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    Les Sultans de Grande Comore mise à jour 22/05/2005

    Extract From :

    Copyright - Terms of Use
    Copyright 2000 - 2002 by Bob Hilkens. Permission to use for non-commercial purposes granted on condition credit is given and copyrightholder notified of intended use and user.
    Bob Hilkens on 31 May 2000 email : beerke_beer@yahoo.com




    In the course of the 16th century several Sultanates were established on the island of Grande Comore. Most of them were united in a very lose confederation, covering the largest part of the island, but real unity was only achieved after the establishment in 1886, of a French protectorate and the abolition, in 1892, of the last local Sultanates. (1) (1) A first French mission reached the island in 1844. In the course of the following years French influence increased and several military interventions toke place (1864, 1871)


    Residents Résidents (subordinated to the French administrators of Mayotte)
    1886 - 1887 Loius Edmond Weber 1855 -
    1888 -          Jules Le Corney 1860 -
    1889 -          Claude Jean "Henri" Pupier 1860 -
    1889 - 1896 Henry Joseph "Léon" Humblot (2) 1852 - 1914

    1896 - 1897 Eugène Louis Frédéric Decazes 1844 -
    1897 - 1899 Charles Henri Olivier Pobequin 1856 -
    1899 -          Emilien Célestin Nicolas du Plantier 1871 -
    1899 -          Jean-Louis Edmond Alby 1865 -
    1899 - 1900 ... de Bellemare
    1900 -          ... Sallefranque
    1900 -1901 ... Gratian
    1901 -1902 ... Veisseyre
    1902 -1903  René Pierre
    1903 -          ... Mainguy
    1903 -          Louis Lemaire 
    1903 - 1904 ... Massol
    1904 - 1907 ... Feuillard
    1907 - 1909 Pierre Martin
    1909 -1911 ... Lachat
    1911 - 1913 Pierre Martin (2x)

    Léon Humblot, the "White Sultan" was a French trader, who in exchange for his assistance, obtained in 1885, from Saidi Ali, the "Black Sultan" a large concession covering "as much lands as he could exploite" (in fact the whole island) In 1887 he became director of the newly established Socièté de la Grande Comore - Léon Humblot et Cie, which was also granted some administrative tasks. When he was also appointed resident in 1889 he became the real ruler of the island until 1896 when he was deposed. In 1897 the powers of his company and the extension of its concession were also somewhat limited, but it was only in 1912 that it lost its last administrative powers.


    Sultan Tibé
    (The Sultan Tibé was the Head of the Confederation which covered most of the island. Formally the Sultans of Bambao and Itsandra alternated in holding the office. In practice however all succession was decided by war)

    - 1871 Mussafumu bin Fey Fumu, Sultan of Itsandra (2x) 1... - 1883
    1871 Tibé Bamba, Sultan of Itsandra (2x)
    1871 - 1881 Mussafumu bin Fey Fumu, Sultan of Itsandra (3x)
    1881 - 1882 Saidi Ali bin Saidi Omar, Sultan of Bambao 1856 - 1917  

     1882 - 1883 Mussafumu bin Fey Fumu, Sultan of Itsandra (4x)
    1883 - 1892 Saidi Ali bin Saidi Omar, Sultan of Bambao (2x) (3)

    Sultan of Grande Comore

    1892 - 1893 Saidi Ali Bin Saidi Omar, forced to abdicate (4) s.a.

    It was probably now that Saidi Ali started to use the English style of "King of the Comoro" and that he also started claiming the islands of Anjouan and Mohéli.

    At the moment of his forced abdication he transferred all the powers invested in the dignity of Sultan to the French resident. In 1909 a French court decided that the deposition of Saidi Ali had been illegal. He was however not allowed to return and received a financial compensation.


