lipton 1980; Swanson 1979). In
fact, this is an often-repeated (but false) depiction of much of the
social science literature of the first half of this century. As noted
before, some colonial British anthropologists in fact argued that
migration was destructive of traditional African culture (e.g. Richards
1939; Wilson 1941; see Eades 1987). Reacting to such conclusions,
others have countered that it is wrong to assume that migration is
harmful to rural welfare (Read 1942; Watson 1958; Van Velson 1961) .


13
has been modified (especially in the "new household economics" school)
to incorporate measures of such diverse factors as social networks, risk
aversion, stages of the life cycle, dependency ratios, and other infor
mation theoretically influencing migration decisions (see Bender 1967;
Caldwell 1970; Epstein 1969, 1975; Goldstein and Goldstein 1981; Hammel
and Laslett 1974; Leslie and Richardson 1961; Sandefur and Scott 1981;
Sanjek 1982; Speare et al. 1982; Stark and Levhari 1982; Stark 1984a,
1984b; Tuma et al. 1979; Uhlenburg 1973).
Another challenge to the neoclassical approach involves studies of
the experience of individuals rather than of larger-scale (economic or
cultural) processes. The focus is on changes in the attitudes or values
of individual migrants. Scholars in this tradition assert that non-
traditional attitudes and values cause the breakdown of traditional
authority in addition to increasing the incidence of migration. Such
studies essentially challenge neoclassical assumptions by adopting
alternate presuppositions. They do so, however, in an abstract fashion
without providing any empirical support for their choice of assumptions.
To conclude from variant rates of migration across social groups that
one must study only individual migrants lacks sufficient basis. The
causes of migration in a given context cannot be established through
intensive studies of individual migration experiences. Rather, research
should be directed toward controlled comparisons of migration among
different groups and contexts. Case study work may be a necessary step
toward such comparative research goals.
Gugler (1968, 1969) provides an excellent discussion of the
differences resulting from a focus upon the individual incidence of
migration as opposed to an emphasis on the rate of migration in a given
population. He credits Mitchell (1959) with the earliest elaboration of
this distinction. While Mitchell considered the variables determining
migration to be either economic or personal, there are in fact many non-


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evidence for the spread of agriculture in Europe by demic
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1970. "The Illusion of Tribe." Journal of Asian and African
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Spring, Anita. 1979. "Women and men as refugees: Differential
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Monthly Review.


99
that, although the date appears rather too late for me to report it with
confidence, inspired the origin of the independent Boutem "men's associ
ation" in Dakar. When the people of Boutem found out that the villagers
of Diatok had been invited to this dance, they left both the dance
itself and the larger association en masse.
You know, before, there was no association. Beyond that, we
didn't even know what an association was. Our association began
when the people from Bagand [Affiniam] asked us to form an
association together with them. After a dance party there was an
argument and this association that included both villages was
disbanded. The cause of the argument between us was that they had
asked people from the village of Diatok to join the association.
They were our enemies. Throughout history there has been a war
between our two villages, which has not been settled to this day.
The association of people from Boutem, Bagand, and Diatok was
broken-up on the day of a banquet. We had decided to have a
party. The women and men of Boutem had decided beforehand to go
to the party, but that later they would celebrate separately, at
Ouakam. If at any time there would be something preventing them
from being together with their brothers from Bagand and Diatok,
just then they would turn back and that's what they did. They
left the place as a group and went back to Ouakam on foot, to [F.
Badji's] house. That's where they continued their party for two
days before breaking up, when everyone went back home. It was
from that day on that the men formed their (independent)
association. (Interviews 5/27/90 and 5/29/90)20
History of the Boutem Women's Association in Dakar
The Boutem women's association was originally founded in Ouakam
with seven members. Most likely, this was during the late 1940s or
early 1950s. Two more women, including I. Badji (who provided me with
most of the information I gathered about the history of the women's
association), joined the group soon after its original formation. These
two women lived further away, closer to the center of Dakar, in the
Koloban neighborhood. I. Badji told me that the original function of the
group was to organize dance parties for the Christmas and Easter
20These interviews, otherwise conducted as described above in the
methods section, were translated from the audio tapes into French by
Antoine Badji and mailed to me after my departure from Senegal.


103
observations. They are not now held at the home of C. Djiba, the
current president. I assume they are held instead in Benn Tali because
of the large amount of space available there. C. Djiba lives in a rent-
free, high-rise apartment built circa 1960 as a job benefit for a set of
rather elite government workers (her husband has been an officer in the
secret service for his entire career). It is located in the midst of a
now highly urbanized commercial area near the center of Dakar, and has
no courtyard in which the group could meet.
Summary
Diola rural voluntary associations are based upon very diverse
kinds of social groups and categories, such as village and quartier
residence, family membership, religious groups, marriage and fertility
status, work groups, age groups, and common interests, such as Boutem's
church choir. Urban associations were at first informal social
gatherings of somewhat elite (they were among the first to have a
Western education), often related, groups of friends and acquaintances.
These were "based on the structure" of traditional rural associations,
among other things insofar as they were probably headed by the eldest
members. These earliest urban associations provided a means of sharing
news between the capital and the village, a locus for socializing on
special occasions, and eventually developed enough organization to seek
out new arrivals and incorporate them into this increasingly urbane
group. Among other things they eventually were able to systematically
disseminate job-related information to new arrivals. The turning point
in these groups is recognized as the funeral of the first villager to
die in Dakar.
When the first villager died, the emigrant association in Dakar
began collecting dues from its membership in order to pay for her


88
One of my interviews also touched on an example of this form of
migration, although it was not explicitly related to corve itself.
My father used to go to The Gambia, when Jacques's father was
there. He'd stay until the rainy season, but he didn't work. .
He just stayed with relatives until the rainy season. He was
offered a job, but since he was an only son, and his father was
old, he had to return to cultivate. The only son can't stay away
from the village during the rains. He wanted to stay, because he
was asked to stay so that they could get him work, but that's what
stopped him from staying there. (Interview 27)
I was told specifically that the avoidance of corve was what "pushed"
one man, V. Manga, to go to The Gambia. Several alternate means were
employed quite skillfully by others in their attempts to avoid military
conscription and corve. For example, I was told of the example of L.
Djiba, a highly respected school teacher who now has retired from a long
career teaching in Ziguinchor. He first went to school (probably in
Ziguinchor) through the completion of his brevet.11 In a successful
effort to avoid corve service, he then continued his schooling at a
Catholic seminary. He left the seminary before completing his studies
there because, I was told, he had always intended to use it simply as a
"stepping stone."
The role of the World War II veterans (who served in the famous
Tirailleurs Sngalais) is emphasized in local accounts of early
migrants from the village. This is an appropriate emphasis since, among
other things, these men often were the first individuals from the
village to learn French. Later, many young men became educated,
migrated for some time to Dakar, and returned to the village for the
rainy season. As part of the village association's rainy season
activities in the village, they organized comical skits that poked fun
at the poor or incomplete French language skills of the elder veterans,
11A diploma awarded in the French school system for the completion of
the first "cycle" of secondary school.


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205
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6
Economic Issues
Most contemporary writers on African economies now explicitly
recognize the web of connections among rural and urban populations. A
single family may send members to both smaller local towns and the
capital city. There are cases where migration breaks up a community,
but more often migration creates connections among localities. Among
the benefits cf these connections for rural dwellers are cash remit
tances sent from urban kin (Keely and Tran 1989; Russell 1992), although
some theorists question the value of their impact on sending communities
(e.g., Kamiar and Ismail 1991). These questions "relate mainly to pro
cesses of socioeconomic development per se" (Appleyard 1989:487), and
are not fruitful points for comparison among cases.
Especially when poorer members of a society migrate, there is some
evidence of a positive effect, relieving poverty (Russell 1992:273).
Remittances, for example, can be critical to the survival of rural
families and are frequently used to finance the construction of schools
and health facilities (Cond et al. 1986:108). Such social investment
is an important outcome of migration in the present case. Most urban
ites remain strongly attached to their rural homes (Gugler 1969:148-151;
Peil et al. 1988), often strengthening their ties to the home village by
sending regular cash remittances.3
Purpose
From the perspective of economic development, changing one's
employment from the agricultural to a non-agricultural sector of the
economy may be more important than the fact of migration itself
JSee also the literature on voluntary associations and their role in
maintaining rural/urban ties in Africa and elsewhere (Mangin 1959;
Meillassoux 1968; Reveyrand 1986/87; Peil 1981).


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
FROM AFFINIAM-BOUTEM TO DAKAR:
MIGRATION FROM THE CASAMANCE, LIFE IN THE URBAN
ENVIRONMENT OF DAKAR, AND THE RESULTING EVOLUTIONARY
CHANGES IN LOCAL DIOLA ORGANIZATIONS
By
Daniel A. Reboussin
December 1995
Chairperson: H. Russell Bernard
Major Department: Anthropology
This is a case study of rural-urban migration among the women of
Affiniam-Boutem, a predominantly Catholic Diola village in the
southwestern Lower Casamance region of Senegal, West Africa. It
includes the results of research conducted in 1989 and 1990, employing
several sources of information. Thirty interviews were undertaken in
Dakar with female emigrants of the village, and oral histories of
emigration and associated urban voluntary associations were collected.
In the village, a census focusing on migration histories was also
conducted. Migration from Boutem is best understood in terms of a
modified, contemporary approach to classical social scientific migration
theory. There are few opportunities for Diola women to earn money in
the rural setting. Because they have cash responsibilities towards the
support of their families, they have left their villages since the
beginning of this century to work in wage labor. There are few social
constraints on their free movement, but voluntary associations in the
urban setting do restrict and direct the behavior of all emigrants to
some extent. Fines are levied for members who do not return to the
xi


38
result of particular shellfish resources, important foods at the time,
becoming scarce due to over-exploitation. Thus, new resources
different shellfish species--had to be located where familiar ones could
not be exploited more effectively. Smoked oysters, for example,
continue to be an important protein source for many Diola in the
present.
The earliest evidence of Diola culture in the Lower Casamance
indicates a reliance upon mixed agriculture as well as these foraged
marine resources. The arrival of Diola peoples in the Lower Casamance
probably was the result of groups moving northward to exploit new lands
suitable for paddy production, and toward more abundant supplies of pre
ferred marine resources. There is evidence, already deposited in the
archaeological record by A.D. 200, of rice cultivation2 and animal
husbandry in the area. The presence of cattle bones in the record
suggests an early trade in cattle.3 Other domesticates such as pigs and
dogs, common in contemporary Diola villages, only appear in the record
about the time of European contact (Linares 1971:43).
Mixed agriculture was probably becoming an increasingly important
means of subsistence throughout the period. A population that continued
to rely extensively upon gathering dwindling natural resources would
have faced increasing nutritional deficiencies and disease. The Diola,
however, were already familiar with the benefits of a subsistence
strategy that included agriculture. From the second through about the
twelfth century, various Diola groups spread throughout the tidal
ecological zone of southwestern Lower Casamance (see Adams 1993). As
2West Africa may represent an independent point of origin for irrigated
rice (see Dresch 1949; Portres 1956, 1970; Johnny et al. 1981).
Herds of trypanosome-resistant N'Dama cattle are maintained in the
Lower Casamance, but their rates of reproduction are very limited.
Trade is the only feasible means of expanding herds (see Starkey 1984).


110
My own impressions of Boutem are based on about ten weeks
residence there between June and August of 1990. We travelled several
times between Ziguinchor and Boutem on the commercial motorized "taxi-
canoes" to conduct business and replenish supplies in Ziguinchor. Their
schedule varied, but villagers were able to detect the sound of their
small motors long before I could hear them. At this sound, they would
hurredly gather their belongings and make their way to the landing in
time to catch the boat. For the most part I enjoyed these river trips,
with the chance they provided to spot wildlife, including a crocodile, a
large flock of flamingoes, and many other birds. Arriving for the first
time from the marigot at the village landing, marked only by a large
Baobab tree and an eroded bank, we scampered up and began to walk across
a wide expanse of rice land, along the raised furrows between small
individual plots. I remember wondering where the village was as I
covered the mile or so between the marigot and the trees in the hot sun,
not seeing the homes nestled under the large trees that were themselves
clearly visible, though fairly distant from the landing. As we
approached more closely, a few houses on the southern edge of the
village, one of its oldest areas, became visible under the trees. Once
we were under the welcome shade, we passed a well and the main spirit
shrine along the wide footpath. Still, houses were so dispersed that I
didn't realize we were walking through the very heart of the village,
rather than what I imagined at first were its outskirts. On the far
north side of the village, along the road, were the school, church, and
youth foyer.
From the cool shade of the grove of trees that marked the southern
edge of the village it was not a long walk to our destination, Antoine's
parent's home. Like all of the buildings in the village, it was made of
banco, a compressed mud brick that I compare to adobe. These are


60
continuity exists from about 1930 through the present, I will now turn
my attention to issues of governance.
A loose style of control was typical of African colonial
governments, which often were required to rule under difficult
circumstances and with limited administrative budgets.26 In the absence
of broad political legitimacy, a patrimonial strategy of governing often
was pursued (see Foltz 1969; Lemarchand 1972; Flynn 1974; Eisenstadt and
Lemarchand 1981; Colvin 1986; Fatton 1987; Young and Kant 1990).
Benefits were distributed to those few subjects who could demonstrate
relatively strong influence over civil groups. Often the only benefits
available for distribution by administrators were prebendal offices.
Thus, a tax collector or village chief might not be so closely
supervised that corruption and graft for his personal benefit would be
prevented. A chef de canton judging a dispute might rule in favor of
businesses that could reward him directly for his trouble. In this
manner, as they grew in power, local fiefdoms could develop into
regional political forces that could exert certain influences over the
central government. Civil service jobs might be exchanged for political
support, for example. Senegal's civil service, seated in the capital of
Dakar, was swollen under colonialism to administer the entire A.O.F.
territory until independence in 1960. After five years of independence,
the civil service budget amounted to a staggering 47.2 percent of total
government expenditures. It continued to grow into the 1980s, and
continues to be an especially burdensome and sensitive issue today (see
Cruise O'Brien 1971:271-272; Zecchini 1984).
The key to understanding the incomplete integration of the
Casamance region into the state of Senegal lies not only in its
26See Migdal (1988) and Rothchild and Chazan (1988) for the development
of the concept of the weak state.


206
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Leventhal (eds.). Prehistoric Settlement Patterns: Essays in
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Lindsay, Beverly. (ed.). 1985. African Migration and National
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Lipton, Michael. 1980. "Migration from rural areas of poor countries:
The impact on rural productivity and income distribution." World
Development 8(1) :1-2 4 .
Little, Kenneth. 1965. West African Urbanization: A Study of
Voluntary Organizations in Social Change. Cambridge, England:
Cambridge University Press.
1973. African Women in Towns: An Aspect of Africa's Social
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Loquay, Anne. 1981. "Formes d'approvisionnement et de consommation de
l'nergie dans un village de Basse-Casamance au Sngal." Travaux
et documents de gographie tropicale 43:83-120.
Lubell, Harold and Charbel Zarour. 1990. "Resilience amidst crisis:
The informal sector of Dakar." International Labour Review
129(3):387-396.
Mabogunje, Akin L. 1976. "The land and peoples of West Africa." in J.
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2d ed. New York: Columbia University Press.
Mamdani, Mahmood. 1985. "Disaster prevention: Defining the problem."
Review of African Political Economy n.33(August):92-96.


of the difficulties faced by Diola immigrants to the capital. He also
introduced me to village life in Affiniam-Boutem, and kept me well.
Through him I would also like to thank all of his family and the people
of his village, who made my stay with them comfortable and informative.
I reserve special acknowledgement for the women of Boutem, who
constantly impressed both Antoine and me with their strength, wisdom,
and kindness toward a stranger. I am honored to have spent the time I
had with them.
Two sources of federal support have assisted me in this work. In
1988 I received a Foreign Language Area Studies summer fellowship, to
take an intensive course in Wolof at the University of Illinois, Urbana-
Champaign. The Fulbright-IIE U.S. scholar program, along with the U.S.
Embassy through its USIA American Cultural Center, also provided me with
funding. Special thanks go to Jerome Faye and El Hadji Sarr, along with
the rest of the Senegalese staff in Dakar. I will not forget their
genuine friendship and critical support.
I would like to also thank Peter Malanchuk, who approved several
leaves of absence from my position at the University of Florida
Libraries. He has been a generous and tolerant supervisor, taking on
quite a bit of extra work while I have been gone, and my appreciation is
heartfelt. Thanks also go to Jenny Konwinski, who created a superb
digital map of the village from the diverse materials I provided her.
Finally, I would like to express sincere thanks to my own family.
They constantly demonstrate to me the importance of kinship. Patricia,
my mother, has taken several months of her time to help with household
management and domestic tasks that I have neglected while writing. My
brother David and father Roland have provided me with good advice on how
to proceed with quandaries of research design and statistics. My wife
Ann Glowasky has provided constant emotional support throughout my
research, suffering along with me since before the actual research
IV


97
introduced to a means of assistance, and would be integrated immediately
into a system of information sharing on family and village problems. As
far as activities, they organized dances and, importantly, pooled their
resources via dues payments for expenses of "primary importance" such as
funerals and baptisms. Monthly dues were originally set at 100 CFA
(about thirty U.S. cents at 1990 rates) for the employed, and 50 CFA for
students and the unemployed. At that time, E. Djiba explained, this was
expensive: he compared the dues to a few consumables, such as a tomato
can full of groundnuts, which then cost 5 CFA, and a kilo of bread,
which was 30 CFA. One generation of officers would pass on their
records to the older members of the next age group, following their
initiation at the bukut ceremony held in the village about every twenty
years.
Individual informal associations from the same local area
eventually gathered together in an attempt to create a larger organiza
tion. In about 1958 an organizational meeting was convened of what
became known as the Regroupement des Associations de Boulouf. The
individual village associations, however, had been formed "well before
1958." I didn't learn whether or not this combined organization still
exists, or what eventually happened to it. Because I never heard about
it except in this historical discussion, I assume that as individual
village associations incorporated larger numbers of migrants over time,
the need for a combined association diminished.18 Certainly the
difficulty of paying dues to many groups was mentioned by many people,
and perhaps over time there was less reason for such a large group to
remain active. Members from a larger, more dispersed set of villages
18See Lambert (1994:92) for a summary of the history of associations
related to another village in the Boulouf region. He dates the break-up
of the larger regional association "some time in the early 1960's."


2
Migration as a Factor in Cultural Evolution
Migration has played a key role in the evolutionary processes that
established human populations throughout the world. We have long known,
for example, that agriculture spread to Europe from the Middle East
during the Neolithic. The routes of specific cultigens have been
traced. Recently, one study examined evidence from 26 genetic systems
collected in 3,373 locations, finding that "the spread of agriculture
through Europe was not simply a case of cultural diffusion, but involved
significant differential reproduction of the new farmers whose origins
can be traced to the Near East" (Sokal et al. 1991:143). The authors
conclude that migration played a central role in the spread of
agriculture to Europe.
The literature on African migration overflows with examples of how
the movement of people has affected nearly every aspect of life,
profoundly changing economies, politics, religions, and social
organizations across vast periods of time. Archaeological and
linguistic evidence documents the role of early population movements in
shaping cultural, ecological, and demographic relations among African
peoples (e.g., Haddon 1911; Greenberg 1963; Mabogunje 1976; Shaw 1976;
Phillipson 1985; Rouse 1986; Johnson and Earle 1987; Austen 1987).
The literature on early states and long distance trade further
associates population movement with critically important processes in
African history (see Leary 1970; Quinn 1972; Oloruntimehin 1972, 1974;
Levtzion 1973, 1976; Ajayi 1974). Migration played a central role in
African political and economic systems as part of regular, systematized
patterns of village fissioning (Murdock 1949; Wilson 1951; Cohen 1978;
Johnson and Earle 1987).
When European traders established themselves in coastal Africa,
continental patterns of migration followed the changing loci of trading


21
numerous examples of migration serving as an efficient adaptation to
changing economic conditions in both urban and rural areas (Berg
1965:161; Hill 1963; Little 1965).
Dependency Views
Writers in the dependency school have been particularly uninspired
with regard to research on the effects of migration on rural areas. The
model assumes a net loss in value for sending areas in the 'periphery.'
It provides no theoretical support for empirical research in the context
of these points of origin. These facts together have resulted in a
distinct lack of dependency research on this topic. With little empiri
cal research spawned by this orientation, there is a correspondingly
small need to discuss any contributions of dependency theory toward
understanding the effects of migration on rural sending communities.
The dependency literature has provoked research on the effects of
so-called 'free trade zones,' with an almost singular focus on 'runaway
shops.' A relatively recent phenomenon in some Third World areas, this
term refers to contracts with large multinational firms that sponsor
satellite assembly operations for the garment and electronic industries.
Because these firms once operated only in developed economies, they are
called 'runaways.' Relocations from developed areas are often encour
aged by favorable government policies in the Third World as well as
international trade treaties such as NAFTA. Another factor drawing such
firms to less developed countries is a plentiful supply of cheap (often
primarily female) labor for such operations in parts of East Asia,
Africa, and the Caribbean (see Lim 1978; Frobel et al. 1980; Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly 1983; Sassen-Koob 1983; Safa 1986; and Pedraza 1991).
Notwithstanding important work on this phenomenon, statements by
dependency researches often over-generalize from such specific cases.
An example is the following assertion: "Modern labor migration is a


30
continue to increase over time (see Byerlee 1972; Byerlee and Eicher
1972; Caldwell 1969; Connell 1984; Easterlin 1980; Fawcett et al. 1984;
Khoo et al. 1984; Melville 1978; Orlansky and Dubrovsky n.d.; Singh
1978; Roy 1983; Thadani and Todaro 1979; Thomas 1970; Traeger 1984;
Whiteford 1978; Lee 1989). Therefore, documenting female migration and
(perhaps more importantly) discovering the relationships between male
and female migration in Africa will become increasingly important.
Empirical data collected in Africa on women indicate that they
generally migrate at a younger age than do men. They are constrained
from migrating by such things as high fertility and marriage (Bilsborrow
and Zlotnik 1982; Brokerhoff and Eu 1993; U.N. Secretariat 1993).
Interestingly, women also are less likely than men to return to their
home villages once they move to an urban setting. This leaves many
African cities with predominantly female populations, especially among
the older age groups. Among the issues deserving of further research
attention are the feminization of older urban populations, inter-house-
hold relations among migrant families, and the economic roles women
migrants play in rapidly changing African cities. Migration also can
have important effects on gender relations, fertility, and the division
of labor in rural areas. "Internal migration, and particularly its
rural-urban form, is inextricably linked with other demographic phenom
ena, as in the case where regional fertility differentials essentially
reflect the age-sex selectivity of migration" (Pryor 1982:25; see Farber
and Lee 1984; Brokerhoff and Eu 1993) .
Historical evidence on coastal areas of West Africa during the
early twentieth century indicates that women were demonstrating an
economic independence from men in both the commercial arena (Brooks
1976) and in wage employment. The latter case is supported by the fact
that at least some Diola women in Casamance were being employed as dock
workers (seasonally, after the groundnut harvest) in Bathurst (Banjul)


154
had not returned to the village for the agricultural season in the last
five years prior to 1990. Of course, the converse fact is relevant too,
52 percent of current emigrants have returned at least once in the past
five years, with 39 percent returning for each of the past five
seasons.7 These findings appear valid, given the responses I gathered
from interviewees in Dakar.
I did not collect family name and quartier membership data with
the specific intention of comparing family representation in Boutem's
quartiers. Later, during the analysis phase of my research, I realized
that I might improve my understanding of these social-geographic units
by relating census data on quartier of residence with family names.
Twelve family names are represented in Boutem, although not all are
Diola. For the purposes of analysis, I grouped the least common names
together as "other"8 (these are Bassene, DaCosta, Man, Diagne, and
Niang). In fact, family names are quite strongly associated with
particular quartiers. Each family has at least forty percent of its
members originating from a given quartier of Boutem. As many as 68.3
percent of the Djibas and 41.8 percent of the Diattas are associated
with a household located in Sambousoulier. All Diedhious (100 percent)
and 54.7 percent of the Mangas are associated with Bafican. Eighty-nine
percent of Sagnas and 45 percent of the Badjis are from Boukiak, while
59.3 percent of the Sambous are from Elegnande (see Table 3).
'Because of the way this question was presented, the total of 39 percent
returning every year of the entire five year period is somehat inflated.
It includes some individuals who had not been away for an entire five
year period.
'Together these represent only three percent of the censused population.
The family named Bassene, equivalent to Badji among Diola south of the
river, represents a single household in the Bafican quartier, accounting
for ten of the twenty-one individuals comprising this "other" category.


196
Da Costa, Peter. 1993. "Casamance quandry (Senegal's politics)."
Africa Report 38(2):59-61.
Darbon, Dominique. 1984. "Le culturalisme bas-Casamangais." Politique
Africaine 14(June)¡125-128.
1985. "La voix de la Casamance. .une parole Diola." Politique
Africaine 18(June)¡125-138.
Davidson, Basil. 1980. The African Slave Trade. Boston: Little,
Brown.
De Janvry, Alain. 1981. The Agrarian Question and Reformism in Latin
America. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
De Jonge, Klaas, Jos M. van der Klei, Henk Meilink and Roeland. 1978.
Senegal: Projet d'une rechereche multidisciplinaire sur les
facteurs socio-economiques favorisant la migration en Basse Casa
mance et sur les consequences pour les lieux d'origine. Rapport
final. Leiden, Netherlands: Afrika-Studiecentrum.
De Wilde, J., P. Me Loughlin, A. Guinard, T. Scudder, and R. Maubouche.
1970. Experiences with Agricultural Development in Tropical
Africa. 2 vols. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.
/C)u Toit, Brian M. 1990. "People on the move: Rural-urban migration
with special reference to the Third World: Theoretical and
empirical perspectives." Human Organization 49 ( 4) : 305-319.
Dinerman, I. 1982. Migrants and Stay at Homes: A Comparative Study of
Rural Migration from Mexico. La Jolla, CA: University of San
Diego, Center for US-Mexico Studies.
Diop, Marime. 1989. "Un exemple de non-insertion urbaine: Le cas des
migrantes saisonnierres de Basse Casamance a Dakar." Ch. 6 in
Philippe Antoine and Sidiki Coulibaly (eds.). L'Insertion Urbaine
des Migrants en Afrique. Paris: Editions de l'ORSTOM.
Dresch, Jean. 1949. "La riziculture en Afrique occidentale." Annales
de Goaraphie 312:295-312.
/dades, Jeremy (ed.). 1987. Migrants. Workers, and the Social Order.
London: Tavistock.
Easterlin, Richard A. (ed.). 1980. Population and Economic Change in
Developing Countries. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Echenberg, Myron J. 1991. Colonial Conscripts: The Tirailleurs
Snaalas in French West Africa. 1857-1960. Portsmouth, NH:
Heinemann.
Eicher, Carl K. and Doyle C. Baker. 1982. Research on Agricultural
Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: a Critical Survey. MSU
International Development Paper n. 1. East Lansing, MI: Depart
ment of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University.
Eisenstadt, S. N. and Ren Lemarchand (eds.). 1981. Political
Clientelism. Patronage, and Development. Beverly Hills, CA:
Sage.


133
activity, limited to the dry season. Children apparently sold fruit
grown in the village (there were a quite a number of very large mango
trees, in groves throughout the village) to a young Wolof merchant who
circulated the villages in the area on the commercial "taxi" canoe for
this purpose during the harvest season.
Household Expenses
Emigrants face a complex economic situation in Dakar, where they
must budget both urban and rural based expenses with their modest
incomes. One of the most interesting comments that I heard regarding
household expenses indicates the difficulty of planning in this
environment: "The biggest expenses I have are for unforseen things"
(Interview 19). Or, "[I] find it difficult to save for unpredictable
needs, and just have to manage if they get beyond [my monthly expenses]"
(Interview 3). Other women told me that they simply cannot budget or
plan their expenses, they just "make do" with what they have. "There's
just not enough money to cover everything" (Interview 14). In some
cases a woman's monthly pay covers rent and food for her family, for
example, but she is unable to pay for any other family needs without the
help of others in the household. Several women took the opportunity of
our interview to vent their frustrations: "My responsibility is too
heavy: nobody helps me out. I'm the only one who takes care of all
these children of my siblings and aunts" (Interview 19).
My budget is always tight. With 35,000 CFA a month and the kids
to maintain it's really tight. When I just had one kid it wasn't
bad. I was alone and I could do my night courses for secretarial
school. When I got the certificate, though, I couldn't find work.
So, I kept on with migrant work [as a bonne], otherwise I couldn't
make ends meet. I saved for [remittances], but I've used it all
["tout bouff."] Every month things were tight, I found that I
was taking money out of the bank instead of putting it in.
There's the balance book. Look: it's completely empty.
(Interview 7)


53
power to insulate strategic economic domains from market forces, a
growing civil service sector,13 and the general isolation and exclusion
of the Casamance region from the benefits of the political system.
Thus, the thirty years from the implementation of effective colonial
power in Casamance about 1930 until national independence in 1960, are
considered here together with the thirty-five years from independence
until the present.
The continuity of colonialism and independence throughout Africa
is not simply an academic issue. Of course it runs counter to
nationalist ideology and teaching by independent governments, as is the
case in Senegal. The Diola themselves express this continuity, however,
when they say "Jnje bei Senegal"("I'm going to Senegal") instead of "I'm
going to Dakar."19 They demonstrate a lack of identification with the
national culture too when they complain about the increasing use of the
Wolof language (and the power of Wolof traders) in Ziguinchor: "Igi on
est trop colonis par le Wolof" (Julliard 1991:48). The fact that a
secessionist movement exists in Casamance today, and that it is
perceived as a continuation of the anti-colonial struggle, lends further
credence to my categorization of colonialism and independence together
in this fourth period. Before elaborating the reasons for the
incomplete integration of the Lower Casamance region into the
independent state of Senegal, we first need to consider the history of
its incorporation into the colonial state.
18Rapid and sustained civil service sector growth has fostered increased
urbanization in Senegal from the time Dakar was the administrative
capitol of A.O.F., and is one result of a clientelistic governing
strategy (Diop 1981). Only recently has this growth been checked by
structural adjustment policies dictated by international donor agencies.
19Linares (1992:212) has published this example, but use of the phrase
is ubiquitous among the Diola.


71
this traditional staple crop dropped and could not be maintained by
women alone.
At the same time, women in the modern economy are expected to
provide for themselves and their families, and their monetary
obligations have expanded over time (Hamer 1983:76). Without access to
cash earning opportunities in the rural setting, women tended to migrate
to urban areas to find wage employment. I noted the case of Diola women
working the docks at Ziguinchor early in the century as the earliest
example of rural-urban migration. This job in particular fits with
traditional women's agricultural work, which includes the transportation
of water and wood to the home, and cow manure to the rice nurseries.
These tasks all involve heavy lifting. Most importantly, however, this
case demonstrates that women were seeking cash earning opportunities
quite early in this century. As opportunities developed in other areas,
Diola women were willing to travel, and in fact since the nineteen-
fifties they have been in particular demand as maids in Dakar.
There are a number of reasons why Diola women in particular found
it to be relatively easy to find employment in Dakar. There was a
growing demand in the market of the colonial capital for maids, in part
due to the number of expatriate men (with or without their families)
working in the colonial government there. More local Wolof families
were also earning cash wages at the time, and they too were interested
in having domestic workers to cook, clean, and care for their children.
At the same time, the French, most of whom were Catholics, preferred
hiring Catholic maids. This is perhaps simply a matter of prejudice,
but is probably also attributable to a sense among expatriates of
alienation from the majority Muslim community of Africans in Dakar.
Furthermore, the Mandinka and Wolof societies were based upon a caste
system that discouraged women in these groups from seeking work in
domestic service. The majority of Diola from south of the Casamance


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
More people helped me complete this dissertation than reasonably
can be listed here. Several, though, provided help without which I
could not have finished at all. My advisor and committee chair through
most of this long process, Ronald Cohen, has been a true mentor in many
ways, from my first contacts with him until now. He has been a strong
supporter of all aspects of my work and a sensitive critic of my
attempts to convey complex concepts as clearly as possible given the
limitations of my writing. His persistence and success in recuperating
from a severe stroke since August 1994 continue to be an inspiration to
me and others. Since Dr. Cohen's illness and subsequent retirement, H.
Russell Bernard has been kind enough to serve as my committee chair. I
would like to acknowledge his valuable editorial advice and professional
efforts to bring this work into its present form. Each member of the
supervisory committee has been in the first instance an exceptional
teacher. I am grateful that each has dedicated himself to teaching, and
that I have had the opportunity to have studied with him. Beyond this
each has been an essential critic and advisor, greatly assisting me in
bringing specific aspects of this research report into its final form.
I wish to thank Arthur Hansen and Marvin Harris of anthropology, R. Hunt
Davis of history, and Goran Hyden of political science. Although it
need not be said, all of the errors and omissions that remain are
entirely my own.
Antoine Badji also deserves special acknowledgment. He was my
assistant and chief informant in Senegal, helping me to adjust to the
particular difficulties of life in Dakar.
iii
He thereby exposed me to some


156
TABLE 3: Percent of residents with given family name and auartier of
origin for three residential categories, women's association membership.
and interviewee status
Total Boutem Zig Dakar Assc Intvwees
(n=739) (n=345) (n=86) (n=146) (n=54) Family
Dj iba
14
13
12
20
18
19
Badj i
19
21
30
15
14
10
Manga
7
11
2
6
11
14
Sambou
15
13
3
22
11
5
Diedhiou
6
6
10
5
9
5
Diatta
29
26
37
23
27
38
Sagna
7
7
5
7
7
10
Other
3
3
0
4
4
0
Ouartier
Elegnande
21
20
17
24
20
14
Sam'soulier
29
30
37
26
25
29
Bafican
26
23
13
32
32
29
Boukiak
24
28
33
18
23
29
Given the conditions under which the research was conducted, and
given the goals and methods by which interviewees were chosen (see
Chapter 3), the representativeness of the various village family names
and quartiers is reasonably close among interviewees. Importantly, the
census of the population originating from Boutem was conducted after
interviews were conducted. I did not know the actual distribution of
family names, or of quartier of origin among the village or Dakar
populations prior to choosing interviewees. Our goal was to choose
interviewees from as wide a cross section of families and quartiers as
possible, in order to identify variances that might have been associated
with these factors. Finally, we targeted individuals for interviews who
were from different family and quartier origins than Antoine, my
research assistant. In my estimation, this was proper in that we


28
There is still a need for more case studies focusing on women as
migrants (Byron 1994), and particularly as independent migrants seeking
legitimate work. The image of the woman migrant as either a prostitute
or the dependent of a migrating man, while not entirely baseless,
certainly is not indicative of the important role many women migrants
play in contemporary Africa. In West Africa, for example, commerce has
provided an important attraction for women to leave their rural homes:
"Most of the millions of women involved in internal migration within the
various countries [of West Africa] would fall under the category of
commercial migrants" (Sudarkasa 1977:183). While this may overstate the
case, it indicates that the role of women as commercial migrants is
important in this continental sub-region. Other important research on
African women as independent migrants and important economic actors in
the urban setting includes Little (1965), Schuster (1979), Hansen
(1985), Moran (1990), and Bczzoli (1991). Hansen (1985) and Bozzoli
(1991) are concerned most directly with female migrants as domestic
servants, the focus of my own research.
Stichter (1985) asserts that relatively high rates of female
migration in Asia and Latin America indicate the greater economic
subjugation of women in these regions, calling them "free laborers."
Meanwhile, the general lack of female mobility in Africa indicates a low
social status for women, where in precolonial times their "status was
not dissimilar to that of slaves or serfs" (Stichter 1985:148). A view
of African women as entirely dependent on men for their mobility is not
without precedent nor is it entirely false in certain cultural contexts
(see Nadel 1942; Thandi and Todaro 1979, 1984; Cock 1980; Shah 1983;
i Brydon 1987; Boyd 1989). However, African women migrate in surprising


130
my contention that commercial activities are not commonly undertaken by
Boutem emigrants by briefly describing the very limited extent of
commerce I observed in the village itself.
In a second instance of rather substantial commerce, C. Djiba
sells frozen sweetened baobab fruit "ices" in small plastic bags. These
are consumed by biting off the lower corner or the bag and sucking at
the sweet ice inside. She was making these during our interview,
ladling the milky liquid into the bags as her daughters tied them with
sewing thread. She told me that they "mostly support [my] girls'
expenses, especially clothing" (Interview 3). This was more of a
capital enterprise than all but one of the other cases, requiring the
use of a freezer (itself costly, but especially so when the continuing
expense of electricity is considered). Her success was facilitated by
the proximity of her apartment to the downtown Sandaga market. As with
both the previous and following cases, her ability to initiate this
business was largely dependent, I believe, on her husband's employment.
As he was an enlisted officer with an entitlement to a wholly subsidized
apartment near the downtown, they had both a good salary and fewer
expenses than many women with whom I spoke.
The third case that apparently depends to some extent on the good
fortune of having a husband in a well-paid salaried position is that of
J. Manga. She purchases cases of locally-manufactured beer to re-sell
from her home, which also is located near a market. Unlike most of the
other women, and villagers from Boutem in general,4 she seems to enjoy
her commercial sales. Nevertheless, although she apparently also takes
in laundry (or at least ironing) to do at home, she did not mention this
latter activity.
4I have noted elsewhere that the name Affiniam, at least apocryphally
derives from its residents' lack of commercial savvy.


61
geography, but also in the nature of patrimonial politics. Under
patrimonialism, a delicate balance must be maintained between support
for regional patrons who can deliver votes to the central government's
leadership and suppression of broader regional movement that threaten
the government's control. Regional political movements and their
centrifugal potentials in particular are feared by the central
authorities who govern weak states; often, therefore, radical strategies
are employed against such unities. As independent Senegal's first
president from 1960-1971, Leopold Senghor was widely noted to be a
master of this style of rule.27 He was able to play regional and other
political coalitions against one another in a way that maintained just
enough instability in his opposition to maintain his own relative
political strength.
The Mourides and other locally-dominant Islamic sects have for
many years garnered the majority of political support throughout rural
Senegal north of the Casamance River. Through their religious
institutions, and through their control of many important economic
firms, they have proven themselves the most influential leaders in
Senegalese civil society. They have been the primary power to be
reckoned with for every government from colonial times to the present
regime of Abdou Diouf, a follower of Mouridism himself (see Cruise
O'Brien 1971; Diop 1981).
To a large extent, this is the source of contemporary conflicts
between the Lower Casamance and the Independent state of Senegal:
regional politics there, because they threaten the integrity of the
27The following studies draw a "remarkably consistent portrait" of post-
Independence politics in Senegal (Boone 1990:346): Behrman (1970);
Zuccarelli (1970); Adamolekun (1971); Barker (1973); Cruise O'Brien
(1975); Schumacher (1975); Coulon (1981); and Jackson and Rosberg
(1982) .


116
work. "I worked for a Frenchman the first year, but he left without
notice or paying anything" (Interview 8).
Africans [generally, Wolof] often employ younger, less experienced
maids (European habits and cooking skills, for example, are not one of
the qualifications), but also tend to pay less than European (the Wolof
word is toubaab, and Americans are considered within this category)
expatriates. They are reputed to be harsh with their employees,
although as the case above demonstrates, difficulties may be encountered
with any employer. Because of the difference in work skills and
experience that African and European employers demand, many women find
their first jobs in African households. Later, with some luck, they may
find work with Europeans, although a range of experiences and salaries
are possible within this potentially more lucrative market. Working for
unenlisted French military personnel is apparently the bottom rung of
employment with Europeans.
There is no guarantee, of course, simply because one has worked
for Europeans, that a woman will never again have to work in an African
(most likely a lower paying) household. Although she was working for a
Wolof woman at the time of our interview, M. Diatta mentioned that "when
I was working for whites, I was registered [with the Inspection]"
(Interview 22). The issue of registration is important to maids, who
work in a capricious environment far from home, out of public view
within the homes and families of foreigners. It is accepted that
African employers will not register their maids with the Inspection de
la Main d'Oeuvre, or other federal employment-related agencies.
Although some European employers may do so as a matter of course,
particularly official agencies, among most Europeans it is still,
apparently, a rare practice. Even employers with altogether good
intentions often fail to undertake the registration of their domestic


72
River are Catholic, and being from a relatively egalitarian society, see
no stigma attached to domestic labor. On the contrary, they view such
work as quite honorable.
In the following chapter I will present the data I collected in
thirty ethnographic interviews, conducted in Dakar in 1990. In
particular, Chapter 3 is focused on the history of the women's
association. However, as a whole the chapter provides a sense of what
migration from Casamance to Dakar entails for the women who undertake
it.
Table 1: Historical periods and associated characteristic forms of
migration
Period
and
approx.
dates Evidence Inferred changes in
(A.D.) Data source characterized migration patterns
1.
200-1100
archaeological
evidence on
subsistence
early sedentism
and mixed
agriculture
population expansion
through ecological zone,
then intensification of
agriculture
2 .
1100-
1400
regional
history of
Western Sudan
encroachment,
circumscription
by states of
Mali and Kasa
trade, dry season
migration patterns
established
3.
1400-
1800
1800-
1930
history of
related
groups, some
local history
(least stable
period)
early European
trade, wars and
slavery, then
establishment of
legitimate trade
expansion of trade
migration, but
withdrawal in times of
war; evasion and "exit"
from control
4 .
1930-
present
direct
historical
evidence
cash markets
firmly
developed,
colonialism and
independence
wage labor migration
patterns established


142
if they write and ask for help" (Interview 12). "I send remittances to
the village, although not regularly. For example, if I send 10,000 CFA
this month, and nothing for two or three months, then the next month
I'll send 15,000 CFA, like that" (Interview 16).
I remitted 5,000 CFA to my relatives last month. I usually save
something to send my relatives in the village. I used to do it
every month. I just began working on February twelfth, and they
wrote to me and asked me to send them money for my children's
health care. What we had contributed there was all spent. I'm
obliged to save here because I can't send them something every
month. (Interview 22)
Many women told me that they only send remittances for the rainy
season, when the main cash expenditure for their rural relatives is the
hiring of clubs or associations of young rice cultivators and
harvesters. "When I was working I used to send them [relatives in the
village] money during the rainy season, when they needed cultivators.
I'd send my mama 15,000 CFA for harvesters. But now I can only do this
occasionally" (Interview 24). In this second case the respondent speaks
in the past tense, because she is currently unemployed and therefore
unable to send money home. "Usually I saved for when I went back for
the rains, and brought them money then. If they. .write to ask for
money, I'll send them what they ask for. ... I'd also send whatever I
could afford to them in the village" (Interview 26).
Remittances are a whole other issue. I can't, often. You know my
father lost my mother, so each harvest I must send money so he can
pay women to harvest the rice, gather firewood, transport and
harvest groundnuts. If I have months with fewer expenses, I send
what I can. But I can't say that I send so much per month, say
10,000 CFA or whatever, no. (Interview 7)
Sending some basic necessities in kind along with cash remittances
to relatives in the village was a common practice for this time of year.
[I] manage to remit to relatives in the village. Every rainy
season [I] send a carton of soap, 20 liters of oil, a 100 kilo
sack of rice, and 10,000 CFA for [my] mother and father to divide
in half, along with 20 liters of kerosene. (Interview 5)
At times, for example if a woman can't manage to remit on her own,
family members will pool their resources to send something home. "At


109
Village of Boutern, Senegal
p=j Peanut Field*
1. Cemetery
j-X-j Forest
II. Sacred Forest
III. Foyer
Wetlands / Rice Paddles
IV. School
|
||||] Inlet
V. Church
Path
VI. Women's Co-op Garden
Main Road
VII. Football Field
VIII. Maternity Clinic
Numbers Indicate houses
IX. Wells
X. Shrine
Figure 2: Village of Boutem, Senegal. From a map drawn by Jenny
Konwinski.


87
corve labor. At that moment, and later, when this man and his wife so
generously shared their home in the village with me, I was struck by the
immediate accessibility of this unfortunate but nevertheless important
aspect of migration history. In a very real sense, the men who served
in corve labor groups ^represent the first modern migrations put of
Boutem and many other Diola villages. Nevertheless, despite the real
hardships they represent, these migrations were quite temporary: they
were confined to a week or two during the dry season, and appear to have
had little acculturative affect on participants, as much victims as
pioneers. Perhaps it is because of this lack of permanency and
acculturative affect that current migrants tend to discount the
importance of this form of migration, undertaken only a generation or so
ago.
Corve caused some men to leave the village for the first time, so
on one hand (in a limited sense, because as I've explained above, the
acculturative effect was minimal) it may have increased the integration
of the village of Boutem into the rest of Senegal. On the other hand, I
was also told by villagers that as a result of corve they learned to
flee at the first sight of whites heading toward their borders.
Therefore, I was told, when missionaries first came into Boutem to try
and open its first school they were left alone, sitting in an empty vil
lage "with nothing to do."10
While corve labor apparently had minimal acculturative effect on
the individuals forced to serve under this aspect of the colonial
Indignat, others left Casamance to avoid the imposition of its hard
ships. These men were among the earliest rather long-term modern
migrants from the village, most often traveling north into The Gambia.
10Roche (1976) discusses this form of whole village desertion as a
generalized form of passive resistance to colonial rule that was
employed by Diola villagers throughout Lower Casamance.


32
levels of analysis. The household concept provides one means by which
both macro- and micro-level data can be integrated and considered within
a given cultural context. However, it remains a heuristic device,
without promise of integrating diverse theoretical models.
Perhaps there is no need for an integrated theory of migration,
except in terms of its role in economic development. Migration patterns
diverge greatly depending on a great number of contextual situations and
variables. Careful case study work remains to be done to adequately
describe the full range of contexts in which women migrate. But if
there is no need for a separate theory of migration, there certainly is
no more reason to develop a separate theory of the female migrant. In
the case of Diola women, as we shall see in Chapter 2, women began to
use migration as a means of acquiring cash in the newly transformed
economy soon after Casamance was integrated into the colonial state of
Senegal. They were affected by economic changes differently from men
because of their social position in the agricultural economy. Diola
women's migration from the Casamance does not indicate that they were
targeted for exploitation. In fact, their status in traditional society
was relatively strong. They owned land and could divorce their
husbands, for example (Pelissier 1966:687). However, because. of,,_the..
changes introduced by the colonial administration, their.role as rice
producers was inadvertently devalued. As cash became increasingly
necessary, they sought access to the cash economy and found no
opportunities for earning wages in the rural setting. Thus, they sought
work in town, first nearby in Ziguinchor, but eventually further afield
in Dakar.
If we are to understand the causes and effects of migration in the
truly complex context faced by African women, more data are needed on
historical as well as contemporary economic opportunities at home and
abroad. These data need to be understood within the specific social


172
models, and have inspired a good deal of research into the role of
households and other mid-level social units.
There has been a similar debate through the years about the
consequences of migration. So-called "conventional" academics were
often characterized by the academic left as supporting or encouraging
migration. In fact, a number of the colonial British anthropologists
argued that wage labor migration in Africa was jeopardizing traditional
authority and communities. Migration plays a key role in the process of
economic development by concentrating people into areas of increased
economic activity, making possible a more efficient delivery of goods
and services. On this point migration researchers of all political
persuasions can probably agree, although not all would evaluate the
results of such changes in the same way.
Migration highlights the changes that occur in a society as people
move from work in one to another economic sector. Such a change may
involve many other changes in individual lives. More than anything
else, migration represents people's adaptability to changing economic
conditions. Often empirical issues of migration are clouded by writers'
attempts to evaluate the costs and benefits of economic development
itself. It is easy to see that some of the effects of migration dilute
what is valuable in traditional society. Certainly I am not the first
anthropologist to be embarrassed by the seeming inappropriateness of
urban returnees, walking through their home village wearing ultra-chic
urban clothing and hair styles. But the emigrants themselves told me
that they leave the village to dress well, so it should be no surprise
that their success is demonstrated so openly.
Many observers of (especially female) emigration from rural Diola
villages since the 1950s have argued that it should be stopped. This is
commonly heard in the villages themselves, and was the unanimous opinion
of a focus group I organized in Ziguinchor. Clearly, migration to Dakar


209
Sapir, J. David. 1965. A Grammar of Diola-Foanv: A Language Spoken in
the Basse Casamance Region of Senegal. Cambridge, England:
Cambridge University Press.
1971. "West Atlantic: An inventory of the languages, their noun
class systems and consonant alternation." Current Trends in
Linguistics 7 : 4 5-112 .
Sassen-Koob, Saskia. 1983. "Labor migration and the new industrial
division of labor." in Nash and Fernandez-Kelly (eds.). Women.
Men and the International Division of Labor. Albany, NY: State
University of New York Press.
Schapera, Isaac. 1947. Migrant Labour and Tribal Life: A Study of
Conditions in the Bechuanaland Protectorate. London: Routledge
and Kegan Paul.
Schmink, Marianne. 1984. "Household economic strategies: A review and
research agenda." Latin American Research Review 19 (3) :87-101.
Schultheis, Michael J. 1989. "Refugees in Africa: The geopolitics of
forced displacement." African Studies Review 32(1):3-29.
Schumacher, Edward J. 1975. Politics. Bureaucracy and Rural
Development in Senegal. Berkeley, CA: University of California
Press.
Schuster, lisa M. Glazer. 1979. New Women of Lusaka. Palo Alto, CA:
Mayfield.
Shaw, Thurstan. 1976. "The prehistory of West Africa." in J. F. Ade
Ajayi and Michael Crowder (eds.). History of West Africa. 2d
ed.. New York: Columbia University Press.
Shoemaker, J. 1976. "Colonization and urbanization in Peru: Empirical
and theoretical perspectives." in David Guillet and J. Douglas
Uzzell (eds.). New Approaches to the Study of Migration.
Houston, TX: William Marsh Rice University.
Singh, A. M. 1978. "Rural-urban migration of women among the urban
poor in India: Causes and consequences." Social Action
28.(4) ; 326-356.
Skinner, Elliott P. 1960. "Labour migration and its relationship to
socio-cultural change in Mossi society." Africa 30 (4) : 375-401.
1985. "Labor migration and national development in Africa." Ch.
2 in Beverly Lindsay (ed.). African Migration and National
Development. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University
Press.
Snyder, Francis G. 1977. "Land law and economic change in rural
Senegal: Diola pledge transactions and disputes." in Ian Hamnett
(ed.). Social Anthropology and the Law. New York: Academic.
1978. "Legal innovation and social change in a peasant community:
A Senegalese village police." Africa 48 (3):231-247 .


161
Table 5: Dues-pavments as a percentage of membership paving in three
categories of regularity
(avg.n=61)
1988
(n=58)
1989
(n=65)
1990
(n=59)
paid no dues at
all in year
28
60
83
paid from once
to all but once
36
26
13
paid dues every
month
36
15
3
Combining the data from the three years, with the final month of
1990 missing, the mean "payment behavior" was to pay dues for eight of
the total possible 23 months recorded. This can be expressed as an
"average" member, who would have paid her dues about every third month.
This picture fits quite well with what many of the interviewees told me,
that they simply don't feel they can afford to pay dues to every
association each month. Instead, they "rotate" dues payments, paying
dues for one or two groups every month, and skipping payments to others
until the next meeting. Thus, a group defined as having contributed
from two to fifteen payments over the three years (including members
paying dues as often as one standard deviation more and as infrequently
as one standard deviation less than the mean), would include 28 members,
or about 62 percent of the membership. A larger group of 32 members, 71
percent, paid anywhere from once a year through all but one month per
year, from 3 total payments through 20 out of 23 months. Only four
percent of the membership paid dues for every month of the period, and
18 percent of the group never paid any dues during that time (see Table
5) .
Fining members not conforming to the association's rules provides
another means of increasing the funds available to the group. This


90
There was therefore a growing demand in Dakar for technical and bureau
cratic workers in the government itself, as well as a rapid expansion of
demand for domestic goods, services, and the other consumer needs of its
employees.12 Wage work opportunities for Africans were made available
on an unprecedented scale. A few Diolas from Boutem, most of them among
the first to be educated in mission schools, began leaving the village
in search of work in the capital. At first only a few villagers made
the trip, led by a few war veterans, men who had been drafted by the
French military during World War II.
F. Badji was one of the first of these men to leave Boutem and
settle in Ouakam, just outside of Dakar.13 He was a military veteran of
the war in Algeria (1954-62), although he must have served there well
after settling in Ouakam. He and a few other early migrants housed and
helped to finance the migration of many family members and fellow
villagers (an example of chain migration). This is recognized by others
from Boutem as having helped to expand and speed the flow of migration
from there to Dakar. A small community of emigrants from Boutem
developed over time, centered in what has become the Ouakam neighborhood
of Dakar.
Early examples of chain migration from Boutem were relatively easy
to locate. Two such cases are brothers, L. and J. Badji, whom I met
separately at their current homes in two regional towns a few hours
drive along the Atlantic coast north of Dakar. Both of these men stayed
with F. Badji in Ouakam when they first undertook urban migration. L.
Badji was an adult when he first migrated, and began work as an appren-
l:After 1950, African employees were entitled to the same civil service
benefits as their French counterparts (Lambert 1994:54).
13The former village of Ouakam was one of the original Lbou villages of
Cap Vert, the peninsula upon which Dakar was built. It now is a
suburban neighborhood of Dakar, located near a French military base.


