Bounded and multiple identities ethnic identifications of WoDaaBe and FulBe

Kristín Loftsdóttir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Theories of nationalism have debated to what extent nationalism is a recent phenomenon, ethnicity playing a major role in that regard. The article focuses on ethnicity by using colonial texts and ethnographic data in regard to WoDaaBe FulBe in Niger. I stress that colonial classifications of others - often believed to have created new ethnicities - can be incoherent and base on various actors. Following feminist theories of multiple identities, I claim that ethnic identifications are interwoven with various other sources of identifications, individuals manipulating and identifying with others in a shifting ways in real life. FulBe have been imagined for a long time in various colonial and post-colonial texts, often characterized in racial and essentialist terms, making their classification especially interesting for this purpose. The article emphasizes the agency and creativity of those involved, stressing that even though ethnicity constitutes an important part of identity, other kinds of boundaries become relevant and are emphasized in various contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-92
Number of pages28
JournalCahiers d'Etudes Africaines
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Other keywords

  • Ethnicity
  • FulBe
  • Identity
  • Nationalism
  • Niger
  • WoDaaBe


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