    There is no general agreement on the number of Sultanates existing on the island before the French intervention as the ancient European sources gave numbers ranging from 20 (Lobo de Souza in 1527) to 9 (Lelieur de Ville-sur- Arce in 1819) and traditional sources usually listed 10 to 12 Sultanates :
    - Badgini : major sultanate, not a member of the confederation
    - Bambao : major sultanate, one of the two leading sultanates of the confederation
    - Dimani : sultanate subordinated to Itsandra. Seems to have had a very brief existence in the early times.
    - Doma : sultanate subordinated to Badgini
    - Hamahane : sultanate subordinated to Itsandra
    - Hamanvu : sultanate existing briefly in the early days.
    - Hambu : sultanate subordinated to Bambao
    - Itsandra : major sultanate, one of the two leading sultanates of the confederation.
    - M'Boinku : sultanate subordinated to Bambao
    - M'Budé : sultanate subordinated either to Bambao or to Itsandra
    - Mitsamihuli : sultanate subordinated to Bambao
    - Oichili : sultanate subordinated to Itsandra

    A French description of the island, ca 1850, listed seven Sultanates :
    - Badgini
    - Bambao
    - Hamahane
    - Itsandra
    - M'Budé
    - Mitsamihuli
    - Oichili

    In 1875 a French official report only listed five, a number confirmed by the Treaty of protectorate of 1886 :
    - Badgini
    - Bambao
    - Itsandra
    - M'Budé
    - Mitsamihuli


    It's possible the French lists only toke account of sultanates which were in some kind of relation to them and that at least some of the other sultanates continued an informal existence :
    - the last Sultan of Oichili, Fumu Mwanda bin Higne, is said to have ruled until 1892,
    - in 1891 the French resident Humblot reported that 19 sultans (pretenders) were fighting over the 10 traditional sultanates ...
    Whatever the situation may have been, all sultanates were abolished in 1892
    Below are the lists of the rulers of the five recognized sultanates , based on French research. They are possibly not complete. They also not fully concur with the traditional lists (in the case of Mitsamihuli there even is a complete discordance)
    Co-rulers didn't usually rule at the same time but succeeded each other in a yearly (?) rotation.

    Clan of M'Dombozi
    - 1884 -Uma Dari (Uma wa Dari) (2x) 1... - 1884
                        -Mzade Badgini° (Mzade binti Mugné Mwembwani)(until 18..) She succeeded Umam wa Dari, who reigned (1852-84) and was succeeded by Khadija.

                         -Khadija binti Mugné Mku° (since 18..)
                         -Hachimu bin Mugné Mku (since 18..) 1... - 1889

    1884 - 188.   Khadija binti Mugné Mku° (5) s.a.

    Sultana in the Comoro Islands

    It is not clear what happened to her after Hachimu bin Mugne Mku seized power in 1885

    1885 - 1887  Hachimu bin Mugné Mku s.a.

    1887 - 188.   Khadija binti Mugné Mku° s.a.

    Sultana in the Comoro Islands

    After he had been driven out in 1887 she was first arrested but later reinstalled as Sultane by Saidi Ali of the Comoros and French. Later she is known to have been in exile in 1888 and to have joined Hachimu the following year. (d. 1889)

    1889 -           Hachimu bin Mugné Mku s.a.
    1889 - 18..    Alidi bin Mugné Mku

    It's not clear what happened to Khadija after Hachimu seized power in 1885. After he had been driven out in 1887 she was first arrested but later reinstalled as Sultane by Saidi Ali and the French. Later she is known to have been in exile (in 1888) and to have joined Hachimu in 1889.
    As to Hachimu himself, he was never formally recognized as Sultan and was always in revolt against Saidi Ali. He tried to convince the French to consider Badgini as a separate protectorate but they refused.
    In 1886 he also tried to place Badgini under the protection of the Deutsche Ostafrikanische Geselschaft. At first the Germans accepted, but when Karl Wilhelm Schmidt (1... - 1...), the agent of the company in Badgini learned that Hachimu was only a rebel fighting the already existing French protectorate they withdrew.

    Clan of Higna Pirusa
    - 1875 Mugné Mku "Sultan Ahmed" (4x) (6) 1793 - 1875
    1875 - 1881 -Abdallah bin Saidi Hamza
                         -Mugné Mugi
                         -Saidi Bakar bin Mugné Mku

    1881 - 1882 Saidi Ali bin Saidi Omar s.a.  