LIST OF TABLES
Table page
1 Historical periods and associated characteristic forms of
migration 72
2 Comparison of migrants' years away from the village 153
3 Percent of residents with given family name and quartier of
origin for three residential categories, women's association
membership, and interviewee status 156
4 Mean ages of all women, Dakar emigrants, association members
and interviewees 158
5 Dues-payments as a percentage of membership paying in three
categories of regularity 161


12
retrospect because the variability within such broad categories has
since been demonstrated repeatedly throughout the literature. Scholars
working within this orientation have, however, reacted creatively to
valid criticism, improving the power of this approach to explain the
causes of migration. For example, criticism of the 'dualism' supposedly
inherent to the model has been incorporated over time as a more fine
grained approach to the observation of certain key variables has
developed.
Thus, groups previously assumed to be homogeneous (i.e., peasants)
are now commonly defined as members of smaller units according to a wide
range of cultural and other factors such as land tenure patterns,
specific economic conditions, political characteristics, and specific
measures of households' labor availability in relation to cultivable
land holdings (Byerlee 1972; Byerlee and Eicher 1972:4; Gluckman 1943;
Gulliver 1957, 1960; Harris 1959; Hill 1970, 1986; Miracle and Berry
1970; Niddrie 1954; Skinner 1960). Similarly, rural economies have been
demonstrated to have many elements, both modern and traditional, as do
urban-based enterprises (Byerlee and Eicher 1972:6,16) to which they are
often linked.
Social Groups as Factors in Migration
Regardless of the issue of unit scale in data observation, some
economists have argued that migration can be sufficiently explained with
economic data alone (e.g., Fields 1982; Knight 1972; Todaro 1976, 1980).
Proponents of this view have had to answer the criticism from their
colleagues that analyses based exclusively on economic data are often
insufficient to fully explain important noneconomic social phenomena
(Yotopoulos and Nugent 1976:220).
A consideration of social organizational factors improves the
analysis of such complex phenomena as migration. Neoclassical theory


42
The Mali empire reached the Atlantic coast from its core on the
Upper Niger by the thirteenth century.? The trade of goods between
coastal Casamance and the interior consisted primarily of salt, but
included rice, slaves, dried or smoked fish, and even perhaps smoked
oysters in return for iron, horses, and small amounts of gold (Lauer
1969:26; Person 1984:313; Niane 1989:10). In order to control similar
trade, the Mandinka founded states all the way to the Atlantic on the
north bank of the Gambia River. Significantly, however, on the south
bank these states reached only to the Vintang Creek, the terminus of the
Banyun trade network (Brooks 1980:6). This network, dominated by the
primarily Banyun state of Kasa, flourished over the long term (Mark
1985:14-15), eventually linking all peoples of the Lower Casamance.
Over time, its traders forged communications and exchange ties from the
Lower Casamance to the south bank Gambia state of Geregia to the north,
the Mali and Kaabu empires to the east, and south to the Portuguese
commercial enclaves by means of the "most important commercial channel
to Cacheu until the nineteenth century" (Mark 1985:11-15; also see
Brooks 1980:6, 1993)'.
These Banyun trade routes were controlled by the small Kasa state,
oriented toward the interior from its location in eastern Lower Casa
mance. This state, sometimes referred to as Cassanga, was itself
originally an outlying vassal province of the Mali empire (Lauer
1969:61; Baum 1986:80).10 Over time, however, this formerly peripheral
region began to assert political control as Mali's power waned in the
'Tauer (1969:25) estimates a Malinke arrival in the lower Gambia by the
early fourteenth century, while in Brooks' (1980:6) judgement Mandinka
trade routes were established there during the eleventh or twelfth
century (see also Person 1984:304).
1,,Note 81 on the cited page refers to the following historical sources:
Rodney (1970:109-113); Pereira (1971:88); Boulgue (1972:6); Monod et al.
(1951:57-58); and LeBlanc (1649:28-31).


131
For my drink [beer] sales, I don't use that for food. It's for
me, my little needs apart from the house. . All the money I
earn from the sales is for my clothes and other such things.
(Interview 25)
The final substantial commercial enterprise that I observed among
Boutem's migrants to Dakar was unique in the size of its capital
operation, an apparently thriving bar. Although I didn't interview the
proprietor, she was a close relative of Antoine's and I did meet her at
a number of family social occasions. She, too, was married to a
government officer, in this case in the customs service. Again, I
believe it was his well-paid position that allowed her the large amount
of capital that was clearly necessary to initiate such a large
enterprise. Her bar was the only occupant of a building in a popular
neighborhood on the far north side of the city. The one time that I
visited it was crowded with beer and wine drinking patrons, some
snacking on grilled fish.
More often than not, however, commerce was conspicuous in its
absence from the discussion during the section of our interviews
concerning income. While only the following two examples are presented
here, they (along with the cases where no commercial activity was
observed at all) represent the norm as I observed it. If any single
commercial activity was most commonly brought out by questioning, it was
the sale of lemon juice in Dakar, often undertaken by the mothers of
village emigrants, who were boarded for a few weeks in Dakar by their
daughters. "My mother. .just arrived from the village on Saturday"
one woman explained, she had brought lemon juice to sell in the city. I
was surprised at the amount of juice she had been able to bring with
her, about ten seventy-liter drums for which she paid about 3,000 CFA
each to transport. I was told that she would stay with her daughter for
two or three months while she sold the juice, returning to the village
for the planting season (Interview 6). In another case the interviewee


173
in particular has played an important role in diminishing the
productivity of rice production in the Lower Casamance. However, this
emigration is the result of larger economic changes that were initiated
well before current emigrants left their home villages. In fact, as I
have explained, female emigration from the Casamance is the result
rather than the cause of lowered productivity in rice agriculture.
Women leave the villages because they are expected to provide for the
daily needs of their families. Soap, oil, kerosene, and the like must
be purchased, and women have few opportunities for earning cash within
the rural economy.
Through emigration, a woman is able to meet her obligations to her
family. If she does well in her search for urban work, she may also be
able to do more than that. Perhaps she can gain prestige among her
peers when she returns to the village, demonstrating her success by
wearing a new set of elegant clothing with an urbane flair. If she does
well and obtains a secure, well-paid job, she may send home regular
remittances to her family, helping them to hire essential labor for
planting and harvests even when she cannot come home to lend a hand
herself. Furthermore, through her participation in the emigrant women's
associations in Dakar, she may help to bring concrete benefits back to
her village through one of the organization's cooperative projects. One
could speculate about whether or not village residents would have been
better off if they had not been incorporated into the state of Senegal
(and thereby into the larger international economy). However, there is
no way to 'undo' this incorporation or disengage from the larger
economy. Given the benefits of remittances and other funds that
returnees bring with them when they do return to the village, migration
can be valued as beneficial.
Migration allows individuals who happen to originate far from
centers of economic activity and growth to participate in development.


169
The village census, aimed primarily at the gathering of migration
histories, confirmed that emigration is an important phenomenon. More
than half of those included were away during the 1990 dry season. Most
of these emigrants reside in Dakar (their mean age is within one year of
the population as a whole). The census indicates that regular urban
migration is still in a rather early stage; it only began within the
life-spans of older living residents. This was also indicated by
interviewees, who most often told me that their parents had not
migrated, or, if they had, that they had only worked for short periods
in Ziguinchor, the closest city. Oral histories reported in Chapter 3
also support this point, indicating that the earliest migrants from
Boutem to Dakar left in the nineteen-thirties and nineteen-forties.
Large numbers of migrants probably did not leave the village until the
nineteen-sixties. Current emigrants stay away from the village for
longer periods of time than did returnees, who numbered only 66 out of
345 current permanent village residents.
The census was also employed to collect information on emigrants
in general, whom I compared with the set of interviewees in order to
evaluate their representativeness. Interviewees tended to be older and
had been away from the village for a longer time than had other
emigrants I compared them with, but they represented family and
quartiers of origin reasonably well. The higher age and emigration
duration measures are likely the result of both the population itelf
(working adults, rather than all emigrants) as well as my own
selectivity for interviewees. I generally targeted emigrants who had
been in town for more than a few years.
The chapter concludes with a description of the women's
association membership. The main benefit of attending regular
association meetings seems to be that this is a means to maintain
contact and communication with other emigrants. About 100 members are


41
The Mande peoples are particularly important to the early history
of the western Sudan, as they built the powerful Mali empire during the
1200s. Mali controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, kola, salt, and
slaves for four centuries, surviving until the mid-1600s. Indigenous
populations of the Upper Guinea coastal region were contained or
circumscribed (Carneiro 1970) by the fragmented population expansion
from the interior and by the growing Mande states, established in the
area from about the thirteenth century. The arrival of small states in
the area surrounding the Lower Casamance marks the beginning of a second
historical period. Early 'colonists' from the interior were traders
with ties to North Africa as early as the eighth or ninth century,
leaving no archaeological evidence of subsistence activities adapted to
the coastal environment (Person 1984; Linares 1971:38) Among the
peoples moving westward from the interior were the Banyun,8 who played a
particularly important role vis-a-vis Diola migration during the third
period. Thus, the four major ethnic groups occupying the area between
the Gambia and Geba Rivers today, as they did prior to 1500, are Diola,
Balanta, Manjaku and Banyun (Lauer 1969:3-7).
The Banyun originated in the area that is presently northeastern
Guinea, as indicated by linguistic evidence, and were probably pushed
westward by the Mande expansions (Lauer 1969:7-8). While they call
themselves "lagar" or "Ihadja", they are known by various names,
including Bainunk, Bagnun, and Banhun, all derived from Portuguese
Creole. The Banyun language is a member of the Eastern Senegal-Guinea
group of the West Atlantic family, along with Tenda and Biafada, among
others (Westermann and Bryan 1952; Greenberg 1963:6-41; Lauer 1969:6-8;
Sapir 1971:45-112; Fivaz and Scott 1977:18-19, 309). The Bassari of
southeastern Senegal also speak a language in this group (see Person
1984:306). By local tradition the Banyun are considered autochthonous
to the Lower Casamance (Niane 1989:9; Baum 1986:102-103), although the
ethnic origins of the area's original inhabitants are far from clearly
established (see Baum 1986:46-57).


151
Forty-seven percent of those censused (345 people) live in the
village permanently, during the dry season when emigrants are most
likely to be away. Most of the 394 emigrants from Boutem, about 32
percent of the total village population, reside in Dakar. Another 12
percent of emigrants live in Ziguinchor, and 9 percent live in a wide
variety of other places. Interviewees provided some examples, but the
census elaborated a wider range of possibilities. Some currently reside
in other villages and towns of Casamance, in several regional cities of
Senegal, in other African countries, in France or elsewhere in Europe.
A single individual was reportedly living in Mexico. Of those currently
living in the village, a large majority (89 percent) reportedly had
never migrated to live elsewhere. Of those current residents who had at
one time migrated, 65 percent had gone to live either in Ziguinchor or
Dakar (2 and 5 percent of the total resident population, respectively).
Clearly, once a village resident has left to migrate, he or she is
unlikely to again become a permanent resident, by remaining in the
village throughout the dry season, again.
There is an apparent trend for current emigrants to stay away from
the village for longer periods of time than past migrants did. For the
66 current village residents who had migrated in the past, the length of
time they spent away from Boutem averaged 8.7 years (see Table 2).
There was a large variance in the time they spent away, indicated by a
standard deviation of 6.9 years. The maximum reported duration away
from the village among this group was 30 years, but there was some
apparent rounding of reported time spent away.6 While current migrants
may have visited or returned for one or more agricultural seasons in the
village during this period, they have been dry-season residents else-
6Especially for the longest periods reported, durations were rarely
reported as anything but periods rounded to five-year intervals such as
20, 25 or 30 years.


LIST OF REFERENCES
Adamolekun, 'Lapido. 1971. "Bureaucrats and the Senegalese political
process." Jgurpal of.. frlgdgf.P, M.rj-.ca. ,?(4) :543-559.
Adams, W. M. 1993. "Indigenous use of wetlands and sustainable
development in West Africa." Geographical Journal 159:(2):209-
219.
Adepoju, Aderanti. 1991. "South-North migration: The African experi
ence." intsmatipnai MigratiQP 39(2) :205-22i.
and John I. Clarke. 1985. "The demographic background to
development in Africa." in John I. Clarke, Mustafa Khogali, and
Leszek Kosinski (eds.). Population and Development Projects in
Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ajayi, J. F. Ade. 1974. "The aftermath of the fall of Old Oyo." in J.
F. Ade Ajayi and Michael Crowder (eds.). History of West Africa.
Vol. 2, First edition. New York: Columbia University Press.
Amin, Samir. 1974a. Modern Migrations in West Africa. New York:
Oxford University Press.
1974b. Accumulation on a World Scale. New York: Monthly Review.
Appleyard, Reginald T. 1989. "Migration and development: Myths and
reality." iptgtoAUQhal WigtAUgfl. Review, 23(3) :486-499.
Austen, Ralph. 1987. African Economic History. Portsmouth, NH:
Heinemann.
Barker, Jonathan S. 1973. "Political factionalism in Senegal."
Canadian Journal of African Studies 7(2):287-303.
Bates, Robert H. 1981. Markets an,d States .in TEbpicfl], A,ff4ga.; The
E2-li-.ti.g3l. gasis of ftgyicultuxal....Pallets. Berkeley and Los
Angeles: University of California Press.
Baum, Robert M. 1986. Religious and Social History of the Diola-
Esula^u jn, .Pre-colonial ff.sae.aanjfci.a- Doctoral dissertation, Yale
University. Ann Arbor: UMI.
Behrman, Lucy C. 1970. MUSlm Brotherhoods. and,,politics, j.h Senegal.
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Beijer, G. 1969. "Modern patterns of international migratory
movements." in John A. Jackson (ed.). Migration. London:
Cambridge University Press.
191


51
and qualitatively changed the nature of trade in many ways. Perhaps the
most important example of this is the slave trade, which became
incorporated into a plantation complex that spanned the Atlantic Ocean
(Curtin 1990). As a result of this enormous increase in the demand for
slaves, many African states established direct ties to European
merchants and began intensive slave raiding on a much larger scale.
Eventually the Diola were involved not only as victims, but as agents
and captors as well.
Clandestine slavery continued into the nineteenth century in the
Lower Casamance, well after the official abandonment and condemnation of
the trade. However, as the overseas demand dwindled and enforcement of
new anti-slavery laws became more effective, the relative profits
attainable in the legitimate trade increased. European merchants
reacted with a vigorous pursuit of the sources of beeswax, gum, rubber,
and other forest products, all of which the Diola would provide in
exchange for iron, guns, and cloth. A strong competition among buyers
of these natural products of the forest, combined with relatively
uncontrolled access across the nominal borders introduced by the
European states, worked in favor of Diola suppliers.
Unfortunately for many Diola, the French reaction was to invoke
military and police powers in order to force them to support the
imposition of a colonial state organization in Lower Casamance through
taxation, forced labor, and artificially low rice prices. At first,
threats of force were insufficiently certain to induce widespread
compliance. Actual military attacks were rare. The Diola also were
notoriously evasive, and tax collection from them was totally inadequate
(from the colonial point of view) until the 1920s, after the implementa
tion of an integrated, systematic means of control was finally insti
tuted .


108
spirit shrine, an unassuming rustic wood frame tall enough only to sit
under, covered with enough palm fronds to shed a light rain while one
offers libations to its inhabitant, Kajumo. Residents often travel back
and forth to Ziguinchor this way, making use of large commercially
operated canoes. These are powered by small outboard engines (the two
boats I took had fifteen and forty horsepower), carrying up to about
fifty people with their luggage as well as commercial freight (often
mangoes or other locally-grown fruit). They take about two hours to
travel the distance down the Casamance River from Ziguinchor and up the
winding mangrove-lined marigot that leads to Boutem, charging 600 CFA
(at the time, about U.S. $2.00) for each passenger.
The actual boundaries of the village of Boutem are difficult for
an outside oberver to discern. Like other Diola villages, it extends
toward its neighbor, Affiniam, about eight kilometers to the East. It
seems that there is always a nearby house as one walks along the road
from one village to the other. Boutem is comprised of six quartiers,
named Bougafou, Elegnande, Sambousoulier, Bafikan, Boutoupa, and
Boukiak. Unlike Lambert (1994:148-163), I found no evidence that these
divisions were given any social significance in the urban setting.
However, they were clearly important in the village. Even there I saw
little evidence of their social significance; they were primarily used
to indicate geographical locations.1 I constructed the map of the
village below from a sketch drawn from memory by Boutem's former school
teacher, A. Dion. While I was able to associate many individuals with
their residences, the map includes only four of Boutem's six quartiers,
and one of these is only partly represented.
*My understanding of village quartiers is incomplete. They have some
physical coherence, but I found no clear borders when I tried to map
households according to quartier membership. Lambert's (1994:148-163)
discussion of social organization in a village north of Boutem is
useful.


40
the Casamance River4 by the late seventeenth century (Roche 1976:24;
Baum 1986:74; Linares 1983).
Early States in Casamance (Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)
Given the evidence of cattle bones in the archaeological record,
as well as the limitations of trypanosomiasis, the Diola were presumably
involved to some extent in cattle trade from the time of their earliest
occupation of Lower Casamance. Even if trade was not undertaken until
much later, it remains clear that relations with the indigenous states
of the western Sudan were well established by the Middle Ages. Mande
population expansion and migration5 from the interior westward facili
tated contact between these states and the stateless peoples of the
Atlantic coast.6 This migration was therefore an event of great
regional significance.7 Archaeological data support historical sources,
indicating that Mandinka peoples expanded from the interior westward and
southward toward the Upper Guinea Coast during the Middle Ages through
about 1700 (Lauer 1969:59; Leary 1970:39-43; Rodney 1970; Quinn 1971:9-
10, 1972:25; Mark 1985:11; Baum 1986:80). They had organized trade
there sufficiently to be exporting kola nuts, "that eminently perishable
product," to North Africa by the twelfth century (Person 1984:304).
4Sapir (1965) provides a map of about fifteen Diola dialect differences,
illustrating the linguistic effect of fissioning and the subsequent
separation of groups into many remote locales.
5Brooks (1993:87) attributes this migration to an extended dry interval
in the interior climate from about 1100-1500, approximately concurrent
with this second period.
6The Diola, Balanta, and Manjaku ethnicities all speak languages in the
Bak group of the West Atlantic family, and therefore probably are of
similar origins (Lauer 1969:7-8; Sapir 1971:45-112; Fivaz and Scott
1977:17-18, 309).
Person (1984:318) compares its importance with the nineteenth century Zulu
migrations in southern Africa.


69
Period Four: Twentieth Century Colonialism and Independent Senegal
Each successive period of this schema illustrates the addition of
one or more forms of migration overlying the continuing patterns that
existed in previous periods. Subsistence foraging, the basis of the
economy prior to period one, was incorporated during the first period as
an additional activity pursued along with sedentary farming. These
forest and marine resource collecting activities were very similar to,
and most likely continued alongside migration undertaken for trade in
the second period. During the third period, with the beginnings of the
slave trade in the Casamance, forced migrations into slavery were an
additional (albeit undesirable) possibility, although other forms of
trade continued to exist together with new forms introduced by
Europeans.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but most
commonly during period four, military conscription and corve labor were
imposed by the French colonial government on Diola men. A less clearly
forced form of migration, though still indirectly imposed by the
colonial administration, was male wage labor migration to Mandinka
groundnut farms. Further removed from forced migrations, but still
indirectly caused by colonial impositions was the female wage labor
migration noted at the docks at Ziguinchor early this century. These
forms all preceded the more contemporary form of rural urban migration
that has become increasingly popular since the 1950s.
Wage labor migration began among the Diola well into the present
century. It grew in popularity as a means of earning cash, which was
needed primarily to pay newly-imposed taxes. Migration to Dakar in
particular began with the first military conscriptions, but expanded
with the growth of the civil service sector there. Temporary dry-season
wage labor was available for men in Ziguinchor, too: examples of men


14
economic factors that can be considered as political, social, or
domestic, among other categories (e.g., see Winchie and Carment 1989) .
Examples include bottlenecks in labor availability, tax collection
intervals, domestic or life cycles, and dependency ratios. Variant
rates of migration among groups are most likely to be explained by
multidimensional variables including economic, cultural, social network,
household or family, and personal (e.g., demographic) factors.
While an atomistic approach to migration studies was common in the
1960s, it was challenged in the 1970s by models that used macro-level
units of analysis. The most popular of these new models was dependency
theory.
Dependency Models
As it does for other issues, the dependency approach to migration
stresses that the bifurcated rural/urban division, like the categorical
division of modern versus traditional, is a misguided attempt to depict
contemporary Third World societies simply. Writers from this perspec
tive emphasize the interrelatedness of rural and urban economies, with
migrants carrying labor value out of the 'periphery' to the 'core' of
the world economic system.7
The value of the dependency critique was that it popularized
important inadequacies of the 'dual sector' model (e.g., see Lewis 1954,
1955). The dependency critique also established the importance of
international market factors more generally, emphasizing the effects of
the inequitable 'distortions' of market transactions undertaken between
Third World enterprises and those of the developed world (Emmanuel
7Shoemaker (1976) was the first writer to apply the dependency perspec
tive to migration theory (Kearney 1986:339).


119
the end of the third year I went to the village for summer
vacation, during the rainy season. After that, I came back to
Dakar. On arrival, I told my sister that now I'm big and can't
watch children, I've got to work like my friends. (Interview 23)
R. Manga was an interesting person, though more difficult to
interview than most of the other women. When we were unsuccessful at
completing our questions on the first day, we tenaciously returned the
following day to finish. Although she told me that she had never
worked, she later admitted that she did sell beer, and apparently she
also took in laundry. I will return to the issue of commerce as a means
of support later. She also explained the circumstances of her tutelage.
"I was in my older sister's care until I got married. I cooked for her,
did dishes, and sometimes I ironed although I didn't know how until I
learned from her bonne. Now I can launder and iron" (Interview 25).
R. [not a relative, but from the village] took me to watch, to
babysit, her children within a few weeks [after my arrival in
Dakar]. She had twins. Her little sister was there, and didn't
have a job, so I cooked and cared for the kids. That's where I
learned how to do housework. (Interview 26)
When I came in 1979, I didn't have anything to do for the whole
year. After the rainy season in 1980, I came to babysit. The
work wasn't hard, just watching the baby. I've been here eleven
years. (Interview 29)
As several of the passages above illustrate, it is also common
(seven interviewees, about twenty percent, mentioned this) for emigrants
to work in one or more of the smaller regional towns of Senegal (often
with their tutors) before looking for work in Dakar: "[I] was in the
village until [I] was about fourteen years old, worked in Ziguinchor,
then before Independence [1961] came to Dakar for [my] third year of
work" (Interview 3). "First [I] worked in Marsasoun, in the Departement
of Velingara" (Interview 4). "We were only the second generation [age-
group] to go to the city. We didn't know what we were doing. I went to
Ziguinchor for two years before coming to Dakar" (Interview 16).


163
could add up to a significant treasury, worth perhaps U.S. $500 U.S.
after a few years. These funds, much more than most individuals ever
had at one time, were available to the group to undertake village
development projects or to assist with emergency costs for its
membership, as long as they were safely protected.
Description of Women's Association Membership
I created a data set, as described in the methods section of
Chapter 3, by combining census data with data gathered from interviews
and the association record book. The number of cases included was
therefore limited by the individuals who could be identified (and for
whom data were successfully collected) in each of several sources.
Nevertheless, the variety of information thus combined was useful, and
provides more breadth to the analysis of women's association members
than otherwise could have been accomplished.
Seventy-eight women were eventually identified and included in
this analysis. These women represent forty out of a total of seventy-
one village households censused. As a check on the representativeness
of this group, I compared the distribution of their quartiers of origin
with the set of all women's association members identified in the
village census. Twenty percent were from Elegnande, twenty-six percent
from Sambousoulier, thirty percent originated in Bafican, and twenty-
three percent had lived in Boukiak. This distribution, as expected,
matches closely the distribution of fifty-four women identified as
association members in the census (see Table 3). This is at least one
indication that the data set is representative of the targeted
population.
Inclusion in the data set was based, among other things, on an
individual's name being recorded in the Dakar women's association record


199
Guillet, David and J. Douglas Uzzell (eds.). 1976. New Approaches to
the Study of Migration. Houston, TX: William Marsh Rice
University.
Gulliver, Philip H. 1957. "Nyakyusa labour migration." Rhodes-
Livinastone Journal 21:32-63 .
1960. "Incentives in labour migration." Human Organization
19(3):159-163.
Guyer, Jane I. 1981. "Household and community in African Studies."
African Studies Review 24(2/3):87-137.
Haddon, A. C. 1911. The Wanderings of Peoples. Cambridge, England:
Cambridge University Press.
Hamer, Alice J. 1981. "Diola women and migration: A case study." in
L. Colvin (ed.). The Uprooted of the Western Sahel: Migrants'
Quest for Cash in the Seneaambia. New York: Praeger.
1983. Tradition and chance: A social history of Diola women
(Southwest Senegal) in the twentieth century. Doctoral
dissertation. University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI.
Hammel, E. A. and Peter Laslett. 1974. "Comparing household structure
over time and between cultures." Comparative Studies in Society
and History 16(1):73-109.
Hance, William A. 1970. Population. Migration, and Urbanization in
Africa. New York: Columbia University Press.
Hannerz, U. 1980. Exploring the Citv: Inquiries Toward an Urban
Anthropology. New York: Columbia University Press.
Hansen, Art and Anthony Oliver-Smith (eds.). 1982. Involuntary
Migration and Resettlement: The Problems and Responses of
Dislocated People. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Hansen, Karen Tranberg. 1989. Distant Companions: Servants and
Employers in Zambia. 1900-1985. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University
Press.
Harris, John R. 1978. "Economic causes and consequences of migrations
within the context of underdevelopment in West Africa." Working
Paper, n. 6. Brookline, MA: Boston University, African Studies
Center.
and Michael P. Todaro. 1970. "Migration, unemployment, and devel
opment: A two sector analysis." American Economic Review
60(1):126-142.
Harris, Marvin. 1959. "Labour emigration among the Mozambique Thonga:
Cultural and political factors." Africa 29(l):50-66.
Hart, Keith. 1982. The Political Economy of West African Agriculture.
Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.


FROM AFFINIAM-BOUTEM TO DAKAR:
MIGRATION FROM THE CASAMANCE, LIFE IN THE URBAN
ENVIRONMENT OF DAKAR, AND THE RESULTING EVOLUTIONARY
CHANGES IN LOCAL DIOLA ORGANIZATIONS
By
DANIEL A. REBOUSSIN
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1995

Copyright 1995
by
Daniel A. Reboussin

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
More people helped me complete this dissertation than reasonably
can be listed here. Several, though, provided help without which I
could not have finished at all. My advisor and committee chair through
most of this long process, Ronald Cohen, has been a true mentor in many
ways, from my first contacts with him until now. He has been a strong
supporter of all aspects of my work and a sensitive critic of my
attempts to convey complex concepts as clearly as possible given the
limitations of my writing. His persistence and success in recuperating
from a severe stroke since August 1994 continue to be an inspiration to
me and others. Since Dr. Cohen's illness and subsequent retirement, H.
Russell Bernard has been kind enough to serve as my committee chair. I
would like to acknowledge his valuable editorial advice and professional
efforts to bring this work into its present form. Each member of the
supervisory committee has been in the first instance an exceptional
teacher. I am grateful that each has dedicated himself to teaching, and
that I have had the opportunity to have studied with him. Beyond this
each has been an essential critic and advisor, greatly assisting me in
bringing specific aspects of this research report into its final form.
I wish to thank Arthur Hansen and Marvin Harris of anthropology, R. Hunt
Davis of history, and Goran Hyden of political science. Although it
need not be said, all of the errors and omissions that remain are
entirely my own.
Antoine Badji also deserves special acknowledgment. He was my
assistant and chief informant in Senegal, helping me to adjust to the
particular difficulties of life in Dakar.
iii
He thereby exposed me to some

of the difficulties faced by Diola immigrants to the capital. He also
introduced me to village life in Affiniam-Boutem, and kept me well.
Through him I would also like to thank all of his family and the people
of his village, who made my stay with them comfortable and informative.
I reserve special acknowledgement for the women of Boutem, who
constantly impressed both Antoine and me with their strength, wisdom,
and kindness toward a stranger. I am honored to have spent the time I
had with them.
Two sources of federal support have assisted me in this work. In
1988 I received a Foreign Language Area Studies summer fellowship, to
take an intensive course in Wolof at the University of Illinois, Urbana-
Champaign. The Fulbright-IIE U.S. scholar program, along with the U.S.
Embassy through its USIA American Cultural Center, also provided me with
funding. Special thanks go to Jerome Faye and El Hadji Sarr, along with
the rest of the Senegalese staff in Dakar. I will not forget their
genuine friendship and critical support.
I would like to also thank Peter Malanchuk, who approved several
leaves of absence from my position at the University of Florida
Libraries. He has been a generous and tolerant supervisor, taking on
quite a bit of extra work while I have been gone, and my appreciation is
heartfelt. Thanks also go to Jenny Konwinski, who created a superb
digital map of the village from the diverse materials I provided her.
Finally, I would like to express sincere thanks to my own family.
They constantly demonstrate to me the importance of kinship. Patricia,
my mother, has taken several months of her time to help with household
management and domestic tasks that I have neglected while writing. My
brother David and father Roland have provided me with good advice on how
to proceed with quandaries of research design and statistics. My wife
Ann Glowasky has provided constant emotional support throughout my
research, suffering along with me since before the actual research
IV

began. She has also taken upon herself all the financial
responsibilities of income-earning during the more than six months of
leave I have cumulatively taken from my job to complete the writing
phase of this research. Most importantly she has been an unwavering
source of emotional support despite sometimes not being entirely sure of
why it is that I am doing this.
v

TABLE OF CONTENTS
gage
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS iii
LIST OF TABLES ix
LIST OF FIGURES x
ABSTRACT xi
CHAPTERS
1 INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF THE MIGRATION LITERATURE 1
The Case of Diola Women 1
Migration as a Factor in Cultural Evolution 2
A Typological Outline of Migration 4
Time Period 4
Duration 5
National Boundaries and Distance 5
Economic Issues 6
Purpose 6
Degrees of Compulsion 7
Typological Sketch of the Present Case 8
Time period 8
Duration 8
National boundaries 9
Economic issues 10
Purpose 10
Compulsion 10
Causes of Migration from Various Theoretical Perspectives ... 11
Neoclassical Models 11
Social Groups as Factors in Migration 12
Dependency Models 14
Neo-Marxism 15
Conclusions on the Causes of Migration 17
Consequences of Migration 19
Economic and Social Scientific Contributions 19
Dependency Views 21
Neo-Marxist Approaches 22
Conclusions on the Effects of Migration from the Village 24
Implications and Conclusions 25
Households and Voluntary Associations 25
African Women as Active and Independent Migrants .... 27
Conclusions 31
vi

2 A PERIODIZATION OF DIOLA HISTORY 34
Introduction 34
Periods of Diola History 37
Early Sedentism and Early Circumscription 37
Early States in Casamance (Thirteenth to Sixteenth
Centuries) 40
Early European Trade, Slavery, and "Legitimate Trade" . 44
Twentieth Century Colonialism and the Independent State of
Senegal 52
Characteristic Patterns of Diola Migration for Each Period . 62
Period One: Early Sedentism 66
Period Two: Early States 67
Period Three: Early European Trade 67
Period Four: Twentieth Century Colonialism and
Independent Senegal 69
3 RESEARCH METHODS AND ORAL HISTORY OF MIGRATION FROM BOUTEM .... 73
Introduction 73
Methods 7 4
Interviews 7 5
Census 7 9
Women's Association and Analysis of Dues Paying Records 81
Oral History of Migration from Boutem 83
Earliest Migrants to Dakar 89
Early Women Migrants 91
Diola Associations 93
The Village "Men's" Association: "We Had No Big Brothers
Here" 96
History of the Boutem Women's Association in Dakar ... 99
Summary 103
Conclusions 104
4 BOUTEM AND ITS CONTEMPORARY WOMEN EMIGRANTS 106
Introduction 106
The contemporary village of Boutem 107
Women Migrants to Dakar: "Work Is Not for Finding Happiness" 113
Career Histories of Women Migrants 114
Working Conditions 122
Why Migrate? 127
Commercial Endeavors 129
Household Expenses 133
Rent and food 134
Water and utilities 136
Association dues 138
Remittances 141
Clothing 144
Health care 146
School fees 147
Transportation 148
Summary 149
Census Results 150
Representativeness of Interviewees 155
Dakar Women's Association: The Contemporary Situation . 158
Description of Women's Association Membership 163
Discussion 167
vii

5 CONCLUSIONS
171
Migration Theories 171
Historical Patterns of Diola Migration 175
The Case of Boutem 177
Discussion 179
APPENDICES
A INTERVIEW SCHEDULE FOR FEMALE RESIDENTS OF DAKAR.
AND QUESTIONNAIRE FOR VILLAGE CENSUS OF BOUTEM 181
B CENSUS CODEBOOKS FOR THE VILLAGE CENSUS AND FOR FEMALE DAKAR
RESIDENTS 183
GLOSSARY 187
LIST OF REFERENCES 191
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 214
viii

LIST OF TABLES
Table page
1 Historical periods and associated characteristic forms of
migration 72
2 Comparison of migrants' years away from the village 153
3 Percent of residents with given family name and quartier of
origin for three residential categories, women's association
membership, and interviewee status 156
4 Mean ages of all women, Dakar emigrants, association members
and interviewees 158
5 Dues-payments as a percentage of membership paying in three
categories of regularity 161

LIST OF FIGURES
Figure page
1 Map showing the Casamance region and the research site in
relation to the rest of Senegal 9
2 Village of Boutem, Senegal 109
x

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
FROM AFFINIAM-BOUTEM TO DAKAR:
MIGRATION FROM THE CASAMANCE, LIFE IN THE URBAN
ENVIRONMENT OF DAKAR, AND THE RESULTING EVOLUTIONARY
CHANGES IN LOCAL DIOLA ORGANIZATIONS
By
Daniel A. Reboussin
December 1995
Chairperson: H. Russell Bernard
Major Department: Anthropology
This is a case study of rural-urban migration among the women of
Affiniam-Boutem, a predominantly Catholic Diola village in the
southwestern Lower Casamance region of Senegal, West Africa. It
includes the results of research conducted in 1989 and 1990, employing
several sources of information. Thirty interviews were undertaken in
Dakar with female emigrants of the village, and oral histories of
emigration and associated urban voluntary associations were collected.
In the village, a census focusing on migration histories was also
conducted. Migration from Boutem is best understood in terms of a
modified, contemporary approach to classical social scientific migration
theory. There are few opportunities for Diola women to earn money in
the rural setting. Because they have cash responsibilities towards the
support of their families, they have left their villages since the
beginning of this century to work in wage labor. There are few social
constraints on their free movement, but voluntary associations in the
urban setting do restrict and direct the behavior of all emigrants to
some extent. Fines are levied for members who do not return to the
xi

village by a set date to encourage wet season agricultural activities,
especially the planting and harvesting of rice.
Created among Boutem's emigrants to Dakar as social clubs in the
nineteen-thirties and nineteen-forties, these associations were later
employed as a means of collecting money for an early crisis: the first
death of an emigrant villager. Once regular dues were collected the
organizations changed, becoming increasingly formal to keep and record
these dues. While they maintain some aspects of more traditional rural
voluntary associations, which have helped the Diola to adapt to other
forms of migration for centuries, these changes were unlike previous
adaptations. They were enabled by an increasing number of formally
educated emigrants. My research found that the women's association was
able to collect substantial amounts of money over a few year's time.
These funds are employed to conduct development projects in the village,
such as improvements to the school and maternity clinic, and therefore
they represent an important means of improving the quality of life
there.
Xll

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION AND REVIEW OF THE MIGRATION LITERATURE
The Case of Piola Women
This is a case study of rural-urban migration among the Diola of
Senegal, primarily focusing on women from the village of Affiniam-
Boutem. This case is particularly interesting insofar as Diola women,
both single and married, frequently migrate in greater numbers to urban
Dakar than do either single or married men from the same village. Diola
women often travel and live in groups, without other family members.
They also have achieved, on the whole, far greater success in gaining
urban employment than men from their villages.
The case of Diola women's migration is apparently unique in
Africa. In this dissertation, I present the results of nine months of
field research, and attempt to explain the causes and consequences of
the facts they represent. In accounting for the adjustment of Diola
women to the urban service sector, I apply theories of economic
development, gender roles, and migration. I examine local Diola social
institutions and show how they have survived in the transfer from rural
Casamance to Dakar. These institutions deserve special study, because
they can provide insight into the nature of state-society linkages in
Africa more generally.
U"
1

2
Migration as a Factor in Cultural Evolution
Migration has played a key role in the evolutionary processes that
established human populations throughout the world. We have long known,
for example, that agriculture spread to Europe from the Middle East
during the Neolithic. The routes of specific cultigens have been
traced. Recently, one study examined evidence from 26 genetic systems
collected in 3,373 locations, finding that "the spread of agriculture
through Europe was not simply a case of cultural diffusion, but involved
significant differential reproduction of the new farmers whose origins
can be traced to the Near East" (Sokal et al. 1991:143). The authors
conclude that migration played a central role in the spread of
agriculture to Europe.
The literature on African migration overflows with examples of how
the movement of people has affected nearly every aspect of life,
profoundly changing economies, politics, religions, and social
organizations across vast periods of time. Archaeological and
linguistic evidence documents the role of early population movements in
shaping cultural, ecological, and demographic relations among African
peoples (e.g., Haddon 1911; Greenberg 1963; Mabogunje 1976; Shaw 1976;
Phillipson 1985; Rouse 1986; Johnson and Earle 1987; Austen 1987).
The literature on early states and long distance trade further
associates population movement with critically important processes in
African history (see Leary 1970; Quinn 1972; Oloruntimehin 1972, 1974;
Levtzion 1973, 1976; Ajayi 1974). Migration played a central role in
African political and economic systems as part of regular, systematized
patterns of village fissioning (Murdock 1949; Wilson 1951; Cohen 1978;
Johnson and Earle 1987).
When European traders established themselves in coastal Africa,
continental patterns of migration followed the changing loci of trading

3
activities. The commercial centers near trans-Saharan routes in the
interior slowly suffered due to the exclusive growth of what often
became coastal enclaves (see Hoselitz 1960:189; also Thomas 1960;
Mitchell 1969a; Rodney 1970; Leary 1970; Hopkins 1973; Flint 1974;
Austen 1987; and Hart 1987).
Contemporary Africa experiences ever more rapid change as migra
tion urbanizes the continent at an unprecedented pace (Clarke and
Kosinski 1982; Adepoju and Clarke 1985:6-7; Hart 1987). Contemporary
migration in Africa must be considered within the context of a rapidly
growing work force, low job growth, and a set of multidimensional crises
that threaten the quality of life on many levels (Adepoju 1991).
With rapid change in the economic environment, migration provides
a quick way for people to adjust. Historically, West Africans have
actively used migration as an efficient means of adapting to changing
economic conditions (Hill 1963; Berg 1965; Little 1965; Coqury-
Vidrovitch 1991). Migration continues to function as a cultural means
of adjusting to economic changes in the present. The relationship
between the environment and migration, however, is complex and systemic
rather than causal. Migration causes urbanization to some extent, but
also functions as a means of adaptation to an increasingly urbanized
social and economic environment. While historically migration was used
to respond primarily to changes in the ecological environment,
increasingly it is used as a response to changes in the social and
economic environment.
As this case study illustrates, social institutions also play an
important role in this model. As I will outline in Chapter 2, certain
social organizations among the Diola served one purpose in historical
times, but since have been adapted to serve another purpose under
contemporary conditions. In particular, voluntary associations have
both affected how migration occurs and have themselves adapted to

4
changes in migration. The association of women migrants from Affiniam-
Boutem will be one focus of Chapter 3.
A Typological Outline of Migration
The migration literature is truly enormous, extending across all
world regions, academic disciplines and theoretical orientations. A
review of the literature on African migration alone (including
literatures on prehistory, on resettlement, on refugees, on labor
migration, and for example, on migration's role in economic development)
would require a book in itself. Heberle (1955), Petersen (1958),
Mangalam (1968), Du Toit (1990) and especially Byerlee (1972), Pryor
(1982), and Eades (1987) offer explicit, theoretically derived
typologies of migration.1 In order to focus on the issues most relevant
to my own research, I outline some categories that I find useful for
comparison between the case with which I am most familiar and other
migration flows in Africa.
Time Period
First, I am concerned here with contemporary migration, not with
migrations in general or with precolonial migrations. I mention several
aspects of migration theory in general elsewhere in this chapter, in
order to locate the discussion in the context of the literature.
Several aspects of migration's role in prehistorical Africa have been
noted above, and I will consider precolonial migration patterns of the
Lower Casamance region of Senegal in particular in Chapter 2.
For a typological essay focusing specifically on the forms of female
migration, see U.N. Secretariat (1993).

5
Duration
Second, duration is a critical variable for understanding cases of
migration. One may be absent from home for less than a single day, for
many yearsor one may never return. In some cases, as in pastoralist
or hunter-gatherer groups, movement from place to place within a given
territory is a permanent part of life (see Petersen 1955).
Most often, however, migration is defined as movement from a
sedentary residence and as either permanent or temporary depending on
the duration of absence.- There is of course a certain arbitrariness in
defining the length of time that separates an absence from home from a
migration. Seasonal migration introduces another complication. The
duration of movement is relatively short, perhaps three months, but the
number of individuals involved and the routinized nature of the
phenomenon may make seasonal migrations critical for the economies of
certain social groups or areas. Despite this, seasonal migration often
remains undocumented, especially in less-developed countries.
National Boundaries and Distance
The distances involved and whether or not migrants cross borders
are also important variables for comparing cases of migration. Crossing
a border in Africa may not be different in any practical sense from
remaining within a single nation. Except during crises, African bound
aries are often abstract concepts to all but national bureaucrats and
foreign observers.
-See Mangalam (1986:7) and Beijer (1969:13) for two useful collections
of various social scientific definitions of migration; see also the
well-known formulation by Lee (1966:49-51).

6
Economic Issues
Most contemporary writers on African economies now explicitly
recognize the web of connections among rural and urban populations. A
single family may send members to both smaller local towns and the
capital city. There are cases where migration breaks up a community,
but more often migration creates connections among localities. Among
the benefits cf these connections for rural dwellers are cash remit
tances sent from urban kin (Keely and Tran 1989; Russell 1992), although
some theorists question the value of their impact on sending communities
(e.g., Kamiar and Ismail 1991). These questions "relate mainly to pro
cesses of socioeconomic development per se" (Appleyard 1989:487), and
are not fruitful points for comparison among cases.
Especially when poorer members of a society migrate, there is some
evidence of a positive effect, relieving poverty (Russell 1992:273).
Remittances, for example, can be critical to the survival of rural
families and are frequently used to finance the construction of schools
and health facilities (Cond et al. 1986:108). Such social investment
is an important outcome of migration in the present case. Most urban
ites remain strongly attached to their rural homes (Gugler 1969:148-151;
Peil et al. 1988), often strengthening their ties to the home village by
sending regular cash remittances.3
Purpose
From the perspective of economic development, changing one's
employment from the agricultural to a non-agricultural sector of the
economy may be more important than the fact of migration itself
JSee also the literature on voluntary associations and their role in
maintaining rural/urban ties in Africa and elsewhere (Mangin 1959;
Meillassoux 1968; Reveyrand 1986/87; Peil 1981).

7
(Johnston 1986; Mellor 1989) Since one may be employed in either or
both economic sectors regardless of one's residence, migration research
instruments cannot assume rural-urban migration and sectoral shifts in
employment are one and the same (Byerlee 1972). It would be best to
collect complete employment records of migrants. However, often
researchers are able to gather only information on the work a migrant
leaves and the job he or she gets (or hopes to acquire) at the destina
tion of the move (see Winchie and Carment 1989).
Degrees of Compulsion
Finally, an important issue related to the purpose of a move is
the degree to which it is voluntary. The most dramatic illustrations of
this issue are found in the tragic cases of contemporary refugees' and
the historical Atlantic slave trade.5 Other examples of involuntary
migration include forced labor such as corve, and village relocations
or resettlement, for which there is also a large literature (e.g., see
Koenig 1986, 1987; Fall and Mbodj 1989; Echenberg 1991; McMillan 1993;
Cook 1994).
Actually, much migration is not easily categorized as voluntary or
involuntary. Many people migrate to get better health care and other
social services, for economic gain, for better access to civil services
and infrastructures, or to be near family or friends as is the case
especially for many elderly women in Africa (Gugler 1989; Peil et al.
1988). Generally, Marxists tend to consider migration for economic
4See Brokensha and Scudder (1968); Cernea (1988); Chambers (1979, 1982); Gor
man (1987); Hansen and Oliver-Smith (1982); INADES (1986); Kibreab (1985);
Koenig (1986); Refugee Studies Programme (1988); Schultheis (1989); Spring
(1979); UNHCR (1981); andU.N. Secretariat (1985).
5See Curtin (1969) and Inikori (1982). Also, Basil Davidson's The African
Slave Trade contains an excellent reading guide for this most severe case of
involuntary migration (1980:289-293).

8
benefit as more compelled, while non-Marxists tend to consider such
migrations to be more a matter of choice. Underlying such contradictory
interpretations is the neoclassic theorists' assumption of individual
incentive and choice versus an emphasis by the collectivist thinkers on
the coercive capacity of social institutions.
As with many polar differences in interpretation, identifying
whether a migration is forced or chosen is insufficient. We need scalar
measures, so that examples of migration may be considered as more or
less voluntary rather than as either voluntary or compelled. The key to
understanding degrees of compulsion in migration is in the disaggrega
tion of the implied variables. For example, factors hindering or
contributing to a particular movement can be elaborated with greater
precision, and the outcomes of a move may be defined more clearly in
terms of destination, purpose, economic effects, and duration.
Typological Sketch of the Present Case
The case of Diola women migrants is presented here briefly, to
introduce it in terms of the typology suggested. We will return to this
case in more detail in Chapters 2 and 3.
Time period
Wage labor migration became an important economic phenomenon
regionally in Lower Casamance only during the 1930s, although migration
for trade was a precolonial phenomenon. Historical migration patterns
are discussed in Chapter 2.
Duration
Today, large majorities of young Diola migrate during the dry
season (roughly January through June) from many villages to urban areas,
primarily Ziguinchor and Dakar.

9
Defense Mapping Agency. 1992. Digital chart of the world. (The source
permits free reproduction and adaptation).
National boundaries
Migration to the regional capital of Ziguinchor, as well as to
provincial towns such as Bignona, is common. Because of the peculiar
nature of the national borders of The Gambia, which itself is located ^
entirely within the borders of Senegal, overland migrants from the
Casamance to Dakar must cross two international borders (see Figure 1).
The Diola certainly consider this an international migration. They most
frequently say "I'm going to Senegal" rather than "to Dakar" when they
travel to the capital. Nevertheless, this case is most appropriately
considered an internal migration, since both points of origin and
destination are within the national borders of a single country.

10
Economic issues
The purpose of my research was to investigate economic issues.
Findings from the research are presented in Chapter 3. Briefly,
however, I found that cash remittances were reported to be sent home
when a migrant had close relatives there. Most immigrants also bring or
send cash to their families at planting and harvest time, to pay for
cooperative labor groups. Voluntary associations in Dakar also organize
more substantial collections in cash and in kind for projects to repair
or construct schools, health facilities, and other village improvements.
This latter function was particularly interesting to me.
Purpose
Most immigrants in my study, including almost all of the thirty
members of the women's association interviewed in Dakar, left family
farms in Casamance to work as domestic maids in the informal sector of
urban Dakar (see Lubell and Zarour 1990).
Compulsion
The question of how freely one undertakes a move from, for
example, a village with very limited land for staple rice agriculture,
is certainly a legitimate issue for debate. However, the village of
Affiniam-Boutem, the focus of this case, is universally understood to
have more than adequate arable land for both groundnuts and rice, as
well as a diverse set of natural resources providing adequate and nearby
fishing areas, fruit trees, and construction materials such as thatch
and clay. For residents of Affiniam-Boutem, it is a clich to insist
that "we have everything we need here, except money."

11
Causes of Migration from Various Theoretical Perspectives
Neoclassical Models
Neoclassical explanations of migration begin with the assumption
that migration is caused predominantly by economic motives. Ravenstein
(1885, 1889) was the first to systematically formulate theoretical
statements about migration from this perspective. Despite their venera
ble age, Ravenstein's "papers have stood the test of time and remain the
starting point for work in migration theory" (Lee 1966:47).
Social scientists have now applied this theoretical orientation to
various aspects of migration for over a century, making it one of the
longest-studied social phenomena. With such a long tradition of work on
this problem, researchers have had ample time to test many elements of
various theories, comparing them against both competing hypotheses and
entirely different models. The neoclassical approach is by no means the
only perspective garnering a substantial following in contemporary
migration research. However, it retains its vitality through adaptation
under sustained critique from traditional social scientists as well as
from its more recent radical critics, the dependency theorists and neo-
Marxists .
Economistic models within this orientation have tended to use
somewhat coarse units of observation throughout its history. Some
influential writers (e.g., Ravenstein 1889; Lewis 1954, 1955; Harris and
Todaro 1970; Todaro 1976) began modeling by associating broad economic
sectors (e.g., modern versus traditional) with whole geographic regions
(e.g., urban versus rural).15 Such models appear simplistic in
eThe overly simplistic concept of the fully modern city surrounded by
increasingly distant and traditional villages, like the very definitions
of rural and urban, has inspired long and contentious debate. For a
recent review see Coqury-Vidrovitch (1991:6-10).

12
retrospect because the variability within such broad categories has
since been demonstrated repeatedly throughout the literature. Scholars
working within this orientation have, however, reacted creatively to
valid criticism, improving the power of this approach to explain the
causes of migration. For example, criticism of the 'dualism' supposedly
inherent to the model has been incorporated over time as a more fine
grained approach to the observation of certain key variables has
developed.
Thus, groups previously assumed to be homogeneous (i.e., peasants)
are now commonly defined as members of smaller units according to a wide
range of cultural and other factors such as land tenure patterns,
specific economic conditions, political characteristics, and specific
measures of households' labor availability in relation to cultivable
land holdings (Byerlee 1972; Byerlee and Eicher 1972:4; Gluckman 1943;
Gulliver 1957, 1960; Harris 1959; Hill 1970, 1986; Miracle and Berry
1970; Niddrie 1954; Skinner 1960). Similarly, rural economies have been
demonstrated to have many elements, both modern and traditional, as do
urban-based enterprises (Byerlee and Eicher 1972:6,16) to which they are
often linked.
Social Groups as Factors in Migration
Regardless of the issue of unit scale in data observation, some
economists have argued that migration can be sufficiently explained with
economic data alone (e.g., Fields 1982; Knight 1972; Todaro 1976, 1980).
Proponents of this view have had to answer the criticism from their
colleagues that analyses based exclusively on economic data are often
insufficient to fully explain important noneconomic social phenomena
(Yotopoulos and Nugent 1976:220).
A consideration of social organizational factors improves the
analysis of such complex phenomena as migration. Neoclassical theory

13
has been modified (especially in the "new household economics" school)
to incorporate measures of such diverse factors as social networks, risk
aversion, stages of the life cycle, dependency ratios, and other infor
mation theoretically influencing migration decisions (see Bender 1967;
Caldwell 1970; Epstein 1969, 1975; Goldstein and Goldstein 1981; Hammel
and Laslett 1974; Leslie and Richardson 1961; Sandefur and Scott 1981;
Sanjek 1982; Speare et al. 1982; Stark and Levhari 1982; Stark 1984a,
1984b; Tuma et al. 1979; Uhlenburg 1973).
Another challenge to the neoclassical approach involves studies of
the experience of individuals rather than of larger-scale (economic or
cultural) processes. The focus is on changes in the attitudes or values
of individual migrants. Scholars in this tradition assert that non-
traditional attitudes and values cause the breakdown of traditional
authority in addition to increasing the incidence of migration. Such
studies essentially challenge neoclassical assumptions by adopting
alternate presuppositions. They do so, however, in an abstract fashion
without providing any empirical support for their choice of assumptions.
To conclude from variant rates of migration across social groups that
one must study only individual migrants lacks sufficient basis. The
causes of migration in a given context cannot be established through
intensive studies of individual migration experiences. Rather, research
should be directed toward controlled comparisons of migration among
different groups and contexts. Case study work may be a necessary step
toward such comparative research goals.
Gugler (1968, 1969) provides an excellent discussion of the
differences resulting from a focus upon the individual incidence of
migration as opposed to an emphasis on the rate of migration in a given
population. He credits Mitchell (1959) with the earliest elaboration of
this distinction. While Mitchell considered the variables determining
migration to be either economic or personal, there are in fact many non-

14
economic factors that can be considered as political, social, or
domestic, among other categories (e.g., see Winchie and Carment 1989) .
Examples include bottlenecks in labor availability, tax collection
intervals, domestic or life cycles, and dependency ratios. Variant
rates of migration among groups are most likely to be explained by
multidimensional variables including economic, cultural, social network,
household or family, and personal (e.g., demographic) factors.
While an atomistic approach to migration studies was common in the
1960s, it was challenged in the 1970s by models that used macro-level
units of analysis. The most popular of these new models was dependency
theory.
Dependency Models
As it does for other issues, the dependency approach to migration
stresses that the bifurcated rural/urban division, like the categorical
division of modern versus traditional, is a misguided attempt to depict
contemporary Third World societies simply. Writers from this perspec
tive emphasize the interrelatedness of rural and urban economies, with
migrants carrying labor value out of the 'periphery' to the 'core' of
the world economic system.7
The value of the dependency critique was that it popularized
important inadequacies of the 'dual sector' model (e.g., see Lewis 1954,
1955). The dependency critique also established the importance of
international market factors more generally, emphasizing the effects of
the inequitable 'distortions' of market transactions undertaken between
Third World enterprises and those of the developed world (Emmanuel
7Shoemaker (1976) was the first writer to apply the dependency perspec
tive to migration theory (Kearney 1986:339).

