Mountaga Ba

Mountaga Ba is the current custodian of the manuscripts recorded in his name and collected from the town of Pate Galo (northern Senegal). Ba’s family holding includes 56 small unbound book manuscripts and paper stacks. The material was mainly authored by the custodian’s father, Muhammad al-Ghāli Ba. During his lifetime, al-Ghāli Ba had occupied important political and religious roles in both Senegal and Mauritania. In Senegal, he was the biographer and an entourage member of the supreme leader (Khalif-General) of the Tāl branch of Tijaniyya and he worked with both Ceerno Saydu Nuru Tāl and Mountaga Tāl. In Mauritania, he was an adviser to Moktar Ould Daddah and worked in the country’s national radio under Daddah's request. The manuscripts document al-Ghāli Ba’s lifework. The files are of varying sizes, ranging from book manuscripts as big as 150 pages to paper stacks as small as 3 pages. The book manuscripts cover Islamic knowledge, Islamic history, Islamic education in Pulaar speaking society, praise poetry, Islamic mysticism, and several biographies of Sufis of the Tijaniyya brotherhood. The paper stacks contain Islamic praise poems, correspondences and, sometimes, a mixture of both. The correspondences were written and/or received during various religious and secular occasions. Majority of the manuscripts were composed by Muhammad al-Ghāli Ba (d.1991) of Pate Galo. Some other paper stacks were authored by Mamadu Lamin Acc, Sall Ahmadu Alhajj, Abubakri Si, Mountaga Ba, and a few unknown scribes. Except a few of correspondences dealing with secular questions, the material is about Islam and Sufism in West Africa.

Mountaga Ba est le dépositaire actuel des manuscrits enregistrés à son nom et collectés dans la ville de Pate Galo (nord du Sénégal). Le fonds familial de Ba comprend une collection de 55 petits manuscrits de livres non reliés et des piles de papier. Le matériel a été principalement rédigé par Muhammad al-Ghāli Ba (d.1991). Au cours de sa vie, al-Ghāli Ba avait occupé des rôles politiques et religieux importants aussi bien au Sénégal qu’en Mauritanie. Au Sénégal, al-Ghāli Ba était le biographe et un membre de l'entourage du chef suprême (Khalif-Général) de la branche Tāl de Tijaniyya et il a travaillé à la fois avec Ceerno Saydu Nuru Tāl et Mountaga Tāl. En Mauritanie, il fut conseiller de l’ancien president Moktar Ould Daddah et a travaillé à la radio nationale du pays à la demande de ce dernier. Les manuscrits documentent l'œuvre de toute une vie d'al-Ghāli Ba. Les fichiers sont de différentes tailles, allant de manuscrits de livres jusqu'à 150 pages à des piles de papier aussi petites que 3 pages. Les livres abordent la connaissance islamique, l'histoire islamique, l'éducation islamique dans la société de langue pulaar, la poésie de louange, le mysticisme islamique et plusieurs biographies de soufis de la confrérie Tijaniyya. Les piles de papiers contiennent des poèmes de louanges islamiques, des correspondances et, parfois, un mélange des deux. Les correspondances ont été écrites et/ou reçues lors de diverses occasions religieuses et laïques. Une partie des papiers ont été rédigées par Mamadu Lamin Acc, Sall Ahmadu Alhajj, Abubakri Si, Mountaga Ba et quelques scribes inconnus. A l'exception de quelques correspondances traitant de questions laïques, le matériel porte sur l'islam et le soufisme en Afrique de l'Ouest.

Extent: The collection includes 50 unbound small book manuscripts and 5 documents made of paper stacks.

Custodial history: The original owner of the collection is Muhammad al-Ghaali Ba. After his death in 1991, the author's family had kept the manuscripts in a metalllic suitcases in the author's natal village of Pate Galo. In 2015, one of his now grown sons, Mountaga Ba, was given custodianship of the documents. As an Islamic scholar, he has been keeping their father's manuscripts (and library) ever since.

Arrangement: The manuscripts were packed in suitcases without a specific arrangement or order. The custodian, Mountaga Ba, was responsible for the upkeep and organization of the material.

Author(s)/Creator(s): Muhammad al-Ghāli Ba, Sall Ahmadu Alhaj, Aboubackry Usmān Si, Mamadu Lamin Acc, Ibn Baabu Al-alawi.

Scribe(s): Muhammad al-Ghāli Ba, Sall Ahmadu Alhaj, Aboubackry Usmān Si, Mamadu Lamin Acc, Ibn Baabu Al-alawi.

Related countries: Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Nigeria; Guinea, Saoudi Arabia.

Related regions: Islam.