15
1972). Nevertheless, the dependency critique was itself rather
simplistic.
A key theoretical oversight of dependency models was their repro
duction of the dualism of which they were so critical. In retrospect,
this dualism was probably a result of utilizing the very coarse units
adopted by both dependency models and the neoclassical models that were
targeted for criticism by this popular academic school.
The core/periphery division is no more successful as an analytical
tool for social science than the labeling of modern and traditional
factors. Empirically, these tools divide societies in very similar
ways. Without a successful analytical method capable of innovative
analyses of existing data, social research might still produce new data
through fieldwork guided by innovative theoretical insight.
Unfortunately, however, the dependency approach provides no theoretical
guidance for empirical research.
There is little detail even at the abstract level regarding the
mechanisms underlying the flow of labor and value in ways assumed by the
dependency theory. As Booth explained, the theory "could not specify
the mechanisms by which what capital 'needed' was translated into
reality at the local level" (Booth 1985:768). The 'core' economies
cause migration from without by means of the same vague mechanisms that
subject 'peripheral' areas to unequal economic treatment on inter
national markets.
Neo-Marxism
Interestingly, some of the most thorough and convincing critiques
of the dependency school have come from within the same tradition that
spawned it (e.g., de Janvry 1981; Brenner 1977; Warren 1980; see also
Palma 1978). Essentially, other Marxists have challenged dependency
models for their attribution of external causes for change in

16
'peripheral' society. Economic growth (and consequently, migration) is
explained only in negative terms by a "law of underdevelopment" (Frank
1967; Sweezy 1972; Amin 1974b).
The neo-Marxist ('modes of production' or 'articulation') orien
tation is more convincing and withstands more intense criticism,
focusing on 'class' divisions within societies outside the developed
world and how these have influenced changes from within these societies.
This perspective emphasizes the diversity and vitality of rural
production, inquiring how the tenacity of indigenous organization is
maintained in the face of political and economic encroachments by
capitalist firms (see Goodman and Redclift 1982; Binsbergen and
Geschiere 1985).
Much important empirical research was undertaken in response to
the neo-Marxist French anthropologists working in Africa (e.g., Rey
1973; and Meillassoux 1972, 1981), particularly regarding social
patterns observable within villages and even households. The wider
social and political influences of such patterns upon women's roles,
their utility in explaining certain other gender-related patterns
(migration among them), and the effects of dense rural-urban linkages
are major emphases within this literature. Because of the attention it
places on interrelations between rural and urban economic activities
this approach is sometimes referred to as 'articulationism' (see Kearney
1986), but this term is jargon and offers no additional clarity.
Neo-Marxist writing has theoretically identified the household as
the pivotal locale from which individuals can be observed working,
consuming, and engaging in their own 'reproduction' as well as that of
their social structure. Rural areas maintain the structures of states
in the Third World first of all by subsidizing urban industry with
artificially low producer prices (Bates 1981). Additionally, these
areas provide services to laborers who can migrate to live temporarily

17
in urban areas without placing expensive demands on state distributions
for social services and welfare (Meillassoux 1972; Wolpe 1975) These
services are instead performed in rural areas, often by women in unpaid
roles within the household or by others in the village and throughout
the depressed rural economy, which benefits little itself in terms of
development (Schmink 1984; Mamdani 1985) .
The focus on domestic, social 'reproductive' contexts in relation
to local political structures and economic production has proven a
fertile ground for research, cultivating vigorous debate relative to
issues of migration (e.g., Burroway 1976; CNFNA 1983). The popularity
of this literature is due in part to the fact that dependency theory
failed to gain any significant empirical support through field research.
Another important alternative to dependency theory is the literature on
women and inter-household relations in the Third World.8 The atomism of
neoclassical economic models and the macro-level approach of the dual
sector modernization and dependency models obscured the local contextual
determinants of migration. The latter became more visible through the
adoption of middle-range units of observation, largely inspired by
research and critiques from the neo-Marxist perspective.
Conclusions on the Causes of Migration
A valid critique of classical theory notes that broad economic
conditions cannot provide an adequate explanation of migration patterns
on the local level. There are nonrandom, measurable differences in the
rates of migration across social groups at this level. Individuals do
not react to economic conditions as atomistic units, as the classical
8For some examples from a burgeoning literature on the household, see
Chayanov (1966); Meillassoux (1972); Guyer (1981); Wood (1981); Netting
et. al. (1984); Schmink (1984); Leacock and Safa (1986); Moock (1986);
Boyd (1989); Bullwinkle (1989); and Pedraza (1991).

18
libertarian economic theory assumes. Rather, theoretical explanations
of variability in the rates of migration among different social groups
and categories provide satisfactory means of understanding why general
economic conditions do not affect everyone similarly. This challenges
the applicability of the assumption of rational and knowledgeable
individual decision making units (e.g., Harris and Todaro 1970). Econo
mists such as Todaro (1981) and Harris (1978:110) have recast the
problem of migration in terms of behavioral adaptations to inequalities
in the structure of markets, responding to an essentially valid critique
from the left (see Kearney 1986:335-336).
The categories adopted by dependency writers were as monolithic
and cumbersome as the dualistic concepts used by the modernization
writers. Moreover, the dependency school has failed to adapt
successfully in the face of theoretical and empirical challenges. So-
called conventional theory, in contrast, has adapted well to
intermediate units of analysis.
The decade of the 1980s saw the development of an increasingly
sophisticated view of social organization by researchers interested in
economic and migration variables, among other research areas. As noted
above, economists incorporated concepts of household, small consumer
group behavior, and empirical 'distortions' in the marketplace from
other social science fields. Investigations into local social organiza
tion and behavior were successful at disaggregating coarse, monolithic
categories such as 'rural', 'urban', 'modern,' and 'traditional' into
more meaningful variables and observable units. The resulting
intermediate-level units often have complex interactions among them. In
some sense, these improvements also were due to pressure from Marxist-
derived critiques of classical economic theory.

19
Consequences of Migration
Economic and Social Scientific Contributions
From the point of view of the receiving community, the effects of
migration are depicted most often in terms of the labor market. High
rates of migration reduce the cost of (especially unskilled) labor to
urban industry. Related food policy issues, such as whether governments
should subsidize consumer staples, are also important from this
primarily urban perspective (see Bates 1981; Timmer et al. 1983).
The literature on African urbanization points to many other issues
relevant to the communities receiving large influxes of migrants. These
include problems related to rapidly growing needs in housing, urban
infrastructure, and public services such as health and education, as
well as the difficulties of incorporating formerly rural peoples into
multi-cultural urban settings (see Mangin 1959; Gluckman 1961; Kuper
1965; Little 1965; Plotnikov 1967; Mayer 1969; Hance 1970; Middleton
1979; Hannerz 1980; Peil 1981; Coqury-Vidrovitch 1991) .
The effects of migration on sending communities were rarely
considered prior to studies conducted by the British social
anthropologists during and after World War II (see the exceptional early
work by Thomas and Znaniecki 1927; Sorokin et al. 1932; and Thomas
1938). In British colonial Africa, a seasonal or "circulatory" pattern
of migration was the dominant means by which labor was supplied to urban
enterprises in many of the white settler economies.
This "circulatory labor" phenomenon appeared to damage rural wel
fare, as in some cases there were not enough men left in rural areas to
grow the amount of food needed by consumers there (Richards 1939; Wilson
1941). The survival of traditional authority and culture seemed to be
at risk (Schapera 1947). For the administrators of indirect colonial

20
rule, this was a threatening possibility (Eades 1987). Fortunately,
however, the improved worldwide economic climate after 1945 averted
rural disintegration and the crisis it would have created for rural
peoples as well as colonial governments (Eades 1987; see also Hart 1987;
Hopkins 1973).
In the years since World War II, most non-Marxist anthropology
research has supported a moderately positive view of emigration from
rural areas. In Africa, rural households often receive half their total
incomes from remittances returned by members employed in urban areas
(Schapera 1947:62; Hyden 1980; Keely and Tran 1989; Russell 1992).
Empirical studies undertaken throughout Africa have demonstrated that
migration may in some cases strengthen traditional forms of authority by
providing resources to senior members of rural households, supporting
economic growth and innovation in rural agriculture (Read 1942; Watson
1958; Van Velson 1961; Hill 1963). Such work did much to weaken the
atomistic assumptions of neoclassical economists regarding rural Africa.
Early models of African migration assumed that labor was abundant
to the point of surplus, though unproductive in rural areas (Harris and
Todaro 1970; Lewis 1954; also see Ravenstein 1889) Field studies of
rural labor undertaken during the 1960s demonstrated instead that most
African countries face both seasonal labor peaks and bottlenecks during
different points in the agricultural cycle (de Wilde et al. 1970; Cleave
1974). Thus, rural labor was not plentiful and unproductive as it
appeared in such models, but instead faced constraints associated with
severe seasonal fluctuations in demand.
By concentrating people into areas that can both more efficiently
use labor resources and provide goods and services to increasingly large
conglomerations of consumers, migration plays a key role in the
development process (Caldwell 1969:204; Todaro 1976, 1980, 1981; Knight
1972; Harris 1978; Southall 1979). West African history contains

21
numerous examples of migration serving as an efficient adaptation to
changing economic conditions in both urban and rural areas (Berg
1965:161; Hill 1963; Little 1965).
Dependency Views
Writers in the dependency school have been particularly uninspired
with regard to research on the effects of migration on rural areas. The
model assumes a net loss in value for sending areas in the 'periphery.'
It provides no theoretical support for empirical research in the context
of these points of origin. These facts together have resulted in a
distinct lack of dependency research on this topic. With little empiri
cal research spawned by this orientation, there is a correspondingly
small need to discuss any contributions of dependency theory toward
understanding the effects of migration on rural sending communities.
The dependency literature has provoked research on the effects of
so-called 'free trade zones,' with an almost singular focus on 'runaway
shops.' A relatively recent phenomenon in some Third World areas, this
term refers to contracts with large multinational firms that sponsor
satellite assembly operations for the garment and electronic industries.
Because these firms once operated only in developed economies, they are
called 'runaways.' Relocations from developed areas are often encour
aged by favorable government policies in the Third World as well as
international trade treaties such as NAFTA. Another factor drawing such
firms to less developed countries is a plentiful supply of cheap (often
primarily female) labor for such operations in parts of East Asia,
Africa, and the Caribbean (see Lim 1978; Frobel et al. 1980; Nash and
Fernandez-Kelly 1983; Sassen-Koob 1983; Safa 1986; and Pedraza 1991).
Notwithstanding important work on this phenomenon, statements by
dependency researches often over-generalize from such specific cases.
An example is the following assertion: "Modern labor migration is a

22
very highly organized State-controlled movement of workers" (Kamiar and
Ismail 1991:562). Only a very specific and overly restrictive
definition of "modern" could make this a reasonable statement in light
of the numerous and highly variant cases of migration to urban areas
throughout the Third World.
Neo-Marxist Approaches
The neo-Marxist literature, in contrast, has supported a great
deal of research on a variety of specific local effects of migration
from rural areas. It demonstrably is more open to debate on the issue
of the net effects of emigration from rural areas than the dependency
school has been (Kearney 1986; e.g., see de Jonge et al. 1978). One of
the important aspects of this debate has been whether or not return
migrants contribute positively to the local economy. Do such indi
viduals invest in productive growth either directly or through remit
tances to relatives in the rural area? Or are they more apt simply to
improve their own families' level of consumption, without spreading
benefits more generally within the local economy?
The issues of return migration and remittances are related, in
that an evaluation of the role each plays in the home village often
signals an evaluator's attitudes toward migration and economic
development in general. Evaluations ostensibly weighing the economic
outcomes of diverse case studies instead often appear simply to use such
cases as evidence cited in support of a prior position on development.
Kearney summarizes the literature, primarily Latin American
(1986:346), and suggests a lack of empirical support for the thesis that
local economic benefits are a likely outcome of return migration (see
Mines and Massey 1985; Reichert 1981; Rhoades 1978, 1980; Stuart and
Kearney 1981; Swanson 1979; Wiest 1979). Indeed, studies undertaken
from diverse theoretical orientations suggest that expenditures by

23
returnees are more likely to be made for the purchase of consumption
goods for the family, including housing, land, and the education of the
return migrants' children (Cornelius 1978; Dinerman 1982; Chilivumbo
1985). However, as Gmelch (1987) argues, returning students and
professionals may bring more benefits back to their rural home areas
than migrant laborers (see Miller 1984). Furthermore, levels of
productive investment appear more significant if expenditures for such
'necessary' costs as housing are excluded from the analysis (Gmelch
1987:137). Finally, expenditures for so-called consumptive purposes can
have important, positive effects in economically depressed rural
communities.
The debate is not focused on the issue of whether (or how much)
money returns to the home village either through remittances or returns.
An enormous sum, representing an international financial exchange second
only to the trade in crude oil, is estimated to return annually to
villages worldwide through remittances (Russell 1992:269). Rather, at
issue is whether or not these monies represent a positive contribution
to economic development, either locally or nationally. Responses to
this question often have more to do with how individual writers evaluate
economic development itself than to analysis of remittance data
(Appleyard 1989:487).
Many writers disregard the value of local consumptive expenditures
to economic development. Nevertheless, particularly in the Sahel, these
have been "crucial to financing expansion of educational facilities in
rural areas" (Russell 1992:275; see Cond and Diagne 1986; Gould
1988:4.1.49; and Bradshaw 1988). Such expenditures, including the
construction of health care facilities and relying heavily on
remittances, represent an important investment in human capital. The
migrants I studied in my own research actively invested in just these
kinds of facilities in their home village. More generally, it has been

24
noted that especially when poorer members of a society migrate, while
"there is no automatic mechanism by which. . migration and remittances
result in development. .limited available evidence suggests a positive
effect on poverty" (Russell 1992:273).
Conclusions on the Effects of Migration from the Village
The question of whether rural areas experience net material losses
or in fact gain from migration is an important research topic, ripe for
further empirical inquiry. Relatively few data have been collected to
clearly indicate actual capital flows in and out of specific rural areas
(Eicher and Baker 1982:226).
Notwithstanding the important issue of net capital flows,
empirical research on the diverse effects of rural emigration has
documented such dependent outcomes as the growth and expansion of
markets serving small urban centers (Southall 1979, 1989; Middleton
1979; Nicolas and Gaye 1988), increased national integration (Paden
1980; Skinner 1985), improvements in rural family consumption and
education levels (Chilivumbo 1985; Cond and Diagne 1986; Russell 1992),
and changes in the gender composition of the rural labor force (Staudt
1975; Chaney and Lewis 1980; Palmer 1985).
Dependency writers often claim that modernization and classical
social science theories assume that change, such as an increased rate of
rural-urban migration, is good (see Lipton 1980; Swanson 1979). In
fact, this is an often-repeated (but false) depiction of much of the
social science literature of the first half of this century. As noted
before, some colonial British anthropologists in fact argued that
migration was destructive of traditional African culture (e.g. Richards
1939; Wilson 1941; see Eades 1987). Reacting to such conclusions,
others have countered that it is wrong to assume that migration is
harmful to rural welfare (Read 1942; Watson 1958; Van Velson 1961) .

25
Dependency models themselves generally consider certain outcomes
as foregone conclusions. An example is the assumed loss of value in
rural areas due to urban migration (Kearney 1986:354-355; see also
Griffin 1976; cf. Amin 1974a; Bhning 1975; Swanson 1979) Empirical
evaluation of specific outcomes is not supported by the theoretical
model. The value of empirical social research is instead that the costs
and benefits of such a phenomenon can be measured and weighed against
one another (Miracle and Berry 1970).
Only in subsequent academic generations have Marxist collectivist
traditions begun to actively support empirical research. Field
researchers in the neo-Marxist school have since observed migration in
its local context and gathered data concerning the functions of diverse
household strategies, including migration. It is no surprise that
empirical field research challenges the validity of outcomes that were
assumed in the dependency literature. Empirical work from the neo-
Marxist school has recently demonstrated that migrants may bring
significant benefits to their rural communities of origin (Wood 1981,
1982; Schmink 1984; Hart 1987; Griffin 1976).
Implications and Conclusions
Households and Voluntary Associations
A focus on village and inter-household social organization has
proven an innovative and useful way to consider specific local causes of
migration. In my view, the most useful aspects of this perspective owe
more to 'conventional' anthropologists than to Marxists. Certainly,
though, the interaction of these traditions has heightened interest in
this fertile research area. The household focus successfully provides a
means to combine macro- and micro-level analyses, as well as both

26
structural and individual approaches to the study of the causes and
consequences of migration.
The concept of the household as a basic domestic unit of
production and consumption remains difficult to operationalize, since it
cannot be defined similarly for all places and times (see Yanagisako
1979). However, in any given context it can be a heuristic interme
diate-level model for reconciling problems encountered with analysis at
the structural or individual level. The household provides a context in
which various migration situations or circumstances can be interpreted.
Processes operating at the highest levels of social analysis, such
as urbanization, international trade, economic development, and the
like, have important consequences that affect individual choices to
migrate. At the same time, individual variables, including demographic
characteristics and personal migration experience for example, have also
proven to be important determinants of migration. At an intermediate
level of analysis, meanwhile, "the control the productive unit in the
rural economy is able to exert over the timing and length of the mi
grants' absence can be crucial" (Gugler 1969:476).
At another, also intermediate level, as we have discussed,
voluntary associations often have an important effect on members'
contributions in support of basic needs in the home village. To
understand the role of these intermediate level institutions requires
location- and context-specific research in the field. However, this
focus promises to elucidate, for any specific case, causes of
variability in migration rates left unexplained by either macro-level or
individual variables. Households and voluntary associations have
important influences on their members, as has been demonstrated in the
migration literature (Mangin 1959; Little 1965; Plotnikov 1967;
Meillassoux 1968; Mitchell 1969b; Peil 1981, 1988; Wood 1981; Speare et
al. 1982; Schmink 1984; Traeger 1984; Boyd 1989; Lambert 1994; Woods

27
1994). Thus, studying the household as well as voluntary associations
and their influences upon members can provide important insights into
the determinants of specific migration patterns.
African Women as Active and Independent Migrants
Empirical research on women's roles as migrants anywhere in the
world remains uncommon and certainly is not yet well represented in the
literature. Research in Africa frequently has focused on women left
behind in rural villages, managing homes and farms alone, while men
undertake urban migration (e.g., Richards 1939; Wilson 1941; Cooper
1979; Chaney and Lewis 1980; Wilkinson 1983; Hirschman and Vaughan 1984;
Palmer 1985). Much of the research that does address women as migrants
assumes they are "associational" movers, accompanying husbands or
families, rather than undertaking to move independently. This notion is
largely outdated (Bilsborrow and Zlotnik 1992) but persists in the
literature just the same.
Some research on female migration per se has been published in
recent years, although there are still few examples of any kind (see
Diner 1983; and Lee 1989 for two historical examples; and Pedraza 1991
for a general review). In the past those that considered women in the
migration stream itself often focused on normative issues, rather than
questions chosen to advance theoretical or contextual understanding.
For example, unmarried or independent migrant women were frequently
assumed to be prostitutes (e.g., Nadel 1942; see also Little 1965, 1973;
Plotnikov 1967; Gugler 1968, 1969; but cf. Cock 1980; Brydon 1987;
Sudarkasa 1977). While this role does exist for African women migrants,
the presumption is distorted and accentuated by cultural bias both
within some African cultures and by Western observers (Pittin 1984;
Brydon 1987:167).

28
There is still a need for more case studies focusing on women as
migrants (Byron 1994), and particularly as independent migrants seeking
legitimate work. The image of the woman migrant as either a prostitute
or the dependent of a migrating man, while not entirely baseless,
certainly is not indicative of the important role many women migrants
play in contemporary Africa. In West Africa, for example, commerce has
provided an important attraction for women to leave their rural homes:
"Most of the millions of women involved in internal migration within the
various countries [of West Africa] would fall under the category of
commercial migrants" (Sudarkasa 1977:183). While this may overstate the
case, it indicates that the role of women as commercial migrants is
important in this continental sub-region. Other important research on
African women as independent migrants and important economic actors in
the urban setting includes Little (1965), Schuster (1979), Hansen
(1985), Moran (1990), and Bczzoli (1991). Hansen (1985) and Bozzoli
(1991) are concerned most directly with female migrants as domestic
servants, the focus of my own research.
Stichter (1985) asserts that relatively high rates of female
migration in Asia and Latin America indicate the greater economic
subjugation of women in these regions, calling them "free laborers."
Meanwhile, the general lack of female mobility in Africa indicates a low
social status for women, where in precolonial times their "status was
not dissimilar to that of slaves or serfs" (Stichter 1985:148). A view
of African women as entirely dependent on men for their mobility is not
without precedent nor is it entirely false in certain cultural contexts
(see Nadel 1942; Thandi and Todaro 1979, 1984; Cock 1980; Shah 1983;
i Brydon 1987; Boyd 1989). However, African women migrate in surprising

29
numbers9 where there are the combined conditions of independence at home
and opportunity abroad, while remaining quite distinct from the Marxist
notion of a landless 'free laborer' (for West Africa see Caldwell 1969;
Hamer 1981; Oppong 1983; Sanjek 1976; Sudarkasa 1977; Yacoob 1983;
Zachariah and Nair 1980; also see Ochollo-Ayayo n.d. for evidence of
migration for East African single women; and Wells 1982 for the same in
South Africa). My own research supports the view that under certain
circumstances, "gender differences in the division of labor may favor
migration of women more than men" (Boyd 1989:657). In this case, the
reasons have more to do with the gender division of labor than with
issues of women's social status.
As elsewhere in the undeveloped world, high quality migration data
for Africa are scarce (Adepoju and Clarke 1985:17). It is rare to find
any data set in which gender variables are associated with valid
indicators of migration. National level census data are even less
likely to be adequate for investigating women migrants. Male migration
in Africa has been relatively well documented over a substantial period
of time, but information on women migrants is almost totally lacking.
Among other things, because women are more likely to work in the
informal sector, data on them are especially difficult to collect
(Bilsborrow and Zlotnik 1992; see Lubell and Zarour 1990). In
particular, specific "evidence on the determinants of female migration
in Africa remains virtually nonexistent" (Brockerhoff and Eu 1993:561;
see Thadani and Todaro 1984) .
African women increasingly are migrating, both internationally and
alone (Adepoju 1991). If historical data from elsewhere are indicative
of the future trends in Africa, women's migration rates there will
9Brydon's (1987) data indicate that in Ghana, Avatime women leave for
the same reasons as men, and for those women under the age of thirty,
leave in much the same numbers as men.

30
continue to increase over time (see Byerlee 1972; Byerlee and Eicher
1972; Caldwell 1969; Connell 1984; Easterlin 1980; Fawcett et al. 1984;
Khoo et al. 1984; Melville 1978; Orlansky and Dubrovsky n.d.; Singh
1978; Roy 1983; Thadani and Todaro 1979; Thomas 1970; Traeger 1984;
Whiteford 1978; Lee 1989). Therefore, documenting female migration and
(perhaps more importantly) discovering the relationships between male
and female migration in Africa will become increasingly important.
Empirical data collected in Africa on women indicate that they
generally migrate at a younger age than do men. They are constrained
from migrating by such things as high fertility and marriage (Bilsborrow
and Zlotnik 1982; Brokerhoff and Eu 1993; U.N. Secretariat 1993).
Interestingly, women also are less likely than men to return to their
home villages once they move to an urban setting. This leaves many
African cities with predominantly female populations, especially among
the older age groups. Among the issues deserving of further research
attention are the feminization of older urban populations, inter-house-
hold relations among migrant families, and the economic roles women
migrants play in rapidly changing African cities. Migration also can
have important effects on gender relations, fertility, and the division
of labor in rural areas. "Internal migration, and particularly its
rural-urban form, is inextricably linked with other demographic phenom
ena, as in the case where regional fertility differentials essentially
reflect the age-sex selectivity of migration" (Pryor 1982:25; see Farber
and Lee 1984; Brokerhoff and Eu 1993) .
Historical evidence on coastal areas of West Africa during the
early twentieth century indicates that women were demonstrating an
economic independence from men in both the commercial arena (Brooks
1976) and in wage employment. The latter case is supported by the fact
that at least some Diola women in Casamance were being employed as dock
workers (seasonally, after the groundnut harvest) in Bathurst (Banjul)

31
as early as the 1880s, and in Ziguinchor by 1910 (Mark 1985:74; Roche
1976:316; Snyder 1978:240). Such opportunities would not be sufficient
to cause migration from a given community. However, this would require
a social environment that both supported the participation of women in
the cash economy and allowed their movement independent of men.
Presumably, this also indicates a need for cash among Diola women at
that time. This particular aspect will be discussed in Chapter 2.
In my own research, I focused on contemporary Diola women
originally from the Casamance region of Senegal. Many of them were
seasonal migrants, earning wages in the urban service sector, working as
domestic maids. I was interested in whether or not their migration
functions as a means of attaining capital for agricultural and other
productive investments in their village of origin. Women are prominent
in the migration flow from Casamance, and are particularly successful at
gaining urban employment. In the village, the division of agricultural
and other labor has undergone extensive change through time,
particularly since the colonial era (Linares 1970, 1981, 1985). Subse
quent expenditures in their home village, including a repair of the
school roof and the construction of a maternity clinic, were financed
through dues and other contributions to one of several voluntary organi
zations. Some funds, either sent as remittances or brought with them on
their return to the village, were used to hire cooperative labor groups.
Conclusions
No general theory of migration exists to integrate multiple and
competing models successfully. Because they often operate at different
levels of analysis, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive (Massey
et al. 1993). Several have benefitted from critical interaction with
their academic competitors. The models that have benefitted most from
continual modifications are able to operate effectively at intermediate

32
levels of analysis. The household concept provides one means by which
both macro- and micro-level data can be integrated and considered within
a given cultural context. However, it remains a heuristic device,
without promise of integrating diverse theoretical models.
Perhaps there is no need for an integrated theory of migration,
except in terms of its role in economic development. Migration patterns
diverge greatly depending on a great number of contextual situations and
variables. Careful case study work remains to be done to adequately
describe the full range of contexts in which women migrate. But if
there is no need for a separate theory of migration, there certainly is
no more reason to develop a separate theory of the female migrant. In
the case of Diola women, as we shall see in Chapter 2, women began to
use migration as a means of acquiring cash in the newly transformed
economy soon after Casamance was integrated into the colonial state of
Senegal. They were affected by economic changes differently from men
because of their social position in the agricultural economy. Diola
women's migration from the Casamance does not indicate that they were
targeted for exploitation. In fact, their status in traditional society
was relatively strong. They owned land and could divorce their
husbands, for example (Pelissier 1966:687). However, because. of,,_the..
changes introduced by the colonial administration, their.role as rice
producers was inadvertently devalued. As cash became increasingly
necessary, they sought access to the cash economy and found no
opportunities for earning wages in the rural setting. Thus, they sought
work in town, first nearby in Ziguinchor, but eventually further afield
in Dakar.
If we are to understand the causes and effects of migration in the
truly complex context faced by African women, more data are needed on
historical as well as contemporary economic opportunities at home and
abroad. These data need to be understood within the specific social

33
context of the source community, with its network of connections to
individuals and groups at the destination. Nevertheless, this is a
neglected aspect of migration research overall, and the particular
context of female migration may vary a great deal from that of men in
the same cultural setting. This situation requires specialized research
agendas and a particularly focused attention by researchers if good,
valid data are to be collected for women migrants. Similarly, while
there is no need for an "African theory of migration" (Byerlee 1972:17),
migration research in Africa is a specialized task requiring preparation
in a diverse range of background material. Wage-earning opportunities
have been generally unavailable to African women, perhaps due in some
degree to the colonial legacy. Some exploration of the cases in which
these opportunities have existed over time is therefore warranted.

CHAPTER 2
A PERIODIZATION OF DIOLA HISTORY
Introduction
Any discussion of the history of Diola migration before the
twentieth century must acknowledge the constraints implicit in the
scarcity of relevant, valid data. The available data are insufficient
to support the construction of a complete history of Diola migration,
and my goal is decidedly not to predict trends. It is nevertheless both
possible and useful to synthesize what data are available, interpreting
them in the light of comparable cases. The goal of this chapter is to
identify particular periods in Diola history during which the rates of
change were sufficiently slowed and sustained to permit a generalized
description that is applicable during a relatively long, rather well-
defined span of time.
The result of any such exercise is necessarily limited in its
usefulness as history. However, it may provide a useful
characterization of long term historical trends for a chosen cultural
phenomenon, in this case the changing patterns of Diola migration. The
goal of describing such long term trends in the patterns of Diola
migration will be pursued systematically in this chapter by first
introducing the criteria used to identify particular historical periods.
The identification and characterization of these periods will be the
focus of the second section of the chapter. The third section will
outline and describe the general characteristics of Diola migration
during each of these periods. Finally, the characteristics of Diola
34

35
migration during each period will be summarized in a table at the end of
the chapter.
What we know about the history of Diola migration is determined,
largely although not completely, by the limited availability of
information on the Diola before the twentieth century. Epistemological
issues are fundamental to the evaluation of scientific work, as they are
for all claims to knowledge (Kaplan 1964; Lakatos 1970) Such issues
are merely highlighted in a case such as this, where sources of data are
particularly scarce. In light of this scarcity, the criteria used to
identify generalized periods of Diola history are provided explicitly
below. They form relatively (not absolutely) stable periods within the
long history of dynamic change characteristic of the area. These
periods are emphatically heuristic categories. That is, they are useful
for my purposesthe study of Diola migration--but of unknown utility
for particular historical research, whether within or between identified
periods.
Periods of Diola cultural history are defined here in several
ways. For example, archaeological data indicate that important changes
in Diola subsistence patterns were taking place during the earliest
period. Because such patterns are theoretically associated with certain
types of migration, the first period is defined to separate the time
before such a change from the time after it. Thus, the first criterion
for defining a period is evidence for a theoretically important subsis
tence change. In this instance, local evidence is considered signifi
cant because we can infer changes in the dependent variable, migration,
based on observed changes in the independent variable, subsistence.
The second way periods are defined is based on a change in broader
regional conditions that is hypothesized to act as a selective factor
influencing specific local outcomes. For example, historians of the
broader region have documented the influx of other ethnicities into the

36
local area. Evidence of such large-scale population movements is also
observable in local archaeological data. The establishment of political
organizations that defended particular trade interests and
transportation routes in the local area restricted Diola territorial
expansion. This restriction, in effect, would have selected for certain
subsistence strategies, specifically for economic intensification and
increased sedentism.
Finally, a period may be identified by historical events having a
known effect either directly on the group itself, or on a range of
groups that may be compared with the Diola and its effects inferred
based on known cultural similarities and differences among these groups.
A relevant example is the effect of the Atlantic slave trade on the
Diola. While little specific information on Diola groups in particular
is available (e.g., see Bowser 1974; and BUhnen 1993), historical
documentation does exist regarding the effects of slavery on neighboring
groups such as the Balanta and Manjaku. Particular cultural
characteristics of these groups may be compared and contrasted with the
Diola in order to infer how they were affected by this important
historical process.
To summarize the criteria used to define each period of Diola
history in this chapter, I have focused on three kinds of evidence.
First, archaeological evidence of change in local subsistence patterns
is the best means of defining the earliest period. Second, historical
evidence of change in broad regional conditions, such as the
establishment of new trading patterns or states, has been used to define
the second period. Third, indirect evidence of change inferred from
documented changes in similar, nearby cultural groups is used to define
the third historical period. Finally, direct historical evidence is
available for the most recent period. For the purposes of this chapter,
I consider evidence for rapid cultural change based on these sources as

37
sufficient for separating historical periods. In the second section of
this chapter I will identify and define four historical periods using
the above criteria. In the third and final section, I will characterize
the forms of migration that are associated with each period.
Periods of Piola History
Early Sedentism and Early Circumscription
Linguistic, archaeological, and oral history data indicate that
Diola peoples originated along the Upper Guinea Coast of the Atlantic,
somewhat further south than their present location. A long-term, large-
scale movement of Diola populations northward brought them to the
southwestern corner of the present day Lower Casamance area of Senegal
as early as A.D. 200 (Linares 1971:41-43; Mark 1985; Baum 1986). This
trend continued until the eighteenth century when Diola advances into
the Fogny district to the northeast (primarily at the expense of the
Banyun ethnic group) were reversed by the Mandinka, whose own large-
scale, state-reinforced migration from the interior succeeded in pushing
the Diola back south and west of the Songrougrou River (Lauer 1969:59;
Quinn 1972:25; Brooks 1993).
Archaeological data for the description of this period come
exclusively from the work of Olga Linares (1971).1 Linares' evidence
suggests that the Diola were coping with subsistence stresses due to
persistent population growth as early as the second century A.D. Her
analysis is based on the changing frequency distribution of shellfish
species in the shell midden strata of the part of Lower Casamance
longest occupied by the Diola. Linares interprets these changes as the
^his is the only article I know of reporting Diola archaeological
evidence. The limitations of a view based on a single source apply,
although its findings are consistent with other data sources.

38
result of particular shellfish resources, important foods at the time,
becoming scarce due to over-exploitation. Thus, new resources
different shellfish species--had to be located where familiar ones could
not be exploited more effectively. Smoked oysters, for example,
continue to be an important protein source for many Diola in the
present.
The earliest evidence of Diola culture in the Lower Casamance
indicates a reliance upon mixed agriculture as well as these foraged
marine resources. The arrival of Diola peoples in the Lower Casamance
probably was the result of groups moving northward to exploit new lands
suitable for paddy production, and toward more abundant supplies of pre
ferred marine resources. There is evidence, already deposited in the
archaeological record by A.D. 200, of rice cultivation2 and animal
husbandry in the area. The presence of cattle bones in the record
suggests an early trade in cattle.3 Other domesticates such as pigs and
dogs, common in contemporary Diola villages, only appear in the record
about the time of European contact (Linares 1971:43).
Mixed agriculture was probably becoming an increasingly important
means of subsistence throughout the period. A population that continued
to rely extensively upon gathering dwindling natural resources would
have faced increasing nutritional deficiencies and disease. The Diola,
however, were already familiar with the benefits of a subsistence
strategy that included agriculture. From the second through about the
twelfth century, various Diola groups spread throughout the tidal
ecological zone of southwestern Lower Casamance (see Adams 1993). As
2West Africa may represent an independent point of origin for irrigated
rice (see Dresch 1949; Portres 1956, 1970; Johnny et al. 1981).
Herds of trypanosome-resistant N'Dama cattle are maintained in the
Lower Casamance, but their rates of reproduction are very limited.
Trade is the only feasible means of expanding herds (see Starkey 1984).

39
this occupation became increasingly complete, eventually villages could
no longer simply fission to maintain a balance between people and
natural resources (see Cohen 1978:35,53). Instead, they had to rely
increasingly on subsistence resources for which production could be
intensified through management, primarily through the increased
application of manual labor in agriculture. Irrigated rice production
is particularly responsive to this strategy.
In summary, during this first period, the primordial process of
village fissioning or "hiving off" most familiar among foragers and
horticulturalists continued alongside the intensification of rice
agriculture and other relatively newly-introduced economic strategies,
such as cattle trade and husbandry. Increasingly then, the Diola
pursued sedentary strategies as populations expanded relative to marine
and forest resources, and as less territory was available for exploita
tion in the coastal ecological zone. Archaeological evidence from this
period indicates that single Diola villages expanded in population and
area over the course of up to four hundred years in some cases. This
process required a substantial intensification of inhabitants' subsis
tence activities, through such enterprises as land reclamation from the
saline mangrove marshes and the artificial irrigation of these new rice
paddies (Linares 1971:41-43; Vieillefon 1977; Loquay 1981; Pellissier
1966). While large scale population movements into new areas were
becoming a less important means of maintaining the balance between
people and resources throughout this period, groups within these now
sedentary villages continued to fission from them and to diffuse
throughout the Lower Casamance. Eventually, these groups established
new villages in some of the most remote delta plateaus to the north of

40
the Casamance River4 by the late seventeenth century (Roche 1976:24;
Baum 1986:74; Linares 1983).
Early States in Casamance (Thirteenth to Sixteenth Centuries)
Given the evidence of cattle bones in the archaeological record,
as well as the limitations of trypanosomiasis, the Diola were presumably
involved to some extent in cattle trade from the time of their earliest
occupation of Lower Casamance. Even if trade was not undertaken until
much later, it remains clear that relations with the indigenous states
of the western Sudan were well established by the Middle Ages. Mande
population expansion and migration5 from the interior westward facili
tated contact between these states and the stateless peoples of the
Atlantic coast.6 This migration was therefore an event of great
regional significance.7 Archaeological data support historical sources,
indicating that Mandinka peoples expanded from the interior westward and
southward toward the Upper Guinea Coast during the Middle Ages through
about 1700 (Lauer 1969:59; Leary 1970:39-43; Rodney 1970; Quinn 1971:9-
10, 1972:25; Mark 1985:11; Baum 1986:80). They had organized trade
there sufficiently to be exporting kola nuts, "that eminently perishable
product," to North Africa by the twelfth century (Person 1984:304).
4Sapir (1965) provides a map of about fifteen Diola dialect differences,
illustrating the linguistic effect of fissioning and the subsequent
separation of groups into many remote locales.
5Brooks (1993:87) attributes this migration to an extended dry interval
in the interior climate from about 1100-1500, approximately concurrent
with this second period.
6The Diola, Balanta, and Manjaku ethnicities all speak languages in the
Bak group of the West Atlantic family, and therefore probably are of
similar origins (Lauer 1969:7-8; Sapir 1971:45-112; Fivaz and Scott
1977:17-18, 309).
Person (1984:318) compares its importance with the nineteenth century Zulu
migrations in southern Africa.

41
The Mande peoples are particularly important to the early history
of the western Sudan, as they built the powerful Mali empire during the
1200s. Mali controlled trans-Saharan trade in gold, kola, salt, and
slaves for four centuries, surviving until the mid-1600s. Indigenous
populations of the Upper Guinea coastal region were contained or
circumscribed (Carneiro 1970) by the fragmented population expansion
from the interior and by the growing Mande states, established in the
area from about the thirteenth century. The arrival of small states in
the area surrounding the Lower Casamance marks the beginning of a second
historical period. Early 'colonists' from the interior were traders
with ties to North Africa as early as the eighth or ninth century,
leaving no archaeological evidence of subsistence activities adapted to
the coastal environment (Person 1984; Linares 1971:38) Among the
peoples moving westward from the interior were the Banyun,8 who played a
particularly important role vis-a-vis Diola migration during the third
period. Thus, the four major ethnic groups occupying the area between
the Gambia and Geba Rivers today, as they did prior to 1500, are Diola,
Balanta, Manjaku and Banyun (Lauer 1969:3-7).
The Banyun originated in the area that is presently northeastern
Guinea, as indicated by linguistic evidence, and were probably pushed
westward by the Mande expansions (Lauer 1969:7-8). While they call
themselves "lagar" or "Ihadja", they are known by various names,
including Bainunk, Bagnun, and Banhun, all derived from Portuguese
Creole. The Banyun language is a member of the Eastern Senegal-Guinea
group of the West Atlantic family, along with Tenda and Biafada, among
others (Westermann and Bryan 1952; Greenberg 1963:6-41; Lauer 1969:6-8;
Sapir 1971:45-112; Fivaz and Scott 1977:18-19, 309). The Bassari of
southeastern Senegal also speak a language in this group (see Person
1984:306). By local tradition the Banyun are considered autochthonous
to the Lower Casamance (Niane 1989:9; Baum 1986:102-103), although the
ethnic origins of the area's original inhabitants are far from clearly
established (see Baum 1986:46-57).

42
The Mali empire reached the Atlantic coast from its core on the
Upper Niger by the thirteenth century.? The trade of goods between
coastal Casamance and the interior consisted primarily of salt, but
included rice, slaves, dried or smoked fish, and even perhaps smoked
oysters in return for iron, horses, and small amounts of gold (Lauer
1969:26; Person 1984:313; Niane 1989:10). In order to control similar
trade, the Mandinka founded states all the way to the Atlantic on the
north bank of the Gambia River. Significantly, however, on the south
bank these states reached only to the Vintang Creek, the terminus of the
Banyun trade network (Brooks 1980:6). This network, dominated by the
primarily Banyun state of Kasa, flourished over the long term (Mark
1985:14-15), eventually linking all peoples of the Lower Casamance.
Over time, its traders forged communications and exchange ties from the
Lower Casamance to the south bank Gambia state of Geregia to the north,
the Mali and Kaabu empires to the east, and south to the Portuguese
commercial enclaves by means of the "most important commercial channel
to Cacheu until the nineteenth century" (Mark 1985:11-15; also see
Brooks 1980:6, 1993)'.
These Banyun trade routes were controlled by the small Kasa state,
oriented toward the interior from its location in eastern Lower Casa
mance. This state, sometimes referred to as Cassanga, was itself
originally an outlying vassal province of the Mali empire (Lauer
1969:61; Baum 1986:80).10 Over time, however, this formerly peripheral
region began to assert political control as Mali's power waned in the
'Tauer (1969:25) estimates a Malinke arrival in the lower Gambia by the
early fourteenth century, while in Brooks' (1980:6) judgement Mandinka
trade routes were established there during the eleventh or twelfth
century (see also Person 1984:304).
1,,Note 81 on the cited page refers to the following historical sources:
Rodney (1970:109-113); Pereira (1971:88); Boulgue (1972:6); Monod et al.
(1951:57-58); and LeBlanc (1649:28-31).

43
fifteenth century. An indication of this westward shift in the relative
center of political power was the incorporation of the Kasa state into
the Mandinka Kaabu empire (Brooks 1980:7; see also Quinn 1972:33; Person
1984:313; Forrest 1992:9; Girard 1992).
The existence of the Kasa state was first documented by European
writers between 1580 and 1669 (Mark 1985:25). Parenthetically, Mansa is
the Mandinka term meaning kingdom, thence the generally recognized
origin of the regional name of Casamance. The subjects of this kingdom
were known as Cassanga, although the term has also been used variously
to refer to a Banyun clan and a purportedly independent ethnicity (see
Baum 1986:46-57; Person 1984:314; Brooks 1980:13; Lauer 1969:25). The
Cassanga were apparently an ethnically diverse people, incorporating
Diola, Balanta, and Banyun peoples, as well as Luso-African langados
after European contact (Mark 1985:17; Brooks 1980).
To summarize the most influential features of this second period,
trade grew in importance from the time that Mande population expansion
brought the trans-Saharan trade network as far west as the Lower
Casamance. While this expansion brought with it new trading opportu
nities, it also circumscribed the Diola, limiting opportunities for
continued territorial expansion as well as for political and economic
independence. Most importantly for the Diola, the state of Kasa con
trolled a Banyun trade network that linked them with the other states of
the region, including the Mali empire until its decline during the
fifteenth century. Kasa's political organization, economic functioning,
and ethnic composition are all rather poorly documented in the
historical record. Diola were noted by early European observers to form
one part of its citizenry (Mark 1985:14-15). Most probably, however,
the state was composed primarily of Banyun, and organized along the

44
lines of other Mandinka states founded on the exploitation and defense
of valuable trade resources and transportation routes.11
Early European Trade. Slavery, and "Legitimate Trade"
More so than the second, this third period (dating from about the
fifteenth to nineteenth centuries) is defined by the activities of
political organizations far removed from the Diola themselves.
Specifically, the arrival of European merchants was a critical factor in
catalyzing and speeding changes already taking place. The Banyun, for
example, had already demonstrated the economic and political power of
Kasa by preventing powerful Mande states from encroaching on their
territory. Banyun economic strength was, however, increasingly linked
to the fortune of European merchants (especially the Portuguese) as the
importance of the Atlantic slave trade grew. This was to play a central
role in the eventual failure of the Banyun to predominate in their
territorial conflicts with the Diola in Lower Casamance.
The introduction of new trading opportunities with European
merchants had the effect of raising the stakes of competition among the
various political groups of the Lower Casamance. However, other factors
were as important as the increased economic value of the early European
trade. For example, trade with Europeans oriented African economic
activities toward their coastal enclaves, rather than toward the
overland routes controlled for centuries by the states of the interior
uThe Banyun developed a strong reputation as traders among newly
arrived Europeans (Lauer 1969:7-8), and were noted as the sponsors of
large market fairs every eight days, for example (Mark 1985:12). Later,
the Banyun were most often hired for extensive periods as navigators of
trading craft, compradors, and the like (Brooks 1980:5). In contrast,
the Diola, Balanta and Manjaku groups were noted by Europeans during the
fifteenth century as generally avoiding extensive involvement in trade
relations (Lauer 1969:32-35). They "excluded Portuguese and Luso-
African traders from their territories and restricted commercial
exchanges to places and arrangements of their choosing" (Brooks 1980:5).

45
(Hopkins 1973:79). This economic and geographic "about face" had pro
found effects on the relative political strengths of many groups.-
The nature of the slave trade in particular also had penetrating
effects on the societies among whom slaves were captured, and indeed
perhaps more so among those who participated in raids for the capture of
people for sale. There is evidence that those societies most intimately
tied to and benefitting from this trade in human chattel were also those
most devastated by it.
Finally, the vastly increased availability of iron due to the
European trade was a remarkable fact in itself, as it was a critical
resource in both warfare and agriculture. The Diola were "pre-adapted"
(see Cloak 1986) or best suited to take advantage of this profound
change in the environment. This was due in part to the fact that the
Diola, unlike the Banyun, used iron not only to trade or to fabricate
effective weapons, but also to make agricultural tools. Iron enabled
further intensification of their agricultural economy (Lauer 1969:62).
The increased availability of iron through trade allowed them eventually
to succeed in gaining a relative political advantage over the Banyun
that was never relinquished. Today the Banyun have largely been
incorporated into Diola communities (Mark 1985:19-20,31).
While the effects of the slave trade and the increased availabil
ity of iron had an importance independent of their economic value, the
value of these trade activities is well documented and does provide an
indication of the general importance of European trade in the Lower
Casamance during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. For example,
by one estimate between fifteen and twenty-five metric tons of iron were
imported to the Lower Casamance annually during the late sixteenth
12The effect of such changes in geo-economic orientation will not be discussed
here, but see Austen (1987:81-108); and Hart (1982).

46
century (Mark 1985:29). This large amount of iron was exchanged for
slaves in addition to material goods. Slaves in particular were being
exported from the area in very large numbers during this period; in
1676, for example, documents indicate that 220,000 people were sold into
slavery from Lower Casamance (Baum 1986:154).13
The dramatic expansion of trade that accompanied the establishment
of European outposts in the Lower Casamance gradually drew Diola
participation. This is indicated by an increasing Diola population in
the south bank Gambian state of Geregia (Mark 1985:24). Nevertheless,
the Diola continued to maintain their noted distance from direct trade
with the Europeans. The export trade in goods such as beeswax, ivory,
hides, and eventually captives, although undertaken within Diola vil
lages, was most likely conducted by Banyun traders, who traveled among
many Diola villages at the time (Mark 1985:24; see also Coelho 1953:30).
A combination of political, economic, and ecological factors
increasingly supported a Diola advantage over the Banyun. Early in the
seventeenth century, the Banyun were at the peak of their political and
economic power. They were preying on the Diola for captives to sell to
the Portuguese slave trade, and had recently gained their independence
from Kasa (Lauer 1969:55-56; Mark 1985:24-25). However, the Portuguese
trade itself was in decline by mid-century. The Diola, particularly
north of the Casamance River, were able to continue their access to
trade through British and French posts (Mark 1985:53). Furthermore,
they could use the trade in iron greatly to their advantage. As noted,
iron was a key factor supporting an intensification and expansion of
! nThis sort of precise information on trade reflects the substantially
improved historical sources available for the late seventeenth century
j (Mark 1985:22): see Coelho (1953); Teixeira da Mota (1977). Cultru
I (1913) describes the voyage of de la Courbe in 1685, an account later
plagiarized by Labat (1728); see also Froger (1698).

47
their staple rice agricultural system, as well as an important resource
for their military power (Lauer 1969:62).
While the slave trade along the Gambia River continued through to
the nineteenth century, it peaked there during the late seventeenth
century (Quinn 1972:8).14 Quinn attributes this relatively early
decline in comparison with elsewhere in West Africa to the high prices
that Senegambian suppliers began demanding during the eighteenth
century. The Diola appear to have begun the seventeenth century with a
defensive posture toward the slave trade (Quinn 1972:10) However, by
the eighteenth century at least some Diola groups participated heavily
in it. Raiding among Diola villages became commonplace (Mark 1985:25-
31; Baum 1986:157).
Other ethnic groups in the area apparently suffered more during
this period, perhaps due to an earlier participation in slave raiding.
Internal factors such as greater social stratification, as well as
external factors such as vassalage to politically dominant states, were
also important differences between the Diola and many neighboring
groups. Lauer (1969:32-33) notes that large numbers of Manjaku and
Biafada have been reported in studies of some New World slave popula
tions. He attributes their relative over-representation in the Americas
to these factors.15
The Diola reaction to slave raids against their villages was
primarily defensive at first. Houses in the affected areas, in Fogny
for example, were often surrounded by pikes and thick walls to defend
against raids from the Mandinka and Banyun (Pelissier 1958; Thomas 1968;
Quinn 1972:10; Linares 1983; Mark 1985:26; Baum 1986:96, 184-185). By

See also Curtin (1975) .
15But see Baum's (1986:155) reference to Bowser's documentation of 387 Diola
slaves being taken to Peru in 1605 (Bowser 1974:40-42; also see BUhnen 1993).
I

48
the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, however, the Diola
had begun trading with Europeans more fully (Lauer 1969:35). This in
cluded participation in the Atlantic slave trade, albeit rather late in
its history, and often through African middlemen rather than directly
(Baum 1986:155-156). Eventually many Diola communities saw exhaustive
participation in the slave trade as both victims and aggressors,
including raids between Boulouf and Bandial (north and south shore)
Diola groups (Quinn 1972:26; Mark 1985:25-31; Baum 1986:159-163). By
way of confirming the extent of their participation Baum (1986:164-175)
reports a set of detailed rules among the Esulalu Diola regarding the
capture and sale of slaves. Baum reports an "increasing frequency of
raids for captives during the second half of the eighteenth century"
(1986:184).
As the Atlantic slave trade declined and legitimate forms of trade
with Europeans increased, a new set of opportunities arose for young
Diola men in particular. Like the slave trade, the legitimate trade had
profound effects on the structure of Diola society. At the same time,
Europeans were experiencing great difficulties with trade in the highly
factionalized and competitive West African economic environment (Hopkins
1973; Austen 1987). Unfortunately for the historian, the decline in
Portuguese trade in Lower Casamance left fewer sources for the
eighteenth century than are available for the seventeenth century. The
sources that do exist, however, confirm earlier accounts regarding the
transition of political power in Fogny from the Banyun to Diola, and the
disruptive effects of the slave trade (Linares 1983; Mark 1985:53).
From the northernmost districts of Fogny and Combo the Diola had
access to British trading posts along the Gambia (Mark 1985:65-66).
There, the exchange of wild rubber and palm kernels became a popular
means of acquiring cash and consumer goods in the late nineteenth
century (Leary 1970:223; Mark 1985:70-74). Men could incorporate some

49
of this newly introduced form of trading activity with their traditional
dry season migrations for fishing or collecting palm wine (Thomas 1958-
1959:495-498). Further south, the Banyun maintained a better commercial
position relative to the Diola and Mandinka around Ziguinchor (Mark
1985:55). South of the Casamance River in Esulalu, warfare between the
Diola and Banyun, "the Koonjaen wars," continued until the early eigh
teenth century (Baum 1986:101). A notable decline in commerce at
Ziguinchor slowed the establishment of Diola trade in forest products
and rice on the south bank until the French opened their first post in
the area, at Carabane in 1836 (Mark 1985:55).
The nineteenth century saw a general decline in trade as a result
of difficulties associated with the transition from the Atlantic slave
trade to economic colonialism, including a decline in the barter terms
of trade (Leary 1970:225; Hopkins 1973:135,142-155). As a result of the
decline in Portuguese commercial fortunes, the French were able to
pursue an aggressive and successful policy of expansion in the Lower
Casamance from 1800-1880. This expansion was marked by the establish
ment of a trading post at Carabane Island in 1836, which was successful
at halting trade between the Portuguese and Diola and Banyun groups in
the area (Mark 1985:55-57). Sedhiou, further up river in Middle Casa
mance, became an important comptoir (trading post) for the newly intro
duced trade in groundnuts16 by 1850 (Mark 1985:55-57; Baum 1986:203-
266). Groundnuts had only been introduced from Brazil during the 1840s
(Quinn 1972:9), but gained an immediate acceptance as a cash crop with
the Mandinka, who accounted for much of the trading activity at Sedhiou.
Interestingly, the increased demand for cash-cropping labor in the
Known as peanuts in the U.S., this term is considered derogatory by
Anglophone West Africans. Therefore, I use groundnut here.

50
Middle Casamance spurred raiding for slaves in the Lower Casamance (Mark
1985:55).
During the 1870s through about 1900, the French as nominal
colonial authorities attempted to fund their local military operations1
through lower prices offered at their trading posts in Lower Casamance.
Diola traders north of the river simply responded by transporting their
goods to British posts in The Gambia (Mark 1985:65-66,94). This
experience led to an increasing emphasis by the French upon tax
collection as a means of supporting their colonial operations in the
area during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Mark
1985:93). Several means of establishing an institutionalized monetary
economy were available to the officials of Afrique Occidentale Frangaise
(A.O.F.). Corve (a form of taxation in kind through forced, unpaid
labor) and regular in-kind tax collections of rice proved the most
brutal and effective means of all (Geschiere 1985; Fall and Mbodj 1989).
In Lower Casamance between 1910 and 1916, while cash payments were being
required of individuals rather than the former village payments in kind,
the threat of military coercion had to be invoked directly against each
village in order to enforce its compliance with this new demand (Roche
1976:187,311). The expense of such an ad hoc enforcement of colonial
policy was too great to sustain for long.
In summary, indigenous states of the western Sudan were probably
trading with the Diola for salt, dried fish, and rice, as well as
raiding for domestic slave markets before the beginning of this third
period. These activities all continued throughout the period, but the
arrival of European merchants vastly increased the scale of the markets
17Where, for example, French troops were indirectly drawn into fighting
associated with the Marabout-Sonink wars and conflicts resulting from the
Islamic revolts led by the Fulani against Kaabu, as well as direct conflicts
associated with Diola "pacification" (Leary 1970:153-155; Roche 1976:91-
96,180-187).

51
and qualitatively changed the nature of trade in many ways. Perhaps the
most important example of this is the slave trade, which became
incorporated into a plantation complex that spanned the Atlantic Ocean
(Curtin 1990). As a result of this enormous increase in the demand for
slaves, many African states established direct ties to European
merchants and began intensive slave raiding on a much larger scale.
Eventually the Diola were involved not only as victims, but as agents
and captors as well.
Clandestine slavery continued into the nineteenth century in the
Lower Casamance, well after the official abandonment and condemnation of
the trade. However, as the overseas demand dwindled and enforcement of
new anti-slavery laws became more effective, the relative profits
attainable in the legitimate trade increased. European merchants
reacted with a vigorous pursuit of the sources of beeswax, gum, rubber,
and other forest products, all of which the Diola would provide in
exchange for iron, guns, and cloth. A strong competition among buyers
of these natural products of the forest, combined with relatively
uncontrolled access across the nominal borders introduced by the
European states, worked in favor of Diola suppliers.
Unfortunately for many Diola, the French reaction was to invoke
military and police powers in order to force them to support the
imposition of a colonial state organization in Lower Casamance through
taxation, forced labor, and artificially low rice prices. At first,
threats of force were insufficiently certain to induce widespread
compliance. Actual military attacks were rare. The Diola also were
notoriously evasive, and tax collection from them was totally inadequate
(from the colonial point of view) until the 1920s, after the implementa
tion of an integrated, systematic means of control was finally insti
tuted .

52
Twentieth Century Colonialism and the Independent State of Senegal
The third period of Diola history, exemplifying quantitative in
creases in European mercantile influence over the Lower Casamance, and
the fourth period, representing qualitative changes from that influence
to actual political control there by the French, are best divided about
1930. In my interpretation, the historical division between these two
periods can be established only after the A.O.F. administration
successfully implemented its Brunot plan in 1917 (see Roche 1976:339-
345). In fact, French control was not. firmly in place until the late
1920s or early 1930s in many remote villages. The Lower Casamance
remains relatively isolated to this day (Linares 1992:211-212), and a
violent secessionist movement has caused serious trouble for the current
government in the 1990s (Cormier-Salem 1993; DaCosta 1993; Marut 1994).
The trend toward relative political control and the institution of a
cash market, however, began in earnest for much of the area about 1930.
Characterizing the sixty-five years from 1930 to present as a
single historical period may require some justification. However, it is
by far the shortest period in this schema. Because it is relatively
shorter than the other periods, one could reasonably expect greater
justification be offered to divide this relatively brief span of years
into shorter periods. Nevertheless, the convention for Africa has been
to consider the colonial and independence years as separate for most
purposes. Therefore it is appropriate that we briefly direct our
attention to this issue.
As is true for much of Africa, an important continuity exists for
Senegal from colonial times through the present. As with previous
periods, our characterization of the fourth period is directed at
identifying relatively consistent conditions. Among these are a
politically dominant, centralized state power, the use of its political

53
power to insulate strategic economic domains from market forces, a
growing civil service sector,13 and the general isolation and exclusion
of the Casamance region from the benefits of the political system.
Thus, the thirty years from the implementation of effective colonial
power in Casamance about 1930 until national independence in 1960, are
considered here together with the thirty-five years from independence
until the present.
The continuity of colonialism and independence throughout Africa
is not simply an academic issue. Of course it runs counter to
nationalist ideology and teaching by independent governments, as is the
case in Senegal. The Diola themselves express this continuity, however,
when they say "Jnje bei Senegal"("I'm going to Senegal") instead of "I'm
going to Dakar."19 They demonstrate a lack of identification with the
national culture too when they complain about the increasing use of the
Wolof language (and the power of Wolof traders) in Ziguinchor: "Igi on
est trop colonis par le Wolof" (Julliard 1991:48). The fact that a
secessionist movement exists in Casamance today, and that it is
perceived as a continuation of the anti-colonial struggle, lends further
credence to my categorization of colonialism and independence together
in this fourth period. Before elaborating the reasons for the
incomplete integration of the Lower Casamance region into the
independent state of Senegal, we first need to consider the history of
its incorporation into the colonial state.
18Rapid and sustained civil service sector growth has fostered increased
urbanization in Senegal from the time Dakar was the administrative
capitol of A.O.F., and is one result of a clientelistic governing
strategy (Diop 1981). Only recently has this growth been checked by
structural adjustment policies dictated by international donor agencies.
19Linares (1992:212) has published this example, but use of the phrase
is ubiquitous among the Diola.

54
By the time it initiated serious efforts to integrate the Lower
Casamance, the French colonial administration had been consolidating its
hold over the rest of Senegal for many years. During the 1800s, for
example, French administrators successfully established an economy based
upon the large-scale cash cropping of groundnuts, most famously in the
Sine-Saloum region, but elsewhere as well (see Klein 1968). By 1852,
for example, primarily Mandinka farmers in Middle Casamance were
producing one quarter of the national output of groundnuts (Roche
1976:87). This fact implies that an important economic change had
already occurred in a neighboring region by then. The Mandinka were
traders rather than farmers until the French essentially forced them to
accept the cash cropping of groundnuts. They had been the Diola's
longstanding source for cattle, for which they exchanged their
indigenous varieties of rice.20
Since just after the turn of the century, the French colonial
authorities had used tax collection and artificially low prices at their
comptoirs in the Casamance as a means of supporting local military
operations. The Brunot plan of 1917 had as its goal the full
incorporation of Lower Casamance into the Colony of Senegal. At the
same time it would reduce the cost of establishing colonial authority.
From 1910 until 1916, administrators had to enforce their authority to
collect taxes there through annual military operations in each village
where they wanted to collect cash payments (Roche 1976:311). Such
direct and ad hoc coercion was too expensive to maintain; Brunot's plan
proposed to make it unnecessary. It was successful largely because it
20As noted earlier, some varieties of West African wet rice are probably
indigenous in the sense that they were not imported from Asia even prior
to European contact (see Dresch 1949; Portres 1956, 1970; Johnny et al.
1981) .

55
implemented an integrated strategy that incorporated many of the most
successful tactics already operating elsewhere in the colony.
The plan had as a primary objective pacification, or the
imposition of complete political-economic control throughout Casamance.
It would establish a cash economy in Lower Casamance and create a free
circulation of labor. Once individual men were wrested from their
traditional labor obligations, they could grow cash crops and use their
earnings to pay taxes. To meet these objectives, colonial authorities
employed the use of political power to prevent market forces from
operating freely in several economically strategic areas, notably the
cash cropping sector and in particular the groundnut market (see
Geschiere 1985). Until then, Diola traders often traded at British
posts in The Gambia (Mark 1985:65-66,94). Thus, borders had to be more
effectively controlled.
Other efforts to introduce a cash economy included the devaluation
of traditional exchange goods (primarily rice), the institution of
corve to initiate a free circulation of labor,21 and universal adult
male taxation. Among the tactics employed were an aggressive military
recruitment, the installation of non-Diola chiefs at the village
level,22 the suppression of some still-continuing inter-village slave
raids, and increased control over the power of Mandinka traders. All of
these together represented an effective, integrated effort to support
policies of total disarmament, universal tax collection, and broad price
controls over the sale of cash crops (see Roche 197 6:339-345) .
21Though its use was more limited in Senegal than in Guinea or Sudan,
corve labor was responsible for all road construction in Senegal up
until 1936. Defined as a demand on tax payers for a fixed number of
days labor in addition to taxes paid in cash, eight days were required
annually of adult men in 1926 (Fall and Mbodj 1989: 256-260).
22Previously, there had been no political integration at the village
level (Linares 1992).

56
Colonial initiatives to establish control operated to undermine
traditional Diola political authority in several ways. First, rice was
imported from Indochina for exchange with groundnuts. The Mandinka were
more receptive to farming groundnuts than were the Diola, contributing
to the production in Casamance of one quarter the national output of
this crop in 1852 (Roche 1976:87). French imports were cheaper than
Diola rice, undermining the position of Diola seniors who had relied on
this trade with the Mandinkas as a primary means of controlling benefits
in their villages. By 1906, rice was the most valuable import to
Casamance, further eroding the Diola position in traditional exchange
relations (van der Klei 1986:85; Pelissier 1966:762; Roche 1976:317).
Second, male labor was consequently redirected away from its traditional
employment (especially during the dry season) in maintaining irrigation
dikes and in preparing the rice fields. Instead, an increasing number
of men engaged in commercial trade or produced cash crops, particularly
groundnuts (Linares 1981:568). By the 1920s, labor migration, a simple
way to earn cash wages in order to pay the newly instituted individual
cash taxes, had become a pervasive dry-season activity among the Diola
(Thomas 1958-1959; Mark 1985:49).
Diola senior men for centuries had relied upon Mandinka trade
networks to exchange locally-produced rice for cattle. These long-
established trade ties were critically weakened as the Mandinka began
favoring the purchase of cheaper French rice imports from Indochina with
the proceeds of their groundnut crop sales. Thus, the price of
indigenous Diola rice was undercut during the early part of this
century, its external market value essentially destroyed by subsidized
imports. The enforcement of cash tax collection (Roche 1976:341)
created political pressure for men to earn a regular cash income. This
began to force an acceptance of groundnut cultivation among most Diola
men during the mid-1930s. At the same time it encouraged many young men

57
to enter into more extensive dry season trade activities away from their
home villages.23 The exchange of rice had been the principal means by
which Diola seniors controlled access to the main prestige good,
cattle24 (Pelissier 1966:760-762). Thus, the loss of the indigenous
rice market removed the basis for their legitimate authority and their
control over labor was rendered impotent (Pelissier 1966; Roche 1976;
van der Klei 1986).
Many Diola men gained their first experience farming groundnuts by
migrating to Mandinka farms as agricultural laborers (Thomas 1958-1959).
By the 1920s, Diola men were beginning to appreciate the benefits of the
new cash crop on their own fields. They were further encouraged to
adopt groundnuts after 1921, when the newly established Socits de
Prvoyances (early marketing boards, later replaced by ONCAD) began to
provide seed on credit in the Casamance, to be reimbursed in kind upon
harvest (Robinson 1950; Mark 1985:105). This institutional
encouragement combined with the significantly lower labor requirements
of groundnuts relative to the arduous inputs necessary in the indigenous
rice farming system (Loquay 1981:98) did much to encourage the adoption
of groundnuts and, importantly, of the cash economy as a whole.
Again, these activities were outside of lineage elders' control.
Cash was earned individually through trade or wage labor, unlike
traditional economic activity, which was developed and maintained
communally under senior male control. Wealth was becoming,
increasingly, an individual characteristic. In a sense, the control of
23This economic conversion was, interestingly, synchronous with a widespread
religious conversion from the Diola indigenous religion, known as kawasen, to
Islam, primarily north of the Casamance River (see Leary 1970; Mark 1985;
Linares 1986).
24The religious importance of cattle beyond simple luxury should not be
overlooked. "A man without cattle is not just poor; he is without the
ability to protect himself spiritually against calamities and sudden
twists of fate" (Baum 1986:365; see also Mark 1988).

58
prestige itself was being wrested from its traditional source. The
influence of the French colonial state upon Diola political society was
perhaps unintentional, but nevertheless direct and pervasive. From the
point of view of young Diola men, this was a liberating experience. As
a result of this weakening in traditional authority, young men became
free to pursue economic activities on their own. These changes, of
course, had a powerful effect on Diola women as well.
As young men continued to migrate out of the village during the
dry season, either to trade or earn wages, and as those who remained in
the village put more effort into cultivating groundnuts, staple rice
agriculture was relatively neglected. Traditional late dry season
activities for men included the preparation, maintenance, and expansion
of irrigation dikes, and the preparation of nursery beds for rice
seedlings (Pelissier 1966; Linares 1970, 1981; Loquay 1981). A general
movement away from these activities both slowed the expansion of the
most productive form of staple rice agriculture, and over the long run
probably has reduced the productivity of those paddy lands that were
already actively in production. The Diola continue to cultivate rice,
but because men in particular pursue cash-earning opportunities during
the dry season, the former long-standing expansion and intensification
of rice paddies has been reversed.
These changes in men's labor practices have had an important
impact on the traditional division of household responsibilities for
Diola parents (Hamer 1983:75-78). Fathers were expected by tradition to
provide rice for their children during the wet season, while mothers did
so from their granaries during the dry season. As staple rice
production has fallen relative to population, women are often unable to
grow enough rice for their children's needs, requiring their own cash to
buy imported rice when their granary supplies are low. The most
important result of this introduced difference is that women began

59
migrating to the urban areas to find work for wages. In contrast, men
can still earn a cash income growing groundnuts or perhaps vegetables in
the transformed rural economy.
Groundnut cultivation not only excludes women from the production
process, it also alienates men from rice production; its influence
goes even further than the sexual division of labor. By eroding
rice production, growing groundnuts undermines the very rituals
that insure overproduction, reciprocity, and redistribution of
paddy at the village level. It encourages the abandonment of
paddy fieldsespecially the deep fields in the mangrove swamps
that required a great deal of work even before the 1970s drought--
and makes it increasingly more difficult for the Jola to shift
resources between the subsistence and money sectors of the economy
when conditions demand it. (Linares 1985:92)
While both men and women continue to work the rice fields to the
present day, productivity cannot be maintained at traditional levels
without extensive labor inputs in soil preparation and dike repairs.
Since the 1920s and 1930s, women's labor has been unavailable at suffi
cient levels to replace the efforts formerly contributed by men. With
this trend toward lower yields due to insufficient labor availability,
women have increasingly left the rural areas of Lower Casamance for wage
labor during the dry season (Hamer 1981). As has been previously noted,
the precedent for female wage labor is old in Lower Casamance: women
were noted as exclusively comprising the labor force on the docks at
Ziguinchor in 1910 (Roche 1976:316; Journet 1976:197).25
These economic trends, the need for cash incomes among both men
and women, and the resulting popularity of wage labor migration, have
been sustained and reinforced consistently in the Lower Casamance since
the 1930s. Political circumstances have also remained relatively
consistent since the incorporation of Casamance into the colonial state
of Senegal. In order to strengthen my assertion that a political
25Linares (1992:79) attributes their association with this work to the
heavy lifting activities Diola women perform in agriculture.

60
continuity exists from about 1930 through the present, I will now turn
my attention to issues of governance.
A loose style of control was typical of African colonial
governments, which often were required to rule under difficult
circumstances and with limited administrative budgets.26 In the absence
of broad political legitimacy, a patrimonial strategy of governing often
was pursued (see Foltz 1969; Lemarchand 1972; Flynn 1974; Eisenstadt and
Lemarchand 1981; Colvin 1986; Fatton 1987; Young and Kant 1990).
Benefits were distributed to those few subjects who could demonstrate
relatively strong influence over civil groups. Often the only benefits
available for distribution by administrators were prebendal offices.
Thus, a tax collector or village chief might not be so closely
supervised that corruption and graft for his personal benefit would be
prevented. A chef de canton judging a dispute might rule in favor of
businesses that could reward him directly for his trouble. In this
manner, as they grew in power, local fiefdoms could develop into
regional political forces that could exert certain influences over the
central government. Civil service jobs might be exchanged for political
support, for example. Senegal's civil service, seated in the capital of
Dakar, was swollen under colonialism to administer the entire A.O.F.
territory until independence in 1960. After five years of independence,
the civil service budget amounted to a staggering 47.2 percent of total
government expenditures. It continued to grow into the 1980s, and
continues to be an especially burdensome and sensitive issue today (see
Cruise O'Brien 1971:271-272; Zecchini 1984).
The key to understanding the incomplete integration of the
Casamance region into the state of Senegal lies not only in its
26See Migdal (1988) and Rothchild and Chazan (1988) for the development
of the concept of the weak state.

61
geography, but also in the nature of patrimonial politics. Under
patrimonialism, a delicate balance must be maintained between support
for regional patrons who can deliver votes to the central government's
leadership and suppression of broader regional movement that threaten
the government's control. Regional political movements and their
centrifugal potentials in particular are feared by the central
authorities who govern weak states; often, therefore, radical strategies
are employed against such unities. As independent Senegal's first
president from 1960-1971, Leopold Senghor was widely noted to be a
master of this style of rule.27 He was able to play regional and other
political coalitions against one another in a way that maintained just
enough instability in his opposition to maintain his own relative
political strength.
The Mourides and other locally-dominant Islamic sects have for
many years garnered the majority of political support throughout rural
Senegal north of the Casamance River. Through their religious
institutions, and through their control of many important economic
firms, they have proven themselves the most influential leaders in
Senegalese civil society. They have been the primary power to be
reckoned with for every government from colonial times to the present
regime of Abdou Diouf, a follower of Mouridism himself (see Cruise
O'Brien 1971; Diop 1981).
To a large extent, this is the source of contemporary conflicts
between the Lower Casamance and the Independent state of Senegal:
regional politics there, because they threaten the integrity of the
27The following studies draw a "remarkably consistent portrait" of post-
Independence politics in Senegal (Boone 1990:346): Behrman (1970);
Zuccarelli (1970); Adamolekun (1971); Barker (1973); Cruise O'Brien
(1975); Schumacher (1975); Coulon (1981); and Jackson and Rosberg
(1982) .

62
state, are suppressed through policies that disfavor it economically as
a region:
Casamance particularism is explained by the geographic isolation
of the region, the poor quality of its infrastructure, and more
generally by the neglect of the region from Dakar. It also stems
from the growing presence of merchants and bureaucrats from the
'North' who tend to impose their language and their religion. .
as the only legitimate ones. Faced with this 'internal
colonialism', a strong sentiment of frustration produces the
search for a distinctive identity (Coulon and Cruise O'Brien
1989:159; see also Darbon 1984, 1985; Benoist 1991). (Linares
1992:211-212)
Characteristic Patterns of Piola Migration for Each Period
Migration is in constant flux because it changes dynamically with
change in the environment, although the relationship in not direct. It
is a cultural means by which people adapt to change in the environment.
Because migration is used by people, who perceive and react to different
aspects of their environment at different times, what the environment is
(in terms of any model of migration) must be flexible enough to reflect
such changes. Each particular characterization of a period here defines
what is meant by or interpreted as environment for that particular time.
Linares (1992) focuses on the physical environment for her model of
Diola migration. I find her model convincing, but she tends to exclude
the social environment and contemporary forms of rural-urban migration
among the Diola. Migration is a long-established aspect of Diola
culture, rather than a modern introduction. It cannot correctly be
labeled as a simple indicator of social disintegration in the face of
colonialism and the encroachment of Western culture (see Thomas 1960).
Certainly, however, the forms migration has taken have changed over
time. For example, under colonialism Diola men were subject to con
scription into foreign military service. These new experiences of
forced migration (and, at times, the avoidance of them) led some to
undertake voluntary migration, at times to urban areas, in search of

63
wage labor. Women soon followed the village men to Dakar, eventually
overtaking them in terms of their predominance in the migration stream.
By 1961 there were 100 Diola women for every 60 men in Dakar.28
Certain cultural institutions pre-existed this new form of migra
tion, providing the basic structures that contemporary urban migrants
have manipulated to suit their needs in this relatively new setting.
Such institutions, in this case voluntary associations, may be consid
ered as serendipitous "pre-adaptations" to cultural ecological changes
(see Cloak 1986). The pre-existence of these associative institutions
has allowed Diola culture to adjust more rapidly to a situation that,
while it has had important negative effects, has also provided villagers
with opportunities that might otherwise have remained unfulfilled.
Because migration has had a long history of full integration into
Diola culture, it exists as one aspect in a nexus of cultural adapta
tions, an "adaptive tradition" common to many Diola groups. Some other
aspects of this tradition include: a diverse set of associations,
social institutions that mediate relations between various cultural
categories; an established means of incorporating foreigners or
strangers more or less completely into the life and functioning of the
village; an ethic of treating strangers as guests;2y and finally, a
flexible set of kinship and land tenure rules and social regulation
thereof that can accommodate and adapt to large-scale movements of indi
viduals over time.30
Z8Hamer (1983:250) citing this figure, refers to Martin (1968:368).
29See Baum (1986) on how this was broken down during the slave trade,
but also how shrines were established to protect people from the threat
of this tradition's dissolution.
30See Linares (1983); see also Girard (1969); Snyder (1977, 1981); and
Hamer (1983).

64
Linares (1992) provides a model of the historical changes and geo
graphical movements of Diola groups that illustrates the cultural
adaptations these groups have made to accommodate the conditions
challenging them in the historical past. Her model adopts three
villages in three different parts of Lower Casamance, illustrating the
cultural differences in each setting. The cultural differences are, she
argues convincingly, the result of each group's adaptation to the
different cultural ecology in each of these three areas.
As Diola groups migrated north across the Casamance River from
about the sixteenth century, they encountered a physical environment
that was quite different from the one that they had left further south
(e.g. savannah rather than forest, lower average annual rainfall, and
much less land on which rice could be cultivated). They also found
themselves in a new cultural environment. They were faced with a
majority of neighbors, ethnic Mandings, who followed Islam, a very
different religious tradition from their local kawasen religion.
Linares has chosen one village to study in each of the three zones to
represent "pre-change," "transitional," and "post-change" periods of
time. She presents a descriptive analysis of land tenure, kinship, and
labor practices, among other things, in each of the three villages.
These differences are the result, she asserts, of the specific cultural
ecological conditions present in each of the three settings. She makes
it clear, however, that all of these groups continue to change in
observable ways, even during the relatively short period of her study.
She also argues the importance that ideological changes have
played in mediating material aspects of the transitions. Traditional
associations functioned, among other roles, to mediate conflicts among
genders, generations, residential wards or quartiers, families, and
other potentially fissive categories and groups via the kawasen spirit
shrines. These associations served a cohesive role, socially cementing

65
together people who might otherwise have a tendency to break away from
the group. Associations achieved this cohesive function by establishing
patterns of labor sharing, for example, among all women who have married
into the village (see Linares 1988, 1992:50).31
That these sorts of associations existed as traditional institu
tions was a fortuitous circumstance for urban Diola migrants, who were
able to adapt traditional forms of associations quite rapidly into
institutions that could help to serve important new functions in this
new environment. Associations rapidly evolved into what became perhaps
the most important means of cementing group relations in the city.
These associations now act to assist new urban migrants in fulfilling
their needs, but eventually are often also successful in re-directing
their attention back to the village, at least during important periods
of the agricultural cycle.
In order to understand contemporary Diola migration, it is
important to consider how and why migration patterns have changed over
time. Linares is convincing in her model of the changes necessitated
with the move north across the Casamance River. My goal here, though,
is to take a broader view of history, presenting changes in migration
that have taken place over a longer span of time. Having elaborated
four periods of Diola history in the previous section, I will present
the forms of migration associated with each period. Then, in Chapter 3,
I will present the data I collected on contemporary Diola migrants to
Dakar.
31Hamer (1983) and Reveyrand (1986-87) elaborate some other functions of
rural women's groups in particular.

66
Period One: Early Sedentism
In cultural evolutionary terms the most important change in
migration accompanies the transformation from reliance on a nomadic or
hunting and gathering subsistence strategy to dependence on sedentary
agriculture. I call the pre-sedentary form "carrying capacity"
migration, because groups move, generally, toward higher concentrations
of natural resources upon which the group relies most for its
subsistence. The primary factor determining migration in this setting
is the relationship of population to subsistence resource availability.
Period one marks this division for the Diola. At the beginning of
this period the Diola began to rely less directly and exclusively on
foraging for marine and forest resources. Instead, they began to rely
more on rice production. As populations grew, the Diola developed a
mixed agriculture economy, relying less on gathered shellfish, for
example, and more upon cattle trade and husbandry as time progressed.
Throughout the period one would expect an increasing trend towards
agricultural intensification, although expansion into new areas
continues into the present (Linares 1992) .
As the Diola began to settle permanently and as they relied more
substantially upon agriculture, their movements were increasingly
determined by the availability of cultivable paddy land. Migration was
determined by more complex circumstances through period one, including
the relationship of village populations to cultivable land, perhaps
political rifts within villages causing fissioning, the viability of
current technologies to intensify production on available paddy land, or
even the ability of labor managers to induce others to work harder. As
the amount of land suitable for rice cultivation became more scarce, an
increasing reliance had to have been placed on the intensification
option. Linares presents archaeological evidence that these processes

67
were in fact occurring in Casamance from about the second century A.D.
(Linares 1971).
Period Two: Early States
The large-scale population movement of Mande peoples from the
interior westward provided new trade opportunities for the Diola. As I
have discussed in previous sections, they eventually developed an
economic system that relied to an important extent on the exchange of
locally-grown rice for cattle. The presence of small states in the
region from the thirteenth century also had other consequences for the
Diola. While they provided opportunities for trade, these states also
circumscribed the Diola, limiting their ability to continue historical
patterns of territorial expansion. As populations grew in Diola
villages, agricultural intensification was much more a necessity than an
option during this period and into the next.
It is during the second period that early patterns of seasonal
trading were probably established. These fit well into older patterns
of dry-season migration directed toward the collection of forest
products and fishing for consumption. These were forms of migration and
not simply another off-farm economic activity, because they often
involved periods of several months away from the village. However, they
were migration and not simply a continuation of a hunting and gathering
subsistence strategy because individuals lived in sedentary villages,
cultivating crops for much of the year.
Period Three: Early European Trade
The third period, spanning the fifteenth through nineteenth
centuries, is the least stable of this schema. Nearby Mande states vied
during this time for control over lucrative trade routes, expanding
warfare and slave raiding activities. North of the Casamance River, the

68
Diola and Banyun were often at odds over the same territory and
consequently in a constant state of war. The Diola eventually gained an
advantage over the Banyun in the early seventeenth century, partly due
to the way they employed the iron received in trade with Europeans.
During the second half of the eighteenth century the slave trade gained
in importance, further extending this long period of conflict and
uncertainty. Many Diola responded by withdrawing from contact with
outsiders, defending their villages but retreating from trade
activities. During periods of conflict, capture into slavery (a form of
forced migration) was a constant threat to those who ventured away from
the confines of the village, so voluntary migrations were severely
limited.
While the Diola were generally noted by Europeans to be
uninterested in trade, they had for centuries exchanged a number of
forest and coastal products with other Africans. After the abolition of
slavery, the European legitimate trade emphasized exchanges for wild
rubber and palm kernels. In Casamance, this trade was greatly expanded
between the French and Diola after the establishment of the trading post
at Carabane in 1836. Earlier, some Diola traders had crossed into The
Gambia to get the better prices offered by the British posts there.
Despite a general decline in European (particularly Portuguese)
trade during nineteenth century, the French maintained an aggressive
trade expansion in the Casamance from 1800-1880. Groundnuts were
introduced during the 1840s. The post at Sedhiou in Middle Casamance
became important as a trading center by 1850, due to the extensive
adoption of this cash crop by the Mandinka there. This date therefore
marks the earliest possible beginnings of Diola male wage labor
migration, widely initiated to harvest groundnuts on Mandinka farms in
order to pay the cash taxes imposed by the French as early as 1910.

69
Period Four: Twentieth Century Colonialism and Independent Senegal
Each successive period of this schema illustrates the addition of
one or more forms of migration overlying the continuing patterns that
existed in previous periods. Subsistence foraging, the basis of the
economy prior to period one, was incorporated during the first period as
an additional activity pursued along with sedentary farming. These
forest and marine resource collecting activities were very similar to,
and most likely continued alongside migration undertaken for trade in
the second period. During the third period, with the beginnings of the
slave trade in the Casamance, forced migrations into slavery were an
additional (albeit undesirable) possibility, although other forms of
trade continued to exist together with new forms introduced by
Europeans.
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but most
commonly during period four, military conscription and corve labor were
imposed by the French colonial government on Diola men. A less clearly
forced form of migration, though still indirectly imposed by the
colonial administration, was male wage labor migration to Mandinka
groundnut farms. Further removed from forced migrations, but still
indirectly caused by colonial impositions was the female wage labor
migration noted at the docks at Ziguinchor early this century. These
forms all preceded the more contemporary form of rural urban migration
that has become increasingly popular since the 1950s.
Wage labor migration began among the Diola well into the present
century. It grew in popularity as a means of earning cash, which was
needed primarily to pay newly-imposed taxes. Migration to Dakar in
particular began with the first military conscriptions, but expanded
with the growth of the civil service sector there. Temporary dry-season
wage labor was available for men in Ziguinchor, too: examples of men

70
working as carpenters and masons were documented during the ethnographic
interviews I conducted in 1990. The growing A.O.F. bureaucracy in Dakar
also created a demand for technicians, soldiers, police, and other
salaried positions.
A large, seasonal "rural exodus" of young Diola to Dakar dates
from about the 1950s. From soon after the earliest migrations from
rural Casamance to urban Dakar, women have represented a high proportion
of these movers (see Martin 1968:368). The reasons for this unusual
situation are complex, but can be explained within the context I have
provided in the description of the fourth period. To summarize my
discussion of twentieth century events, French colonial policies
diminished the value of Diola rice with Indochinese imports. This was
part of a deliberate systematic effort to replace the indigenous economy
with one based on cash, which would allow taxation. Men were targeted
for taxation and cash earning opportunities in the rural areas,
particularly the promotion of groundnuts as a cash crop, were
effectively provided only to men.
These colonial policies were an important cause initiating Diola
women's migration. However, they would not have necessarily had this
particular effect if Diola social organization, specifically the social
division of labor, were different (see Hamer 1983:75-78). Women's roles
in rice agriculture are essential and preeminent but, as rice was
devalued, men diverted their efforts to the favored crop, groundnuts.
Women did not have the same opportunities to grow this cash crop as men.
This was due in part to colonial efforts to target men as workers and
taxpayers, but also to traditional Diola practices. Women own and work
lower fields suited to rice, but not rainfed fields in which groundnuts
are cultivated (Pelissier 1966:687). Without the former level of male
labor inputs into the intensive cultivation of rice, productivity in

71
this traditional staple crop dropped and could not be maintained by
women alone.
At the same time, women in the modern economy are expected to
provide for themselves and their families, and their monetary
obligations have expanded over time (Hamer 1983:76). Without access to
cash earning opportunities in the rural setting, women tended to migrate
to urban areas to find wage employment. I noted the case of Diola women
working the docks at Ziguinchor early in the century as the earliest
example of rural-urban migration. This job in particular fits with
traditional women's agricultural work, which includes the transportation
of water and wood to the home, and cow manure to the rice nurseries.
These tasks all involve heavy lifting. Most importantly, however, this
case demonstrates that women were seeking cash earning opportunities
quite early in this century. As opportunities developed in other areas,
Diola women were willing to travel, and in fact since the nineteen-
fifties they have been in particular demand as maids in Dakar.
There are a number of reasons why Diola women in particular found
it to be relatively easy to find employment in Dakar. There was a
growing demand in the market of the colonial capital for maids, in part
due to the number of expatriate men (with or without their families)
working in the colonial government there. More local Wolof families
were also earning cash wages at the time, and they too were interested
in having domestic workers to cook, clean, and care for their children.
At the same time, the French, most of whom were Catholics, preferred
hiring Catholic maids. This is perhaps simply a matter of prejudice,
but is probably also attributable to a sense among expatriates of
alienation from the majority Muslim community of Africans in Dakar.
Furthermore, the Mandinka and Wolof societies were based upon a caste
system that discouraged women in these groups from seeking work in
domestic service. The majority of Diola from south of the Casamance

72
River are Catholic, and being from a relatively egalitarian society, see
no stigma attached to domestic labor. On the contrary, they view such
work as quite honorable.
In the following chapter I will present the data I collected in
thirty ethnographic interviews, conducted in Dakar in 1990. In
particular, Chapter 3 is focused on the history of the women's
association. However, as a whole the chapter provides a sense of what
migration from Casamance to Dakar entails for the women who undertake
it.
Table 1: Historical periods and associated characteristic forms of
migration
Period
and
approx.
dates Evidence Inferred changes in
(A.D.) Data source characterized migration patterns
1.
200-1100
archaeological
evidence on
subsistence
early sedentism
and mixed
agriculture
population expansion
through ecological zone,
then intensification of
agriculture
2 .
1100-
1400
regional
history of
Western Sudan
encroachment,
circumscription
by states of
Mali and Kasa
trade, dry season
migration patterns
established
3.
1400-
1800
1800-
1930
history of
related
groups, some
local history
(least stable
period)
early European
trade, wars and
slavery, then
establishment of
legitimate trade
expansion of trade
migration, but
withdrawal in times of
war; evasion and "exit"
from control
4 .
1930-
present
direct
historical
evidence
cash markets
firmly
developed,
colonialism and
independence
wage labor migration
patterns established

CHAPTER 3
RESEARCH METHODS AND ORAL HISTORY OF MIGRATION FROM BOUTEM
Introduction
In this chapter I begin to present the data I gathered during
field research conducted in Senegal, both in Dakar and the Casamance
region. I use a case study approach to illustrate this example of
twentieth century West African rural-urban migration, focusing on the
recent history of migration from the village of Affiniam-Boutem, known
simply as Boutem. While the historical importance of slavery and
warfare should not be disregarded as limiting factors, urban migration
represents the most important change in the pattern of migration among
the Diola since they first began to rely on agriculture for subsistence
(see Table 1). Because of the gender division of agricultural labor in
Diola society and because of the way that the Diola and the Casamance
region have been incorporated into the economy of Senegal, Diola women
migrate from the Casamance in particularly large numbers (see Hamer
1983:74-78). The case study approach of this chapter provides some
insight into the nature of this migration for the residents of and
emigrants from Boutem.
I first report briefly how I conducted various aspects of the
research, including interviews, a census, and an analysis of the
membership of the women's association. Then I describe the recent
history of migration from the village of Boutem, as it was told to me by
residents and emigrants. The final section describes Diola voluntary
73

74
associations more generally, and provides a short history of several
Diola associations in the urban setting of Dakar.
Methods
The data presented in this chapter and in Chapter 4 were collected
during field research in Senegal, conducted during the nine months from
December 1989 through August 1990. The core of the data collected
consists of two parts. First, thirty directed, open-ended interviews
with emigrant women from the village of Boutem were conducted at their
residences in Dakar. Second, I completed a census, including the
migration histories of all individuals in each household of four
quartiers (wards) of Boutem.1 Many of the data presented here were
gathered during these two activities.
I also gleaned much additional information through daily
conversations with my principal informant and research assistant,
Antoine Badji, himself an emigrant from Boutem. Together we attended
general meetings of the village and women's associations, steering
committee meetings with the officers of these associations, and met with
individuals he considered to be particularly knowledgeable about
specific aspects of the research. Several conversations with mile
Djiba, the former president of Boutem's youth association in Dakar, were
particularly fruitful, and he was kind enough to lend me documents
relating to the historical boundaries of the village. The officers of
the women's association also eventually allowed me to copy information
from their official record book, and I was able to interview the
president. I am especially grateful for their trust in lending me their
LNo census data were collected from either the Bougafou or Boutoupa
quartiers. For the purposes of this aspect of the research, these
quartiers are not considered as part of the village.

75
records, because this book included three years of dues payments records
and was closely guarded. It was a unique and invaluable source of
documentation for my work.
Later, during about ten weeks spent in Casamance, we met with the
village women's association, separately with its officers, and with the
members of its maternity clinic committee. We also gathered a focus
group of emigrants resident in Ziguinchor for a discussion of the costs
and benefits of migration. Regular visits with many members of
Antoines' family, friends, and relatives in the village, Dakar,
Ziguinchor, and elsewhere, as well as attendance at his family
association in the Ouakam neighborhood of Dakar, rounded out the diverse
set of information sources I was able to draw upon.
Interviews
Interviews with emigrant women were arranged through the village
women's association in Dakar. I first arranged to meet with the Boutem
women's association soon after my arrival in Dakar in December 1989,
when I attended a village association meeting at a neighborhood Catholic
church, the Martyrs de Louanda. At the first meeting I attended, on
January twenty-first, after members completed old business, I was
invited to present my project to the group. I explained my research
purpose, goals, and desire to work with them. Their response was
favorable, and I was asked to attend their next meeting to present my
work in further detail to the rest of their membership. The following
week I met with the group's officers. Together we agreed that, in
exchange for members' cooperation and help, I would help the association
to pursue funding for their current project, the construction and
equipping of a maternity clinic in Boutem.
After these meetings with the membership of the group, and after
some disagreement over the nature of the exchange among the members,

76
this arrangement was finally approved. Members agreed to meet with me
and answer my questions, while I would help the group to plan and fund
the building of a maternity clinic in the village. I would donate what
money I could afford to the project upon completion of my research. I
insisted the amount of my donation would be quite limited, less than
fifty U.S. dollars. However, I promised to look for and indeed was able
to locate a funding source, a small-projects development fund at the
U.S. embassy. The application I helped Antoine to complete was
eventually approved after my return home, and I have since received news
that the clinic itself has been completed and inaugurated. Meanwhile,
no individual compensation for interviewees was requested or offered.
I met with the entire women's association three more times,
attending their monthly meetings in the Benn Tali neighborhood in March,
April, and May. These were held outside the small concession or group
of homes inhabited by two interviewees and their families. I missed two
of the monthly meetings scheduled during the time I was in Dakar. I
tried to find the meeting place alone for the second meeting and was
unable to locate it, and I was sick the day of one other meeting.
However, I considered meeting with the women's association important,
and did my best to attend each monthly meeting. I also met with the
officers at their monthly executive meetings twice, in January and
March, when I was invited to discuss specific issues with them.
I attended all of these meetings with my principal informant and
research assistant, Antoine Badji, who translated my presentations,
which I made in French, into Diola. He also would translate questions
and answers, at times with added input from younger women who were more
fluent in French. The treasurer of the association was particularly
helpful in this regard. Antoine's credibility with the group was an
essential part of the success of our arrangement to work with the women.
While most members understood French, often using it at work, they were

77
not generally comfortable with a presentation conducted in French.
Antoine was also able to clarify issues that came up, since he was
familiar with the research goals and procedures of the research.
Initially I believed we could interview every member of the
women's association. I was told that we could acquire a list of the
entire membership early on, but this took longer than expected. I also
thought that we could conduct interviews more quickly than we, in fact,
could. It often took several days to successfully meet with potential
interviewees, and we often had to make several attempts to meet with a
woman at her home, either after work or during her day off. Once it
became clear that we would have to limit ourselves to interviewing about
thirty of the 100 or so members, interviewees were selected for
questioning based largely on convenience. However, we planned
interviewee inclusion to provide as wide a range of representation from
as many families, ages, neighborhoods of Dakar, and quartiers of the
village as was possible in the time we had. I targeted employed women
for inclusion, in part because several studies of migrant women have
already focused on the youngest and most vulnerable populations (e.g.,
see CNFNA 1983; Philpott 1986). We avoided interviews with more than a
few of Antoine's relatives, friends, or close neighbors from the
village. I often had other contacts with them, and used informal
conversations in family settings to ask questions of them as they
occurred to me.
Interviews themselves were conducted in Diola. Although most
interviewees used French to communicate at work, they generally were
uncomfortable with using it outside of that context. Because Diola is
not taught in the U.S., before undertaking this research I studied Wolof
in an intensive study program for eight weeks at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wolof is Senegal's lingua franca, and I
developed some conversational ease with it in the field. However, the

78
Diola do not speak Wolof natively. I therefore studied Diola in
Senegal, but lost my tutor after only a few weeks of formal lessons. I
progressed enough on an informal basis to exchange greetings and make
simple statements about, for example, such common topics as eating, who
I was, where I was from, and what I was doing.
In order to conduct the interviews, I developed a schedule of
questions after much discussion with Antoine. I then translated it into
French and analyzed it with him point by point. We discussed the goals
of the work together, and modified the presentation somewhat before he
translated it into his native Diola. We worked on back-translating it
several times before beginning our first interview. Finally, we made a
few changes after certain questions required explanation to several of
the early interviewees. I kept longhand notes of each interview,
recording it on audio tape as Antoine posed questions in Diola according
to our schedule. Many interviews included some responses made directly
to me in French, often when a particular point interested the
interviewee, or during more informal conversation as we closed the
session.
After each interview, Antoine would translate from the tape,
orally and (after the first five or six sessions, which were translated
more loosely in the third person) verbatim into French. I would
transcribe his translation in longhand, writing in English. This was a
cumbersome process: after pouring over my own translations from his
French, I would read them back to him in French to confirm or correct my
interpretations. We generally had to listen to audio taped interviews a
second time. It was often a very difficult and frustrating task for the
two of us to fill-in for my benefit much information that was implicit
in an exchange between two Diola speakers. I did, however, learn much
about village life in Boutem from these intense exchanges. Finally, I
would write out a corrected translation. This entire process often

79
required three or more hours of work around the kitchen table for every
recorded interview of perhaps forty-five minutes. In the end it took
seventeen weeks, averaging about one interview every four days from
February through May, to complete thirty interviews.
Census
The village census was organized in conjunction with the officers
of the village youth association in Boutem. Forming six teams, we
contacted one member at each residence in four quartiers in the village
during the first week or so in July. Each team filled out a simple one
page questionnaire for each household.2 It requested information on the
name, gender, age, relationship to the household head, and the migration
history of each household member. I recorded each response in my notes,
and then questioned team members if I found inconsistencies or any
missing information. After my return to the U.S., the data were entered
into a computer file for analysis.
The village-based phase of the research design was intended in
part to confirm interviewees' responses regarding plans to return to
Boutem during the current rainy season. I asked each respondent if she
planned to return for the 1990 season. Almost every interviewee said
she did. However, most often this response was qualified, with "God
willing," or "If I can possibly do so." Therefore, I decided that as
well as censusing the entire village, I would list all of the
interviewees who actually returned before the beginning of the
agricultural season. This seemed to be a particularly simple and
convenient procedure, because the village association sets a date after
2The census and interview instruments are translated and reproduced in
Appendix A, while the codebooks for each are included as Appendix B.

80
which, if a member has not returned, he or she is fined.3 I would
simply count returnees on that date, at the village association meeting
itself. I had been told that everyone attends, so we could set up a
table in the meeting hall and record returnees, perhaps tracking down
the few who remained home that day for one reason or another.
Unfortunately, the August fifteenth meeting of the village
association was a complete disaster. The officers were drunk well
before noon (the president literally fell off of his stool), attendance
was low, and one young woman, whom I had interviewed and visited with
socially several times in Dakar, was informed during the meeting that
her son, about eight years old, had suddenly died. The fact that
attendance was so low despite reports that everyone would be there was
the first disturbing event that day. It prevented me from completing an
important part of my work. Antoine was visibly upset at the poor
attendance and behavior at the meeting. This annual meeting was not
being taken as seriously now as it had been just five years ago, when he
last attended. In a relatively short time, the village young people
apparently had lost interest and involvement in their local government.
This change is another indication that their attention is increasingly
focused away from the home village, toward the cities and migration.
I never completed the list of returnees, but did witness a
dramatic set of events that day, including the stricken child's wake,
funeral and burial. He reportedly had not been ill before the meeting.
These events were punctuated with loud disagreements and witchcraft
accusations. One of the first storms of the season added to the human
drama. A thunderstorm produced threatening clouds during the wake,
poured cold rain on the procession to the village church, and pounded
3See Snyder (1978) for a description of what he calls a village police.
I also recorded a set of Boutem's village association laws.

81
its corrugated roof so loudly that the short funeral service was nearly
inaudible. The rain subsided for the burial itself. The mother of the
dead child left the grave side wailing, in tears, and accompanied by the
women who had attended with her the wake, funeral, and burial. After
they had left the small cemetery, a clearing in a small but dense stand
of forest near the church, several men engaged in a loud argument. As
they lowered the shrouded body down into the muddied earth, one man was
shouting and standing in the grave itself. I later learned that they
were arguing, among other things, over who had the right (normally
reserved for a close relative) to take the cloth used as a shroud.
The next day, as I was leaving Boutem for the last time, I passed
by a home behind which a teen-aged girl was screaming. A daughter of
the attendant of a spirit shrine4 at which we had several times paid our
respects, was fully entranced and writhing on the ground, in the midst
of voicing a witchcraft accusation regarding the child's sudden death
the previous day. This was an aspect of village life I had not sought
out, but events associated with witchcraft and its suppression
confronted me on several occasions. Witchcraft, its prevention and
related intrigues are important aspects of village life. I was shaken
up by the experience, but also felt gratified to have witnessed these
dramatic events. However, my list confirming those emigrants who
actually returned never was completed.
Women's Association and Analysis of Dues Paving Records
Construction of this data set was begun from a list of all women's
association members compiled from the association's record book, which
was lent to me to copy with the explicit approval of the association
The particular shrine (chin) is devoted to kajumo, "the renowned." The
general term for such spirits is bokin (pi. inaati) (see Mark 1985:32-
33) .

82
officers. Sixty-nine members who could be identified in the village
census were included in the first phase of constructing the data set,
leaving sixty-four individuals for whom dues paying data was collected
but who could not be linked to census information. While these members
were included in an earlier, preliminary analysis of dues paying
behavior, they were dropped from the present analysis because their dues
payments could not be associated with any other characteristics. The
association of dues information with data collected in the village
census was of critical importance, because it enabled the comparison of
dues paying behavior with the member's age and, for example, her
migration history information collected in the village census.
To complete the construction of the data set, nine additional
cases were added from information gathered in my interviews with indi
vidual members of the association, some of whom no longer had relatives
in the village to report on them for the census. While complete census
data for these individuals were not available, in all but a few cases
they did provide me with complete information on their income and
duration of residence in Dakar, to which I could add their dues paying
records from the association book. The other twenty-one interviewees
had already been identified in the census, and were included among the
original sixty-nine cases. About half of these women self-reported a
different number of years residence in Dakar than had been recorded for
them in the census by family members resident in the village. In these
twelve cases the length of residence in Dakar was corrected to match the
self-reported figures.
Seventy-eight cases were therefore made available for analysis in
this data set, although every case did not include all of the types of
information gathered. The representativeness of this sample can be best
assessed by comparing a description of its characteristics to that of
the other sub-groups and categories of the relatively more complete

83
population as censused in the village. Such a description is provided
in the discussion of the association members, based primarily on the
sixty-nine women for whom I have census data available.
Oral History of Migration from Boutem
It is difficult to gather oral histories among the Diola that
cover the time before contemporary adults' personal memories begin.
Unlike many Senegalese and other West African (especially Muslim)
groups, the Diola do not recite geneologies or exhibit much interest in
their family or cultural past. Elders generally do not discuss their
own lives with their children either, as I discovered during many of my
interviews with migants to Dakar: "My parents never spoke about their
life, so I don't know if they ever migrated" (Interview 12). Many other
respondents also told me they had no idea whether their parents had ever
migrated or not: "I wonder if [my mother] even knows her way around
Ziguinchor!" (Interview 9). "They never told me about that, and I was
never curious enough to ask them" (Interview 30).
When one elicits them successfully, however, local oral accounts
generally agree with the migration history of the area as presented in
Chapter 2. Everyone I spoke with on the subject agreed that Diola
migrants into Boulouf had originated south of the river. It is likely,
given this and other evidence, that a general migratory movement
northward brought individuals just north of the Casamance River to
villages such as Affiniam and (probably somewhat later) to Boutem. Oral
accounts also point to Affiniam as the parent village of Boutem: among
other indications, it was referred to me as the "old village" at one

84
point.5 From there, people likely moved further north to other Boulouf
villages such as Thionk-Essil.6 "Boutame" is one subward of Thionk-
Essil (Hamer 1983:289). This fact, in particular, is interpreted by the
villagers of Boutem as proof that Thionk-Essil was founded by emigrants
from there.7 Hamlets such as Bod and Djilapao, located nearby the
relatively larger village of Boutem and sitting on either side of it,
most likely were founded or expanded as a result of fissioning from the
larger villages, as Boutem probably split off from Affiniam. Violent
disputes over agricultural land continue to break out at times in the
area. Boutem was actively "at war" with Diatok, to its north, during
the mid-1970s; its residents do not consider the dispute settled to this
day. This dispute led to the dissolution of the village association
comprising Affiniam, Boutem and Diatok, as is elaborated in an oral
history of the women's association presented later in this chapter.
In Chapter 2, we considered various forms of migration that
predominated during each of a set of four defined historical periods
(see Table 1). Several forms of migration characteristic of the earlier
periods can be observed in contemporary Lower Casamance. For example,
men still leave their villages to fish during extensive dry season
expeditions (diapanrj) This form of traditional rural-rural migration,
which can extend through an entire six-month dry season, consists of
camping and trapping fish along the rivers and marigots. It was
5The name Affiniam originates from village residents who tried to sell
fruits in Ziguinchor. When they failed to negotiate successfully they
would complain "Attiam" (literally, "You ate me") or, "you tricked me".
They were so ill-suited to commerce, the story goes, that they became
known in town by a corruption of this phrase, Affiniam.
Hamer (1983:230) dates the origin of Thionk-Essil at about 1720, based
on an oral history of named circumcision ceremonies, which among the
Diola occur at more or less regular intervals of about twenty years.
7Interestingly, the residents of Thionk interpret the historical
sequence precisely in the reverse, and this is the basis for a joking
relationship between the two groups.

85
mentioned in only one of my interviews when I asked whether a migant's
parents had ever migrated themselves:
My mother never went to the city, she always stayed in the village
until she became old. She never went to the city. If she
traveled, it was to other villages. She stayed in the village and
did agricultural work. My father only went fishing, he'd go
diapanrj. (Interview 28)
Alternatively, contemporary village residents, men in particular, may
undertake similar journeys to collect palm wine. These collecting trips
are often taken into Muslim areas, where the demand for this alcoholic
product is clandestine, if present at all. Selling the collected
product of such expeditions can represent a significant portion of a
rural resident's income. Furthermore, as Linares (1992) demonstrates
for another form of migration that was particularly important in the
past, the expansion of Diola communities northward into areas where they
did not reside previously, far from being only a historical process,
continues to this day.
In contrast, the forced migrations common only a few decades ago
are not directly observable in present day Lower Casamance, although as
elaborated above, older forms of rural-rural migration remain common.
Men who experienced corve labor, military conscription into the
colonial armies, or who migrated to The Gambia in avoidance of these
still live in the village, and therefore their experiences are
accessible to contemporary researchers. As discussed in the previous
chapter, corve labor was required by the French colonial administration
as a form of direct, in-kind taxation.8 The imposition of corve was
pervasive throughout Lower Casamance, as it was elsewhere in Senegal,
during and after the conquest of individual Diola villages. I was told
that "many" local men died as a result of the terrible conditions
8Fall and Mbodj (1989); see also Hamer (1983:240-241) for a
consideration of its effects in the nearby village of Thionk-Essil.

86
imposed upon them during their corve service. The French used whips to
force them to work beyond their normal capacities. Crews of Diola men,
using their long-handled traditional shovel, the kayendo, built many of
the roads that continue to be used today throughout the Lower Casa-
mance.9 They also built many bridges along the river, using the trunks
of local ronier palms. They were required to construct these bridges
over deep water, which was particularly dangerous.
One of the themes of my interviews with migrants to Dakar was the
history of migration among their parents. As I noted above, many
respondents simply did not know if their parents had ever travelled to
the city. Furthermore, short term events were apparently not regarded
as "real migration" by the interviewees themselves. If a parent
travelled to urban areas in search of health care, or for example if a
woman's mother came to Dakar to stay with her daughter for a few weeks
while she sold lemon juice, interviewees tended to discount these events
as too short to be considered migration. This was so even when such
incidents were explicitly cited and successfully elicited in interviews.
These events, like military service or corve labor, were not generally
perceived as migration per se by contemporary emigrants from Boutem, and
therefore are likely to remain unreported, even when one asks
specifically about a parent's history of migration.
My mother said migration didn't begin in her generation, but this
work started with her younger sisters. She said that her younger
sisters went to work in Ziguinchor for a few months. My father
never migrated, except perhaps for. .military service. . .
(Interview 20)
Interestingly, although this information never came to light by
other means, including the census, Antoine volunteered during one
conversation on this topic that his father had served time performing
?The first road constructed in Lower Casamance, from Bignona to Tobor,
was completed in 1921 with corve labor (Mark 1985:106-107).

87
corve labor. At that moment, and later, when this man and his wife so
generously shared their home in the village with me, I was struck by the
immediate accessibility of this unfortunate but nevertheless important
aspect of migration history. In a very real sense, the men who served
in corve labor groups ^represent the first modern migrations put of
Boutem and many other Diola villages. Nevertheless, despite the real
hardships they represent, these migrations were quite temporary: they
were confined to a week or two during the dry season, and appear to have
had little acculturative affect on participants, as much victims as
pioneers. Perhaps it is because of this lack of permanency and
acculturative affect that current migrants tend to discount the
importance of this form of migration, undertaken only a generation or so
ago.
Corve caused some men to leave the village for the first time, so
on one hand (in a limited sense, because as I've explained above, the
acculturative effect was minimal) it may have increased the integration
of the village of Boutem into the rest of Senegal. On the other hand, I
was also told by villagers that as a result of corve they learned to
flee at the first sight of whites heading toward their borders.
Therefore, I was told, when missionaries first came into Boutem to try
and open its first school they were left alone, sitting in an empty vil
lage "with nothing to do."10
While corve labor apparently had minimal acculturative effect on
the individuals forced to serve under this aspect of the colonial
Indignat, others left Casamance to avoid the imposition of its hard
ships. These men were among the earliest rather long-term modern
migrants from the village, most often traveling north into The Gambia.
10Roche (1976) discusses this form of whole village desertion as a
generalized form of passive resistance to colonial rule that was
employed by Diola villagers throughout Lower Casamance.

88
One of my interviews also touched on an example of this form of
migration, although it was not explicitly related to corve itself.
My father used to go to The Gambia, when Jacques's father was
there. He'd stay until the rainy season, but he didn't work. .
He just stayed with relatives until the rainy season. He was
offered a job, but since he was an only son, and his father was
old, he had to return to cultivate. The only son can't stay away
from the village during the rains. He wanted to stay, because he
was asked to stay so that they could get him work, but that's what
stopped him from staying there. (Interview 27)
I was told specifically that the avoidance of corve was what "pushed"
one man, V. Manga, to go to The Gambia. Several alternate means were
employed quite skillfully by others in their attempts to avoid military
conscription and corve. For example, I was told of the example of L.
Djiba, a highly respected school teacher who now has retired from a long
career teaching in Ziguinchor. He first went to school (probably in
Ziguinchor) through the completion of his brevet.11 In a successful
effort to avoid corve service, he then continued his schooling at a
Catholic seminary. He left the seminary before completing his studies
there because, I was told, he had always intended to use it simply as a
"stepping stone."
The role of the World War II veterans (who served in the famous
Tirailleurs Sngalais) is emphasized in local accounts of early
migrants from the village. This is an appropriate emphasis since, among
other things, these men often were the first individuals from the
village to learn French. Later, many young men became educated,
migrated for some time to Dakar, and returned to the village for the
rainy season. As part of the village association's rainy season
activities in the village, they organized comical skits that poked fun
at the poor or incomplete French language skills of the elder veterans,
11A diploma awarded in the French school system for the completion of
the first "cycle" of secondary school.

89
who in the village were at times called into service as translators but,
apparently, were not always successful.
The acquisition of French language skills allowed Africans to
enjoy increased mobility in colonial Senegal, for example opening more
job opportunities to them in urban Dakar. Similarly, some of the first
to leave the village also were those with the first schooling (as in the
case of L. Djiba, described above). Military conscription and the
introduction of mission or state primary education in the village were
two aspects of the encroaching influence of the colonial state on the
villages of the Lower Casamance. These interventions in village life
were introduced during the 1930s in much of the area, but were delayed
until later in many of the more isolated villages (Roche 1976).
"Three or four" of Boutem's World War II veterans also later
volunteered for the ultimately unsuccessful, and notoriously bloody,
French war against Algerian independence in 1958. The experience of
military service was often quite disturbing. This is how one woman
described her father's experiences during his military service. She is
referring to the revolts against forced military conscription that these
soldiers were called in to suppress in Benin between 1945 and 1949.
My father went with the army to Benin. After Indepen
dence in 1960, my father "took his own independence"
[i.e., he deserted] from the army and returned to the
village. When I was eight years old, the army needed
him, and came to the village to call him back into
service. He said he couldn't go back because
everything he saw over there was too strong, too much
for him. He said that sometimes when they went into
battle they saw so much blood that you'd say it had
rained blood, and they had to walk through it. (Inter
view 21)
Earliest Migrants to Dakar
Immediately following the Second World War, the colonial govern
ment bureaucracy in Senegal was expanding very rapidly. Dakar was the
administrative center of the entire territory of French West Africa.

90
There was therefore a growing demand in Dakar for technical and bureau
cratic workers in the government itself, as well as a rapid expansion of
demand for domestic goods, services, and the other consumer needs of its
employees.12 Wage work opportunities for Africans were made available
on an unprecedented scale. A few Diolas from Boutem, most of them among
the first to be educated in mission schools, began leaving the village
in search of work in the capital. At first only a few villagers made
the trip, led by a few war veterans, men who had been drafted by the
French military during World War II.
F. Badji was one of the first of these men to leave Boutem and
settle in Ouakam, just outside of Dakar.13 He was a military veteran of
the war in Algeria (1954-62), although he must have served there well
after settling in Ouakam. He and a few other early migrants housed and
helped to finance the migration of many family members and fellow
villagers (an example of chain migration). This is recognized by others
from Boutem as having helped to expand and speed the flow of migration
from there to Dakar. A small community of emigrants from Boutem
developed over time, centered in what has become the Ouakam neighborhood
of Dakar.
Early examples of chain migration from Boutem were relatively easy
to locate. Two such cases are brothers, L. and J. Badji, whom I met
separately at their current homes in two regional towns a few hours
drive along the Atlantic coast north of Dakar. Both of these men stayed
with F. Badji in Ouakam when they first undertook urban migration. L.
Badji was an adult when he first migrated, and began work as an appren-
l:After 1950, African employees were entitled to the same civil service
benefits as their French counterparts (Lambert 1994:54).
13The former village of Ouakam was one of the original Lbou villages of
Cap Vert, the peninsula upon which Dakar was built. It now is a
suburban neighborhood of Dakar, located near a French military base.

91
tice carpenter, as did another emigrant from Boutem, B. Badji. A fourth
early emigrant was R. Badji, who did radio repair work. All of these
men are now quite old. The majority of them had received at least some
primary education. As young men they generally had just completed their
primary certificat when they left the village. All of them stayed with
F. Badji in Ouakam when they first migrated.
Early Women Migrants
Interestingly, some of these men also are reported to have
provoked the first female emigrations from Boutem to Ziguinchor and
Dakar. They had left their girlfriends behind for a longer time than
the young women considered acceptable. Presumably other villagers
concurred with this assessment, at least in retrospect, as the men were
described to me as having "divorced" or betrayed their girlfriends. L.
Badji, the carpenter mentioned above, was one of the men who had run
away on his girlfriend. Some of the affected women subsequently "ran
off" to Ziguinchor to find work. For example, C. Djiba was one of the
first, if not the first woman to leave Boutem under such circumstances.
I was told that she was old enough to marry by the time she left. Like
C. Djiba, I was told she left for Ziguinchor. L. Badji's former
girlfriend married there, while C. Djiba eventually migrated to Dakar.
According to E. Djiba, this earliest group of female emigrants,
the victims of such "treasons," left Boutem between the 1930s and 1943.
He explained that they wanted to go to town themselves to learn a trade.
Like some of the men, several village women migrated to Ziguinchor or
other regional towns for short periods of time, perhaps a month or two,
or at most, during those early years, up to the six months or so of the
dry season (January to June) following the rice harvest. I was able to

1
92
hear about a number of such cases from the daughters of these early dry
season emigrants-
My father told me that he went to Ziguinchor and worked as a
fisherman, he sold fish in the market. He'd spend three or four
months, then come back to the village and work there. My mother
worked one month as a bonne and doing laundry in Ziguinchor.
(Interview 13)
My mother migrated during a short time. She went to Ziguinchor
for two months, returning to the village for agricultural work.
She used to earn 200 CFA a month or maybe 300 CFA. But my father
never migrated, he always stayed in the village. (Interview 19)
My father told me a bit about his life: he used to go to
Ziguinchor and work as a plumber, rethreading pipes. He'd earn 50
CFA a month, but only worked in the dry season, after the
agricultural work. (Interview 16)
My mother told me that she worked with the first brigade of French
gendarmes to be posted at Bignona. She worked there until she got
married. When she got married, she came to Dakar to stay with her
brother, but she didn't work here. My father went with the army
to Benin. (Interview 21)
My mother was [working] with the nuns in the convent. They taught
her how to keep house, do laundry and iron, to cook and sew. [How
long?] I don't know. My father stayed in Ziguinchor as a tailor.
He also did the same work in Kaolack. He didn't say how long but
I know he was a tailor in Ziguinchor and in Kaolack. (Interview
22)
My parents never told me the story of their lives, but I do know
that my father was a teacher, and my mother is a midwife
[therefore she had training outside of the village]. My mother
told me that she stayed in Elana, working with the nuns as a
midwife. My father was a teacher at Elana and Kolda, but I don't
know where else. (Interview 26)
I was told that eventually women "leap-frogged" men in terms of
their numbers as, migrants to Dakar (see Martin 1968:368). They also
, ... '
began to leave for the city at younger ages than did the men. I was
told that as soon as they had just enough school to read, write, and
speak some French, they began to leave the village to look for work.
Once in Dakar, early women migrants had opportunities to meet men from
other African countries. Some of them were soldiers, who had what
seemed like a lot of money at the time. There are several examples of
village women who were "lost" to such foreigners. They married Congo-

93
lese men, left the country with them, and have never returned. Other
women found work in Dakar and stayed for their entire careers. Women
who worked for Europeans earned more money than any of the emigrant men
could make in Dakar. The early women migrants who stayed in Dakar, in
turn, funded the migration of other villagers; E. Djiba told me that he
himself is a good example of this. They would house and feed, buy
clothing, pay for health care, transportation, association dues, and
provide everything for those they supported in Dakar. Two examples of
women who sponsored many other migrants are C. Djiba and M.-T. Manga.
Piola Associations
Among the Diola peoples of the Lower Casamance, rural traditional
associations are formed on an extremely diverse set of membership
criteria. An individual married woman typically may belong to as many
as seven or eight associations at one time, based on membership in, for
example, her mother's family, her father's family, her husband's family,
the general village association, residence in a quartier, the village
women's association, a choir or other Catholic church group, a group
associated with one of several spirit shrines, or perhaps a cooperative
labor group.14 In particular, Hamer (1983:186-196) emphasizes the role
of fertility associations among rural Diola women who have married into
their husbands' villages. The Gaenaelene group functions to nurture and
protect childless married women from the possible causes of their
infertility. Other rural women's associations function as mutual aid
societies for agricultural labor (Hamer 1983:203).
14These examples apply to a hypothetical village resident of Boutem.
Other rural membership possibilities are elaborated in Reveyrand (1986,
1986/87, 1987). I also elicited a number of other possibilities for the
village of Boutem myself.

94
Contemporary urban Diola associations are of the voluntary "self-
help" type that is common throughout West Africa and elsewhere (Little
1957, 1971; Taylor 1964; Meillassoux 1968; Acquah 1974; Barnes 1975;
Kerri 1976; Barnes and Peil 1977; Schtz 1977; Kerr 1978; Wunsch 1978;
Barkan 1991; Peil 1984; Keirn 1970; Woods 1994). Membership is somewhat
less voluntary than in other West African self-help groups.15 Peculiar
to the Diola form of such associations is the fact that, like their
traditional rural forms, they are founded upon a diverse set of
membership criteria. As in the contemporary rural setting, in Dakar one
may be expected to pay monthly dues to three-to-five associations. For
example, Antoine paid monthly dues to his "nuclear family" (which
included his second cousins), to his "big family" (all emigrant Badjis
from Boutem), and to the village association.16
In another situation Antoine might also have been obliged to pay
dues to the village association's youth section. He also explained that
his mother's family does not require dues of him, although they could.
He explained that they recognize the difficulty of maintaining monthly
dues payments to the many groups that require these in the already
difficult economic conditions many migrants face in Dakar. In contrast,
a close friend of his, who was about the same age and grew up in the
neighboring house in Boutem, pays dues to both his father's and mother's
family associations.
Many individuals I interviewed in Dakar complained bitterly that
the burden of paying monthly dues to several groups was at times over-
15For example, the women's association investigated habitual absentees,
expelling those who could not account for their behavior. Reminders of
past due payments were sent to members as well.
16See Linares (1983:139-141) for a discussion of these social
categories: the eluhol is a broad group, a patrilineage of those
sharing the same patronym; the buayu is smaller and generally de-
emphasized, an extended patrilineal family.

95
whelming in their tenuous financial circumstances (see Chapter 4). Some
of my interviewees explained that they would at times feel compelled to
avoid attendance at meetings (some of which may require more than one
bus fare to reach, as well as a good part of what may be her only free
day of the week). If she does attend without having the dues money
available, she may at times request that a friend or family member pay
her dues for her, or her husband may provide them. Others told me that
they would carefully manage their dues payments, for example making only
a single payment each month in succession to each association to which
they belong. The long term result of such a strategy, however, is that
she remains in arrears on all payments with every group, with the likely
result that she is left feeling ashamed. Related to such guilt feelings
is a strong ethic of independence and self-sufficiency in Diola culture,
associated with a rather well developed system of private property
ownership (Linares 1992:36; also see Snyder 1981).
I was interested in what benefits might make all these payments
worthwhile, and if I could gather any information about the pattern of
who pays dues in the context of the one organization to which I had good
access, the women's association. Furthermore, I became interested in
the process by which these traditional rural associations were
transformed in the urban setting. As I have mentioned before, emigrant
associations organize projects in the home village, providing some
benefits to residents there. But as far as individual benefits to urban
members, I was curiously unable to discover any that seemed to me
entirely compelling. Emigrants are dispersed widely in the urban
setting, and communication among former village residents is difficult.
^When one travels, for example, it is expected that one will bring
enough rice to feed oneself for the duration of the trip. The church
choir association, for example, maintained a plot of rice to provide its
members with their own food during singing tours throughout the area.

96
Monthly meetings provide some means of maintaining social contacts,
supplemented by holiday dances that elicit even greater participation.
I will discuss the benefits of associations more in the following
chapter. In the sections below I discuss the history of Boutem's
emigrant associations in Dakar, as their usefulness was probably greater
in the recent past.
The Village "Men's" Association: "We Had No Big Brothers Here."
The first urban association in which migrants from Boutem partic
ipated was probably the combined village association of Affiniam and
Boutem. According to E. Djiba, the membership consisted primarily of
the few educated young men who had come to Dakar at the time, about
fifteen members. I was told that while its structure was based on
traditional (rural) associations, its purpose was to "channel" its
members, keeping them informed of potential problems they might
encounter in the city, to help them find work, and to teach them where
they might discover important resources that were available to them,
such as night courses. They had "no thoughts" of turning their efforts
back toward the village at the time. Later, during the 1960s, as
migrants came to have a higher level of education, they began to have
more structured meetings, to keep written records, to meet on a regular
basis, and to write rules. It was only later that they began to
consider projects that would be directed at the development of their
village. But back then, the role of the association was focused upon
urban needs, because "we had no big brothers here."
The migrant "youths" (unmarried men) had to organize together in
order to help themselves out. At that time, new arrivals in town stood
out to previous migrants. These newcomers were easily located, so they
could be brought into the group as soon as they arrived. They were

97
introduced to a means of assistance, and would be integrated immediately
into a system of information sharing on family and village problems. As
far as activities, they organized dances and, importantly, pooled their
resources via dues payments for expenses of "primary importance" such as
funerals and baptisms. Monthly dues were originally set at 100 CFA
(about thirty U.S. cents at 1990 rates) for the employed, and 50 CFA for
students and the unemployed. At that time, E. Djiba explained, this was
expensive: he compared the dues to a few consumables, such as a tomato
can full of groundnuts, which then cost 5 CFA, and a kilo of bread,
which was 30 CFA. One generation of officers would pass on their
records to the older members of the next age group, following their
initiation at the bukut ceremony held in the village about every twenty
years.
Individual informal associations from the same local area
eventually gathered together in an attempt to create a larger organiza
tion. In about 1958 an organizational meeting was convened of what
became known as the Regroupement des Associations de Boulouf. The
individual village associations, however, had been formed "well before
1958." I didn't learn whether or not this combined organization still
exists, or what eventually happened to it. Because I never heard about
it except in this historical discussion, I assume that as individual
village associations incorporated larger numbers of migrants over time,
the need for a combined association diminished.18 Certainly the
difficulty of paying dues to many groups was mentioned by many people,
and perhaps over time there was less reason for such a large group to
remain active. Members from a larger, more dispersed set of villages
18See Lambert (1994:92) for a summary of the history of associations
related to another village in the Boulouf region. He dates the break-up
of the larger regional association "some time in the early 1960's."

98
may have felt less empathy for individuals from distant communities when
they faced family or personal crises.
In fact, after some time, the combined village association of
Affiniam and Boutem also broke up into two separate associations. This
resulted from an attempt to incorporate Diatok, a third neighboring
village, into the group. Diatok and Boutem were traditionally enemies,
fighting over the control of agricultural land, and have yet to settle
their dispute (see Hamer 1983:63-64 on other such conflicts in Boulouf).
Boutem thus established its independent association. The actual name of
Boutem's village association, stamped onto its official documents, is
Association des Rassortisants de Boutem.19
I. Badji recounted that the Boutem "men's" or village association
formed as a result of the women's organization activities. At another
time, E. Djiba explained to me how the women's association developed as
a result of the activities of the village organization. To be fair,
they are probably both correct, simply seeing the same facts somewhat
differently: he apparently dates the origin of the village association
to the time before Boutem had an independent association, while she
refers to its founding after it broke apart from the group incorporating
its neighboring villages, Affiniam and Diatok. The historical
importance lies not with the question of which group formed first, but
rather with the fact that both groups developed at about the same time,
out of the common conditions and experiences of the early migrants from
Boutem in Dakar.
Men were first invited to join the women's association after an
Easter holiday dance in 1963, according to I. Badji. This is the event
19This is best translated as the Association of Boutem Natives. The
French verb used in the title means "to reunite that which belongs
together," and conveys a certain poetic meaning. I believe, however,
that the original intent was to use the more common French term, ressor-
tisants meaning "natives."

99
that, although the date appears rather too late for me to report it with
confidence, inspired the origin of the independent Boutem "men's associ
ation" in Dakar. When the people of Boutem found out that the villagers
of Diatok had been invited to this dance, they left both the dance
itself and the larger association en masse.
You know, before, there was no association. Beyond that, we
didn't even know what an association was. Our association began
when the people from Bagand [Affiniam] asked us to form an
association together with them. After a dance party there was an
argument and this association that included both villages was
disbanded. The cause of the argument between us was that they had
asked people from the village of Diatok to join the association.
They were our enemies. Throughout history there has been a war
between our two villages, which has not been settled to this day.
The association of people from Boutem, Bagand, and Diatok was
broken-up on the day of a banquet. We had decided to have a
party. The women and men of Boutem had decided beforehand to go
to the party, but that later they would celebrate separately, at
Ouakam. If at any time there would be something preventing them
from being together with their brothers from Bagand and Diatok,
just then they would turn back and that's what they did. They
left the place as a group and went back to Ouakam on foot, to [F.
Badji's] house. That's where they continued their party for two
days before breaking up, when everyone went back home. It was
from that day on that the men formed their (independent)
association. (Interviews 5/27/90 and 5/29/90)20
History of the Boutem Women's Association in Dakar
The Boutem women's association was originally founded in Ouakam
with seven members. Most likely, this was during the late 1940s or
early 1950s. Two more women, including I. Badji (who provided me with
most of the information I gathered about the history of the women's
association), joined the group soon after its original formation. These
two women lived further away, closer to the center of Dakar, in the
Koloban neighborhood. I. Badji told me that the original function of the
group was to organize dance parties for the Christmas and Easter
20These interviews, otherwise conducted as described above in the
methods section, were translated from the audio tapes into French by
Antoine Badji and mailed to me after my departure from Senegal.

100
holidays, but I was told in other contexts that Boutem's migrants first
felt the need for such cooperative associations in the urban setting
when a maid, who had worked at the Ouakam French military base, died.
The original function of Boutem's urban associations was thus based on
the need to collect enough money to pay for one woman's funeral expenses
in Dakar. This was the reason the associations were originally formed,
I was told in several contexts, although I. Badji never touched on this
point in her own account.21
E. Djiba referred to the maid who died at Ouakam as the first
"victim" (or death of a migrant villager). The same term was applied to
her case and that of several other deaths away from home in conver
sations about those early times in Dakar. Because there was no way to
transport the body back to the village, what funds that were available
had to be collected and used for burial there. Because nobody had any
but the most menial jobs, no one from Boutem had much money at the time:
"there were no government bureaucrats" among the migrants at that time.
The employed women were maids, as most continue to be now, and several
of the men, for example, were apprentice carpenters or mechanics. The
association's first function was to collect money for such needs.
I. Badji probably was simply avoiding discussion of this rather
sad aspect of the association's origins when she focused her remarks on
the holiday dances. Dances were one way to earn money for such somber
needs as funerals, but dues were also collected at monthly women's
association meetings. These were originally set at 15 CFA (five U.S.
cents) per person. Perhaps the unfortunate need for such collections is
21Roche (1986:326) notes the critical emotional and spiritual impact
upon the Diola when conscripts from the Bignona Company of the First
Regiment of Tirailleurs died at the battle of Arras in November 1914 and
were subsequently buried on foreign soil, in France.

101
what underlay the common feeling among the members of this rather small
group that they all were facing the same difficult situation as one.
At the time there was a real feeling of solidarity among us: if
your friend didn't have the means to pay her dues, you paid it for
her. These dues of 15 CFA held us for six years. After six years
we saw that the association was growing, and we called a meeting
to raise the dues up to 30 CFA. (Interviews 5/27/90 and 5/29/90)
The focus on dances as the group's main function also reflects
what was a conscious strategy to increase membership. The association
continued to grow, and the meeting place was moved from Ouakam to the
Hainoumane neighborhood. From there, it moved again, this time to Fass,
where the group met at I. Badji's home. The association then was dis
banded for four or five years in the early-to-mid 1970s as a result of
unresolvable disagreements about membership dues: "We decided to divide
up our treasury funds, and what we finally did was each member took her
money and did with it what she wanted. But I, [I. Badji], I bought an
outfit of clothing" (Interviews 5/27/90 and 5/29/90).
When the women reorganized the association in about 1976, monthly
dues were reintroduced at a reduced rate. By then the group was meeting
in the Koloban neighborhood, its fourth meeting place. For the first
time membership was opened to all women from Boutem, increasing
membership greatly. By this time, more of the younger members had been
educated in the village school, and the group began to keep records. A
formal set of rules was adopted and recorded. As soon as a woman
arrived in the city from Boutem, she now was considered a full member,
and her name was inscribed in the record book. From that point, she had
all of the same rights and responsibilities of the older members. Orga
nized projects sponsored by the association were first undertaken after
this reorganization of the mid-1970s, although I was told that none of
these have been both independent of the village "men's" association and
also successful.

102
I. Badji provides a sense of the difference between the older
organization and the larger, younger, reorganized group:
The first leader of our association was C., and the meetings were
held at her house in Ouakam. V. took it up for a few years after
that, until her husband was transferred to Kaolack. She was
replaced by S., C. Djiba, and I. Badji.
Up until now, we have never elected a president. Our presidents
are seated by age seniority. When the leadership changes, so does
the meeting place. The association keeps a big record-book that
lists all the names of the women who reside in Dakar. When there
are new arrivals, we inscribe them there. We didn't used to do
this, because we were illiterate. Bgt despite our lack of
education, the membership was ruled by understanding, and all our
decisions came from the hierarchical voice of seniority.
As for other problems the association has had, there have been
none. Except maybe for now, the younger women have little respect
for their elders. Beyond that, the dues don't come in as they
should. You are forced to shout, shout for them to pay their
dues, but not at all of them. The difficulty that the association
faces now is attendance, calling members to meetings. The dues
aren't working. They don't listen to us, the older women, very
well. Besides that, these projects such as the maternity clinic,
the gardens, and the other initiatives that can sustain them
financially. We are fighting morally and physically to build an
association and to develop other projects. We are building it for
the future. (Interviews 5/27/90 and 5/29/90)
As I. Badji states in the passage above, the president of the
women's association is seated according to her age seniority, rather
than by election. I was therefore surprised that the scheduling of
elections was taken up by the group as a whole at one meeting I
attended. This inconsistency may be explained by my presumption that
these elections were being organized to fill the posts of lesser offi
ces, such as that of secretary and treasurer. These are currently held
by much younger women. Another explanation may be that although
elections are held for all officers, the president is elected in
confirmation of her seniority, although I was specifically told that she
was not elected. I was unable to verify the actual procedure for
seating the president of the association.
Another statement she makes, that all meetings are held at the
president's house, also seems to be at odds with my participatory

103
observations. They are not now held at the home of C. Djiba, the
current president. I assume they are held instead in Benn Tali because
of the large amount of space available there. C. Djiba lives in a rent-
free, high-rise apartment built circa 1960 as a job benefit for a set of
rather elite government workers (her husband has been an officer in the
secret service for his entire career). It is located in the midst of a
now highly urbanized commercial area near the center of Dakar, and has
no courtyard in which the group could meet.
Summary
Diola rural voluntary associations are based upon very diverse
kinds of social groups and categories, such as village and quartier
residence, family membership, religious groups, marriage and fertility
status, work groups, age groups, and common interests, such as Boutem's
church choir. Urban associations were at first informal social
gatherings of somewhat elite (they were among the first to have a
Western education), often related, groups of friends and acquaintances.
These were "based on the structure" of traditional rural associations,
among other things insofar as they were probably headed by the eldest
members. These earliest urban associations provided a means of sharing
news between the capital and the village, a locus for socializing on
special occasions, and eventually developed enough organization to seek
out new arrivals and incorporate them into this increasingly urbane
group. Among other things they eventually were able to systematically
disseminate job-related information to new arrivals. The turning point
in these groups is recognized as the funeral of the first villager to
die in Dakar.
When the first villager died, the emigrant association in Dakar
began collecting dues from its membership in order to pay for her

104
funeral. This was a critical moment in the history of Boutem's
emigrants, as the year 1914 had been for the families of Diola
conscripts who died at the battle of Arras and were buried in France
(Roche 1986:326). In taking financial responsibility for their fellow
villager's burial, and because no one had much money, the emigrants were
forced to solicit their membership to raise the necessary funds. Even
so, they could not afford to transport her remains back to Boutem, and
her funeral was held locally in Dakar. I was told in several contexts
that this is why the association formed. In fact, my interpretation is
that it was this crisis that forced the association to become more
formal, and why it began to collect dues from its members. Once they
routinely collected dues, record-keeping and institutional formality was
also increasingly bound to be favored.
Similar conditions were undoubtedly experienced by other Diola
emigrants to Dakar at about the same time. In 1958, the Boutem
association joined with others to form a regional group. Lambert
(1994:91-92) found that, for people from the village he studied, this
regional Boulouf association was the first that emigrants joined. By
about 1960, though, with increasingly large groups of emigrants arriving
in Dakar from each of the constituent villages, this larger group became
less manageable, and broke up into smaller village-based organizations.
Similarly, the interim attempt to maintain an association composed of
both Affiniam and Boutem also failed. In fact, in other cases, as
Lambert (1994) found, quartier associations have replaced village
associations in their importance and level of activity.
Conclusions
The first section of this chapter elaborated my research methods
which included participant observation, interviews with thirty migrant

105
women, a village-based census of migration histories, and the analysis
of the Dakar women's association's dues records. Other interviews
included the current and former officers of the men's and women's
associations. The second section was an oral history of migration from
Boutem to Dakar. In the final section, I considered the origins of the
urban associations in traditional self-help and other groups, and then
outlined the changes that have occurred over time in the urban
emigrant's association. In the following chapter, I will continue
presenting the findings of my research, concentrating on the
contemporary situation of emigrants in Dakar by analyzing interviews and
the dues records of the womens association, in combination with data
gathered in a census of the village.

CHAPTER 4
BOUTEM AND ITS CONTEMPORARY WOMEN EMIGRANTS
Introduction
This chapter continues the presentation of data collected in Dakar
and Boutem, beginning in the first section with a description of the
village itself, followed by an analysis of the interviews conducted
among urban female emigrants. This analysis is intended to provide the
reader with a sense of the emigrants' lives in Dakar. It begins with
their career histories, considers their working conditions, and provides
responses to the question of why they migrated in the first place. This
is followed by a discussion of commerce as an alternative (at least
under some circumstances) to finding work as a domestic maid, and by an
elaboration of household expenses (including remittances to rural family
members) for which emigrants must budget given their modest wages. In
the third section, this presentation of the contemporary situation
continues with a presentation of the results from the census I conducted
there. Among other objectives, the census was designed to compare
interviewees and other emigrant groups with permanent village residents.
It should help to place the interview data in the context of the entire
village, as the census itself should be understood in the historical
context presented in Chapters 2 and 3. An analysis of the women's
association dues records follows. Finally, there is a discussion of the
findings presented in the rest of the chapter.
106

107
The contemporary village of Boutem
The village of Boutem is located north of the Casamance River,
fifteen kilometers west-northwest of Ziguinchor, the regional capital of
Casamance (see Figure 1). Older parts of the village are marked by
thatched banco (mud brick) houses under the trees of the forest and more
closely situated to the rice fields. Newer neighborhoods are closer to
the road, surrounded by open groundnut fields, with their houses more
often roofed in corrugated metal (see Figure 2). A relatively small
village, its permanent population was only 345 men, women, and children
in 1990, when I was there and conducted a census. More than this number
are gone, either permanently in Dakar, for example, or like many others,
away for the dry season. The latter will return by August to animate
village social life and undertake to produce a harvest from its
groundnut fields and expansive rice paddies.
The village is located at the base of a narrow six kilometer long
peninsula jutting south towards the river. This provides it with easy
access to abundant rice fields and other natural resources. Boutem is
noted for its possession of ample agricultural, and especially rice
paddy, land. The hamlets of Elora and Djilapao are located on the
southern tip of this peninsula, across the longest expanse of Boutem's
rice fields.
Boutem is notable from a cultural point of view in that it is the
only Diola village entirely without Muslim families in Boulouf (see
Hamer 1983:141-142). The strength of Catholicism (and the traditional
kawasen religion) there makes it more like villages south of the
Casamance River. The church is built at the north-eastern edge of the
village, prominently visible from the road. Approaching from the south
via the river and marigot, however, the main footpath leads one by the

108
spirit shrine, an unassuming rustic wood frame tall enough only to sit
under, covered with enough palm fronds to shed a light rain while one
offers libations to its inhabitant, Kajumo. Residents often travel back
and forth to Ziguinchor this way, making use of large commercially
operated canoes. These are powered by small outboard engines (the two
boats I took had fifteen and forty horsepower), carrying up to about
fifty people with their luggage as well as commercial freight (often
mangoes or other locally-grown fruit). They take about two hours to
travel the distance down the Casamance River from Ziguinchor and up the
winding mangrove-lined marigot that leads to Boutem, charging 600 CFA
(at the time, about U.S. $2.00) for each passenger.
The actual boundaries of the village of Boutem are difficult for
an outside oberver to discern. Like other Diola villages, it extends
toward its neighbor, Affiniam, about eight kilometers to the East. It
seems that there is always a nearby house as one walks along the road
from one village to the other. Boutem is comprised of six quartiers,
named Bougafou, Elegnande, Sambousoulier, Bafikan, Boutoupa, and
Boukiak. Unlike Lambert (1994:148-163), I found no evidence that these
divisions were given any social significance in the urban setting.
However, they were clearly important in the village. Even there I saw
little evidence of their social significance; they were primarily used
to indicate geographical locations.1 I constructed the map of the
village below from a sketch drawn from memory by Boutem's former school
teacher, A. Dion. While I was able to associate many individuals with
their residences, the map includes only four of Boutem's six quartiers,
and one of these is only partly represented.
*My understanding of village quartiers is incomplete. They have some
physical coherence, but I found no clear borders when I tried to map
households according to quartier membership. Lambert's (1994:148-163)
discussion of social organization in a village north of Boutem is
useful.

109
Village of Boutern, Senegal
p=j Peanut Field*
1. Cemetery
j-X-j Forest
II. Sacred Forest
III. Foyer
Wetlands / Rice Paddles
IV. School
|
||||] Inlet
V. Church
Path
VI. Women's Co-op Garden
Main Road
VII. Football Field
VIII. Maternity Clinic
Numbers Indicate houses
IX. Wells
X. Shrine
Figure 2: Village of Boutem, Senegal. From a map drawn by Jenny
Konwinski.

110
My own impressions of Boutem are based on about ten weeks
residence there between June and August of 1990. We travelled several
times between Ziguinchor and Boutem on the commercial motorized "taxi-
canoes" to conduct business and replenish supplies in Ziguinchor. Their
schedule varied, but villagers were able to detect the sound of their
small motors long before I could hear them. At this sound, they would
hurredly gather their belongings and make their way to the landing in
time to catch the boat. For the most part I enjoyed these river trips,
with the chance they provided to spot wildlife, including a crocodile, a
large flock of flamingoes, and many other birds. Arriving for the first
time from the marigot at the village landing, marked only by a large
Baobab tree and an eroded bank, we scampered up and began to walk across
a wide expanse of rice land, along the raised furrows between small
individual plots. I remember wondering where the village was as I
covered the mile or so between the marigot and the trees in the hot sun,
not seeing the homes nestled under the large trees that were themselves
clearly visible, though fairly distant from the landing. As we
approached more closely, a few houses on the southern edge of the
village, one of its oldest areas, became visible under the trees. Once
we were under the welcome shade, we passed a well and the main spirit
shrine along the wide footpath. Still, houses were so dispersed that I
didn't realize we were walking through the very heart of the village,
rather than what I imagined at first were its outskirts. On the far
north side of the village, along the road, were the school, church, and
youth foyer.
From the cool shade of the grove of trees that marked the southern
edge of the village it was not a long walk to our destination, Antoine's
parent's home. Like all of the buildings in the village, it was made of
banco, a compressed mud brick that I compare to adobe. These are

Ill
impressive structures, strong and comfortable, although more modest than
the larger impluvium and even two-story buildings constructed in a more
grand and traditional style as tourist hostels (campements de touriste).
I enjoyed living in the village, where the pace of life stood in such
stark contrast to the bustle of the city. Many of its pathways led into
relatively dense forest, where I enjoyed taking stock of the many
unfamiliar trees, and encountering the sights and sounds of many birds,
such as hornbills, as well as chamelions, tree snakes and even once a
large monitor lizard six feet or more in length. Although the climate
in Casamance was more humid than that of Dakar, I found myself more
comfortable there, where at night we slept under a cool thatched roof
and during the day we walked most often in the shade below large mango,
kapok, and other tropical trees.
Although the village is divided by a road, linking it most
directly with Bignona and Affiniam (an eight kilometer walk that is not
infrequently undertaken by residents), it is not heavily used by
motorized traffic. The few times in a week that a vehicle does pass are
easily noticed by residents from anywhere within its boundaries; in this
quiet setting noise travels far, even through the trees. All water is
gathered by women from one of two wells in the village, and cooking is
done in open fires with fuelwood, also gathered uniquely by the women of
a household. Latrines were being dug by a few young men about the time
I was leaving the village, apparently in preparation for the heavy rains
that were expected. There is no electrical or other such utility
service in Boutem, and even battery powered radios or other devices were
uncommon. The youth group did organize to transport and charge a car
battery in Ziguinchor, in order to power their speakers and music
equipment for the dances. Commercial activity, as described in the
following section on interviewees work, was very informal and not at all

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obvious. Affiniam, in contrast, had a small store that was easily
recognizable along the footpath into town from the road. In Boutem, a
small church is the most prominent visible sign of the village as seen
from the road; behind it are the school and the youth foyer (a dance
hall and meeting place). In the newer parts of the village, some houses
are close to the road, and a few more are visible across the open
groundnut fields. Older parts of the village are not visible from the
road.
Because we arrived before the first rains, the pace of life was
indeed slow in the village during the first few weeks we were there.
Most of the people that had remained there during the dry season were
relatively old or quite young. The children spent their days either
fishing or gathering fruit high in the trees, while many of their elders
seemed to spend much of their time doing little else but drinking bunuk,
palm wine. As time passed, though, household and other groups of
villagers began to clear fields in preparation for the groundnut
planting season, then moved on to clear nursery fields for rice
seedlings, which would later be transplanted into the open paddies
closer to the marigot.
I amused Antoine's family by attempting to assist in the creation
of the large furrows upon which seeds are planted, wielding the kayendo,
a long handled Diola shovel. It does not take long to appreciate the
difficulty of such work, and I did not do more than scratch a small
amount of soil with one of these truly beautiful teak and iron
implements. Other important work included the building of livestock
enclosures and the herding of animals into them, the only way to protect
fields from damage by wandering goats, pigs, and cattle.
Once the migrants began to return, there was an even more marked
change in the nature and level of farming and other activity. I was

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impressed with the ostentation of many young returnees, who often
sported new hair styles, costume jewelry, flashy cothes, and shoe
styles. These all seemed to be more urban than their own habitual style
of dress in Dakar, and even more out of place in this quiet rural
village. The celebration of their return included dance parties than
ran throughout several nights as well as special church services,
drumming and singing occasions, and finally the big meeting of the
village youth association that signaled the end of my stay.
Women Migrants to Dakar: "Work Is Not for Finding Happiness"
The amount of time that women I interviewed had lived in Dakar
ranged from less than one to more than twenty-five years, but all had
grown up in the village of Boutem. Importantly, each had made the
transition from the rural setting to an urban life more or less on her
own. Many had first left the village, whether many years ago or just
recently, after finishing only a minimal amount of formal education
(perhaps including a few years of secondary school in Ziguinchor).
After some amount of time in practical training, often with family
"tutors," these women began working in the homes of foreigners, largely
cut off from their own families and culture. Frequently a younger woman
may share time with friends and family for only one day a week before
returning to her employer's home for another week of work. There, it is
not unheard of for her to be mistreated, and it is fairly common to face
a certain amount of prejudice and humiliation.
Clearly, these women face many hardships. They are employed
within other people's homes and out of the public eye, often by people
with much more wealth and a higher social status. When they are
mistreated, they have little recourse. They generally remain stoic,
however, and persevere in difficult jobs until they are able to improve

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their working conditions and pay by taking another position. Over time,
many women do find better jobs, although such positions as a whole are
not secure for long periods of time.
Their stories are best told in their own words, with all of their
individual circumstances and qualities more in evidence. In this
section, I first present some background on patterns of career histories
and examples of the working conditions they face. Then I present their
own explanations for why they began to migrate. This is followed by a
few descriptions of commercial endeavors, as these are sometimes used to
supplement or replace income from "the work of the migrant," that of the
domestic maid or bonne-mnagre. A presentation of the women's
household expenses follows the concentration on their work. They
describe their household budgets for such things as rent, food,
utilities, association dues, remittances, clothing, health care, school
fees, and transportation.
Career Histories of Women Migrants
While many of the women I interviewed did not follow a career
pattern of first working for African families followed by employment
with Europeans, this seemed to be an expected progression. Nearly
twenty percent of the migrants I interviewed noted that they first
worked for African employers before finding work with Europeans. For
example, F. Djiba, who has worked for twenty-five years in Dakar and
began migrating at age fifteen, told me she "left the village, [and]
began working for a Wolof family the first year, but the next year [I]
began work with a French family who wanted to take [me] to France"
(Interview 1). J. Manga has been in the capital city eleven years. "I
began working for some Senegalese [Wolof] as a young girl. I have grown
up since then. I have worked with Europeans" (Interview 6). Other
emigrants from the village told me much the same story, despite the fact

115
that they had the presumed advantage of having trained "with the nuns,
in a technical school home economics course in either Dakar or
Ziguinchor.
That first year I went back to the village [after training with
the nuns in Dakar]. I came back again after the harvest in 1979.
Then I worked for a Senegalese [Wolof] family. . Since coming
back this time, on March thirtieth, 1985, I've been working with
Europeans, and haven't been back to the village since. (Interview
9)
I first worked for a Toucouleur, then for a Portuguese, and then
for a Frenchman. Frankly, the Toucouleur was very nice to me. He
bought me clothes in addition to my salary of 15,000 CFA.J The
Portuguese was nice, but just paid the 15,000 CFA salary.
(Interview 10)
When I was old enough my cousin said, "OK, now you're ready to
look for work." She looked for a job for me for 2,000 CFA a month
with a Serawhollie [this was more than twenty years ago]. He was
very good to me, I can't lie about that. He was a relative of my
cousin, and he treated me like family. (Interview 11)
In other cases, young women told me that they were successful at
getting jobs with European employers right away: "[My] first job was at
5,000 CFA3 with a French employer. This was a lot of money at the time,
when a sack of rice [100 kilos] cost 1,500 CFA, and [I] could afford all
[my] expenses with this salary. [I] never worked for Africans, [and]
never got any vacations" (Interview 4). A. Manga has worked for
thirteen years in Dakar, first migrating in 1977. "I went to a nun I
knew in the village, who works with a placement service for maids, and
quickly got work with whites" (Interview 7). O. Diatta, has been in
Dakar for four years, and also found work with a European on her first
season migrating, but points to one of the insecurities of this kind of
'At the time of my research in 1990, the U.S. dollar was worth about 300
CFA. Common salaries for maids ranged from 20,000 to 50,000 CFA, or
from U.S. $70 to about $165 a month. This interviewee has been in Dakar
more than twenty-five years, so her salary at that time was very good
indeed.
lAgain, this figure represents salaries from a long time ago, as she
continued to explain she'd worked for twenty-six years in Dakar.

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work. "I worked for a Frenchman the first year, but he left without
notice or paying anything" (Interview 8).
Africans [generally, Wolof] often employ younger, less experienced
maids (European habits and cooking skills, for example, are not one of
the qualifications), but also tend to pay less than European (the Wolof
word is toubaab, and Americans are considered within this category)
expatriates. They are reputed to be harsh with their employees,
although as the case above demonstrates, difficulties may be encountered
with any employer. Because of the difference in work skills and
experience that African and European employers demand, many women find
their first jobs in African households. Later, with some luck, they may
find work with Europeans, although a range of experiences and salaries
are possible within this potentially more lucrative market. Working for
unenlisted French military personnel is apparently the bottom rung of
employment with Europeans.
There is no guarantee, of course, simply because one has worked
for Europeans, that a woman will never again have to work in an African
(most likely a lower paying) household. Although she was working for a
Wolof woman at the time of our interview, M. Diatta mentioned that "when
I was working for whites, I was registered [with the Inspection]"
(Interview 22). The issue of registration is important to maids, who
work in a capricious environment far from home, out of public view
within the homes and families of foreigners. It is accepted that
African employers will not register their maids with the Inspection de
la Main d'Oeuvre, or other federal employment-related agencies.
Although some European employers may do so as a matter of course,
particularly official agencies, among most Europeans it is still,
apparently, a rare practice. Even employers with altogether good
intentions often fail to undertake the registration of their domestic

117
workers. It is certainly true that employment rules are complex, the
process of registration is bureaucratic and heavy on paperwork, and
maids often admitted to me that they would quit one job for another
better opportunity without a second thought.
In the end, domestic employees must rely on the good will of their
employers to undertake the difficult process of registration.
Unfortunately, the willingness of her employer to suffer the
inconveniences of registration is necessary before a woman can be
assured of unemployment benefits and the like if she does encounter
difficulties at work. Therefore, the issue is rarely broached in
employment negotiations, and once conditions turn bad the women have no
hope that they will become registered. However, the women are generally
stoic about job conditions, saying that they don't work to have a good
time, but must simply tolerate whatever difficulties they encounter
until they can find better. Furthermore, a number of women pointed out
that they were treated quite well by African employers, although others
made it clear that Africans (and probably the Wolof in particular) were
very difficult to work for. It is also worth pointing out here that a
few migrant women do get other jobs; not all are maids, as we shall see
later as well.
Very commonly (it was mentioned in the career histories of forty
percent, or twelve out of the thirty interviews) women migrants are
"tutored" or "sponsored" by relatives, for whom they either work without
pay or for very low wages while they learn the "work of migration." In
some cases this training is as difficult as working for employers that
the women do not know, though several rationalized their harsh treatment
by attributing it to a kind of toughening technique:
[I] first came to Dakar in 1975, found work right away with an
aunt as a bonne. [My] aunt was very severe, harsh with [me],
although not mean. [I] realized that this was training for [my]
work, so [I] tolerated it, withstood the stress despite [my]

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anger. It was very hard work, but [I] put up with the
difficulties. [I] was lucky to be with [my] aunt, as [I] even
considered returning to the village several times, and probably
would have if this job were with a Wolof family. (Interview 5)
My first year was hard, I worked very hard. But the most
difficult time was where I lived, with my "tutor" [her maternal
aunt]. I was treated poorly and had to sleep on the floor. It
really didn't seem worth it to stay in town, and I asked myself
why I was there. (Interview 13)
In other cases, the relationship with tutors is apparently more
convivial, with the young women accepting their lack of pay with the
understanding that they will eventually leave their relative's homes to
find employment, using the skills that they have gained there among
family. M. Badji, who is thirty-two years old and has been in Dakar
about twenty years, has since boarded many of her own younger relatives,
putting some of them through school. "My first year here I was under
the care of my father's younger brother. I just took care of his
children" (Interview 19). A few more examples help to illustrate the
range of experiences interviewees encountered with tutors.
Before coming to Dakar to work, I worked two years for a cousin, a
year in Brin and a year in Mlomp [Diola villages south of the
Casamance River, nearby Boutem]. She's a teacher, and I watched
her children. At the end of the second year, I said that I want
to go to Dakar to look for work, because now I've learned how to
cook, etc. here. I've been in Dakar ever since, but I can't say
how long it's beenmore than twenty-five years. (Interview 10)
I don't remember when I first came to Dakar, but I was young ["I
didn't have breasts yet."] I was brought to watch the children of
my cousin. Here is where I grew up and learned how to work. When
I was old enough, my cousin said, "OK, now you're ready to look
for work." (Interview 11)
When I left the village I went to the daughter of my maternal aunt
in Ziguinchor. She told me to watch her children and paid me
3,000 CFA a month. After her husband was sent to Kolda [a job
related transfer], they all had to go there. I asked her, "If I
go to Kolda, would you pay me 5,000 CFA a month?" She said, "No,"
she couldn't afford that. So, I went to work elsewhere.
(Interview 22)
I came to Dakar when I was ten years old for [primary] school. I
was in school for five years, and left to go to work. As soon as
I left school, I went to watch after my older sister's children
for three years. I wasn't paid. [Her husband interjects, "She
bought you clothes every month."] Yes, she bought me clothes. At

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the end of the third year I went to the village for summer
vacation, during the rainy season. After that, I came back to
Dakar. On arrival, I told my sister that now I'm big and can't
watch children, I've got to work like my friends. (Interview 23)
R. Manga was an interesting person, though more difficult to
interview than most of the other women. When we were unsuccessful at
completing our questions on the first day, we tenaciously returned the
following day to finish. Although she told me that she had never
worked, she later admitted that she did sell beer, and apparently she
also took in laundry. I will return to the issue of commerce as a means
of support later. She also explained the circumstances of her tutelage.
"I was in my older sister's care until I got married. I cooked for her,
did dishes, and sometimes I ironed although I didn't know how until I
learned from her bonne. Now I can launder and iron" (Interview 25).
R. [not a relative, but from the village] took me to watch, to
babysit, her children within a few weeks [after my arrival in
Dakar]. She had twins. Her little sister was there, and didn't
have a job, so I cooked and cared for the kids. That's where I
learned how to do housework. (Interview 26)
When I came in 1979, I didn't have anything to do for the whole
year. After the rainy season in 1980, I came to babysit. The
work wasn't hard, just watching the baby. I've been here eleven
years. (Interview 29)
As several of the passages above illustrate, it is also common
(seven interviewees, about twenty percent, mentioned this) for emigrants
to work in one or more of the smaller regional towns of Senegal (often
with their tutors) before looking for work in Dakar: "[I] was in the
village until [I] was about fourteen years old, worked in Ziguinchor,
then before Independence [1961] came to Dakar for [my] third year of
work" (Interview 3). "First [I] worked in Marsasoun, in the Departement
of Velingara" (Interview 4). "We were only the second generation [age-
group] to go to the city. We didn't know what we were doing. I went to
Ziguinchor for two years before coming to Dakar" (Interview 16).

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L. Coly grew up in Boutem, during the time that her mother was a
midwife there. She worked in Rufisque and Kaolack before making the
move to Dakar. "When I left school, I came here [actually Rufisque, but
she considers that the same]. In 1981-82, I went to Kaolack. In 1983,
after the [rice] harvest I came here to Dakar, but didn't stay long"
(Interview 26). The most recent arrival I interviewed had only been
working in Dakar for a month and a half. "I went to stay at Louga for
two years, and then went back to the village before coming to Dakar"
(Interview 30).
V. Sagna, a forty-two year old, explained to me that she never
planned to work in Dakar. She had been "a temporary worker in the
Justice de la Paix [regional courts] in Ziguinchor." But then she
became ill, and came to Dakar in 1972 "for health care, but I had no
money. I was obliged to work to get the money to pay for my health
costs. I enjoyed the work, so I kept on doing the 'work of migration'"
(Interview 20).
An alternative to living with a tutor to be trained as a maid is
to work "with the nuns" in the home economics courses they offer, either
in Ziguinchor (at Saint Sacrement), in Dakar (at the rue Vincent in
Karack), or both. Several of the women I interviewed had done this.
While some attributed their later employment to the help of nuns, either
as a placement service or through this training, not everyone did:
After primary school, I went to Ziguinchor to a three year
training program and took courses in cooking, sewing, and ironing.
After that, I came to Dakar and worked sewing for the nuns at
Karack, after spending some time without work. They said they'd
help me find a job, but didn't, and never paid me, so I finally
decided to leave. (Interview 9)
In contrast, one interviewee directly attributed her success at
finding a European employer for her first job to her training: "When
[my son] learned to walk I left [him] with my mother, here in Dakar, so

121
I could look for work with the nuns of rue Vincent. They found me a job
with a toubaab [European]" (Interview 17).
I was at the Center [Catholic technical school in Ziguinchor]. .
for four years. Usually it's three years, but I stayed for four.
From there they sent me to the rue Vincent [in Dakar] to continue
my training, but when I got here there was no more room.
(Interview 21)
Other women attended secondary school in Ziguinchor, sometimes
followed by training in either a technical or a professional school.
These kinds of schools are relatively expensive, and no women from
Boutem that I recall meeting had finished secondary school.
When I got to the end of primary school, I went to Sacre Coeur de
Ziguinchor for two years of secondary school. But for going any
further, I had nobody to pay my fees. You know how it is in the
village, if you don't have the money for school you have to choose
what you'll do yourself. So that same year, in 1979, I went to
Dakar after school [was out] from June to September, working as a
bonne and stayed with my brother. In October I told my brother I
was going back to the village, but didn't have the money to go to
school. He gave me my tuition fees for three years of technical
school, 10,000 CFA a month for three years at St. Sacrement de
Ziguinchor. During my vacations I came to Dakar to work, and
returned for courses afterwards. After finishing, I really
enjoyed working and its been good for me. (Interview 12)
Nineteen seventy-four was the first year I knew in Dakar. I came
when I was in the sixth class [six years before graduating] of
secondary school. In 1975 I did fifth, and in 1976 I changed
[transferred] to secretarial school until 1977 [attending for two
years]. Toward the end of 1977, I had my first pregnancy and
"left the benches" [quit school]. (Interview 17)
I left to go to Ziguinchor to continue my studies, not to work. I
didn't intend to work, but when I got my CEP [finished primary
school] I decided to continue at Sacre Coeur [with the sixime, or
beginning of secondary school]. While I was there, I worked in
the mornings as a bonne, and went to school at night, in order to
pay the fees. I didn't have anyone to pay them for me. I saw
that I wasn't progressing because of my job, I didn't have the
time to study. So, I said, "I'll leave school." At the place
where I worked, there was an office next door that I could see
into as I went downstairs. I didn't know what they were doing,
since it was my first time in the city. Every time [I went by], I
found girls hitting the machines with their fingers. I thought
that looked like good work, and asked what it was called. I asked
my uncle A., and said that I wanted to learn that job. He said,
"I'll see a friend of mine to see if he can take you to learn this
work." He agreed to take me, and he taught me the work. I waited
a year before doing this. I was in school in 1976, and began

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before the end of 1977. I began in November to learn to type.
(Interview 27)
I will return under the following heading to this typist because
her case provides an example of how job security and working conditions
are largely uncontrolled, even in an office setting. It is rare for
young women from the village to attend secondary school at all not only
because of the expensive fees, but also because their parents don't
believe that they can benefit from schooling. A woman with an aptitude
for education may direct her efforts toward learning a professional
skill. Others simply migrate and begin work as maids.
Working Conditions
Interviewees were asked to describe for me the conditions they
routinely encounter in their work. "Working for Africans was very
difficult. I put up with a lot of problems, but I won't talk about
them. These are my own memories." (Interview 6). "Some days work isn't
good, but there are always some days when [the Americans she works for]
are not in a good mood. They don't talk to me then, but I'll just wait
and when they speak I respond." (Interview 8). As I noted above in the
discussion on registration, the women are generally dispassionate about
their work and its difficulties: "Work is not for finding happiness,
one must tolerate the difficulties that come with being a bonne"
(Interview 9).
I spoke with only one woman who had migrated internationally.
Beginning in 1978 A. Diatta, now thirty-four years old, worked for five
years in Italy. I believe that the family she had worked for in Dakar
asked her to return with them to their home, so that rather than leaving
the country seeking work she left with a specific position in hand.
Once there, she found the cultural differences she encountered to be the
most difficult aspect of her job:

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Life there was very difficult. I stayed in the house, worked very
hard, and above all didn't have much freedom. . That was
difficult, it was really hard work. .and I wouldn't go back.
The houses are big there, and it was hard. We're not used to
being all closed up in the house, inside all the time. It was
boring, all of the time in the house. I spoke Italian, which was
hard at first, but I learned. (Interview 7)
Several women referred to what might be generously described as
uncomfortable meal arrangements: sometimes nothing is provided for them
to eat where they work, or perhaps they get only the leftover food their
employers presumably won't eat, or they are humiliated by being made to
eat apart from their employers. "I don't even get meals there, I have
to find my own breakfast and lunch. I get nothing from them, as I said
I'm there despite myself" (Interview 16). "I worked for a Senegalese
family. At lunch, I always got last night's rice, [eating] apart from
the family." (Interview 9). None of the women I spoke with mentioned
that they had ever been physically abused, but in one case this
possibility was raised.
I was told the first four [maids sent from the vocational school]
to try had been sent away, the fourth having been beaten. ... I
really stood up to it there. I didn't even get breakfast there.
For lunch I got maybe a potato or a carrot, and if I got there at
8:05 AM I had to stay until 6:05 PM. They told me that he was
mean, but since I knew I had no choice, I had to go. . I took
this for ten months, and his contract ended, and then he left. He
gave me nothing for severance pay ["mes droights"] or anything.
(Interview 17)
There, [at the military camp] you don't have the right to eat
breakfast or lunch. If you want to eat breakfast, you buy your
bread, sugar, butter, and coffee and bring it to work to make it
there. [Even those working full days have to bring their own
lunch]. The person we sent to make an official complaint about
this, we don't know what he's done with the papers. (Interview
14)
I stay over nights from Monday to Saturday, at 6:00 PM I come
home. I'm not paid [a supplemental wage] for the nights, because
the woman is divorced and lives alone with her children. I work
six days a week, and go back [begin] on Sunday night. I speak
Wolof with my boss. She doesn't talk much; when she comes home,
she changes her clothes and comes to eat dinner. If she speaks to
you, you know she has something for you to do. I don't eat with
her, but apart with the children. (Interview 22)
It was very hard work, and sometimes they would have me eat apart
from the family. The husband once asked his wife why we don't eat

124
together. This caused quarrels but finally she said I should eat
with them. But this isn't important, the essential thing is
making the salary. Any little problems like this, you just need
to tolerate them. Even if you get angry, you need to remind
yourself why you're there. (Interview 10)
The latter cases seem to represent a symbolic importance regarding
the maid's social status vis a vis her employers. I found the
significance that migrants place on this aspect of work, whether or not
they eat together with their employers, to be particularly interesting.
In the village, families eat their meals in a manner that is not at all
communal. Rather, they take their meals as smaller groups within the
household. Young adults, for example, eat together in a separate room
from their elders. Regardless of their habits at home it is clear that
the maids understand the meaning of being placed apart at meals in this
setting and that they resent the implied status difference it
represents. To the extent that maids become acculturated into the urban
setting they may be ambivalent of their status in the workplace without
their employers intentionally evoking status differences. For example I
found it quite difficult to get Antoine's sister, who I paid to cook and
launder for us in Dakar while we were busy interviewing, to eat her
meals along with the two of us. Another case supports the notion that
some maids are ambivalent about eating with their employer.
Sometimes things are good and sometimes they're not so good, but
the husband is nicer than the wife. They've asked me to eat with
them, but I prefer to eat separately [she adds, "but I'm ashamed
to do so"]. I don't feel right eating with them, I'm more at ease
and have an appetite if I eat alone. (Interview 11)
In other cases, maids expressed real satisfaction with their work.
"I have never had problems with them, they even would invite my husband
or my children over for dinner. Any time I ate with them I was served
first. They liked me so much that I was taken in like a member of the
family" (Interview 13). "My first year of work was very good: I left
at eight and worked until nine, ate well, and they treated me well.
It's my current job that's not so good" (Interview 14). "I was treated

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well. ... He treated me like his own daughter, and gave us everything
we needed. . There was no problem, we were well served, we ate with
the family, and everything was fine" (Interview 16).
Two women in particular told me more detailed stories than the
other interviewees, representing the kind of difficulties emigrants may
encounter. These provide valuable insight into the nature of this kind
of work in Senegal, and the lack of job security that emigrants face
throughout their careers. In the first case, the interviewee had just
quit her job the week we spoke, the events were clear in her memory, and
she was quite emotional in recounting them.
[I] used to make [my] boss coffee in the morning as part of [my]
job. [I] would prepare the coffee-maker at night, and again for a
Thermos in the morning. [I] forgot to do this on Friday night, and
as [I] began to set it up Saturday morning, [I] saw that it was
late. [I] was supposed to wake him up at 6:45 AM, and went up to
do so. Seeing that he was already awake, [I] went back down to
continue [my] work. His wife was the first one downstairs, and
greeted [me]. Next, the man came down without greeting [me], and
began shouting at [me] right away. [I] didn't respond, except to
say that [we] could talk when [I] was done with [my] work. He
told [me] to answer him, but [I] argued that [I] "[am] not a
slave," and that he hasn't the right to tell [me] when to respond.
He said "shit," and called [me] "stupid" [jbte] as was his habit.
[I] said that he wouldn't appreciate [me] speaking to him in this
manner. Then he said that [I] was fired. [I] told him that [I am]
tired of his job, his insults, and that [I am] ready to leave.
Then [I] asked for [my] pay, and asked him if he knew the value of
[my] staying overnight to serve guests as [I] had done. [For a
long time she had done this without the official supplementary pay
of 3,000 CFA per night, but she was now demanding payment since he
was firing her without just cause. She also demanded her
severance pay].
[We] argued for a long time, and the wife told him that he was
simply blaming [me] for his own oversights. [I] said [my] former
employers would say he is lying if he were to say that [I] talk
back. [I] asked him why he insults [me], that [I am] there to
work, but that he has no right to insult [me]he is not [my]
relative, after all. "If you've got a problem, say so and we'll
work it out," [I] said. He came to apologize later that day, but
[I] refused to accept this, or even to look at him. He then began
to argue with [me] again, saying that he didn't insult [me]. [I]
explained that, in fact, he had, and told him that [I] was busy
and couldn't argue with him. He told [me] that he'd have to let
[me] go. [I] told him that [I am] not a slave. [I] told him that
if [I] wake him in the morning, [I do] this because [I] want to,
and that it is not a part of [my] job. [I] said that [I] will have
to quit. He then paid [me], but didn't give [me] the receipt that
[I] normally get once [I've] signed it. [I] was sure that he was

126
doing this to keep it off the books. Then [I] went to the Inspec
tion de Travail. [I am] entitled to [my] salary, 3,000 CFA per
night supplement for overnight work, vacation pay, and a severance
payment of 300,000 CFA according to the work law [Code de Tra
vail] [I] had never gotten paid vacations up until then, so
these would amount to 500,000 CFA or more. [I've] contacted a
lawyer to file an official complaint. . (Interview 5)
In this case, the employers' infractions do not seem terribly
severe. Rather, the poor relations between he and his maid seem to have
finally built up to a level that she was unable to tolerate. The second
case is quite different. I found it particularly shocking, because it
seems to demonstrate the length to which even a relatively educated
woman is (perhaps naively) willing to go in expectation of receiving a
regular salaried position. Job insecurity seems to be at the root of
many emigrants work problems, as in the case of the typist mentioned
under the previous heading.
I was a secretary. That's where I learned secretarial work [in
Ziguinchor], so I was there since 1977. I stayed there until
1986. The training usually lasts three years, but when I finished
that, there was an open position. ... I was told to take it, to
wait to be permanently hired [in civil service]. They told me
that they would help me out until I could be permanently hired. .
. I was never paid, there was nothing. When I was working, I
was happy, thinking that I would stay there. I thought that maybe
by my own conscience that I was now saved. But in the end, I saw
that while I had confidence, I couldn't see any value in it. So,
I left it. I wasn't even paid 5 CFA, nothing. People would bring
me invoices and bills [to type for them], they might give me 500
CFA or something [as a favor, she insisted, not as pay]. Maybe
1,000 CFA. You know, not every day. ... I worked 8:00-12:00,
and 3:00-6:00 there. ... I worked every day but Sundays and
holidays. We spoke French and Wolof. The work was fine, but you
never heard anyone say, "Take this money." That's what was hard.
I know I was learning, but I also needed to be paid something.
The distance I had to get home was also long. I had to walk home,
since I didn't have the fare.
[Were you registered?] Our boss did nothing, we had to register
ourselves at the Inspection. If they have something, they'll call
you. We got a certificate of registration. For the Inspection de
la Main d'Oeuvre, we had to do that ourselves ["by our own
heads"]. We brought in our papers to be hired, but they sent
these to the Ministry [in Dakar]. The first boss didn't submit
them. When the second boss came, he sent them to the Ministry,
and confirmed that they would keep them until the hiring was
confirmed. Since he was here in Dakar to submit the papers, while
he was away [from Ziguinchor] his [substitute or superiors]
replaced me, and put someone else in my position. To tell the

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truth, they never told us, they said "go and come back tomorrow."
They knew that you can't bring a person to work without paying
her.
My first year was very hard, I cried all the time. [The typing
teacher] told me that he would be very severe with me. If he was
nice, he said, I couldn't learn. The first year he never even
looked at me, as if he didn't know me. If you were even a bit
late he'd shout at you. I cried a lot that year. If I spoke with
him, he wouldn't respond. I cried during the finger exercises. .
. The work was good [in Ziguinchor]. They knew they weren't
paying me, so they had to be "soft" with me so that I would do the
job. But the problem was when they would renew housing lists.
There were many lists: Kaolack, Ziguinchor, etc. You'd type
until you couldn't stand it. Sometimes [because the platen was
small] you couldn't get the paper out without tearing it, and
you'd have to re-do the whole page. If you get mad, you'll have
to start over again. The boss would give us work, and find a
mistake when it was half done, so we'd have to start all over
again. For me, it wasn't too bad, apart from the training and
[the fact that] I wasn't paid. [For how long?] About ten years.
When my first boss left to go to the factory, he gave me the job
of registering all the outgoing and incoming mail. He didn't show
me how, I just had to figure it out myself. I finally learned,
but I got discouraged because nobody thanked me for my work.
They'd give me work and I'd refuse after a while, or I'd stay home
if I felt like it. Finally, I began to forget how to register the
mail, and my typing speed slowed. I became completely
disinterested. Even before [that], I'd ask permission to go to
the village and I would stay a month or two weeks before coming
back. (Interview 27)
Why Migrate?
As two women explained in the passages above regarding their work
histories (see interviews 12 and 27), they left school either to
undertake "the work of migration" or began work to pay their secondary
school fees. Others say, in what is (among the Diola) a stereotypical
response to the question of why they began to migrate, that they left
school in order to dress well (see Lambert 1994:153).
[Before migrating] I was in school. I saw that my friends who
migrated were all dressed and I didn't have anything to wear. So
I left school to work in the city. That was my motive for leaving
school. It wasn't because my parents could not pay my fees, but
because I wanted to go to the city and make enough to dress
myself. (Interview 22)
Understanding individual migrants' motivations for leaving the
village is a different issue from that of the cause of migration more
generally. My own analysis of the causes of modern female rural-urban

128
migration among the Diola (see Chapter 2) agrees with that of other
writers. Once married, women need cash to contribute to their household
according to cultural expectations, while they have relatively few
opportunities for earning of any kind within the rural economy. Before
marriage, womean clearly think about training themselves for migrant
work, and they are expected to compile a trousseau prior to marriage.
Boutem is widely regarded as having an abundance of natural resources,
so that its people are said to only ever need leave to the village in
order to earn cash. Many people told me that the only reason they leave
is to earn money, because they have "everything else" in the village.
While men may earn money from groundnut sales without leaving the
village, women have extremely limited cash-earning opportunities within
the rural economy.
Interestingly, however, if one asks an individual why she left the
village, she is likely to say that it was to earn money to dress
herself. "[I] had to leave for Dakar to look for work after primary
school [at about age fourteen] when [my] father couldn't provide for
[my] clothing" (Interview 2). Alternatively, a number of young women
left the village to attend secondary school in Ziguinchor. But
unfortunately they face a certain amount of discrimination from their
parents. "When I was old enough to go to school I went through the
third year [of primary school] and my father said, "It's not worth
paying school fees for a girl."
I left the village first in 1968, not to work but for secondary
school, which I attended in 1968, 1969, 1970: up until 1971, when
I no longer had anyone to pay for my courses and I was obliged to
work as a bonne. (Interview 15)
Some of the women themselves seem to have internalized this kind
of discrimination against educating women, as in this example:
I first came on the migration in 1986. In the village I went to
school up to the quatrime [secondary school]. I saw that even
the parents who were rich had trouble paying the fees, and as the

129
daughter of a peasant, I got discouraged and figured that I
couldn't succeed when even they have trouble. I decided it was a
waste of time, that I'd migrate and earn what I can. (Interview
8)
In the following case, the interviewee was quite specific about
considering marriage and the economic situation she would face then.
When I decided to quit school and look for work in the city, I
firmly held on to my work. I told myself I'd have to stay, since
school wasn't going well: I'd better go to the city. It's not to
earn anything, but just to make enough money to dress myself and
take care of my little needs. I knew that sooner or later I'd get
married, so I kept working since I had to feed and clothe my
children and look after their needs. ... In the village I was
in school, but I saw that my father was getting old and couldn't
afford my fees. I saw that the groundnut prices were falling, and
he earned all of his money from groundnut sales. I decided to go
look for work and leave him more to spend on my mother, I could
dress myself. He died two months after I left, and I went back to
the village, so that's why it took me four months to get a job.
(Interview 14)
Commercial Endeavors
A few of the women I spoke with support themselves (often,
apparently, as a last resort, but in a few cases by predilection) in
whole or in part by means of commerce. For example, one woman had a
small stall in her home's detached garage, facing the street. Her
children were selling matches and other small convenience items there
when we arrived to interview her (Interview 13). She was unemployed at
he time of our interview, while her husband had a salaried position as a
school principal. These circumstances surely meant that the market
stall was supported by her husband's income. I will consider two other
cases of commercial enterprises operated by women from Boutem below.
Following these, I will discuss a more common (and less directly
commercial) practice, the support of rural relatives in Dakar to sell
produce from the village. Very limited commercial practices (requiring
only a small capital investment), such as reselling food in the market,
or taking in laundry or ironing, is another apparent means of getting by
when other work is not forthcoming. Following these examples, I support

130
my contention that commercial activities are not commonly undertaken by
Boutem emigrants by briefly describing the very limited extent of
commerce I observed in the village itself.
In a second instance of rather substantial commerce, C. Djiba
sells frozen sweetened baobab fruit "ices" in small plastic bags. These
are consumed by biting off the lower corner or the bag and sucking at
the sweet ice inside. She was making these during our interview,
ladling the milky liquid into the bags as her daughters tied them with
sewing thread. She told me that they "mostly support [my] girls'
expenses, especially clothing" (Interview 3). This was more of a
capital enterprise than all but one of the other cases, requiring the
use of a freezer (itself costly, but especially so when the continuing
expense of electricity is considered). Her success was facilitated by
the proximity of her apartment to the downtown Sandaga market. As with
both the previous and following cases, her ability to initiate this
business was largely dependent, I believe, on her husband's employment.
As he was an enlisted officer with an entitlement to a wholly subsidized
apartment near the downtown, they had both a good salary and fewer
expenses than many women with whom I spoke.
The third case that apparently depends to some extent on the good
fortune of having a husband in a well-paid salaried position is that of
J. Manga. She purchases cases of locally-manufactured beer to re-sell
from her home, which also is located near a market. Unlike most of the
other women, and villagers from Boutem in general,4 she seems to enjoy
her commercial sales. Nevertheless, although she apparently also takes
in laundry (or at least ironing) to do at home, she did not mention this
latter activity.
4I have noted elsewhere that the name Affiniam, at least apocryphally
derives from its residents' lack of commercial savvy.

131
For my drink [beer] sales, I don't use that for food. It's for
me, my little needs apart from the house. . All the money I
earn from the sales is for my clothes and other such things.
(Interview 25)
The final substantial commercial enterprise that I observed among
Boutem's migrants to Dakar was unique in the size of its capital
operation, an apparently thriving bar. Although I didn't interview the
proprietor, she was a close relative of Antoine's and I did meet her at
a number of family social occasions. She, too, was married to a
government officer, in this case in the customs service. Again, I
believe it was his well-paid position that allowed her the large amount
of capital that was clearly necessary to initiate such a large
enterprise. Her bar was the only occupant of a building in a popular
neighborhood on the far north side of the city. The one time that I
visited it was crowded with beer and wine drinking patrons, some
snacking on grilled fish.
More often than not, however, commerce was conspicuous in its
absence from the discussion during the section of our interviews
concerning income. While only the following two examples are presented
here, they (along with the cases where no commercial activity was
observed at all) represent the norm as I observed it. If any single
commercial activity was most commonly brought out by questioning, it was
the sale of lemon juice in Dakar, often undertaken by the mothers of
village emigrants, who were boarded for a few weeks in Dakar by their
daughters. "My mother. .just arrived from the village on Saturday"
one woman explained, she had brought lemon juice to sell in the city. I
was surprised at the amount of juice she had been able to bring with
her, about ten seventy-liter drums for which she paid about 3,000 CFA
each to transport. I was told that she would stay with her daughter for
two or three months while she sold the juice, returning to the village
for the planting season (Interview 6). In another case the interviewee

132
had two visitors staying with her from the village (her older sister's
daughter and her older brother's wife) for one or two months, again
selling lemon juice. By the time we conducted the interview, I was told
that they had sold it all, and were now collecting on their bons
(credit). They planned to leave at the end of the month, after their
clients get paid (Interview 18).
Again, despite these few cases of relative commercial success,
most residents and emigrants from Boutem think of themselves as being
particularly unsuited to commerce. My observation was that few
individuals participated in any commerce at all. In what seemed more
typical of Boutem emigrants attidutes, several women who were involved
in commerce seemed to accept it only as a means of getting by if they
could not find other work.
[I] no longer work full time, [but I] do laundry for the cole
Nrmale Superiure [teacher's college] on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and
Fridays, since losing [my] earlier job in September. Since then
[I] got this job to make ends meet. (Interview 4)
Even now that I lost my job, I still contribute [to household
expenses] by going to the beach and buying about 5,000 CFA worth
of fish. I sell these at the market and earn about 5,000 CFA
profit. Or else, I sell peanuts or other things in the neighbor
hood. (Interview 10)
In the village itself, I only was able to observe commercial
activity in a few cases. For example, one small enterprise was run from
a family's house located adjacent to the road and ceremonial center of
the village, where the church, school, and youth foyer are located.
They sold beer, wine, and matches, doing a particularly good business
when I was in Boutem in August, a time when several dances were held at
the foyer. Another family sold wine on a less formal basis, closer to
Antoine's family's home in the older part of the village. When we had
to find wine quickly for a libation at the spirit shrine, that was where
we went (I would not otherwise have known it was available there).
Others sold palm wine (Interview 9), but this was a much less formal

133
activity, limited to the dry season. Children apparently sold fruit
grown in the village (there were a quite a number of very large mango
trees, in groves throughout the village) to a young Wolof merchant who
circulated the villages in the area on the commercial "taxi" canoe for
this purpose during the harvest season.
Household Expenses
Emigrants face a complex economic situation in Dakar, where they
must budget both urban and rural based expenses with their modest
incomes. One of the most interesting comments that I heard regarding
household expenses indicates the difficulty of planning in this
environment: "The biggest expenses I have are for unforseen things"
(Interview 19). Or, "[I] find it difficult to save for unpredictable
needs, and just have to manage if they get beyond [my monthly expenses]"
(Interview 3). Other women told me that they simply cannot budget or
plan their expenses, they just "make do" with what they have. "There's
just not enough money to cover everything" (Interview 14). In some
cases a woman's monthly pay covers rent and food for her family, for
example, but she is unable to pay for any other family needs without the
help of others in the household. Several women took the opportunity of
our interview to vent their frustrations: "My responsibility is too
heavy: nobody helps me out. I'm the only one who takes care of all
these children of my siblings and aunts" (Interview 19).
My budget is always tight. With 35,000 CFA a month and the kids
to maintain it's really tight. When I just had one kid it wasn't
bad. I was alone and I could do my night courses for secretarial
school. When I got the certificate, though, I couldn't find work.
So, I kept on with migrant work [as a bonne], otherwise I couldn't
make ends meet. I saved for [remittances], but I've used it all
["tout bouff."] Every month things were tight, I found that I
was taking money out of the bank instead of putting it in.
There's the balance book. Look: it's completely empty.
(Interview 7)

134
Other women appear to live relatively well, perhaps because they
have a well-paying job themselves, sometimes because their husbands earn
good salaries, or because both work. In many cases, though, women were
unaware of the earnings of other members of the same household.
Rent and food
In the newer, popular suburban shanty town neighborhoods on the
northern edge of Dakar, rent for housing is relatively cheap. These are
entirely unplanned areas on the outskirts of the city with poor access
to transportation and other services, undeveloped streets thick with
dusty sand that shifts in the winds and makes it difficult to walk any
distance at all. There is no garbage service, so piles of trash and
other waste are common along these streets. These areas support a very
large, dense, and particularly young population.
One such neighborhood, Xare Yalla, was quite nearby the SICAPs,
rent-controlled, subsidized areas in which I found an apartment. In
1990, rent for rooms in Xare Yalla was invariably set at 8,000 CFA a
month (at the time, just under U.S. $27). I was told that it got its
name because the original inhabitants had been evacuated from their
previous shanty neighborhood to make room for a project similar to the
one that developed the area where I lived. In Wolof, xare yalla means
"waiting for God," and these residents were said to be waiting for Him
to move them on again. On one route we often walked to get to various
Diola homes there, we passed a large advertisement for the development
that would signal the end of their wait. A brightly colored map painted
on a whitewashed wooden billboard indicated where the roads, houses, and
other new construction was to begin in the near future.
Neighborhoods such as this are often where groups of young Diola
women pool their resources to share a room, which may in fact sit
unoccupied for the work week until they get their night off on Saturday

135
and eat a collective meal among friends Sunday before returning to their
live-in jobs for the rest of the week. As a member of one such group,
composed of three friends, told me, "we pay 8,000 CFA for our room."
They each "contribute 500 or 300 CFA for Sunday [dinner, keeping the
meal modest], since there are so many contributions to make" (Interview
22}. As another, older woman familiar with European eating habits
through her years of work explained, "Diola food isn't the same as
European food, it's simple: just rice, oil, and fish" (Interview 3).
It is common for young Diola emigrants to share inexpensive rooms
and simple meals during their days off, and to pool their resources to
cover other larger expenses. By working hard and spending carefully, a
small group of young working women with modest incomes can take care of
their needs, and at times even save some money.
My sister gives 20,000 CFA. ... I put in 25,000 CFA, and with
this we rent the room [including electricity] for 8,000, pay the
water bill (1,000), and buy food. (Interview 10)
These situations can be difficult, however, when one or more
participants in the group lose their jobs or for other reasons fail to
contribute to the group's expenses. Without any job security, such
problems are rather common, and sometimes create tensions.
The three women [living together in this room] each put 15,000 CFA
into a pool for expenses [for a total of 45,000 CFA]. Rent is
13,000 CFA, water is 1,500 CFA, electricity varies from 1,500-
2,000 and 8-9,000 CFA since the meter is common to the entire
apartment building [utilities are paid every two months.] When
there are problems with this, [we'd] rather pay the extra for
those who don't contribute in order to avoid being cut off.
(Interview 5)
When I get paid, I spend everything. The salary is not real
"strong." You'll use it all without saving anything. You just
can't save anything after rent, food, school fees. .1 use it
all. I pay 11,000 CFA for the room. I take out 20,000 CFA for
food and [the two friends she shares the room with] don't
contribute anything for this. Even to get anything from them is
hard. I never see them with any money and I don't know what they
earn. (Interview 19)
In other neighborhoods, generally older and closer to the city
center, rent is somewhat higher. "The main expense is food; 15,000 CFA.

136
Rent is 15,000 CFA. Water is 1,000 CFA every two months" (Interview 6).
One woman, whose husband is relatively well paid, indicated a somewhat
higher budget to feed her family of four. "For food, I spend 25-30,000
CFA" (Interview 12). "My biggest expenses are rent, 15,000 CFA, and
food. For the food I just pay what I can" (Interview 7). And as I
indicated earlier, some government positions may provide a wholly-
subsidized apartment: "There is no rent for this apartment [living in
this building is a benefit for government employees of her husband's
rank]" (Interview 3).
For a married woman with an employed husband, it is common for him
to pay the rent, and at times pay for the food as well. "My husband has
always paid the rent, and he never said what he pays [the buildings in
this area, I was told, rent for about 60,000 CFA, or U.S. $200 a month].
I never paid for food either, my husband does this" (Interview 13). "I
don't worry about the house, my husband knows what he pays for his
house" (Interview 28). "My husband buys the rice. If he's not having
any problems buying it, he buys fifty kilos, but if he's got problems
that month he buys twenty kilos" (Interview 23).
Our rent here? I don't know well, I think it's 10,000 CFA. That
doesn't count water or electricity. These are separate. We don't
buy [a whole] sack of rice, we take thirty kilos. I have a box to
keep my market money in, I use it for the market or for my own
needs in town. I can't say how much is there. My husband may
give 1,000 CFA, and I'll put it in, or maybe 2,500 when he gets
home. So I can't say exactly what's there, I just put in whatever
I have. Water is sometimes 1,000 CFA, since we get bills every
two months, and we divide the water bill with the owner [of the
house where they rent a room]. The electricity is sometimes 3,000
CFA. (Interview 27)
Water and utilities
Managing utility services for my own apartment in Dakar was
unpleasant. For example, when I first moved in, I had to repeatedly
return to the electric utility office to avoid being charged for the
arrears payments of the previous tenant. I therefore understood how
difficult it was for other residents to maintain their own utility

137
service. The offices and staff were extremely bureaucratic,
inefficient, and unhelpful in my own experience, as they were by
reputation and in every other case I observed. Unexplained service cut
offs were common, at times without cause. Almost any time I passed by
the office in my neighborhood when it was open I could see long, slow
lines of patrons waiting to pay their bills or restore service. Even
with active service, there were daily periods of service interruption,
leaving the neighborhood without water or electricity. Understandably,
a number of women I interviewed had been living without either
electricity or water service for long periods of time.
Given the inefficiencies of service, the condition of the
infrastructure, and the inherent expense of providing utility service,5
I was impressed by its relatively low cost and presume it is subsidized
by the government. Nevertheless, with a limited income and insecure
job, the expense is significant for most residents. "Water is about
3,500 CFA [every two months], electricity 2,000 CFA [it was cut off at
the time of the interview]" (Interview 7). "Water is sometimes 1,000
CFA, since we get bills every two months, and we divide the water bill
with the owner [of the house where they rent a room]. The electricity
is sometimes 3,000 CFA" (Interview 27). These costs can increase
dramatically if one operates any appliances at all. "For electricity, I
have a television and a 'fridge, so it's between 16-18,000 CFA"
(Interview 12). With some frugal use of their power, others can easily
I pay less: "I pay 1,750 CFA for electricity each month. They cut off
I the water last year; it's been a year since we've had any water, so I
1 get it from a neighbor and every month I pay 1,500 CFA" (Interview 19).
5Until the hydroelectric station at the Manantali dam on the Senegal
River comes on line, all electricity in Senegal is generated by diesel
turbines.

138
As the passage above indicates, however, there are a number of
cost saving alternatives to purchasing utility service for one's home.
Many people simply did without the public utility services, using other
means such as kerosene lanterns for light, charcoal braziers or bottled
gas for cooking (and the former for heat in the winter), and the public
taps for their water.
For electricity, we don't pay for it. We have no electricity in
our room. We don't pay for water either. If you need to do
laundry, you get a boy [in this context the English word is
commonly employed in Dakar] to bring you a basin of water for 10
CFA [for about three U.S. cents he carries the water, paying the
guardian of the public tap for it from this fee]. (Interview 22)
My husband takes care of the electricity, but since we moved the
power has been cut-off. For water, I get it at the public tap.
The dues depend: you might have to pay 100 CFA for the whole
month or maybe 250, it depends on the person responsible for the
faucet. (Interview 23)
Association dues
A number of women expressed strong feelings (some positive, others
negative) about the women's association and the demands for dues by
other associations as well. "The dues for associations are one of my
most important expenses, because when you go to meetings you'll be
ashamed if you haven't paid. I put aside 5,000 CFA for the women's
association, village association, and family association" (Interview
12). After rent and food, dues for the variety of associations one may
belong to can be one of the largest monthly expenses for an emigrant.
While the women's association dues are 200 CFA, this same 5,000 CFA
figure was reported for all monthly dues in at least one other case
(Interview 21), and similar amounts reported in others confirmed the
expense of contributing regularly to all the associations to which most
emigrants belong. "At the end of the month, I set some aside for
association dues. At one time it was 4,500 CFA, but now the family dues
are less" (Interview 8).

139
Because of the burden of such a large expense, some interviewees
told me they simply don't attend association meetings. "I never went to
the women's association meetings, and have never paid dues. I don't
have the fare to attend [the trip is long and inconvenient, and requires
two kaar rapit fares each way]" (Interview 29). Many other women told
me that they manage dues payments by rotating their contributions from
one association to the next.
I can't pay my dues regularly, since with 20,000 CFA [salary] I
can't take out a fixed amount. I pay dues to the women's
association from time to time, one month to the village and the
next to the family, but it's not every month that I can do this.
During all the years that I didn't have a job, I had trouble since
I couldn't afford to pay my dues to the family association. I was
obliged to go ask for money to pay my dues. My husband couldn't
afford to pay rent, buy food, and pay the dues all alone. It's
too much for just one person. This came up at the women's
association meeting, since those who can't afford the dues are
ashamed to come to the meetings. We're obliged to go and ask each
woman why she doesn't attend. They either aren't working
themselves, or their husband isn't working and they just can't
afford the dues. (Interview 17)
For my association dues, I take out 300 CFA for the village, for
the women's association I take out 300 CFA, for my family
association it's 200 francs, for the women's association of my
husband's village I pay 500 francs and for the second [her
husband's] village association I pay 200 CFA [a total of 1,500 CFA
per month if she were to pay all these each month]. So what I do
is to put aside 5,000 CFA to use for these dues, but if I need
this in an emergency I can use it, since I don't pay all the dues
every month. (Interview 16)
Without explicitly referring to this strategy of rotating
payments, many respondents indicated that they pay what they can, when
they can. "For the women's association, if I have 1,000 CFA I keep it
to pay dues" (Interview 28). "I can't save for dues, but if I have a
meeting when I get paid I contribute what I can" (Interview 19). "For
all my dues I set aside 2,500 CFA, for the village ["grand
association"!, the family, and for the women's association each end of
the month [payday]" (Interview 18). "I don't save for dues, but each
time I go to a meeting of the family I pay 300 CFA, for the village
association I pay 300 CFA, and for the women's association I pay 200 CFA

140
each month" (Interview 22). "All the dues, I don't save for. Each
meeting I go with 500 CFA and contribute something, although I'm behind
[dues are 200 CFA per month]" (Interview 24). "I save out 2,500 for
dues to the women's association, the family association, and for my
mother's family association. [When I asked him what this meant, Antoine
told me she is referring to her mother's husband's family]" (Interview
20) .
In other cases, as with other household expenses, a woman may get
money from her husband for dues payments. "All of my dues are paid by
my husband" (Interview 26). Even then, in many cases a woman can't
afford to keep up with the demands of all the associations. "I don't
save for dues. If there's a meeting, I tell my husband and he gives me
the money for the dues. I don't pay these every month. It depends on
whether or not he has the money" (Interview 27) .
In one interesting exchange, one of our interviews touched on a
topic that came up rather frequently in discussions of informal
organization finances. In this case, the respondent had been avoiding
the women's association meetings, perhaps because of her bad experience
regarding the embezzlement of her family association's treasury.
For the women's association, I just became integrated [joined, or
was pressured to do so], so I've never paid dues. I never paid
dues to the village association, my husband told me that he gives
600 CFA per month, but I don't know. I've never seen it, and I
never went to a village meeting. [Family dues?] Which, Manga?
[Wherever you attend.] The Mangas of Bandiale? I paid dues to
the Mangas of Bandiale, I went to the meetings. But one of the
members stole all the money and we don't meet anymore, the family
has dispersed. (Interview 23)
During our translation of this passage, Antoine volunteered that this is
the reason that his own family association recently demanded a 5,000 CFA
lump-sum contribution from each of its members. Although I had attended
these meetings and asked many questions about events there, this was the
first time I had heard this story. The details were not elaborated, but
I was told that one family member, a watch repairman, embezzled the

141
group's funds after being assigned the job of delivering them to a third
party, presumably for a project. Later, the man died, leaving the
association without any recourse for recovering their treasury.
Similar stories became familiar in discussions of various group
and individual interactions between Dakar and the village. For example,
Antoine was loathe to participate in the hand delivery of letters, a
common means of communication back and forth, because he was familiar
with instances where money had disappeared from envelopes in the course
of such transactions. In one case he told me how a writer referred to
an enclosed contribution, but in fact forgot to include it. This
embarrassing situation was only cleared up much later and after a great
deal of tension, when the writer was reminded of his omission.
Remittances
A number of women alluded to the possibility of theft when they
told me of their practice of sending remittances to relatives in the
village, saying they prefer simply to bring money when they themselves
travel back home.
For the village, I don't send money every month. Besides, before
sending them anything, you have to have someone that you trust.
And I know if I send someone money, he'll "eat" it. I don't trust
them. When I go for the rains, I'd rather bring it with me and
give it to them directly. (Interview 23)
I don't send anything to my relatives, but when I get ready to go
to the village, I buy clothes for my mama, and I bring some money
for them and give them it when I get there. But I don't send
money for them from here. (Interview 28)
Of course, this could be an excuse for inattentiveness to the needs of
their families, or for their simple inability to send more regular
payments given their other responsibilities. Still, my impression was
that most respondents were sympathetic to the needs of the family
members they had left behind, and were willing to sacrifice in order to
help them out in times of need, even if they were unable to send regular
remittances. "I don't save for remittances, but I manage whatever I can

142
if they write and ask for help" (Interview 12). "I send remittances to
the village, although not regularly. For example, if I send 10,000 CFA
this month, and nothing for two or three months, then the next month
I'll send 15,000 CFA, like that" (Interview 16).
I remitted 5,000 CFA to my relatives last month. I usually save
something to send my relatives in the village. I used to do it
every month. I just began working on February twelfth, and they
wrote to me and asked me to send them money for my children's
health care. What we had contributed there was all spent. I'm
obliged to save here because I can't send them something every
month. (Interview 22)
Many women told me that they only send remittances for the rainy
season, when the main cash expenditure for their rural relatives is the
hiring of clubs or associations of young rice cultivators and
harvesters. "When I was working I used to send them [relatives in the
village] money during the rainy season, when they needed cultivators.
I'd send my mama 15,000 CFA for harvesters. But now I can only do this
occasionally" (Interview 24). In this second case the respondent speaks
in the past tense, because she is currently unemployed and therefore
unable to send money home. "Usually I saved for when I went back for
the rains, and brought them money then. If they. .write to ask for
money, I'll send them what they ask for. ... I'd also send whatever I
could afford to them in the village" (Interview 26).
Remittances are a whole other issue. I can't, often. You know my
father lost my mother, so each harvest I must send money so he can
pay women to harvest the rice, gather firewood, transport and
harvest groundnuts. If I have months with fewer expenses, I send
what I can. But I can't say that I send so much per month, say
10,000 CFA or whatever, no. (Interview 7)
Sending some basic necessities in kind along with cash remittances
to relatives in the village was a common practice for this time of year.
[I] manage to remit to relatives in the village. Every rainy
season [I] send a carton of soap, 20 liters of oil, a 100 kilo
sack of rice, and 10,000 CFA for [my] mother and father to divide
in half, along with 20 liters of kerosene. (Interview 5)
At times, for example if a woman can't manage to remit on her own,
family members will pool their resources to send something home. "At

143
the end of the year, [my sister and I] put together what we can to help
out the family for the rainy season" (Interview 8). Or perhaps her
husband is able to provide for this need as well.
Since I don't work, I can't save anything to send my relatives.
But [my husband] can sometimes; if he has money he gives me it,
and says, "take this to send to your relatives." He also sends
money to his father. He might give me 10,000 CFA, but it depends.
If they ask, he might do it, or even if they don't he might just
give it to me for them. He has to see what he can do, he does it
if he can. (Interview 27)
Others in more difficult circumstances can't afford to send anything.
"I don't have enough to send to my relatives. I can't set aside
anything" (Interview 19). "I can't save enough to send to my parents"
(Interview 14). "I don't have enough to send to my relatives. I can't
set aside anything" (Interview 19). Or perhaps, as in some cases, a
migrant has few or no close relatives left in the village.
Who would I send money to? My father died when I was young, I
never even knew him. My mother is dead, and my aunt [mother's
younger sister] who took me in after my mother died, she died
right after I was married. Maybe my older sister, but I just
don't earn enough to send her anything [Antoine tells me that her
sister was one of the first migrants to Dakar].... (Interview
17)
A few women told me that, because their financial circumstances
are better, they are able to send money back home every month.
I do send something to my relatives. My boss gives me an extra 3-
5,000 CFA each payday. When he gives me this he says, "I'm very
pleased with your work, and I've never seen you in a bad mood
toward me. Even if there's too much work, and I tell you to leave
it you say, "All big things get done, one must work." Even when I
have guests you receive them well and say you work hard, you need
to work." I say, "No, these are our guests and I have to work to
please them." He even sometimes gives me 5,000 or 7,000 CFA when
there are guests. With all this extra [money] I add what I can
and send this to my mother in the village. (Interview 18)
I send them something every month. If it weren't for this, I'd be
rich. [Antoine notes that she built them a big house with a
corrugated roof, and paid the school fees for all her siblings
through their graduation from secondary school]. If there were
anyone else in the family who worked as hard as I have, we'd go
far. I paid my brother's fees and everything for his Gendarme
training, his uniforms, etc. (Interview 13)

144
Because of the different markets in which Diola emigrant men and
women compete for jobs in Dakar, women are generally able to secure
employment more easily. Men, although they tend to have to look harder
and wait longer to find a position, are more likely to secure salaried
positions that pay more. Therefore, it has become a cultural ideal
among older, rural Diola to have a daughter be the first emigrant to
Dakar (Lambert 1994:204-205). She can begin remitting early, although
perhaps less regularly and in smaller amounts than a son, who although
he begins to remit later will be more regular in sending larger amounts
of money back home to his parents. I only encountered a single migrant
who indicated to me that she had fulfilled her part of this reported
ideal and passed the responsibilities on to her younger male siblings.
"I used to send remittances to the family, but now all of my younger
brothers work, so it's their responsibility to do this now" (Interview
20) .
Clothing
Many migrants cited the need to clothe themselves as one of the
main reasons for coming to Dakar in the first place. Therefore, as one
might expect, interview respondents who could afford to do so at times
spent relatively large amounts of money on clothing. Even for the less
well-to-do, clothing is a major expense. "We mothers can't save easily
for clothing, but normally I save 5,000 for cloth and 3,000 for the
tailor" (Interview 22). "I save 5,000 CFA for clothing, without
counting tailoring" (Interview 29). This woman, who is well established
in town, indicates that these expenses can be quite a bit higher than
that if the fabric and design are more extravagant. "I buy clothes to
dress myself [when I get paid]. It depends on what fabric I buy. If
it's expensive, I spend more, up to 25,000 CFA for everything [e.g.

145
cloth, fasteners, tailor]" (Interview 28). Tailors generally charge
their fees based on the value of the fabric they are hired to work with.
I don't save for clothing. It comes "tic-tac" [on impulse]. If
I've got money, I'll buy six meters. [How much do you pay for
it?] You know SOTIBA Lagos [locally manufactured prints] cost 500
CFA per meter, so six meters cost 3,500. [Seven meters, then?]
Yes. [What to you pay for tailoring?] One thousand, five
hundred. (Interview 23)
For my clothing, each payday I put 1,500 CFA in a little wooden
lock-box. I only buy clothes right before holidays so I put this
in the "safe" every month and if I have any other needs I can take
out of there. [For example to go to the village, as she had the
previous week for a relative's funeral]. (Interview 18)
This latter passage indicates an obvious point, that many women
cannot afford new clothes every month. Instead, they often save their
money for purchasing new clothes on special occasions, such as holidays.
In some cases a special Easter or Christmas outfit may be a woman's only
new clothes purchase for the year: "I bought new clothes once this
year" (Interview 6). Other occasions may require similar clothing
expenses. When the women's association organizes a celebration, for
example just before the expected return to the village, members may be
required to dress uniformly in the same print. Spending on clothes may
be considered less discretionary in (urban) Diola culture than our own,
although there is clearly a discretionary factor involved.
I try to take out enough for clothes, health costs, etc. or else I
can't make ends meet. For clothing, it depends if I have
something left over, then I'll buy some clothes for myself and the
children. It just depends on the month's expenses. (Interview 7)
Another means of pooling resources, used especially for clothing,
is the tontine, a group composed of members who contribute a given
amount regularly, then draw in a kind of raffle for the right to take
home the resulting "pot." Antoine told me that "all the women" do this.
For clothing, I can't save a sum apart for it. When I was in the
village, my husband had a monthly tontine with 12 people. . .
Each month each [person] one would draw twice. The rest of the
money [If he won], he used that to buy clothes. If someone is
sick, my husband takes care of it. (Interview 27)

146
For clothing, during the whole year I buy three outfits, but I pay
into a tontine at 5,000 CFA each, so when it's my turn I get
45,000 CFA and I use this for my three outfits, even if there's
some left over. (Interview 20)
When I get paid, I take out 15,000 CFA for a tontine. The rest I
bring back home, take out for the children's clothing. . When
I have something, I buy clothes for the children or other little
things. I don't save specifically for clothes. . (Interview
13)
As with the other expenses discussed above, some individuals get
by without buying any new clothing. "I don't have enough to set aside
for clothing, I don't have enough. It's all spent" (Interview 19). As
with other expenses, however, a married woman may rely on her husband
for clothing as well, if he is able to afford this expense from his own
salary. "As you know, the Diola buy clothes for the holidays. If [I]
don't have the money when the women's association asks for everyone to
wear uniform dress, then I ask my husband for this" (Interview 12).
This year, I have no money. I can't save for clothes. For Easter
[my husband] gave me some money to buy clothes, but at Christmas I
was in the village. (Interview 26)
"When I was working, I used to save for clothes, but now I rely on my
husband. Sometimes he gives me 10,000 and says, 'here, go buy some
clothes'" (Interview 24).
Merchants also offer credit to their regular clients, another way
of making clothing expenses, like those of other household needs, more
manageable. "I have a dealer that accepts 5,000 CFA as a guarantee for
cloth, so I can pay off the rest over several months [for a total of
about 15,000 CFA]" (Interview 16).
For clothing I have a Toucouleur cloth seller who will give me
five or six meters, which I can pay over time and when it's done I
can buy more. But I can't afford to save enough in one month to
do this [each month]. (Interview 17)
Health care
Generally, expenses for health care were considered among the most
unpredictable, and sometimes largest, parts of a household budget. Many
women told me that they simply could not maintain an amount of savings

147
devoted solely to covering these costs. "Health expenses, etc. [I]
don't save for, either for [myself] or [my] relatives, but [I] try to
manage as things come up" (Interview 5). "I can't save for health care
costs, etc. I just manage as I can when things come up" (Interview 8).
If someone gets sick near the end of the month I can pay for
health care. . Health is like I told you, I can only pay for
this when I get paid. Otherwise, I have to borrow for health care
costs. (Interview 19)
In a number of other cases, women discussed health care in terms
of maternity costs and problems in pregnancy.
I've spent a lot on health care since having my first son, and now
this second pregnancy is causing more health problems. . I've
got lots of health expenses, for my pregnancies and for my son.
(Interview 12)
For the hospital, I save 2,000 CFA. For maternity, it depends
when I get pregnant. If its time to give birth I take a taxi and
go to the maternity, and when I get there I pay 2,500 CFA. But I
don't save for this. (Interview 23)
In one case, however, a thirty-one year old mother provided me with the
only evidence I found of planned, Western-style preventative health care
for her children. "I can't save up for health costs, but every three
months I take the kids to a doctor for check-ups, which costs 6,000 CFA.
Prescriptions can cost anywhere from 3-7,000 CFA" (Interview 7).
Another unique case was elaborated to me in the following passage, in
which a woman told me that she received health insurance as a benefit of
her (former) employment.
My husband takes care of maternity and health costs, but if he has
problems I try to help out although I don't budget for this.
Myself, I got health insurance at work, so my husband never had to
pay for this [in the last ten years]. (Interview 13)
School fees
For mothers with school-aged children, fees for their education
can be another significant expense. "For school, I pay 3,500 CFA per
month. I pay for one child" (Interview 23). "I pay school fees for my
one child, I pay 5,500 CFA a month" (Interview 19). The fees are much
less for a traditional Muslim education (very popular in Dakar), but

148
Boutem is a Catholic village. Nevertheless, there were several cases
where women from there had either married (or had children with) Muslim
men. "My son goes to Koranic school for 500 CFA per month, plus 25 CFA
on Wednesdays" (Interview 8).
In other cases, the children's fathers pay for their education,
regardless of their marital status. "I don't pay for my child's school
fees; their father pays for these [she is unmarried, about twenty-one
years old]" (Interview 6). "School, I don't pay for. I have an older
son in the village but I don't know if my father pays his school fees or
not ['it's not my problem']". . (Interview 7).
Transportation
Transportation costs can vary largely, depending on such factors
as where one lives in relation to where one works, if one's employer
covers these fees in the monthly salary, and such things as the number
of association meetings one attends, where these are held, and if one
attends these on a regular basis. Some women are able to walk to work.
"[I] walked to work [before quitting a few days ago], in Point E, since
it was fairly close" (Interview 5).
Others are paid for their transportation to and from the job.
"The boss gives me my transportation fees separately from my salary"
(Interview 22). "For my transportation and meals at work, the boss
gives me this on top of my salary: every noon he gives me enough for
the restaurant, and for the round-trip fare to work when I go home"
(Interview 19).
Some respondents, although their transportation fees to and from
work are covered by their employers, prefer to walk back and forth in
order to save this extra money for more pressing needs. "My salary
includes 8,500 CFA for transportation. They figure it in, but if I use

149
this for transportation, then it wouldn't leave me with enough, so I
walk to work" (Interview 7).
Summary
From the thirty interviews I conducted in Dakar, I gained a sense
of a range of living conditions for emigrants in Dakar. Many of the
women had suffered significant hardships in their lives, and some
complained bitterly about the difficulties they encounter. More often,
however, these women were stoic and resolute, represented by one woman
who told me that if she did not want to be in Dakar she would have
returned to the village long ago.
Women prepare themselves for their work as maids in a number of
ways: by working with family tutors, by training more formally in one
of the Catholic technical schools, or by first taking jobs in the
smaller markets of regional cities and using this experience to
establish the skills and confidence necessary to find more demanding and
higher paying work in the capital. Similarly, many women first work for
an African family before finding a job with European employers.
Domestic work in either setting can be difficult, with the lowest-
level positions often requiring women to live away from others for all
but one night a week. I was told many stories about how maids were
required to work after hours, serving their employers' guests for
example, without compensation as required by law. Few labor laws are
enforced in these domestic service positions, where work conditions
remain out of public scrutiny. Even in more public office positions, as
one case illustrated, work rules are at best weakly enforced or at times
entirely ignored and flaunted. Still, over time, a migrant woman may be
able to find better paid positions with fewer restrictions on her
personal time.

150
Household expenses, of course, reflect a wide range of personal
and family circumstances. Interestingly, even when a husband and wife
share expenses, they frequently are unaware of each other's level of
contribution or income. I was told that this was related specifically
to the tradition of spouses maintaining separate granaries and having
separate responsibilities for its consumption in the rural setting.
Some younger women migrants to Dakar pool their incomes with friends,
siblings, or other relatives to cover shared expenses for a room, meals,
and utilities, for example. Many people can make do without public
utility service at their home by getting water at a neighborhood tap,
using only kerosene lamps, or by cooking with charcoal instead of
bottled gas. Others are able to operate electrical appliances for
convenience (e.g. a refrigerator), entertainment (television) or
commerce (as with the deep freezer for making ices).
Census Results
The census I conducted in July 1990 counted a total of 739 Boutem
villagers, with 394 away during at least one previous dry season (about
January through June) and 345 individuals resident during the entire
year. Only four of the six quartiers were successfully censused and
mapped, as noted above in the description of the village. No census
data were gathered for Bougafou or Boutoupa, nor were these quartiers
included on the map. Only a few homes in Boukiak are visible on the
map. Further social categories are recognized within the village, as
well. For example, some distinct sub-quartiers or concessions (loose
groups of homes here, rather than fenced enclosures as in other villages
such as Affiniam) are recognized. The brevity of my stay prevented me
from including these categories in the census.

151
Forty-seven percent of those censused (345 people) live in the
village permanently, during the dry season when emigrants are most
likely to be away. Most of the 394 emigrants from Boutem, about 32
percent of the total village population, reside in Dakar. Another 12
percent of emigrants live in Ziguinchor, and 9 percent live in a wide
variety of other places. Interviewees provided some examples, but the
census elaborated a wider range of possibilities. Some currently reside
in other villages and towns of Casamance, in several regional cities of
Senegal, in other African countries, in France or elsewhere in Europe.
A single individual was reportedly living in Mexico. Of those currently
living in the village, a large majority (89 percent) reportedly had
never migrated to live elsewhere. Of those current residents who had at
one time migrated, 65 percent had gone to live either in Ziguinchor or
Dakar (2 and 5 percent of the total resident population, respectively).
Clearly, once a village resident has left to migrate, he or she is
unlikely to again become a permanent resident, by remaining in the
village throughout the dry season, again.
There is an apparent trend for current emigrants to stay away from
the village for longer periods of time than past migrants did. For the
66 current village residents who had migrated in the past, the length of
time they spent away from Boutem averaged 8.7 years (see Table 2).
There was a large variance in the time they spent away, indicated by a
standard deviation of 6.9 years. The maximum reported duration away
from the village among this group was 30 years, but there was some
apparent rounding of reported time spent away.6 While current migrants
may have visited or returned for one or more agricultural seasons in the
village during this period, they have been dry-season residents else-
6Especially for the longest periods reported, durations were rarely
reported as anything but periods rounded to five-year intervals such as
20, 25 or 30 years.

152
where for a mean duration of 9.8 years. Those who now live in Dakar
exhibit both less variance and a longer mean time away from the village
than either the category of all current migrants or the set of current
Boutem residents who once migrated. While the average duration of
absence for current emigrants is only 1.1 years longer than past
!
migrants, they also have not yet permanently returned to the village (as
has the first category), and some can be expected to stay away for many
more years.
|
! These findings, as summarized in Table 2 below, make intuitive
sense and agree with my observations and interviews in Dakar. Current
j
village residents who at some time in the past had migrated represent a I
category of migrants accumulating the shortest absences from the ;
village. The category of all current migrants has, as a whole, been
away the next longest period of time. Some members of this emigrant
category currently live in Ziguinchor or other small regional cities and
represent the next likely set of future Dakar residents. Current Dakar
residents have, on average, been away for an even longer time. The set
of all women's association members, defined by the group in part by age,
has been absent longer than the set of all Dakar residents, which
includes infants and children. Finally, the group of interviewees was
selected in part to represent a more established set of emigrant women,
so it makes sense that they represent the longest mean time away from
the village.
!
I

153
TABLE 2: Comparison of migrants' years awav from the village
mean o mean mean + o
Current village res.
(n = 66)
1.8
8.7
15.6
All current migrants
(n = 257)
2.7
9.8
16.9
Current Dakar res.
(n = 146)
4.0
10.9
17.8
Women's assoc, mbrs.
(n = 54)
5.8
12.2
18.6
Interviewees
(n = 19)
6.7
13.7
20.7
Interestingly, fewer current Dakar residents were reported to have
previously migrated to destinations other than the capital than current
village residents. It is important to note that this finding is
suspect, as it is based on responses to the census by village-resident
family members. Current village residents apparently do not remember
(or did not feel it was important to report) each absent family member's
residential history. Ninety-five percent of current Dakar residents
reportedly had no other previous migration destinations, and only three
individuals reportedly had migrated to Ziguinchor, two to Dakar on
previous occasions, and six to other destinations. This finding
seriously under-reports previous migration destinations as reported by
interviewees. As noted in the previous section, they often told me that
they had previously lived in Ziguinchor or other regional cities before
finally arriving in Dakar. I therefore question this census finding,
and consider it invalid.
I was curious whether or not villagers would support emigrants in
their anecdotal reports of returning for the rainy season and its heavy
agricultural labor. I therefore asked census respondents how many times
in the past five years each emigrant had returned for the rains. For
all current emigrants, it was reported that close to half (48 percent)

154
had not returned to the village for the agricultural season in the last
five years prior to 1990. Of course, the converse fact is relevant too,
52 percent of current emigrants have returned at least once in the past
five years, with 39 percent returning for each of the past five
seasons.7 These findings appear valid, given the responses I gathered
from interviewees in Dakar.
I did not collect family name and quartier membership data with
the specific intention of comparing family representation in Boutem's
quartiers. Later, during the analysis phase of my research, I realized
that I might improve my understanding of these social-geographic units
by relating census data on quartier of residence with family names.
Twelve family names are represented in Boutem, although not all are
Diola. For the purposes of analysis, I grouped the least common names
together as "other"8 (these are Bassene, DaCosta, Man, Diagne, and
Niang). In fact, family names are quite strongly associated with
particular quartiers. Each family has at least forty percent of its
members originating from a given quartier of Boutem. As many as 68.3
percent of the Djibas and 41.8 percent of the Diattas are associated
with a household located in Sambousoulier. All Diedhious (100 percent)
and 54.7 percent of the Mangas are associated with Bafican. Eighty-nine
percent of Sagnas and 45 percent of the Badjis are from Boukiak, while
59.3 percent of the Sambous are from Elegnande (see Table 3).
'Because of the way this question was presented, the total of 39 percent
returning every year of the entire five year period is somehat inflated.
It includes some individuals who had not been away for an entire five
year period.
'Together these represent only three percent of the censused population.
The family named Bassene, equivalent to Badji among Diola south of the
river, represents a single household in the Bafican quartier, accounting
for ten of the twenty-one individuals comprising this "other" category.

155
Representativeness of Interviewees
Analysis of the census data also provides a means of gauging the
representativeness of interviewees. Because women's association members
were not selected at random for interviews, I was concerned that I
should include women from as broad a range of families and from as many
village quartiers of origin as was feasible. This section is intended
to evaluate the success of these attempts to represent a number of
groups and categories for inclusion in the set of interviewees.
The results of this analysis are rather mixed. In terms of
families, two names were over-represented in the interviews with respect
to their proportional representation in both the village population and
among Dakar migrants. Two families also were under-represented in
interviews with respect to both of these groups. Two families were
quite closely representative of one group, but not of the other.
Finally, two families were closely represented in terms of their
proportion of both the village and the Dakar population in our
interviews (see Table 3).
As far as the extent to which interviewees reflected the quartier
origins of the village and Dakar migrant populations, the results were
also mixed. One quartier was under-represented as compared to its
proportional make-up of both the village and Dakar groups. The second
quartier was closely represented in relation to its proportionate make
up of both groups. The third quartier's representation among the
interviewees was closely matched in terms of its proportional makeup of
the Dakar population, but was over-represented in terms of its
proportional makeup in the village. Finally, the fourth quartier is
represented among interviewees in close proportion to the village
population, but greater than its proportional makeup of the Dakar group.

156
TABLE 3: Percent of residents with given family name and auartier of
origin for three residential categories, women's association membership.
and interviewee status
Total Boutem Zig Dakar Assc Intvwees
(n=739) (n=345) (n=86) (n=146) (n=54) Family
Dj iba
14
13
12
20
18
19
Badj i
19
21
30
15
14
10
Manga
7
11
2
6
11
14
Sambou
15
13
3
22
11
5
Diedhiou
6
6
10
5
9
5
Diatta
29
26
37
23
27
38
Sagna
7
7
5
7
7
10
Other
3
3
0
4
4
0
Ouartier
Elegnande
21
20
17
24
20
14
Sam'soulier
29
30
37
26
25
29
Bafican
26
23
13
32
32
29
Boukiak
24
28
33
18
23
29
Given the conditions under which the research was conducted, and
given the goals and methods by which interviewees were chosen (see
Chapter 3), the representativeness of the various village family names
and quartiers is reasonably close among interviewees. Importantly, the
census of the population originating from Boutem was conducted after
interviews were conducted. I did not know the actual distribution of
family names, or of quartier of origin among the village or Dakar
populations prior to choosing interviewees. Our goal was to choose
interviewees from as wide a cross section of families and quartiers as
possible, in order to identify variances that might have been associated
with these factors. Finally, we targeted individuals for interviews who
were from different family and quartier origins than Antoine, my
research assistant. In my estimation, this was proper in that we

157
avoided over-representing those groups most closely associated with his
personal background.
Another dimension along which interviewees might differ from other
emigrants is age. Because older women appeared in general to have found
more economic stability, it is important to consider interviewees ages
relative to other members of the emigrant population. If their ages
differ significantly from other emigrants, they cannot be considered
representative of the population from which they were selected.
The youngest mean age reported in the census was for men in
Ziguinchor, where it is 22.3 years or about 7 years less than the mean
age for the entire censused population. This may be the result of
village families sending a disproportionate number of boys to be
schooled in Ziguinchor, where there is a secondary school (Sacre Coeur
de Ziguinchor) and where many families have relatives who can board
these youngsters. Interestingly, the mean age of both men and women
residing in Dakar falls within one year of the population mean.
Boutem is the location with the greatest variance in mean ages,
with a standard deviation of 24.68 for women and 23.80 years for men.
These figures are close to twice the level of variance reported for any
other location, and probably are the result of a phenomenon common to
rural African villages, where the oldest and youngest members tend to
stay while young adults leave to maximize their potential for wage labor
earnings.
I also compared the mean ages (for those individuals I could
positively identify and link to data gathered in the village census) of
members of the Dakar women's association (56 total members were
identified in the census) and of the set of interviewees (21 identified
in the census). I found that the mean age for each of these groups is
somewhat higher than that of the entire censused population, of all

158
women censused, and of all female residents of Dakar. The mean age of
women's association members is 30.7 years, and that of interviewees is
35.2 years. This is probably explained by my targeting of employed
women for interviews, as they are likely to be older than the general
population, which includes infants and girls too young to work. The
range of interviewee's ages is almost an exact match to association
members and in fact doesn't appear significantly different from other
subsets of the censused population, other than that their minimum ages
reflect the fact that this is an adult working population (see Table 4)
TABLE 4: Mean ages of all women. Dakar emigrants, association members,
and interviewees
mean o mean mean + o
Entire fem. pop.
(n=293)
10.7
30.9
41.1
Dakar fem. res.
(n=84)
17.8
28.7
39.6
Women's assoc.
(n=56)
22.0
30.7
39.4
Interviewees
(n=21)
25.9
35.2
44.5
Dakar Women's Association: The Contemporary Situation
As I noted in Chapter 3, I am unable to point to any clear
benefits of association membership for contemporary individual urban
residents. Their social role as a meeting place persists from their
earliest days. Both the women's and village associations were
formalized to provide funeral insurance. Later, the village association
in particular strove to initiate and train new arrivals to the city, but
this role has now completely disappeared. Most migrants now have plenty
of family members to rely upon for similar help. If individuals are
willing to pay regular dues, one would think that there must be

159
something they get in return. As I will demonstrate, though, most
members of the women's association only pay dues infrequently. Still,
most women contribute something during the year, perhaps once every two
or three months. The main benefit I found is the opportunity for social
interaction with other village emigrants. Without telephones, with few
villagers who are functionally literate, with poor postal services, and
with most urban residents spread across many of the very large suburban
neighborhoods of Dakar, communication is difficult at best. Many people
spend their evenings visiting friends and family in nearby neighborhoods
and weekends are often spent attending church, village association
meetings, family association meetings, and meeting with the women's
association. With a large proportion of urban residents attending at
least some of each of these regular meetings, one can maintain regular
contact and can be fairly certain to keep up with news of the family,
the village, and fellow emigrants.
According to several women at the meeting I attended in January
1990, there were between ninety and 100 members in the women's associ
ation, although not all were active. I was unable to confirm this
figure as accurate until the last few weeks of my field research, when I
was given access to the association record book.9 With this source, I
confirmed that an average of 103 members (not necessarily active or
regularly attending) were officially recorded for the three years it
covered. Membership depends on residence, age, and origin. That is, if
a woman lives in Dakar and she (or her parents) comes from Boutem, she
is considered a member of the Dakar women's association at about age
fourteen. Therefore, for various reasons, some individuals inscribed in
the membership book have never attended meetings or contributed dues.
9The association record book lists membership and dues payments, but not
attendance.

160
It is possible to be disassociated from the group, but I did not elicit
the circumstances that would have provoked this. Tolerance and leniency
seemed to be the rule in these matters.
During this three year period, dues payments were set at 200 CFA
(66 U.S. cents) per month, collected only during the eight months of the
dry season migration (from January, after the rice harvest in Casamance,
through June). Of the 100 or so members present in Dakar during a given
year, 62 percent (191 of 310)10 never contributed dues to the organiza
tion during the year. Thirty-eight percent of the membership paid dues
at least once (119 of 310), providing a total of 624 "dues units" over
this three year span of time. This represents a total membership
contribution of 124,800 CFA (U.S. $416) over three years. More than
half of this amount, 56 percent, was collected from those members who
always pay their dues. To encourage payments, member families compete
for recognition as contributing the most at a given meeting. Each
family's members encourage one another to contribute, as the total
collected from each family is announced to the rest of the members. I
calculated the rate of participation for each family group over the
three year period, finding that it ranged from about 26 percent to
nearly 49 percent, with an average rate of participation (the percentage
of a family's members who contributed something at least once per year)
of about 38 percent overall. A woman may also make her dues payments in
a lump sum, making good on overdue payments or paying in advance for
future months. For example, at the January twenty-first meeting I
witnessed a single contribution of 6,000 CFA (U.S. $20.00), a sum
equivalent to 30 months of dues payments in a single contribution.
10For the analysis, I calculated percentages in terms of a total of 310
"person years" (individual names listed multiplied by the number of
years that name is recorded) in the record book from 1988-90. Data for
1990 are incomplete, since only seven months had been recorded at the
time the records were made available.

161
Table 5: Dues-pavments as a percentage of membership paving in three
categories of regularity
(avg.n=61)
1988
(n=58)
1989
(n=65)
1990
(n=59)
paid no dues at
all in year
28
60
83
paid from once
to all but once
36
26
13
paid dues every
month
36
15
3
Combining the data from the three years, with the final month of
1990 missing, the mean "payment behavior" was to pay dues for eight of
the total possible 23 months recorded. This can be expressed as an
"average" member, who would have paid her dues about every third month.
This picture fits quite well with what many of the interviewees told me,
that they simply don't feel they can afford to pay dues to every
association each month. Instead, they "rotate" dues payments, paying
dues for one or two groups every month, and skipping payments to others
until the next meeting. Thus, a group defined as having contributed
from two to fifteen payments over the three years (including members
paying dues as often as one standard deviation more and as infrequently
as one standard deviation less than the mean), would include 28 members,
or about 62 percent of the membership. A larger group of 32 members, 71
percent, paid anywhere from once a year through all but one month per
year, from 3 total payments through 20 out of 23 months. Only four
percent of the membership paid dues for every month of the period, and
18 percent of the group never paid any dues during that time (see Table
5) .
Fining members not conforming to the association's rules provides
another means of increasing the funds available to the group. This

162
right to fine members is similar to that of the village association,
which acts much like a local government in terms of formulating laws,
settling disputes, and fining residents for transgressions. In one
case, I was told of a 3,000 CFA fine levied against an officer of the
association for not attending the end of the year celebration just prior
to the agricultural season (she was specifically fined for not notifying
the others of her absence beforehand). This was despite her seemingly
legitimate excuse, that she was assisting in the transportation of a
friend's deceased father's remains to the village and attending his
funeral there. Those who did attend the celebration for which she was
fined were required to contribute one liter of beer, a chicken, and 500
CFA each. She told me that the members showed up at her apartment en
masse, drinking the remainder of her bottle of whiskey, several bottles
of Coca-Cola, and demanding an immediate 500 CFA payment. There is also
a fine levied to those women who don't return to the village for the
rainy season by August ninth.
Antoine told me that both the village men's and women's associa
tions control a significant amount of money in their treasuries; each of
two or three members in the group may keep a bank account of perhaps
100,000 CFA (U.S. $333) for the association. The division of funds is
intended to protect against embezzelment. Given the total amount of
dues collected by the women's association, these amounts appear
reasonable; they represent what a group could accumulate through dues
(without counting fines) in one year. He brought up this point later,
to confirm for me that these amounts were a reasonable estimate, in a
conversation with the women's association treasurer. She made it clear
that the sum resting in the women's group treasury is a secret, and
refused to discuss it any further. In any case, a combination of
continuing dues obligations and fines levied for specific infringements

163
could add up to a significant treasury, worth perhaps U.S. $500 U.S.
after a few years. These funds, much more than most individuals ever
had at one time, were available to the group to undertake village
development projects or to assist with emergency costs for its
membership, as long as they were safely protected.
Description of Women's Association Membership
I created a data set, as described in the methods section of
Chapter 3, by combining census data with data gathered from interviews
and the association record book. The number of cases included was
therefore limited by the individuals who could be identified (and for
whom data were successfully collected) in each of several sources.
Nevertheless, the variety of information thus combined was useful, and
provides more breadth to the analysis of women's association members
than otherwise could have been accomplished.
Seventy-eight women were eventually identified and included in
this analysis. These women represent forty out of a total of seventy-
one village households censused. As a check on the representativeness
of this group, I compared the distribution of their quartiers of origin
with the set of all women's association members identified in the
village census. Twenty percent were from Elegnande, twenty-six percent
from Sambousoulier, thirty percent originated in Bafican, and twenty-
three percent had lived in Boukiak. This distribution, as expected,
matches closely the distribution of fifty-four women identified as
association members in the census (see Table 3). This is at least one
indication that the data set is representative of the targeted
population.
Inclusion in the data set was based, among other things, on an
individual's name being recorded in the Dakar women's association record

164
book betwen 1988 and 1990. Thus, all were either current (a total of
62) or former (an additional 14) members. Twelve of the fourteen former
members were currently permanent village residents, while one was a
resident of France. Only one current Dakar resident is not a member of
the women's association.11 This supports my impression, gleaned from
the census and interviews, that while movement back and forth between
the village and Dakar is common, only a small number of emigrants return
to live permanently in the village. The mean age of association members
included here is just under 30 years old (29.8 years). Eighty percent
of the group is under the age of 35, and only six percent are aged 45
years or older. Based on the average age of these association members
and the career histories of interviewees, it is likely that several of
the fourteen former Dakar residents will eventually return there from
the village, perhaps after giving birth or for other reasons simply
remaining there for a few years.
In all but three cases, this data set records the women's duration
of residence in Dakar, making this one of the most completely recorded
variables included. The mean length of residence there is just over
twelve years (12.33) The majority of women, 26 individuals, have lived
in Dakar from six to ten years. Sixty-eight percent of the group have
been in the capital from five-and-a-half to 19 years. About 10 percent
of the women have been in Dakar more than 20 years. A related question,
intended to establish how many years it has been since individuals last
returned to the village, was included in the census. Fifty-six percent
of those living outside the village had returned in the last three
years, and almost half, 46 percent, had returned the previous year. The
interviewee 25 discussed her membership status with me in her
interview, saying that she had been sick for a number of years. One
other person told me that she had not been sick, but simply did not want
to attend meetings.

165
mean length of time it had been since these women had returned was about
six years (5.96), and only 8 percent had returned sixteen or more years
ago.
Information about a person's salary is generally considered a
secret among the Diola, a fact associated with agricultural societies
(Diola granaries are hidden inside their homes, and if one moves
residences, belongings are tranferred only at night). In several cases,
the woman I was interviewing told me that no one else knows what she
makes, including her roommates, her sisters, or her husband (as noted
above, this is associated with husbands and wives keeping separate
granaries). When I asked about this, other people familiar with Diola
practices told me that this was normal, and some expressed doubts that
the women would tell me what they earned. Nevertheless, all but two of
my interviewees, a total of 28 women, told me the amount of their
monthly wages. Their responses fit well with the range of wages that
employers told me they paid, and seemed to Antoine and me in keeping
with each respondent's level of experience. In several cases, as was
noted in the interview section above, women earned extra money by
selling goods in the market, income that was not accounted for here. In
a few other cases, women had recently lost their jobs. If an
interviewee was employed within the last four months, I considered her
employed for the purposes of this analysis, and included her wages at
that time. Six women (21 percent) had been unemployed for longer than
four months. The mean monthly wage was 28,710 CFA, the equivalent of
about U.S. $95.70 at the time. Eighteen percent were currently employed
with monthly incomes from 20,000 to 29,000 CFA per month (U.S. $66.67-
$96.67). More than half of the women (54 percent, or 15 individuals)
earned 30,000 CFA (U.S. $100) or more per month, and five women (18
percent) earned a monthly income of 50,000 CFA (U.S. $166.67) or more.
Given the local context, these women are earning relatively high

166
salaries, and many may well earn more than their husbands and brothers
make, although I did not collect information on men's employment and
incomes.
Finally, when I plotted a regression of the logarithm of a woman's
salary with the duration of her residence in Dakar, I found that 20
percent of the variance in these salary data was explained by how long a
woman had been living in the capital. For each year of residence in
Dakar, a woman may expect her salary to increase by 3 percent
(slope=.031). This finding was significant at the .05 level (p=.042).
Thus women who continue to work in Dakar generally earn more money. A
new arrival to the city could expect to earn an average of about 25,000
CFA (U.S. $83) in her first year of employment. If she were to remain
in the city for twenty-five years, she could on average expect to earn
47,000 CFA (U.S. $157) per month, with no inflation factored in. This
represents an 88 percent salary increase over the twenty-five year
period.
The correlation is probably best explained by the factors I have
mentioned before. Women who continue to work as maids tend to garner
skills considered important in this particular marketplace: a working
knowledge of the French language, the ability to cook European foods, an
ease and familiarity with Western habits, and other domestic
housekeeping skills. Other factors might include the documentation of
one's work history, either by certification with the Inspection de
Travail or by individual letters of recommendation. Less formal factors
that might increase a woman's chances of finding a top-paying employer
might depend on personal connections, a wider network of family and
friends, former employers, or others with a knowledge of open positions.
Many women also mentioned that they had found work with their employer's
"replacements," for example in cases where a business, government

167
agency, or NGO cycles its personnel through foreign positions on a
regular (often two-year) basis. In jobs where this is possible, having
held a position with one employer is often sufficient to find a job with
another from the same office. As the interviewees indicated, personal
contacts are essential for finding this or any other kind of work.
Increased experience in the city certainly provides a woman with the
means to expand her network of acquaintences with the potential to tip
her off to open jobs when she needs work.
The average per capita income in Senegal as a whole is U.S. $400
annually, about a 10,000 CFA monthly salary. In these terms, these
women are earning relatively high incomes even rather early in their
working careers. Equally important, though, are the facts that
unemployment is high and job security is low. Still, the Diola women I
interviewed rarely complained of long periods of unemployment, while it
was clear that Diola men had to expect years to go by without getting
work if they migrate to Dakar.
Discussion
This chapter began with a description of the village of Boutem,
the original home of all the emigrants I interviewed. These interviews
were presented in the second section of the chapter, beginning with a
consideration of career histories, working conditions, commerce, and
reasons for migrating (all related to earning an income). Following
these was the presentation of a range of common household expenditures.
The third section presented the results of a census of the village,
concentrating on issues of migration for current residents and
emigrants. These data were also used to evaluate the representativeness
of interviewees in terms of several variables. Finally, a short section
on the women's association was included, using data gathered from all

168
available sources to describe its membership in terms of age, income,
emigration history, and dues-paying behavior.
The goal of this chapter was to describe the contemporary
situation of emigrants from Boutem. Because all of the women I
interviewed grew-up in the village, it is important to know something
about it. I lived in Boutem for ten weeks, and described something
about the life residents live there. However, my main purpose there was
to collect census information, and I was not resident long enough to
provide an ethnographic description. I was able to confirm what many
people had told me, that few income-earning opportunities exist there
for women. As I noted in the methods section of Chapter 3, my other
goal, to confirm the number of emigrants returning for the agricultural
season, was not achieved due to circumstances beyond my control.
The process of interviewing emigrant women represents the main
body of my research efforts. I conducted enough interviews to gain an
adequate sense of the range of conditions encountered by emigrant women
in Dakar. I spoke with thirty individuals, who had lived there between
less-than-one and twenty-five or more years. These women all shared the
experience of leaving the village after little schooling, training
themselves for work as (in most cases) domestic maids, and learning to
cope with the difficulties of life and labor in the capital, a foreign
city in all but the legal sense, from their point of view. These women
most often begin their working careers as live-in maids, with only one
day off a week, in low-paying jobs with African employers. As they gain
experience, and through the network of contacts they develop over time,
they work (and are generally successful) at finding better, higher-paid
positions. These are most often with European employers, who generally
pay more, but who also require more developed skills, such as European
cooking, a working knowledge of French, and generally more Western
domestic skills.

169
The village census, aimed primarily at the gathering of migration
histories, confirmed that emigration is an important phenomenon. More
than half of those included were away during the 1990 dry season. Most
of these emigrants reside in Dakar (their mean age is within one year of
the population as a whole). The census indicates that regular urban
migration is still in a rather early stage; it only began within the
life-spans of older living residents. This was also indicated by
interviewees, who most often told me that their parents had not
migrated, or, if they had, that they had only worked for short periods
in Ziguinchor, the closest city. Oral histories reported in Chapter 3
also support this point, indicating that the earliest migrants from
Boutem to Dakar left in the nineteen-thirties and nineteen-forties.
Large numbers of migrants probably did not leave the village until the
nineteen-sixties. Current emigrants stay away from the village for
longer periods of time than did returnees, who numbered only 66 out of
345 current permanent village residents.
The census was also employed to collect information on emigrants
in general, whom I compared with the set of interviewees in order to
evaluate their representativeness. Interviewees tended to be older and
had been away from the village for a longer time than had other
emigrants I compared them with, but they represented family and
quartiers of origin reasonably well. The higher age and emigration
duration measures are likely the result of both the population itelf
(working adults, rather than all emigrants) as well as my own
selectivity for interviewees. I generally targeted emigrants who had
been in town for more than a few years.
The chapter concludes with a description of the women's
association membership. The main benefit of attending regular
association meetings seems to be that this is a means to maintain
contact and communication with other emigrants. About 100 members are

170
inscribed for any given year. The mean age of members is just under
thirty, and their mean duration of residence in Dakar is over twelve
years. About half returned to the village for the previous agricultural
season. Their mean monthly earnings are just under 30,000 CFA, about
U.S. $95. They contribute dues an average of every three months, as
suggested by the interviewees themselves, who told me that they can not
afford all of the dues they are expected to contribute to each
association. They therefore rotate payments from one organization to
the next as their finances permit. The associations are nevertheless
able to amass significantly large treasuries by collecting fines in
addition to these modest dues, which I counted as totaling U.S. $400
over three years.

CHAPTER 5
CONCLUSIONS
Migration Theories
In Chapter 1, I began by reviewing the migration literature, with
a particular focus on West African women. Migration is an important
factor in cultural evolution, and the contemporary importance of the
rapid urbanization of African cities was noted. Africans have adapted
to changing economic circumstances by means of migration throughout
history. The role of social institutions, such as emigrant voluntary
associations, was also judged to be an important factor in mediating
individual migration decisions, and in assisting migrants to adapt to
urban conditions. A typology of migration was constructed and the
present case outlined in these terms to briefly introduce it to the
reader before considering various theories for the causes and
consequences of migration.
I have been impressed with the success of the "classical" social
scientific approach to migration theory. While early models were often
simplistic, the field has been very productive of modifications and on
the whole models have become finer-grained and less rigid, incorporating
a broader range of social variables in addition to economic factors over
time. Many critiques, by dependency theorists and other Marxists as
well as other writers, have been incorporated into new models when they
are found to be valid and useful. Meanwhile, the "dependentistas" were
particularly unproductive of empirical research. In particular, the
neo-Marxist writers were successful at forcing changes in "economistic"
171

172
models, and have inspired a good deal of research into the role of
households and other mid-level social units.
There has been a similar debate through the years about the
consequences of migration. So-called "conventional" academics were
often characterized by the academic left as supporting or encouraging
migration. In fact, a number of the colonial British anthropologists
argued that wage labor migration in Africa was jeopardizing traditional
authority and communities. Migration plays a key role in the process of
economic development by concentrating people into areas of increased
economic activity, making possible a more efficient delivery of goods
and services. On this point migration researchers of all political
persuasions can probably agree, although not all would evaluate the
results of such changes in the same way.
Migration highlights the changes that occur in a society as people
move from work in one to another economic sector. Such a change may
involve many other changes in individual lives. More than anything
else, migration represents people's adaptability to changing economic
conditions. Often empirical issues of migration are clouded by writers'
attempts to evaluate the costs and benefits of economic development
itself. It is easy to see that some of the effects of migration dilute
what is valuable in traditional society. Certainly I am not the first
anthropologist to be embarrassed by the seeming inappropriateness of
urban returnees, walking through their home village wearing ultra-chic
urban clothing and hair styles. But the emigrants themselves told me
that they leave the village to dress well, so it should be no surprise
that their success is demonstrated so openly.
Many observers of (especially female) emigration from rural Diola
villages since the 1950s have argued that it should be stopped. This is
commonly heard in the villages themselves, and was the unanimous opinion
of a focus group I organized in Ziguinchor. Clearly, migration to Dakar

173
in particular has played an important role in diminishing the
productivity of rice production in the Lower Casamance. However, this
emigration is the result of larger economic changes that were initiated
well before current emigrants left their home villages. In fact, as I
have explained, female emigration from the Casamance is the result
rather than the cause of lowered productivity in rice agriculture.
Women leave the villages because they are expected to provide for the
daily needs of their families. Soap, oil, kerosene, and the like must
be purchased, and women have few opportunities for earning cash within
the rural economy.
Through emigration, a woman is able to meet her obligations to her
family. If she does well in her search for urban work, she may also be
able to do more than that. Perhaps she can gain prestige among her
peers when she returns to the village, demonstrating her success by
wearing a new set of elegant clothing with an urbane flair. If she does
well and obtains a secure, well-paid job, she may send home regular
remittances to her family, helping them to hire essential labor for
planting and harvests even when she cannot come home to lend a hand
herself. Furthermore, through her participation in the emigrant women's
associations in Dakar, she may help to bring concrete benefits back to
her village through one of the organization's cooperative projects. One
could speculate about whether or not village residents would have been
better off if they had not been incorporated into the state of Senegal
(and thereby into the larger international economy). However, there is
no way to 'undo' this incorporation or disengage from the larger
economy. Given the benefits of remittances and other funds that
returnees bring with them when they do return to the village, migration
can be valued as beneficial.
Migration allows individuals who happen to originate far from
centers of economic activity and growth to participate in development.

174
Through remittances and return migration, rural villages receive some of
the monetary benefits of economic development. This process represents
more than a mere trickle of superficial benefits, but rather has been
estimated to represent a significant international financial exchange.
Rural villages benefit with schools, clinics, and increased levels of
consumption as a result of these flows of cash back from the cities to
which their emigrants have left to find work.
Women in particular have been somewhat ignored in the academic
literature on migration. Often considered only as associational movers,
they are freguently depicted as following their families or husbands
rather than moving independently themselves. Other studies focus on the
effects on women "left behind" on rural farms when their husbands
migrate to urban centers. When women as migrants are the focus of some
studies, normative issues frequently overshadow questions of theory or
context. Commercial migration is an important factor in the economic
lives of many West African women. However, I explored this issue, and
found that commerce plays a relatively small role in this case. I do
not support the view that there needs to be some kind of separate theory
of women migrants. Women migrate for the same reasons as men, when
conditions allow and do not impede their independent movement.
As I have discussed above, the division of rural labor and
household responsibilities among the Diola create a context in which
women need cash, while few opportunities exist for their earning money
in the rural setting. They also enjoy a social status elevated enough
to allow their free and independent movement, an important cultural
factor that enables them to migrate. These conditions have existed in
some Diola communities since the turn of the century, when women were
hired as seasonal stevedores on the docks of local ports. This case is
particularly interesting because it represents an unusual set of
conditions, where women migrate for wage labor in numbers similar to or

175
greater than their male counterparts. It provides the opportunity to
consider the independent migration of women, along with the causes and
context of their movement from a rural to an urban environment. The
study of similar cases elsewhere should help to improve our
understanding of the causes and consequences of migration more
generally.
Historical Patterns of Piola Migration
The historical background of Diola migration was the focus in
Chapter 2. Diola cultural history was divided into four periods, and
the characteristic patterns of migration associated with each were
detailed. These periods of Diola migration history were based on
conditions that would have supported relatively stable patterns of
migration within each. The first period, from 200-1100 A.D., was
characterized by the expansion of Diola populations into Lower
Casamance, their initial sedentization into villages and the
intensification of rice agriculture through irrigation. Period two
spanned the time up to about 1400, and included the encroachment of the
state societies of Mali and Kasa into the Lower Casamance. These states
influenced Diola trade and patterns of dry season migration in
particular.
The third period, from 1400 to about 1930, was the least stable of
the four defined periods. Early on during this period, trade expanded
with the new opportunities introduced by Europeans, but also fluctuated
with changes in security, slowing during the frequent outbreaks of
warfare associated with slave raids and territorial disputes. Later in
the third period, legitimate trade was established, and some Diola
migrated to collect forest products such as rubber or palm kernels,
which they could trade (particularly for iron) at local comptoirs.

176
Colonial efforts to establish cash markets in Lower Casamance were only
seriously pursued at the end of this period. The fourth period was
defined as 1930 to the present. From this late date, cash markets and
individual taxation were successfully introduced among the Diola, and
the regular wage migration that continues into the present began.
Migration is not simply an indicator of social disintegration or
Western cultural encroachment, but has been an important means for Diola
economic adaptation throughout history. Because of this long precedent,
certain institutions within Diola culture have developed to assist in
the social integration of newcomers or outsiders. A flexible approach
to kinship and land tenure rules further supports this accommodative
cultural stance. In particular, a diverse range of traditional
voluntary associations among the Diola provides a number of cultural or
institutional precedents that can be adapted to changing conditions.
Once a significant number of Diola had migrated to urban Dakar,
voluntary associations were created there to cope with the particular
difficulties people faced in this new setting. Based on traditional
associations, the new organizations adapted to the changing demands of
urban residents. They provided a means of maintaining social contacts
and communication among the emigrants and their home village. Over
time, they began to collect cash dues and keep formal records, and to
exert a degree of social control through the creation of rules and fines
to enforce them. These associations, with the significant sums of money
they can maintain in their treasuries, are also now an important conduit
for returning funds to the village, where they organize such projects as
maintaining public buildings like the school, clinic, and youth foyer (a
public meeting and dance hall).

177
The Case of Boutem
I present the data collected during my field research in Chapters
3 and 4. I first discussed the research methods employed during various
phases of my fieldwork in Chapter 3. Then I presented an oral history
of migration from the village of Boutem to Dakar. Interviewees
explained that the earliest emigrants from their village during the
1930s and 1940s were often veterans, and were among the first to have
received a formal Western education. I detail some of their stories,
and then consider the nature and development of the urban emigrant
associations they formed.
Chapter 4 continues this presentation, with a description of the
contemporary village as I experienced it in the Summer of 1990. There I
observed that, in fact, few income-earning opportunities exist for women
in the rural economy. All of the interviews I conducted in Dakar were
with individuals who had grown-up there. The results of these
interviews were presented in the second section of this fourth chapter.
I considered the career histories of emigrants, along with their working
conditions in Dakar. I discussed the limited commercial activities
emigrants engaged in there, and described the few informal examples of
commerce I observed in the village. Emigrants were asked why they
migrated, and their responses were included here. After this
presentation on matters related to income, I went on to discuss a range
of common household expenditures. As interviewees elaborated on the
financial demands they face in Dakar, I gained an appreciation of the
difficulty and insecurity of their lives in the urban setting, and hope
that I conveyed it adequately here.
In the third section of this chapter I provided the results of the
village census I conducted. These data were used to describe migration
among all villagers, and to evaluate the representativeness of

178
interviewees. Finally, the members of the women's association were
described in terms of age, income, emigration history, and dues-paying
behavior. The census and interviews, along with information provided
from the women's association record book, allowed me to analyze the
situation of emigration more broadly than was possible with any single
source. I was also able to compare the results from one source with
another, as in the case of emigrants' previous destinations (where
interview data were judged more reliable than census responses).
Emigration from Boutem to Dakar is a relatively recent phenomenon.
The earliest migrants are recalled by name among young adults, and some
are still alive and available to interview personally. Interviewees
were often among the first emigrants in their own families, although a
number of respondents were able to point to examples of the kinds of
wage migration their parents had engaged in. Most often, their parents
migrated only a few times or for only short periods, for example to
Ziguinchor, which is easily accessible from the village by boat. That
current emigrants stay away from the village for longer periods of time
than returnees was also confirmed in the census. Interviewees were not
selected at random, and tended to be older and had been gone from the
village for longer than had the set of all Dakar emigrants. They were,
however, judged to represent emigrants from their village relatively
well in terms of family and quartier of origin.
Women migrants from Boutem, like other Diola women, seek
relatively unskilled work in Dakar (although as the interviewees
explained, they do spend a certain amount of time training themselves
for their work as domestic maids). They therefore are able to find work
more easily than men from the village, who compete in a different job
market. Men's work, career histories, incomes, and contributions to
household expenses were not among my research topics, but it would

179
certainly be interesting to more fully explore the differences in men's
and women's experiences in this context.
Relative to the national per capita income, the emigrant women I
worked with earn fairly good wages. Over time, their incomes rise (on
average) making it particularly worthwhile for experienced women to
remain in the urban setting. They use their earnings, in part, to remit
to their families in the village, and also contribute to the women's
association. As a group, this association (like the men's or village
association) is able to collect a significant amount in its treasury
over time. Since the mid 1970s, these associations have planned and
conducted small projects in the village, thereby returning more benefits
to their place of origin, as for example they did while I was there with
a project to repair the school roof, and to repair and refurbish the
maternity clinic.
Discussion
In summary, I believe that this case can be best understood in
terms of a modified, contemporary version of classical social scientific
theories of migration. Migrants leave the village, where few economic
opportunities are available to women in particular, to seek a cash
income in the highest-wage environment in which they can reasonably find
accomodation and employment. More young men than women have the benefit
of a secondary education, and they more often seek government and other
salaried positions. However, on the one hand, Diola men are competing
for such jobs with a larger number of individuals, many of whom have
better family and ethnic ties to established brokers. Women, on the
other hand, are looking for work with employers who favor their cultural
(Catholic, more often French-speaking) background. They also do not
compete with local Dakar (primarily Wolof) women, who most often view

180
domestic service work as beneath their social standing. Therefore,
women are more likely, it seems, to get work rapidly upon arrival in the
city. While men may eventually get better jobs, they must wait longer
to find them. Ideally (as reported by Lambert 1994:204-205), the family
"back home" hopes for their daughters to provide early remittances
followed later by sons more substantial and regular offerings.
Diola migrants to Dakar are supported by urban voluntary
associations that were developed first to serve more or less as social
clubs, but were then used as a means to provide emergency aid to
individuals needing relatively large sums of money to pay for funeral
services. These associations are sometimes resented for their demands
for dues or fines (which, as in the village, are levied to enforce a
variety of laws), but they also provide a minimal safety net when real
disaster strikes someone living far from home and at times without
nearby family support. Having developed out of traditional forms, these
urban associations have become formalized as a result of collecting and
recording dues (and the participation of an increasingly well-educated
membership). They are an important locus for social interaction and a
means of communication among emigrants and their home village. They
command substantial treasuries, which they now use to implement village
projects in addition to their function as a kind of social security.
The interaction of various associations, the village emigrants, women's,
Dakar-based, Ziguinchor-based, and village associations is an
interesting topic for further research. When different groups express
their priorities for projects, a negotiation among these civic
organization follows. To some extent, these represent a dispersed
multi-local form of representative government, and their role could be
analyzed in political terms.

APPENDIX A
INTERVIEW SCHEDULE FOR FEMALE RESIDENTS OF DAKAR
AND QUESTIONNAIRE FOR VILLAGE CENSUS OF BOUTEM
I. Interview schedule for women's association members in Dakar
Household
Who lives in this house, room or apartment?
How many people eat here? (Lunch, dinner)
How many sleep here?
Are any members of the household currently away?
Employment
Are you currently employed?
Are any others in the household currently employed?
What kind of work do you and the others do?
For how long have you worked at the same job?
Will you remain working in this same job (do you feel secure in this
position)?
How much are you paid per month?
What about others in the house?
Do you sleep and/or eat where you work (Do you receive room and board)?
How many days per week do you work?
What language do you use to communicate with your boss?
Are you satisfied with the working conditions?
Have you been enrolled with the Inspection de Travail? At what level?
Expenses
What are your largest monthly household expenses?
How much do you pay every month for rent, food, transportation,
utilities, association dues, clothing, remittances, school fees,
health expenses, maternity?
Migration history
What year did you first emigrate from the village?
How long was it before you got your first job?
Describe your earliest jobs after migrating.
What kind of work were you doing before you first migrated to Dakar?
Describe any times that you were unemployed in Dakar.
Have your working conditions improved since you first migrated?
Did your parents ever migrate?
Return
This year will you return to the village?
When? For how long? What will you do? What expenses will you
have there?
II. Census questionnaire for the village of Boutem
Questionnaire number
Date
Quartier
Interviewer
Name of household head:
Have you ever migrated?
To which town?
For how much time?
181

182
For each member of the family resident during this dry season, write the
name, age (approximate), and relationship to the head of the household.
If he or she has migrated, indicate the town and duration of absence in
each place.
For each member of the family absent during this dry season, write the
name, age (approximate), relationship to the head of the household, and
indicate the current town of residence.
For each, respond to the following questions:
Number of seasons absent
Did he or she return during the past rainy season?
If not, how long has it been since the last return?
How many times has he or she returned during the last five
rainy seasons?

APPENDIX B
CENSUS CODEBOOKS FOR THE VILLAGE CENSUS AND FOR FEMALE DAKAR RESIDENTS
I. Codebook for July 1990 census of the village of Boutem, Senegal
Note that the range and value labels for all variables are indicated
below variable labels and definitions in section II.
Variable
Columns
Definition
caseid
1- 3
individual case ID number
001-739
qustno
5- 6
questionnaire number (one per HH, mostly)
01-70
quartr
8- 9
village "quartier" or ward/neighborhood
01 'Elegnande'
02 'Sambousoulier'
03 'Bafican'
04 'Boukiak'
05 'Bougafou'
06 'Boutoupa'
intvwr
11-12
interviewer code
01 'David Diatta'
02 'Augustin Diatta'
03 'Dominique Djiba'
04 'Frederic Diatta'
05 'Self'
06 'Self w/D.Diatta'
vilmap
14
HH recorded on map of village?
0 'HH not on map'
1 'HH on map'
hhnumb
16-17
ID number of village household
01-71 (71 separate HHs identified)
gender
19
male or female
0 'female'
1 'male'
family
21-22
family name
01 'Djiba'
02 'Badji'
03 'Manga'
04 'Sambou'
05 'Diedhiou'
06 'Diatta'
07 'Sagna'
08 'Bassene'
09 'Dacosta'
10 'Mane'
11 'Diagne'
12 'Niang'
yearbn 24-27 year of birth
dryres 29-30 current residence during dry season
pastmg 32-33 destination of previous migration
00 'Boutem'
10 'other vlgs in Dept.'
11 'Bignona'
12 'Thionk-Essil'
13 'Tobor'
21 'Ziguinchor'
22 'Oussouye'
23 'Karabane'
183

184
24 'Cap Skirring'
31 'Marassoum'
32 'Sedhiou'
34 'Velingara'
41 'Tambacounda'
42 'Kedougou'
52 'Kaolack'
53 'Thies*
54 'St. Louis'
57 'Mboro'
60 'Dakar'
81 'Gambia'
82 'Ivory Coast'
84 'France'
85 'other Europe*
86 'Mexico'
90 'various not Dakar'
91 'cant find placename'
92 'various incl. Dakar'
93 'Military/various'
98 'reports no past migrtn'
todrtn
35-36
yrs. absent migr. in past (vill. residents)
nodrtn
38-39
duration current migration (non-vill. res.)
lstret
41-42
last returned to village X years ago
pctrt5
44-46
percent returns in last five years
intvwe
48
indiv. was interviewee in Dakar?
0 'not interviewed'
1 'interviewed'
fmascn
50
member of womens association in Dakar?
0 'not in assoc'
1 'current member'
2 '88 or 89 member'
II. Age,
dues, and
salary data for female residents of Dakar
Variable
CP^Wing
BefipAtiQb
caseid
1- 3
individual ID no. (from village census)
quartr
5- 6
village quartier of origin
vilmap
8
is village HH of origin on Boutem map?
hhnumb
10-11
ID number of village household
age
13-14
calculated from "year born" census data
dryres
16-17
current residence during dry season
pastmg
19-20
previous migration destination
nodrtn
22-23
duration of current migration (self report)
lstret
25-26
last returned to village x years ago
pctrt5
28-30
percent returns to vill. in last five years
intvwe
32-33
interview number (if interviewed in Dakar)
fmascn
34
current member of womens assoc., or 88/89?
dues88
36
no. times indiv paid dues (200 CFA) in 1988
dues89
37
no. times indiv paid dues (200 CFA) in 1989
dues90
38
no. times indiv paid dues (200 CFA) in 1990
family
40
family name (fewer than in village census)
salary
42-43
monthly wage earnings in 1,000s of CFA
Value, labels
QUARTR
01
' Elegnande'
02
'Sambousoulier'
03
'Bafican'

04 'Boukiak'
05 'Bougafou'
06 'Boutoupa'
VILMAP
0 'not on map*
1 'HH on map*
FAMILY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
'Djiba'
'Badji'
'Manga'
'Santbou'
'Diedhiou'
'Diatta'
'Sagna'
DRYRES, PASTMG
00 'Boutem*
10 'other vlgs in Dept.
11 'Bignona'
12 'Thionk-Essil'
13 'Tobor'
21 'Ziguinchor'
22 'Oussouye'
23 'Karabane'
24 'Cap Skirring'
31 'Marassoum'
32 'Sedhiou'
34 'Velingara'
41 'Tambacounda'
42 'Kedougou'
52 'Kaolack'
53 'Thies*
54 St. Louis'
57 'Mboro'
60 'Dakar'
81 'Gambia'
82 'Ivory Coast'
84 'France'
85 'other Europe'
86 'Mexico'
90 'various not Dakar'
91 'cant find placename
92 'various incl. Dakar
93 'Military/various'
98 'rprt no past raigrtn
INTVWE
00 'not interviewed'
FMASCN
0 'not in assoc
1 'current member
2 '88 or 89 member'

186
MISSING VALUES
family vilmap, fmascn, dues88, dues89, dues90
(9)
quartr, hhnumb, dryres, pastmg, salary, nodrtn, intvwe, lstret,
(99)
caseid, pctrt5
(999)
age

GLOSSARY
A.O.F.:
Afrique Occidentale Frangaise, the colony known as
French West Africa comprised Guinea, Mali, Mauritania,
Senegal.
Affiniam:
Neighboring, perhaps parent, village of Affiniam-
Boutem.
Bagand:
Residents of Boutem call Affiniam Bagand. An apparent
reference to its status as a quartier of the "same
village."
Balanta:
Ethnic group of the Casamance region.
Banco:
Adobe or mud-brick construction, the material for
traditional thatched homes among the Diola.
Bandial:
Region of Senegal South of the Casamance River.
Banyun:
Ethnic group of the Casamance region.
Bathurst:
Colonial name for the capital city of The Gambia,
Banjul.
Benn Tali:
Neighborhood in Dakar, the name means "one street" in
Wolof.
Bignona:
Town in Casamance, Northeast of Boutem.
Bokin:
Diola word for spirits (pi. inaati).
Bonne-mnagre:
Domestic maid, also known simply as a bonne.
Boulouf:
Region North of the Casamance River, called Djugut in
colonial times.
Boutem:
Officially Affiniam-Boutem, the subject of this case
study.
Brevet:
French degree for the first cycle of secondary school.
Brin:
Diola village near Ziguinchor.
Buayu:
Extended patrilineal family, de-emphasized among the
Diola.
Bukut:
Diola male initiation and ritual circumcision.
Bunuk:
Palm wine.
187

188
Campements de
touriste:
C.E.P.:
C.E.S. :
C.F.A.:
Cap Vert:
Carabane:
Castors:
Certificat:
Chef de canton:
Chin:
Circumcision:
Circumscription:
Combo:
Compradors:
Comptoir:
Corve:
Derkl:
Diatok:
Dj ilapao:
Djugut:
Elana:
Elora:
Tourist hostels. In the Lower Casamance, these are
often built in a traditional Diola construction style,
either in the form of a ring (impluvium) or at their
most impressive, in two stories.
French primary school diploma.
French secondary school diploma.
Communaut Financier Africaine, a financial
organization issuing the currency of many of the
francophone West African countries. The "franc CFA"
is the name of the currency.
Hook-shaped peninsula on which Dakar is located, also
the region of Dakar.
Island in the Casamance River, an early French
comptoir.
Neighborhood of Dakar.
French primary school diploma.
French colonial district officer.
Diola word for a spirit shrine.
The Diola male initiation ceremony, bukut involves the
circumcision of initiates.
Environmentally, economically, or politically
surrounded.
Former region of Casamance near The Gambia.
Luso-African middlemen between European and African
traders.
Trading post.
Form of in-kind taxation requiring a certain period of
labor.
Neighborhood of Dakar.
Diola village near Affiniam-Boutem.
Neighboring village of Affiniam-Boutem.
Former region of Casamance North of the River.
Neighboring village of Affiniam-Boutem.
Neighboring village of Affiniam-Boutem.
Eluhol:
Broad Diola kin group with the same patronym.

189
Esulalu:
Former region of Casamance South of the River.
Fass:
Neighborhood of Dakar.
Fogny:
Former region of Casamance bordering The Gambia.
Groundnuts:
In West Africa what Americans call peanuts are known
in English as groundnuts; the term peanut is
considered derogatory.
Hainoumaine:
Neighborhood of Dakar.
IPRES:
A Senegalese social security and family welfare
agency.
Indignat:
Colonial laws requiring, among other things, corve
labor.
Inspection:
Either the Inspection de Travail or Inspection de la
Main d'Oeuvre. The agency controlling employment
conditions in Senegal.
Kaar rapit:
Private commercial van, running relatively scheduled
routes in competition with busses and other
transportation.
Kajumo:
A spirit to whom one of Boutem's shrines is devoted,
the name means "the reknowned."
Kaolack:
A city South and East of Dakar, known as a commercial
center.
Kawasen:
The Diola name for their indigenous religion.
Kayendo:
Long-handled iron-tipped traditional shovel used by
the Diola in agriculture.
Koloban:
Neighborhood of Dakar.
Lancados:
Africanized Portuguese (Luso-African) traders.
Lbou:
Wolof sub-group, the original inhabitants of Cap Vert
Manj aku:
Ethnic group of the Casamance region.
Marigot:
A winding estuarial waterway.
Mboro:
Small city located North of Dakar along the Atlantic
coast.
Mbour:
Small city located North of Dakar along the Atlantic
coast.
Mourides:
Shi'ite Islamic sect or brotherhood, predominant in
Senegal.
ari Tali:
Wolof phrase meaning "two streets." Neighborhood in
Dakar bordered by a large boulevard.

190
O.M.V.S.:
Organisation de Mise en Valeur de Valle de Senegal,
the Senegal River Valley Development Organization.
O.N.C.A.D.:
Marketing board for groundnuts in Senegal.
Ouakam:
A neighborhood of Dakar, original Lbou village at Cap
Vert.
Parcelles
Assanies:
A neighborhood of Dakar, on the North coast of Cap
Vert.
Peul:
French word for the Fulani ethnic group.
Prebendal:
Feudal system of distributing political offices.
Quartier:
French administrative division, similar to
neighborhood or ward, having kinship meaning in West
Africa.
Ronier palm:
Similar to the palmetto.
Sedhiou:
Casamance village, site of an early French comptoir.
Serawollie:
Ethnic group in Senegal.
Socits de
Prvoyances:
Precursor organization to ONCAD.
Tendouk:
Diola village near Affiniam-Boutem.
Thionk-Essil:
Casamance village, considered the largest in Senegal.
Tirailleurs
Senegalais:
French colonial military troops conscripted among its
African subjects.
Tontine:
A common West African savings group that organizes a
regular drawing or raffle among its informal
membership.
Wolof:
Majority ethnic group of Senegal, and the lingua
franca of the country.
Ziguinchor:
Regional capital of the Casamance.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
The author was born in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1961. Attending
primary and secondary schools in Beloit, Wisconsin, he graduated from
Beloit High School in 1979. Undergraduate studies were undertaken at
Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa. He graduated from the college with
a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology in 1983.
His graduate studies have all been in the Department of
anthropology at the University of Florida, where he earned a Master of
Arts degree in 1986. His minor was in faming systems research. He was
awarded a Certificate in African Studies in conjunction with the M.A.
Prior to dissertation fieldwork, the author completed a summer intensive
language course in Wolof at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
with funding from the Foreign Language Area Studies program. The
present research was undertaken in Senegal during December, 1989, and
completed in August, 1990. It was supported with a Fullbright-IIE
dissertation research award.
He is currently employed at the University of Florida George A.
Smathers Libraries, in the collection management Department. His duties
are associated entirely with the support and development of the Africana
collection.
214

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
_J*
H---Rtrssell Bernard, Chair
Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I
conforms to acceptable
adequate, in scope and
Doctor of Philosophy.
have read this study and that in my opinion it
standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Arthur Hansen
Associate Professor of Anthropology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it
conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully
adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy.
Marvin Harris
Graduate Research Professor of
Anthropology
I certify that I
conforms to acceptable
adequate, in scope and
Doctor of Philosophy.
have read this study arid that in my opinion it
standards of scholarly/presentation^ and is fully
quality, as a dissertation for thv deu/ee of
Goren Hyden
Professor of
Science
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the
Department of Anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December 1995
Dean, Graduate School



123
Life there was very difficult. I stayed in the house, worked very
hard, and above all didn't have much freedom. . That was
difficult, it was really hard work. .and I wouldn't go back.
The houses are big there, and it was hard. We're not used to
being all closed up in the house, inside all the time. It was
boring, all of the time in the house. I spoke Italian, which was
hard at first, but I learned. (Interview 7)
Several women referred to what might be generously described as
uncomfortable meal arrangements: sometimes nothing is provided for them
to eat where they work, or perhaps they get only the leftover food their
employers presumably won't eat, or they are humiliated by being made to
eat apart from their employers. "I don't even get meals there, I have
to find my own breakfast and lunch. I get nothing from them, as I said
I'm there despite myself" (Interview 16). "I worked for a Senegalese
family. At lunch, I always got last night's rice, [eating] apart from
the family." (Interview 9). None of the women I spoke with mentioned
that they had ever been physically abused, but in one case this
possibility was raised.
I was told the first four [maids sent from the vocational school]
to try had been sent away, the fourth having been beaten. ... I
really stood up to it there. I didn't even get breakfast there.
For lunch I got maybe a potato or a carrot, and if I got there at
8:05 AM I had to stay until 6:05 PM. They told me that he was
mean, but since I knew I had no choice, I had to go. . I took
this for ten months, and his contract ended, and then he left. He
gave me nothing for severance pay ["mes droights"] or anything.
(Interview 17)
There, [at the military camp] you don't have the right to eat
breakfast or lunch. If you want to eat breakfast, you buy your
bread, sugar, butter, and coffee and bring it to work to make it
there. [Even those working full days have to bring their own
lunch]. The person we sent to make an official complaint about
this, we don't know what he's done with the papers. (Interview
14)
I stay over nights from Monday to Saturday, at 6:00 PM I come
home. I'm not paid [a supplemental wage] for the nights, because
the woman is divorced and lives alone with her children. I work
six days a week, and go back [begin] on Sunday night. I speak
Wolof with my boss. She doesn't talk much; when she comes home,
she changes her clothes and comes to eat dinner. If she speaks to
you, you know she has something for you to do. I don't eat with
her, but apart with the children. (Interview 22)
It was very hard work, and sometimes they would have me eat apart
from the family. The husband once asked his wife why we don't eat


147
devoted solely to covering these costs. "Health expenses, etc. [I]
don't save for, either for [myself] or [my] relatives, but [I] try to
manage as things come up" (Interview 5). "I can't save for health care
costs, etc. I just manage as I can when things come up" (Interview 8).
If someone gets sick near the end of the month I can pay for
health care. . Health is like I told you, I can only pay for
this when I get paid. Otherwise, I have to borrow for health care
costs. (Interview 19)
In a number of other cases, women discussed health care in terms
of maternity costs and problems in pregnancy.
I've spent a lot on health care since having my first son, and now
this second pregnancy is causing more health problems. . I've
got lots of health expenses, for my pregnancies and for my son.
(Interview 12)
For the hospital, I save 2,000 CFA. For maternity, it depends
when I get pregnant. If its time to give birth I take a taxi and
go to the maternity, and when I get there I pay 2,500 CFA. But I
don't save for this. (Interview 23)
In one case, however, a thirty-one year old mother provided me with the
only evidence I found of planned, Western-style preventative health care
for her children. "I can't save up for health costs, but every three
months I take the kids to a doctor for check-ups, which costs 6,000 CFA.
Prescriptions can cost anywhere from 3-7,000 CFA" (Interview 7).
Another unique case was elaborated to me in the following passage, in
which a woman told me that she received health insurance as a benefit of
her (former) employment.
My husband takes care of maternity and health costs, but if he has
problems I try to help out although I don't budget for this.
Myself, I got health insurance at work, so my husband never had to
pay for this [in the last ten years]. (Interview 13)
School fees
For mothers with school-aged children, fees for their education
can be another significant expense. "For school, I pay 3,500 CFA per
month. I pay for one child" (Interview 23). "I pay school fees for my
one child, I pay 5,500 CFA a month" (Interview 19). The fees are much
less for a traditional Muslim education (very popular in Dakar), but


77
not generally comfortable with a presentation conducted in French.
Antoine was also able to clarify issues that came up, since he was
familiar with the research goals and procedures of the research.
Initially I believed we could interview every member of the
women's association. I was told that we could acquire a list of the
entire membership early on, but this took longer than expected. I also
thought that we could conduct interviews more quickly than we, in fact,
could. It often took several days to successfully meet with potential
interviewees, and we often had to make several attempts to meet with a
woman at her home, either after work or during her day off. Once it
became clear that we would have to limit ourselves to interviewing about
thirty of the 100 or so members, interviewees were selected for
questioning based largely on convenience. However, we planned
interviewee inclusion to provide as wide a range of representation from
as many families, ages, neighborhoods of Dakar, and quartiers of the
village as was possible in the time we had. I targeted employed women
for inclusion, in part because several studies of migrant women have
already focused on the youngest and most vulnerable populations (e.g.,
see CNFNA 1983; Philpott 1986). We avoided interviews with more than a
few of Antoine's relatives, friends, or close neighbors from the
village. I often had other contacts with them, and used informal
conversations in family settings to ask questions of them as they
occurred to me.
Interviews themselves were conducted in Diola. Although most
interviewees used French to communicate at work, they generally were
uncomfortable with using it outside of that context. Because Diola is
not taught in the U.S., before undertaking this research I studied Wolof
in an intensive study program for eight weeks at the University of
Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wolof is Senegal's lingua franca, and I
developed some conversational ease with it in the field. However, the


179
certainly be interesting to more fully explore the differences in men's
and women's experiences in this context.
Relative to the national per capita income, the emigrant women I
worked with earn fairly good wages. Over time, their incomes rise (on
average) making it particularly worthwhile for experienced women to
remain in the urban setting. They use their earnings, in part, to remit
to their families in the village, and also contribute to the women's
association. As a group, this association (like the men's or village
association) is able to collect a significant amount in its treasury
over time. Since the mid 1970s, these associations have planned and
conducted small projects in the village, thereby returning more benefits
to their place of origin, as for example they did while I was there with
a project to repair the school roof, and to repair and refurbish the
maternity clinic.
Discussion
In summary, I believe that this case can be best understood in
terms of a modified, contemporary version of classical social scientific
theories of migration. Migrants leave the village, where few economic
opportunities are available to women in particular, to seek a cash
income in the highest-wage environment in which they can reasonably find
accomodation and employment. More young men than women have the benefit
of a secondary education, and they more often seek government and other
salaried positions. However, on the one hand, Diola men are competing
for such jobs with a larger number of individuals, many of whom have
better family and ethnic ties to established brokers. Women, on the
other hand, are looking for work with employers who favor their cultural
(Catholic, more often French-speaking) background. They also do not
compete with local Dakar (primarily Wolof) women, who most often view


19
Consequences of Migration
Economic and Social Scientific Contributions
From the point of view of the receiving community, the effects of
migration are depicted most often in terms of the labor market. High
rates of migration reduce the cost of (especially unskilled) labor to
urban industry. Related food policy issues, such as whether governments
should subsidize consumer staples, are also important from this
primarily urban perspective (see Bates 1981; Timmer et al. 1983).
The literature on African urbanization points to many other issues
relevant to the communities receiving large influxes of migrants. These
include problems related to rapidly growing needs in housing, urban
infrastructure, and public services such as health and education, as
well as the difficulties of incorporating formerly rural peoples into
multi-cultural urban settings (see Mangin 1959; Gluckman 1961; Kuper
1965; Little 1965; Plotnikov 1967; Mayer 1969; Hance 1970; Middleton
1979; Hannerz 1980; Peil 1981; Coqury-Vidrovitch 1991) .
The effects of migration on sending communities were rarely
considered prior to studies conducted by the British social
anthropologists during and after World War II (see the exceptional early
work by Thomas and Znaniecki 1927; Sorokin et al. 1932; and Thomas
1938). In British colonial Africa, a seasonal or "circulatory" pattern
of migration was the dominant means by which labor was supplied to urban
enterprises in many of the white settler economies.
This "circulatory labor" phenomenon appeared to damage rural wel
fare, as in some cases there were not enough men left in rural areas to
grow the amount of food needed by consumers there (Richards 1939; Wilson
1941). The survival of traditional authority and culture seemed to be
at risk (Schapera 1947). For the administrators of indirect colonial


143
the end of the year, [my sister and I] put together what we can to help
out the family for the rainy season" (Interview 8). Or perhaps her
husband is able to provide for this need as well.
Since I don't work, I can't save anything to send my relatives.
But [my husband] can sometimes; if he has money he gives me it,
and says, "take this to send to your relatives." He also sends
money to his father. He might give me 10,000 CFA, but it depends.
If they ask, he might do it, or even if they don't he might just
give it to me for them. He has to see what he can do, he does it
if he can. (Interview 27)
Others in more difficult circumstances can't afford to send anything.
"I don't have enough to send to my relatives. I can't set aside
anything" (Interview 19). "I can't save enough to send to my parents"
(Interview 14). "I don't have enough to send to my relatives. I can't
set aside anything" (Interview 19). Or perhaps, as in some cases, a
migrant has few or no close relatives left in the village.
Who would I send money to? My father died when I was young, I
never even knew him. My mother is dead, and my aunt [mother's
younger sister] who took me in after my mother died, she died
right after I was married. Maybe my older sister, but I just
don't earn enough to send her anything [Antoine tells me that her
sister was one of the first migrants to Dakar].... (Interview
17)
A few women told me that, because their financial circumstances
are better, they are able to send money back home every month.
I do send something to my relatives. My boss gives me an extra 3-
5,000 CFA each payday. When he gives me this he says, "I'm very
pleased with your work, and I've never seen you in a bad mood
toward me. Even if there's too much work, and I tell you to leave
it you say, "All big things get done, one must work." Even when I
have guests you receive them well and say you work hard, you need
to work." I say, "No, these are our guests and I have to work to
please them." He even sometimes gives me 5,000 or 7,000 CFA when
there are guests. With all this extra [money] I add what I can
and send this to my mother in the village. (Interview 18)
I send them something every month. If it weren't for this, I'd be
rich. [Antoine notes that she built them a big house with a
corrugated roof, and paid the school fees for all her siblings
through their graduation from secondary school]. If there were
anyone else in the family who worked as hard as I have, we'd go
far. I paid my brother's fees and everything for his Gendarme
training, his uniforms, etc. (Interview 13)


141
group's funds after being assigned the job of delivering them to a third
party, presumably for a project. Later, the man died, leaving the
association without any recourse for recovering their treasury.
Similar stories became familiar in discussions of various group
and individual interactions between Dakar and the village. For example,
Antoine was loathe to participate in the hand delivery of letters, a
common means of communication back and forth, because he was familiar
with instances where money had disappeared from envelopes in the course
of such transactions. In one case he told me how a writer referred to
an enclosed contribution, but in fact forgot to include it. This
embarrassing situation was only cleared up much later and after a great
deal of tension, when the writer was reminded of his omission.
Remittances
A number of women alluded to the possibility of theft when they
told me of their practice of sending remittances to relatives in the
village, saying they prefer simply to bring money when they themselves
travel back home.
For the village, I don't send money every month. Besides, before
sending them anything, you have to have someone that you trust.
And I know if I send someone money, he'll "eat" it. I don't trust
them. When I go for the rains, I'd rather bring it with me and
give it to them directly. (Interview 23)
I don't send anything to my relatives, but when I get ready to go
to the village, I buy clothes for my mama, and I bring some money
for them and give them it when I get there. But I don't send
money for them from here. (Interview 28)
Of course, this could be an excuse for inattentiveness to the needs of
their families, or for their simple inability to send more regular
payments given their other responsibilities. Still, my impression was
that most respondents were sympathetic to the needs of the family
members they had left behind, and were willing to sacrifice in order to
help them out in times of need, even if they were unable to send regular
remittances. "I don't save for remittances, but I manage whatever I can


39
this occupation became increasingly complete, eventually villages could
no longer simply fission to maintain a balance between people and
natural resources (see Cohen 1978:35,53). Instead, they had to rely
increasingly on subsistence resources for which production could be
intensified through management, primarily through the increased
application of manual labor in agriculture. Irrigated rice production
is particularly responsive to this strategy.
In summary, during this first period, the primordial process of
village fissioning or "hiving off" most familiar among foragers and
horticulturalists continued alongside the intensification of rice
agriculture and other relatively newly-introduced economic strategies,
such as cattle trade and husbandry. Increasingly then, the Diola
pursued sedentary strategies as populations expanded relative to marine
and forest resources, and as less territory was available for exploita
tion in the coastal ecological zone. Archaeological evidence from this
period indicates that single Diola villages expanded in population and
area over the course of up to four hundred years in some cases. This
process required a substantial intensification of inhabitants' subsis
tence activities, through such enterprises as land reclamation from the
saline mangrove marshes and the artificial irrigation of these new rice
paddies (Linares 1971:41-43; Vieillefon 1977; Loquay 1981; Pellissier
1966). While large scale population movements into new areas were
becoming a less important means of maintaining the balance between
people and resources throughout this period, groups within these now
sedentary villages continued to fission from them and to diffuse
throughout the Lower Casamance. Eventually, these groups established
new villages in some of the most remote delta plateaus to the north of


177
The Case of Boutem
I present the data collected during my field research in Chapters
3 and 4. I first discussed the research methods employed during various
phases of my fieldwork in Chapter 3. Then I presented an oral history
of migration from the village of Boutem to Dakar. Interviewees
explained that the earliest emigrants from their village during the
1930s and 1940s were often veterans, and were among the first to have
received a formal Western education. I detail some of their stories,
and then consider the nature and development of the urban emigrant
associations they formed.
Chapter 4 continues this presentation, with a description of the
contemporary village as I experienced it in the Summer of 1990. There I
observed that, in fact, few income-earning opportunities exist for women
in the rural economy. All of the interviews I conducted in Dakar were
with individuals who had grown-up there. The results of these
interviews were presented in the second section of this fourth chapter.
I considered the career histories of emigrants, along with their working
conditions in Dakar. I discussed the limited commercial activities
emigrants engaged in there, and described the few informal examples of
commerce I observed in the village. Emigrants were asked why they
migrated, and their responses were included here. After this
presentation on matters related to income, I went on to discuss a range
of common household expenditures. As interviewees elaborated on the
financial demands they face in Dakar, I gained an appreciation of the
difficulty and insecurity of their lives in the urban setting, and hope
that I conveyed it adequately here.
In the third section of this chapter I provided the results of the
village census I conducted. These data were used to describe migration
among all villagers, and to evaluate the representativeness of


56
Colonial initiatives to establish control operated to undermine
traditional Diola political authority in several ways. First, rice was
imported from Indochina for exchange with groundnuts. The Mandinka were
more receptive to farming groundnuts than were the Diola, contributing
to the production in Casamance of one quarter the national output of
this crop in 1852 (Roche 1976:87). French imports were cheaper than
Diola rice, undermining the position of Diola seniors who had relied on
this trade with the Mandinkas as a primary means of controlling benefits
in their villages. By 1906, rice was the most valuable import to
Casamance, further eroding the Diola position in traditional exchange
relations (van der Klei 1986:85; Pelissier 1966:762; Roche 1976:317).
Second, male labor was consequently redirected away from its traditional
employment (especially during the dry season) in maintaining irrigation
dikes and in preparing the rice fields. Instead, an increasing number
of men engaged in commercial trade or produced cash crops, particularly
groundnuts (Linares 1981:568). By the 1920s, labor migration, a simple
way to earn cash wages in order to pay the newly instituted individual
cash taxes, had become a pervasive dry-season activity among the Diola
(Thomas 1958-1959; Mark 1985:49).
Diola senior men for centuries had relied upon Mandinka trade
networks to exchange locally-produced rice for cattle. These long-
established trade ties were critically weakened as the Mandinka began
favoring the purchase of cheaper French rice imports from Indochina with
the proceeds of their groundnut crop sales. Thus, the price of
indigenous Diola rice was undercut during the early part of this
century, its external market value essentially destroyed by subsidized
imports. The enforcement of cash tax collection (Roche 1976:341)
created political pressure for men to earn a regular cash income. This
began to force an acceptance of groundnut cultivation among most Diola
men during the mid-1930s. At the same time it encouraged many young men


207
Phillips, Lucie Colvin. 1987. "The Senegambia confederation." Paper
presented at SAIS Country Day conference, Political Economy of
Senegal. April 9-10. Washington, DC.
Phillipson, David W. 1985. African Archaeology. Cambridge, England:
Cambridge University Press.
Philpott, Julia A. 1986. "Rural-urban migration: Serer women
migrants." Report of an internship at ENDA Tiers-Monde. ENDA
Centre de Documentation. Dakar, Senegal. Photocopy.
Pittin, R. 1984. "Migration of women in Nigeria: The Hausa case."
International Migration Review 18(4):1293-1314.
Plotnikov, L. 1967. Strangers in the City: Urban Migrants in Jos.
Nigeria. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.
Portres, Roland. 1956. "Taxonomie agrobotanique des riz cultives O.
sativa Linn et O. glaberrima Steudel (suite) II." Journal
d'agriculture tropicale et de botanigue appligue 3:541-580.
1970. "Primary cradles of agriculture on the African continent."
in J. D. Fage and Roland A. Oliver (eds.). Papers in African Pre-
Historv. London: Cambridge University Press.
,vPryor, Robin J. 1982. "Population redistribution, the demographic and
mobility transitions." in John I. Clarke and Leszek Kosinski
(eds.). Redistribution of Population in Africa. London:
Heinemann.
Quinn, Charlotte A. 1972. Mandingo Kingdoms of the Senegambia.
Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
Ravenstein, E. G. 1885. "The laws of migration." Journal of the Royal
Statistical Society 48(2):167-227.
1889. "The laws of migration." Journal of the Roval Statistical
Society 52 (2) :241-305.
Read, Margaret. 1942. "Migrant labour in Africa and its effects on
tribal life." International Labour Review 45:605-631.
Refugee Studies Programme. 1988. Directory of Current Research on
Refugees and Other Forced Migrants. 2nd ed. Oxford, England:
Refugee Studies Programme, Oxford University.
Reichart, J. S. 1981. "The migrant syndrome: Seasonal U.S. wage labor
and rural development in central Mexico." Human Organization
40(1):56-66.
Reveyrand, Odile. 1986. "Les associations feminines en Afrique Noire:
l'exemple de la Casamance." (Part I). Le Mois en Afrigue
(249/250):119-139.
1986/87. "Les associations feminines en Afrique Noire: l'exemple
de la Casamance." (Part II). Le Mois en Afrigue (251/252):97-
120.


63
wage labor. Women soon followed the village men to Dakar, eventually
overtaking them in terms of their predominance in the migration stream.
By 1961 there were 100 Diola women for every 60 men in Dakar.28
Certain cultural institutions pre-existed this new form of migra
tion, providing the basic structures that contemporary urban migrants
have manipulated to suit their needs in this relatively new setting.
Such institutions, in this case voluntary associations, may be consid
ered as serendipitous "pre-adaptations" to cultural ecological changes
(see Cloak 1986). The pre-existence of these associative institutions
has allowed Diola culture to adjust more rapidly to a situation that,
while it has had important negative effects, has also provided villagers
with opportunities that might otherwise have remained unfulfilled.
Because migration has had a long history of full integration into
Diola culture, it exists as one aspect in a nexus of cultural adapta
tions, an "adaptive tradition" common to many Diola groups. Some other
aspects of this tradition include: a diverse set of associations,
social institutions that mediate relations between various cultural
categories; an established means of incorporating foreigners or
strangers more or less completely into the life and functioning of the
village; an ethic of treating strangers as guests;2y and finally, a
flexible set of kinship and land tenure rules and social regulation
thereof that can accommodate and adapt to large-scale movements of indi
viduals over time.30
Z8Hamer (1983:250) citing this figure, refers to Martin (1968:368).
29See Baum (1986) on how this was broken down during the slave trade,
but also how shrines were established to protect people from the threat
of this tradition's dissolution.
30See Linares (1983); see also Girard (1969); Snyder (1977, 1981); and
Hamer (1983).


127
truth, they never told us, they said "go and come back tomorrow."
They knew that you can't bring a person to work without paying
her.
My first year was very hard, I cried all the time. [The typing
teacher] told me that he would be very severe with me. If he was
nice, he said, I couldn't learn. The first year he never even
looked at me, as if he didn't know me. If you were even a bit
late he'd shout at you. I cried a lot that year. If I spoke with
him, he wouldn't respond. I cried during the finger exercises. .
. The work was good [in Ziguinchor]. They knew they weren't
paying me, so they had to be "soft" with me so that I would do the
job. But the problem was when they would renew housing lists.
There were many lists: Kaolack, Ziguinchor, etc. You'd type
until you couldn't stand it. Sometimes [because the platen was
small] you couldn't get the paper out without tearing it, and
you'd have to re-do the whole page. If you get mad, you'll have
to start over again. The boss would give us work, and find a
mistake when it was half done, so we'd have to start all over
again. For me, it wasn't too bad, apart from the training and
[the fact that] I wasn't paid. [For how long?] About ten years.
When my first boss left to go to the factory, he gave me the job
of registering all the outgoing and incoming mail. He didn't show
me how, I just had to figure it out myself. I finally learned,
but I got discouraged because nobody thanked me for my work.
They'd give me work and I'd refuse after a while, or I'd stay home
if I felt like it. Finally, I began to forget how to register the
mail, and my typing speed slowed. I became completely
disinterested. Even before [that], I'd ask permission to go to
the village and I would stay a month or two weeks before coming
back. (Interview 27)
Why Migrate?
As two women explained in the passages above regarding their work
histories (see interviews 12 and 27), they left school either to
undertake "the work of migration" or began work to pay their secondary
school fees. Others say, in what is (among the Diola) a stereotypical
response to the question of why they began to migrate, that they left
school in order to dress well (see Lambert 1994:153).
[Before migrating] I was in school. I saw that my friends who
migrated were all dressed and I didn't have anything to wear. So
I left school to work in the city. That was my motive for leaving
school. It wasn't because my parents could not pay my fees, but
because I wanted to go to the city and make enough to dress
myself. (Interview 22)
Understanding individual migrants' motivations for leaving the
village is a different issue from that of the cause of migration more
generally. My own analysis of the causes of modern female rural-urban


49
of this newly introduced form of trading activity with their traditional
dry season migrations for fishing or collecting palm wine (Thomas 1958-
1959:495-498). Further south, the Banyun maintained a better commercial
position relative to the Diola and Mandinka around Ziguinchor (Mark
1985:55). South of the Casamance River in Esulalu, warfare between the
Diola and Banyun, "the Koonjaen wars," continued until the early eigh
teenth century (Baum 1986:101). A notable decline in commerce at
Ziguinchor slowed the establishment of Diola trade in forest products
and rice on the south bank until the French opened their first post in
the area, at Carabane in 1836 (Mark 1985:55).
The nineteenth century saw a general decline in trade as a result
of difficulties associated with the transition from the Atlantic slave
trade to economic colonialism, including a decline in the barter terms
of trade (Leary 1970:225; Hopkins 1973:135,142-155). As a result of the
decline in Portuguese commercial fortunes, the French were able to
pursue an aggressive and successful policy of expansion in the Lower
Casamance from 1800-1880. This expansion was marked by the establish
ment of a trading post at Carabane Island in 1836, which was successful
at halting trade between the Portuguese and Diola and Banyun groups in
the area (Mark 1985:55-57). Sedhiou, further up river in Middle Casa
mance, became an important comptoir (trading post) for the newly intro
duced trade in groundnuts16 by 1850 (Mark 1985:55-57; Baum 1986:203-
266). Groundnuts had only been introduced from Brazil during the 1840s
(Quinn 1972:9), but gained an immediate acceptance as a cash crop with
the Mandinka, who accounted for much of the trading activity at Sedhiou.
Interestingly, the increased demand for cash-cropping labor in the
Known as peanuts in the U.S., this term is considered derogatory by
Anglophone West Africans. Therefore, I use groundnut here.


168
available sources to describe its membership in terms of age, income,
emigration history, and dues-paying behavior.
The goal of this chapter was to describe the contemporary
situation of emigrants from Boutem. Because all of the women I
interviewed grew-up in the village, it is important to know something
about it. I lived in Boutem for ten weeks, and described something
about the life residents live there. However, my main purpose there was
to collect census information, and I was not resident long enough to
provide an ethnographic description. I was able to confirm what many
people had told me, that few income-earning opportunities exist there
for women. As I noted in the methods section of Chapter 3, my other
goal, to confirm the number of emigrants returning for the agricultural
season, was not achieved due to circumstances beyond my control.
The process of interviewing emigrant women represents the main
body of my research efforts. I conducted enough interviews to gain an
adequate sense of the range of conditions encountered by emigrant women
in Dakar. I spoke with thirty individuals, who had lived there between
less-than-one and twenty-five or more years. These women all shared the
experience of leaving the village after little schooling, training
themselves for work as (in most cases) domestic maids, and learning to
cope with the difficulties of life and labor in the capital, a foreign
city in all but the legal sense, from their point of view. These women
most often begin their working careers as live-in maids, with only one
day off a week, in low-paying jobs with African employers. As they gain
experience, and through the network of contacts they develop over time,
they work (and are generally successful) at finding better, higher-paid
positions. These are most often with European employers, who generally
pay more, but who also require more developed skills, such as European
cooking, a working knowledge of French, and generally more Western
domestic skills.


57
to enter into more extensive dry season trade activities away from their
home villages.23 The exchange of rice had been the principal means by
which Diola seniors controlled access to the main prestige good,
cattle24 (Pelissier 1966:760-762). Thus, the loss of the indigenous
rice market removed the basis for their legitimate authority and their
control over labor was rendered impotent (Pelissier 1966; Roche 1976;
van der Klei 1986).
Many Diola men gained their first experience farming groundnuts by
migrating to Mandinka farms as agricultural laborers (Thomas 1958-1959).
By the 1920s, Diola men were beginning to appreciate the benefits of the
new cash crop on their own fields. They were further encouraged to
adopt groundnuts after 1921, when the newly established Socits de
Prvoyances (early marketing boards, later replaced by ONCAD) began to
provide seed on credit in the Casamance, to be reimbursed in kind upon
harvest (Robinson 1950; Mark 1985:105). This institutional
encouragement combined with the significantly lower labor requirements
of groundnuts relative to the arduous inputs necessary in the indigenous
rice farming system (Loquay 1981:98) did much to encourage the adoption
of groundnuts and, importantly, of the cash economy as a whole.
Again, these activities were outside of lineage elders' control.
Cash was earned individually through trade or wage labor, unlike
traditional economic activity, which was developed and maintained
communally under senior male control. Wealth was becoming,
increasingly, an individual characteristic. In a sense, the control of
23This economic conversion was, interestingly, synchronous with a widespread
religious conversion from the Diola indigenous religion, known as kawasen, to
Islam, primarily north of the Casamance River (see Leary 1970; Mark 1985;
Linares 1986).
24The religious importance of cattle beyond simple luxury should not be
overlooked. "A man without cattle is not just poor; he is without the
ability to protect himself spiritually against calamities and sudden
twists of fate" (Baum 1986:365; see also Mark 1988).


125
well. ... He treated me like his own daughter, and gave us everything
we needed. . There was no problem, we were well served, we ate with
the family, and everything was fine" (Interview 16).
Two women in particular told me more detailed stories than the
other interviewees, representing the kind of difficulties emigrants may
encounter. These provide valuable insight into the nature of this kind
of work in Senegal, and the lack of job security that emigrants face
throughout their careers. In the first case, the interviewee had just
quit her job the week we spoke, the events were clear in her memory, and
she was quite emotional in recounting them.
[I] used to make [my] boss coffee in the morning as part of [my]
job. [I] would prepare the coffee-maker at night, and again for a
Thermos in the morning. [I] forgot to do this on Friday night, and
as [I] began to set it up Saturday morning, [I] saw that it was
late. [I] was supposed to wake him up at 6:45 AM, and went up to
do so. Seeing that he was already awake, [I] went back down to
continue [my] work. His wife was the first one downstairs, and
greeted [me]. Next, the man came down without greeting [me], and
began shouting at [me] right away. [I] didn't respond, except to
say that [we] could talk when [I] was done with [my] work. He
told [me] to answer him, but [I] argued that [I] "[am] not a
slave," and that he hasn't the right to tell [me] when to respond.
He said "shit," and called [me] "stupid" [jbte] as was his habit.
[I] said that he wouldn't appreciate [me] speaking to him in this
manner. Then he said that [I] was fired. [I] told him that [I am]
tired of his job, his insults, and that [I am] ready to leave.
Then [I] asked for [my] pay, and asked him if he knew the value of
[my] staying overnight to serve guests as [I] had done. [For a
long time she had done this without the official supplementary pay
of 3,000 CFA per night, but she was now demanding payment since he
was firing her without just cause. She also demanded her
severance pay].
[We] argued for a long time, and the wife told him that he was
simply blaming [me] for his own oversights. [I] said [my] former
employers would say he is lying if he were to say that [I] talk
back. [I] asked him why he insults [me], that [I am] there to
work, but that he has no right to insult [me]he is not [my]
relative, after all. "If you've got a problem, say so and we'll
work it out," [I] said. He came to apologize later that day, but
[I] refused to accept this, or even to look at him. He then began
to argue with [me] again, saying that he didn't insult [me]. [I]
explained that, in fact, he had, and told him that [I] was busy
and couldn't argue with him. He told [me] that he'd have to let
[me] go. [I] told him that [I am] not a slave. [I] told him that
if [I] wake him in the morning, [I do] this because [I] want to,
and that it is not a part of [my] job. [I] said that [I] will have
to quit. He then paid [me], but didn't give [me] the receipt that
[I] normally get once [I've] signed it. [I] was sure that he was


190
O.M.V.S.:
Organisation de Mise en Valeur de Valle de Senegal,
the Senegal River Valley Development Organization.
O.N.C.A.D.:
Marketing board for groundnuts in Senegal.
Ouakam:
A neighborhood of Dakar, original Lbou village at Cap
Vert.
Parcelles
Assanies:
A neighborhood of Dakar, on the North coast of Cap
Vert.
Peul:
French word for the Fulani ethnic group.
Prebendal:
Feudal system of distributing political offices.
Quartier:
French administrative division, similar to
neighborhood or ward, having kinship meaning in West
Africa.
Ronier palm:
Similar to the palmetto.
Sedhiou:
Casamance village, site of an early French comptoir.
Serawollie:
Ethnic group in Senegal.
Socits de
Prvoyances:
Precursor organization to ONCAD.
Tendouk:
Diola village near Affiniam-Boutem.
Thionk-Essil:
Casamance village, considered the largest in Senegal.
Tirailleurs
Senegalais:
French colonial military troops conscripted among its
African subjects.
Tontine:
A common West African savings group that organizes a
regular drawing or raffle among its informal
membership.
Wolof:
Majority ethnic group of Senegal, and the lingua
franca of the country.
Ziguinchor:
Regional capital of the Casamance.


114
their working conditions and pay by taking another position. Over time,
many women do find better jobs, although such positions as a whole are
not secure for long periods of time.
Their stories are best told in their own words, with all of their
individual circumstances and qualities more in evidence. In this
section, I first present some background on patterns of career histories
and examples of the working conditions they face. Then I present their
own explanations for why they began to migrate. This is followed by a
few descriptions of commercial endeavors, as these are sometimes used to
supplement or replace income from "the work of the migrant," that of the
domestic maid or bonne-mnagre. A presentation of the women's
household expenses follows the concentration on their work. They
describe their household budgets for such things as rent, food,
utilities, association dues, remittances, clothing, health care, school
fees, and transportation.
Career Histories of Women Migrants
While many of the women I interviewed did not follow a career
pattern of first working for African families followed by employment
with Europeans, this seemed to be an expected progression. Nearly
twenty percent of the migrants I interviewed noted that they first
worked for African employers before finding work with Europeans. For
example, F. Djiba, who has worked for twenty-five years in Dakar and
began migrating at age fifteen, told me she "left the village, [and]
began working for a Wolof family the first year, but the next year [I]
began work with a French family who wanted to take [me] to France"
(Interview 1). J. Manga has been in the capital city eleven years. "I
began working for some Senegalese [Wolof] as a young girl. I have grown
up since then. I have worked with Europeans" (Interview 6). Other
emigrants from the village told me much the same story, despite the fact


10
Economic issues
The purpose of my research was to investigate economic issues.
Findings from the research are presented in Chapter 3. Briefly,
however, I found that cash remittances were reported to be sent home
when a migrant had close relatives there. Most immigrants also bring or
send cash to their families at planting and harvest time, to pay for
cooperative labor groups. Voluntary associations in Dakar also organize
more substantial collections in cash and in kind for projects to repair
or construct schools, health facilities, and other village improvements.
This latter function was particularly interesting to me.
Purpose
Most immigrants in my study, including almost all of the thirty
members of the women's association interviewed in Dakar, left family
farms in Casamance to work as domestic maids in the informal sector of
urban Dakar (see Lubell and Zarour 1990).
Compulsion
The question of how freely one undertakes a move from, for
example, a village with very limited land for staple rice agriculture,
is certainly a legitimate issue for debate. However, the village of
Affiniam-Boutem, the focus of this case, is universally understood to
have more than adequate arable land for both groundnuts and rice, as
well as a diverse set of natural resources providing adequate and nearby
fishing areas, fruit trees, and construction materials such as thatch
and clay. For residents of Affiniam-Boutem, it is a clich to insist
that "we have everything we need here, except money."


04 'Boukiak'
05 'Bougafou'
06 'Boutoupa'
VILMAP
0 'not on map*
1 'HH on map*
FAMILY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
'Djiba'
'Badji'
'Manga'
'Santbou'
'Diedhiou'
'Diatta'
'Sagna'
DRYRES, PASTMG
00 'Boutem*
10 'other vlgs in Dept.
11 'Bignona'
12 'Thionk-Essil'
13 'Tobor'
21 'Ziguinchor'
22 'Oussouye'
23 'Karabane'
24 'Cap Skirring'
31 'Marassoum'
32 'Sedhiou'
34 'Velingara'
41 'Tambacounda'
42 'Kedougou'
52 'Kaolack'
53 'Thies*
54 St. Louis'
57 'Mboro'
60 'Dakar'
81 'Gambia'
82 'Ivory Coast'
84 'France'
85 'other Europe'
86 'Mexico'
90 'various not Dakar'
91 'cant find placename
92 'various incl. Dakar
93 'Military/various'
98 'rprt no past raigrtn
INTVWE
00 'not interviewed'
FMASCN
0 'not in assoc
1 'current member
2 '88 or 89 member'


67
were in fact occurring in Casamance from about the second century A.D.
(Linares 1971).
Period Two: Early States
The large-scale population movement of Mande peoples from the
interior westward provided new trade opportunities for the Diola. As I
have discussed in previous sections, they eventually developed an
economic system that relied to an important extent on the exchange of
locally-grown rice for cattle. The presence of small states in the
region from the thirteenth century also had other consequences for the
Diola. While they provided opportunities for trade, these states also
circumscribed the Diola, limiting their ability to continue historical
patterns of territorial expansion. As populations grew in Diola
villages, agricultural intensification was much more a necessity than an
option during this period and into the next.
It is during the second period that early patterns of seasonal
trading were probably established. These fit well into older patterns
of dry-season migration directed toward the collection of forest
products and fishing for consumption. These were forms of migration and
not simply another off-farm economic activity, because they often
involved periods of several months away from the village. However, they
were migration and not simply a continuation of a hunting and gathering
subsistence strategy because individuals lived in sedentary villages,
cultivating crops for much of the year.
Period Three: Early European Trade
The third period, spanning the fifteenth through nineteenth
centuries, is the least stable of this schema. Nearby Mande states vied
during this time for control over lucrative trade routes, expanding
warfare and slave raiding activities. North of the Casamance River, the


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201
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tional Migration Review 23(3) :500-525.
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University Press.


120
L. Coly grew up in Boutem, during the time that her mother was a
midwife there. She worked in Rufisque and Kaolack before making the
move to Dakar. "When I left school, I came here [actually Rufisque, but
she considers that the same]. In 1981-82, I went to Kaolack. In 1983,
after the [rice] harvest I came here to Dakar, but didn't stay long"
(Interview 26). The most recent arrival I interviewed had only been
working in Dakar for a month and a half. "I went to stay at Louga for
two years, and then went back to the village before coming to Dakar"
(Interview 30).
V. Sagna, a forty-two year old, explained to me that she never
planned to work in Dakar. She had been "a temporary worker in the
Justice de la Paix [regional courts] in Ziguinchor." But then she
became ill, and came to Dakar in 1972 "for health care, but I had no
money. I was obliged to work to get the money to pay for my health
costs. I enjoyed the work, so I kept on doing the 'work of migration'"
(Interview 20).
An alternative to living with a tutor to be trained as a maid is
to work "with the nuns" in the home economics courses they offer, either
in Ziguinchor (at Saint Sacrement), in Dakar (at the rue Vincent in
Karack), or both. Several of the women I interviewed had done this.
While some attributed their later employment to the help of nuns, either
as a placement service or through this training, not everyone did:
After primary school, I went to Ziguinchor to a three year
training program and took courses in cooking, sewing, and ironing.
After that, I came to Dakar and worked sewing for the nuns at
Karack, after spending some time without work. They said they'd
help me find a job, but didn't, and never paid me, so I finally
decided to leave. (Interview 9)
In contrast, one interviewee directly attributed her success at
finding a European employer for her first job to her training: "When
[my son] learned to walk I left [him] with my mother, here in Dakar, so


31
as early as the 1880s, and in Ziguinchor by 1910 (Mark 1985:74; Roche
1976:316; Snyder 1978:240). Such opportunities would not be sufficient
to cause migration from a given community. However, this would require
a social environment that both supported the participation of women in
the cash economy and allowed their movement independent of men.
Presumably, this also indicates a need for cash among Diola women at
that time. This particular aspect will be discussed in Chapter 2.
In my own research, I focused on contemporary Diola women
originally from the Casamance region of Senegal. Many of them were
seasonal migrants, earning wages in the urban service sector, working as
domestic maids. I was interested in whether or not their migration
functions as a means of attaining capital for agricultural and other
productive investments in their village of origin. Women are prominent
in the migration flow from Casamance, and are particularly successful at
gaining urban employment. In the village, the division of agricultural
and other labor has undergone extensive change through time,
particularly since the colonial era (Linares 1970, 1981, 1985). Subse
quent expenditures in their home village, including a repair of the
school roof and the construction of a maternity clinic, were financed
through dues and other contributions to one of several voluntary organi
zations. Some funds, either sent as remittances or brought with them on
their return to the village, were used to hire cooperative labor groups.
Conclusions
No general theory of migration exists to integrate multiple and
competing models successfully. Because they often operate at different
levels of analysis, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive (Massey
et al. 1993). Several have benefitted from critical interaction with
their academic competitors. The models that have benefitted most from
continual modifications are able to operate effectively at intermediate


8
benefit as more compelled, while non-Marxists tend to consider such
migrations to be more a matter of choice. Underlying such contradictory
interpretations is the neoclassic theorists' assumption of individual
incentive and choice versus an emphasis by the collectivist thinkers on
the coercive capacity of social institutions.
As with many polar differences in interpretation, identifying
whether a migration is forced or chosen is insufficient. We need scalar
measures, so that examples of migration may be considered as more or
less voluntary rather than as either voluntary or compelled. The key to
understanding degrees of compulsion in migration is in the disaggrega
tion of the implied variables. For example, factors hindering or
contributing to a particular movement can be elaborated with greater
precision, and the outcomes of a move may be defined more clearly in
terms of destination, purpose, economic effects, and duration.
Typological Sketch of the Present Case
The case of Diola women migrants is presented here briefly, to
introduce it in terms of the typology suggested. We will return to this
case in more detail in Chapters 2 and 3.
Time period
Wage labor migration became an important economic phenomenon
regionally in Lower Casamance only during the 1930s, although migration
for trade was a precolonial phenomenon. Historical migration patterns
are discussed in Chapter 2.
Duration
Today, large majorities of young Diola migrate during the dry
season (roughly January through June) from many villages to urban areas,
primarily Ziguinchor and Dakar.


117
workers. It is certainly true that employment rules are complex, the
process of registration is bureaucratic and heavy on paperwork, and
maids often admitted to me that they would quit one job for another
better opportunity without a second thought.
In the end, domestic employees must rely on the good will of their
employers to undertake the difficult process of registration.
Unfortunately, the willingness of her employer to suffer the
inconveniences of registration is necessary before a woman can be
assured of unemployment benefits and the like if she does encounter
difficulties at work. Therefore, the issue is rarely broached in
employment negotiations, and once conditions turn bad the women have no
hope that they will become registered. However, the women are generally
stoic about job conditions, saying that they don't work to have a good
time, but must simply tolerate whatever difficulties they encounter
until they can find better. Furthermore, a number of women pointed out
that they were treated quite well by African employers, although others
made it clear that Africans (and probably the Wolof in particular) were
very difficult to work for. It is also worth pointing out here that a
few migrant women do get other jobs; not all are maids, as we shall see
later as well.
Very commonly (it was mentioned in the career histories of forty
percent, or twelve out of the thirty interviews) women migrants are
"tutored" or "sponsored" by relatives, for whom they either work without
pay or for very low wages while they learn the "work of migration." In
some cases this training is as difficult as working for employers that
the women do not know, though several rationalized their harsh treatment
by attributing it to a kind of toughening technique:
[I] first came to Dakar in 1975, found work right away with an
aunt as a bonne. [My] aunt was very severe, harsh with [me],
although not mean. [I] realized that this was training for [my]
work, so [I] tolerated it, withstood the stress despite [my]


164
book betwen 1988 and 1990. Thus, all were either current (a total of
62) or former (an additional 14) members. Twelve of the fourteen former
members were currently permanent village residents, while one was a
resident of France. Only one current Dakar resident is not a member of
the women's association.11 This supports my impression, gleaned from
the census and interviews, that while movement back and forth between
the village and Dakar is common, only a small number of emigrants return
to live permanently in the village. The mean age of association members
included here is just under 30 years old (29.8 years). Eighty percent
of the group is under the age of 35, and only six percent are aged 45
years or older. Based on the average age of these association members
and the career histories of interviewees, it is likely that several of
the fourteen former Dakar residents will eventually return there from
the village, perhaps after giving birth or for other reasons simply
remaining there for a few years.
In all but three cases, this data set records the women's duration
of residence in Dakar, making this one of the most completely recorded
variables included. The mean length of residence there is just over
twelve years (12.33) The majority of women, 26 individuals, have lived
in Dakar from six to ten years. Sixty-eight percent of the group have
been in the capital from five-and-a-half to 19 years. About 10 percent
of the women have been in Dakar more than 20 years. A related question,
intended to establish how many years it has been since individuals last
returned to the village, was included in the census. Fifty-six percent
of those living outside the village had returned in the last three
years, and almost half, 46 percent, had returned the previous year. The
interviewee 25 discussed her membership status with me in her
interview, saying that she had been sick for a number of years. One
other person told me that she had not been sick, but simply did not want
to attend meetings.


135
and eat a collective meal among friends Sunday before returning to their
live-in jobs for the rest of the week. As a member of one such group,
composed of three friends, told me, "we pay 8,000 CFA for our room."
They each "contribute 500 or 300 CFA for Sunday [dinner, keeping the
meal modest], since there are so many contributions to make" (Interview
22}. As another, older woman familiar with European eating habits
through her years of work explained, "Diola food isn't the same as
European food, it's simple: just rice, oil, and fish" (Interview 3).
It is common for young Diola emigrants to share inexpensive rooms
and simple meals during their days off, and to pool their resources to
cover other larger expenses. By working hard and spending carefully, a
small group of young working women with modest incomes can take care of
their needs, and at times even save some money.
My sister gives 20,000 CFA. ... I put in 25,000 CFA, and with
this we rent the room [including electricity] for 8,000, pay the
water bill (1,000), and buy food. (Interview 10)
These situations can be difficult, however, when one or more
participants in the group lose their jobs or for other reasons fail to
contribute to the group's expenses. Without any job security, such
problems are rather common, and sometimes create tensions.
The three women [living together in this room] each put 15,000 CFA
into a pool for expenses [for a total of 45,000 CFA]. Rent is
13,000 CFA, water is 1,500 CFA, electricity varies from 1,500-
2,000 and 8-9,000 CFA since the meter is common to the entire
apartment building [utilities are paid every two months.] When
there are problems with this, [we'd] rather pay the extra for
those who don't contribute in order to avoid being cut off.
(Interview 5)
When I get paid, I spend everything. The salary is not real
"strong." You'll use it all without saving anything. You just
can't save anything after rent, food, school fees. .1 use it
all. I pay 11,000 CFA for the room. I take out 20,000 CFA for
food and [the two friends she shares the room with] don't
contribute anything for this. Even to get anything from them is
hard. I never see them with any money and I don't know what they
earn. (Interview 19)
In other neighborhoods, generally older and closer to the city
center, rent is somewhat higher. "The main expense is food; 15,000 CFA.


132
had two visitors staying with her from the village (her older sister's
daughter and her older brother's wife) for one or two months, again
selling lemon juice. By the time we conducted the interview, I was told
that they had sold it all, and were now collecting on their bons
(credit). They planned to leave at the end of the month, after their
clients get paid (Interview 18).
Again, despite these few cases of relative commercial success,
most residents and emigrants from Boutem think of themselves as being
particularly unsuited to commerce. My observation was that few
individuals participated in any commerce at all. In what seemed more
typical of Boutem emigrants attidutes, several women who were involved
in commerce seemed to accept it only as a means of getting by if they
could not find other work.
[I] no longer work full time, [but I] do laundry for the cole
Nrmale Superiure [teacher's college] on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and
Fridays, since losing [my] earlier job in September. Since then
[I] got this job to make ends meet. (Interview 4)
Even now that I lost my job, I still contribute [to household
expenses] by going to the beach and buying about 5,000 CFA worth
of fish. I sell these at the market and earn about 5,000 CFA
profit. Or else, I sell peanuts or other things in the neighbor
hood. (Interview 10)
In the village itself, I only was able to observe commercial
activity in a few cases. For example, one small enterprise was run from
a family's house located adjacent to the road and ceremonial center of
the village, where the church, school, and youth foyer are located.
They sold beer, wine, and matches, doing a particularly good business
when I was in Boutem in August, a time when several dances were held at
the foyer. Another family sold wine on a less formal basis, closer to
Antoine's family's home in the older part of the village. When we had
to find wine quickly for a libation at the spirit shrine, that was where
we went (I would not otherwise have known it was available there).
Others sold palm wine (Interview 9), but this was a much less formal


80
which, if a member has not returned, he or she is fined.3 I would
simply count returnees on that date, at the village association meeting
itself. I had been told that everyone attends, so we could set up a
table in the meeting hall and record returnees, perhaps tracking down
the few who remained home that day for one reason or another.
Unfortunately, the August fifteenth meeting of the village
association was a complete disaster. The officers were drunk well
before noon (the president literally fell off of his stool), attendance
was low, and one young woman, whom I had interviewed and visited with
socially several times in Dakar, was informed during the meeting that
her son, about eight years old, had suddenly died. The fact that
attendance was so low despite reports that everyone would be there was
the first disturbing event that day. It prevented me from completing an
important part of my work. Antoine was visibly upset at the poor
attendance and behavior at the meeting. This annual meeting was not
being taken as seriously now as it had been just five years ago, when he
last attended. In a relatively short time, the village young people
apparently had lost interest and involvement in their local government.
This change is another indication that their attention is increasingly
focused away from the home village, toward the cities and migration.
I never completed the list of returnees, but did witness a
dramatic set of events that day, including the stricken child's wake,
funeral and burial. He reportedly had not been ill before the meeting.
These events were punctuated with loud disagreements and witchcraft
accusations. One of the first storms of the season added to the human
drama. A thunderstorm produced threatening clouds during the wake,
poured cold rain on the procession to the village church, and pounded
3See Snyder (1978) for a description of what he calls a village police.
I also recorded a set of Boutem's village association laws.


29
numbers9 where there are the combined conditions of independence at home
and opportunity abroad, while remaining quite distinct from the Marxist
notion of a landless 'free laborer' (for West Africa see Caldwell 1969;
Hamer 1981; Oppong 1983; Sanjek 1976; Sudarkasa 1977; Yacoob 1983;
Zachariah and Nair 1980; also see Ochollo-Ayayo n.d. for evidence of
migration for East African single women; and Wells 1982 for the same in
South Africa). My own research supports the view that under certain
circumstances, "gender differences in the division of labor may favor
migration of women more than men" (Boyd 1989:657). In this case, the
reasons have more to do with the gender division of labor than with
issues of women's social status.
As elsewhere in the undeveloped world, high quality migration data
for Africa are scarce (Adepoju and Clarke 1985:17). It is rare to find
any data set in which gender variables are associated with valid
indicators of migration. National level census data are even less
likely to be adequate for investigating women migrants. Male migration
in Africa has been relatively well documented over a substantial period
of time, but information on women migrants is almost totally lacking.
Among other things, because women are more likely to work in the
informal sector, data on them are especially difficult to collect
(Bilsborrow and Zlotnik 1992; see Lubell and Zarour 1990). In
particular, specific "evidence on the determinants of female migration
in Africa remains virtually nonexistent" (Brockerhoff and Eu 1993:561;
see Thadani and Todaro 1984) .
African women increasingly are migrating, both internationally and
alone (Adepoju 1991). If historical data from elsewhere are indicative
of the future trends in Africa, women's migration rates there will
9Brydon's (1987) data indicate that in Ghana, Avatime women leave for
the same reasons as men, and for those women under the age of thirty,
leave in much the same numbers as men.


5 CONCLUSIONS
171
Migration Theories 171
Historical Patterns of Diola Migration 175
The Case of Boutem 177
Discussion 179
APPENDICES
A INTERVIEW SCHEDULE FOR FEMALE RESIDENTS OF DAKAR.
AND QUESTIONNAIRE FOR VILLAGE CENSUS OF BOUTEM 181
B CENSUS CODEBOOKS FOR THE VILLAGE CENSUS AND FOR FEMALE DAKAR
RESIDENTS 183
GLOSSARY 187
LIST OF REFERENCES 191
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 214
viii


17
in urban areas without placing expensive demands on state distributions
for social services and welfare (Meillassoux 1972; Wolpe 1975) These
services are instead performed in rural areas, often by women in unpaid
roles within the household or by others in the village and throughout
the depressed rural economy, which benefits little itself in terms of
development (Schmink 1984; Mamdani 1985) .
The focus on domestic, social 'reproductive' contexts in relation
to local political structures and economic production has proven a
fertile ground for research, cultivating vigorous debate relative to
issues of migration (e.g., Burroway 1976; CNFNA 1983). The popularity
of this literature is due in part to the fact that dependency theory
failed to gain any significant empirical support through field research.
Another important alternative to dependency theory is the literature on
women and inter-household relations in the Third World.8 The atomism of
neoclassical economic models and the macro-level approach of the dual
sector modernization and dependency models obscured the local contextual
determinants of migration. The latter became more visible through the
adoption of middle-range units of observation, largely inspired by
research and critiques from the neo-Marxist perspective.
Conclusions on the Causes of Migration
A valid critique of classical theory notes that broad economic
conditions cannot provide an adequate explanation of migration patterns
on the local level. There are nonrandom, measurable differences in the
rates of migration across social groups at this level. Individuals do
not react to economic conditions as atomistic units, as the classical
8For some examples from a burgeoning literature on the household, see
Chayanov (1966); Meillassoux (1972); Guyer (1981); Wood (1981); Netting
et. al. (1984); Schmink (1984); Leacock and Safa (1986); Moock (1986);
Boyd (1989); Bullwinkle (1989); and Pedraza (1991).


CHAPTER 4
BOUTEM AND ITS CONTEMPORARY WOMEN EMIGRANTS
Introduction
This chapter continues the presentation of data collected in Dakar
and Boutem, beginning in the first section with a description of the
village itself, followed by an analysis of the interviews conducted
among urban female emigrants. This analysis is intended to provide the
reader with a sense of the emigrants' lives in Dakar. It begins with
their career histories, considers their working conditions, and provides
responses to the question of why they migrated in the first place. This
is followed by a discussion of commerce as an alternative (at least
under some circumstances) to finding work as a domestic maid, and by an
elaboration of household expenses (including remittances to rural family
members) for which emigrants must budget given their modest wages. In
the third section, this presentation of the contemporary situation
continues with a presentation of the results from the census I conducted
there. Among other objectives, the census was designed to compare
interviewees and other emigrant groups with permanent village residents.
It should help to place the interview data in the context of the entire
village, as the census itself should be understood in the historical
context presented in Chapters 2 and 3. An analysis of the women's
association dues records follows. Finally, there is a discussion of the
findings presented in the rest of the chapter.
106


54
By the time it initiated serious efforts to integrate the Lower
Casamance, the French colonial administration had been consolidating its
hold over the rest of Senegal for many years. During the 1800s, for
example, French administrators successfully established an economy based
upon the large-scale cash cropping of groundnuts, most famously in the
Sine-Saloum region, but elsewhere as well (see Klein 1968). By 1852,
for example, primarily Mandinka farmers in Middle Casamance were
producing one quarter of the national output of groundnuts (Roche
1976:87). This fact implies that an important economic change had
already occurred in a neighboring region by then. The Mandinka were
traders rather than farmers until the French essentially forced them to
accept the cash cropping of groundnuts. They had been the Diola's
longstanding source for cattle, for which they exchanged their
indigenous varieties of rice.20
Since just after the turn of the century, the French colonial
authorities had used tax collection and artificially low prices at their
comptoirs in the Casamance as a means of supporting local military
operations. The Brunot plan of 1917 had as its goal the full
incorporation of Lower Casamance into the Colony of Senegal. At the
same time it would reduce the cost of establishing colonial authority.
From 1910 until 1916, administrators had to enforce their authority to
collect taxes there through annual military operations in each village
where they wanted to collect cash payments (Roche 1976:311). Such
direct and ad hoc coercion was too expensive to maintain; Brunot's plan
proposed to make it unnecessary. It was successful largely because it
20As noted earlier, some varieties of West African wet rice are probably
indigenous in the sense that they were not imported from Asia even prior
to European contact (see Dresch 1949; Portres 1956, 1970; Johnny et al.
1981) .


186
MISSING VALUES
family vilmap, fmascn, dues88, dues89, dues90
(9)
quartr, hhnumb, dryres, pastmg, salary, nodrtn, intvwe, lstret,
(99)
caseid, pctrt5
(999)
age


176
Colonial efforts to establish cash markets in Lower Casamance were only
seriously pursued at the end of this period. The fourth period was
defined as 1930 to the present. From this late date, cash markets and
individual taxation were successfully introduced among the Diola, and
the regular wage migration that continues into the present began.
Migration is not simply an indicator of social disintegration or
Western cultural encroachment, but has been an important means for Diola
economic adaptation throughout history. Because of this long precedent,
certain institutions within Diola culture have developed to assist in
the social integration of newcomers or outsiders. A flexible approach
to kinship and land tenure rules further supports this accommodative
cultural stance. In particular, a diverse range of traditional
voluntary associations among the Diola provides a number of cultural or
institutional precedents that can be adapted to changing conditions.
Once a significant number of Diola had migrated to urban Dakar,
voluntary associations were created there to cope with the particular
difficulties people faced in this new setting. Based on traditional
associations, the new organizations adapted to the changing demands of
urban residents. They provided a means of maintaining social contacts
and communication among the emigrants and their home village. Over
time, they began to collect cash dues and keep formal records, and to
exert a degree of social control through the creation of rules and fines
to enforce them. These associations, with the significant sums of money
they can maintain in their treasuries, are also now an important conduit
for returning funds to the village, where they organize such projects as
maintaining public buildings like the school, clinic, and youth foyer (a
public meeting and dance hall).


194
Chaney, Elsa M. and Martha W. Lewis. 1980. "Women, migration and the
decline of smallholder agriculture." Washington, DC: Office of
Women in Development, International Development Cooperation
Agency, USAID.
Chayanov, A. V. 1966. The Theory of Peasant Economy. Homewood, IL:
R. D. Irwin.
Chilivumbo, Alifeyo. 1985. Migration and Uneven Rural Development in
Africa: the Case of Zambia. Lanham, MD: University Press of
America.
Clarke, John I. and Leszek Kosinski (eds.). 1982. Redistribution of
Population in Africa. London: Heinemann.
Cleave, J. H. 1974. African Farmers: Labour Use in the Development of
Smallholder Agriculture. New York: Praeger.
Cloak, F. T., Jr. 1986. "The causal logic of natural selection: A
general theory." Oxford Surveys in Evolutionary Biology 3:132-
186.
CNFNA. 1983. "Les femmes migrantes Casamangaises a Dakar." Vol. 3 of
Role Socio-Economiaue des Femmes de Basse Casamance; Les Femmes
Migrantes Casamancaises a Dakar; La Femme Casamancaise dans son
Milieu Socio-Economiaue. 3 vols. Dakar, Senegal: USAID/Conseil
National des Femmes Noires Americaines, Division Internationale.
Cock, Jacklyn. 1980. Maids and Madams: a Study in the Politics of
Exploitation. Johannesburg, South Africa: Ravan.
Coelho, Francisco de Lemos. 1953. Duas descricoes seiscentistas da
Gui: Manuscritos inditos publicados com introducao Peres.
Lisbon, Portugal: n.p..
Cohen, Ronald. 1978. "State origins: A reappraisal." Ch. 2 in Henri
J. M. Claessen and Peter Skalnik (eds.). The Early State. The
Hague, Netherlands: Mouton.
1978. "Ethnicity: Problem and focus in anthropology." Annual
Review of Anthropology 7:379-403.
1981. "Evolution, fission, and the early state." in Henri J. M.
Claessen and Peter Skalnik (eds.). The Study of the State. New
York: Mouton.
1988. "Introduction." in Ronald Cohen and Judith D. Toland
(eds.). State Formation and Legitimacy. New Brunswick, NJ:
Transaction Books.
and Elman Service (eds.). 1978. Origins of the State: The
Anthropology of Political Evolution. Philadelphia: Institute for
the Study of Human Issues.
Colvin, Lucie G. (ed.). 1981. The Uprooted of the Western Sahel:
Migrants' Quest for Cash in the Seneaambia. New York: Praeger.
1986. "The Shaykh's men: Religion and power in Senegambian
Islam." Asian and African Studies 20(11:61-71.


44
lines of other Mandinka states founded on the exploitation and defense
of valuable trade resources and transportation routes.11
Early European Trade. Slavery, and "Legitimate Trade"
More so than the second, this third period (dating from about the
fifteenth to nineteenth centuries) is defined by the activities of
political organizations far removed from the Diola themselves.
Specifically, the arrival of European merchants was a critical factor in
catalyzing and speeding changes already taking place. The Banyun, for
example, had already demonstrated the economic and political power of
Kasa by preventing powerful Mande states from encroaching on their
territory. Banyun economic strength was, however, increasingly linked
to the fortune of European merchants (especially the Portuguese) as the
importance of the Atlantic slave trade grew. This was to play a central
role in the eventual failure of the Banyun to predominate in their
territorial conflicts with the Diola in Lower Casamance.
The introduction of new trading opportunities with European
merchants had the effect of raising the stakes of competition among the
various political groups of the Lower Casamance. However, other factors
were as important as the increased economic value of the early European
trade. For example, trade with Europeans oriented African economic
activities toward their coastal enclaves, rather than toward the
overland routes controlled for centuries by the states of the interior
uThe Banyun developed a strong reputation as traders among newly
arrived Europeans (Lauer 1969:7-8), and were noted as the sponsors of
large market fairs every eight days, for example (Mark 1985:12). Later,
the Banyun were most often hired for extensive periods as navigators of
trading craft, compradors, and the like (Brooks 1980:5). In contrast,
the Diola, Balanta and Manjaku groups were noted by Europeans during the
fifteenth century as generally avoiding extensive involvement in trade
relations (Lauer 1969:32-35). They "excluded Portuguese and Luso-
African traders from their territories and restricted commercial
exchanges to places and arrangements of their choosing" (Brooks 1980:5).


126
doing this to keep it off the books. Then [I] went to the Inspec
tion de Travail. [I am] entitled to [my] salary, 3,000 CFA per
night supplement for overnight work, vacation pay, and a severance
payment of 300,000 CFA according to the work law [Code de Tra
vail] [I] had never gotten paid vacations up until then, so
these would amount to 500,000 CFA or more. [I've] contacted a
lawyer to file an official complaint. . (Interview 5)
In this case, the employers' infractions do not seem terribly
severe. Rather, the poor relations between he and his maid seem to have
finally built up to a level that she was unable to tolerate. The second
case is quite different. I found it particularly shocking, because it
seems to demonstrate the length to which even a relatively educated
woman is (perhaps naively) willing to go in expectation of receiving a
regular salaried position. Job insecurity seems to be at the root of
many emigrants work problems, as in the case of the typist mentioned
under the previous heading.
I was a secretary. That's where I learned secretarial work [in
Ziguinchor], so I was there since 1977. I stayed there until
1986. The training usually lasts three years, but when I finished
that, there was an open position. ... I was told to take it, to
wait to be permanently hired [in civil service]. They told me
that they would help me out until I could be permanently hired. .
. I was never paid, there was nothing. When I was working, I
was happy, thinking that I would stay there. I thought that maybe
by my own conscience that I was now saved. But in the end, I saw
that while I had confidence, I couldn't see any value in it. So,
I left it. I wasn't even paid 5 CFA, nothing. People would bring
me invoices and bills [to type for them], they might give me 500
CFA or something [as a favor, she insisted, not as pay]. Maybe
1,000 CFA. You know, not every day. ... I worked 8:00-12:00,
and 3:00-6:00 there. ... I worked every day but Sundays and
holidays. We spoke French and Wolof. The work was fine, but you
never heard anyone say, "Take this money." That's what was hard.
I know I was learning, but I also needed to be paid something.
The distance I had to get home was also long. I had to walk home,
since I didn't have the fare.
[Were you registered?] Our boss did nothing, we had to register
ourselves at the Inspection. If they have something, they'll call
you. We got a certificate of registration. For the Inspection de
la Main d'Oeuvre, we had to do that ourselves ["by our own
heads"]. We brought in our papers to be hired, but they sent
these to the Ministry [in Dakar]. The first boss didn't submit
them. When the second boss came, he sent them to the Ministry,
and confirmed that they would keep them until the hiring was
confirmed. Since he was here in Dakar to submit the papers, while
he was away [from Ziguinchor] his [substitute or superiors]
replaced me, and put someone else in my position. To tell the


174
Through remittances and return migration, rural villages receive some of
the monetary benefits of economic development. This process represents
more than a mere trickle of superficial benefits, but rather has been
estimated to represent a significant international financial exchange.
Rural villages benefit with schools, clinics, and increased levels of
consumption as a result of these flows of cash back from the cities to
which their emigrants have left to find work.
Women in particular have been somewhat ignored in the academic
literature on migration. Often considered only as associational movers,
they are freguently depicted as following their families or husbands
rather than moving independently themselves. Other studies focus on the
effects on women "left behind" on rural farms when their husbands
migrate to urban centers. When women as migrants are the focus of some
studies, normative issues frequently overshadow questions of theory or
context. Commercial migration is an important factor in the economic
lives of many West African women. However, I explored this issue, and
found that commerce plays a relatively small role in this case. I do
not support the view that there needs to be some kind of separate theory
of women migrants. Women migrate for the same reasons as men, when
conditions allow and do not impede their independent movement.
As I have discussed above, the division of rural labor and
household responsibilities among the Diola create a context in which
women need cash, while few opportunities exist for their earning money
in the rural setting. They also enjoy a social status elevated enough
to allow their free and independent movement, an important cultural
factor that enables them to migrate. These conditions have existed in
some Diola communities since the turn of the century, when women were
hired as seasonal stevedores on the docks of local ports. This case is
particularly interesting because it represents an unusual set of
conditions, where women migrate for wage labor in numbers similar to or


81
its corrugated roof so loudly that the short funeral service was nearly
inaudible. The rain subsided for the burial itself. The mother of the
dead child left the grave side wailing, in tears, and accompanied by the
women who had attended with her the wake, funeral, and burial. After
they had left the small cemetery, a clearing in a small but dense stand
of forest near the church, several men engaged in a loud argument. As
they lowered the shrouded body down into the muddied earth, one man was
shouting and standing in the grave itself. I later learned that they
were arguing, among other things, ov