    1882 - 1883 Abdallah bin Saidi Hamza (2x)
    1883 - 1892 Saidi Ali bin Saidi Omar (2x)

    At some time in the fifties Mugné Mku associated his sons Saidi Bakar (1... - 1...) and Mohamed (1... - 1...) and his son-in-law Mugné Mugi (1... - 1...) to the throne. In the sixties they were deposed following a revolt and since 1867 Mugné Mku again ruled alone for a time. Later they were however again mentioned as Sultans and during the last years of the reign, Mugné Mugi seems to have been the major ruler.

    Clan of Higna Fombaia
    1870 - 1871 Mussafumu bin Fey Fumu (2x) s.a.
    1871 Tibé Bamba Sujaoma(2x) s.a.
    1871 - 1881 Mussafumu bin Fey Fumu (3x) (7)
    1881 - 1882 Tibé Bamba Sujaoma (3x)
    1882 - 1883 Mussafumu bin Fey Fumu (4x)
    188. - 188. Abudu Sujaoma
    188. - 188. Kaleheza Sujaoma
    188. - 18.. Fumu Mwanda bin Higne (8)

    Later jointly with Tibé Bamba Sujaoma (1872 - 18..)
    Fumu Mwanda was also the last sultan of Oichili, so it's possible he ruled untill 1892.

    This frontier Sultanate was contested between Bambao and Itsandra :
    - 1873 : subordinated to Itsandra
    1872 - 1873 : subordinated to Bambao
    1873 - 1880 : subordinated to Itsandra
    1880 - 1892 : subordinated to Bambao

    (rulers belonged either to the Higna Pirusa or the Higna Fombaia clan)
    - 1872 Kaleheza (M'Haza Kaleheza)

    1872 - 1873 Singa Madi Jimba "Aicha"° (2x) (9) In 1873 she was taken as a captive to Itsandra.. As she was however treated well and even married Mussafubu it is possible that she has continued to be Sultan in Name. In this case her successor, Jumbe Boina Fumu, was possibly only a  kind of governor. 

    1873 - 187. Jumbe Bwana Fumu

    187. - 18.. Singa Madi Jimba "Aicha"° (3x) In 1880 she submitted to Saidi Ali of the Comoros. She was succeeded by Jema Niema bint Jumbe Fumu at a not known date.

    last rulers according to the traditional list : 18.. - 18.. Jema Niema bint Jumbe Fumu° 18.. - 18.. Fey Fumu Bwana Haji

    In 1873 Aicha was taken as a captive to Itsandra. As she was however treated well and even married Mussafumu it's possible she continued to be Sultane in name. In this case Jumbe Boina Fumu was possibly only a kind of governor. In 1880 she submitted volontary to Saidi Ali.

    Clan of Higna Moitsa Pirusa
    - 18.. Mbafumu ...

    1881 - 188. Mouna Chamou bint Mugné Mku° (2x?) It might have been her second reign. She was succeeded by the male sultan,  Bwana Fumu, who reigned until 1888. 

    188. - 1888 Bwana Fumu
    188. - 1889 Salim
    1889            Alidi bin Mugné Mku s.a.
    1889 - 18..  Saidi Bakar bin Mugné Mku s.a.

    Traditional list I :
    18.. - 18.. Mbafumu bin Jumbe Fumu (= Mbafumu ?)
    18.. - 18.. Fumu
    18.. - 18.. Msafumu bin Tambwe
    18.. - 18.. Uma bin Dari Bamba
    18.. - 18.. Higne bin Dari Bamba
    18.. - 18.. Higne bin Madi Jimba
    18.. - 18.. Mbantsi bin Bwana
    18.. - 18.. Abdallah bin Mugné Mku (= Alidi bin Mugné Mku ?)
    18.. - 18.. Bwana Fumu Mbafumu (= Bwana Fumu ?)
    18.. - 18.. Tambavu bin Mbafumu

    Traditional list II :
    18.. - 18.. Jumbe Fumu bin Jumbe (= Mbafumu bin Jumbe Fumu of list I ?)
    18.. - 18.. Fumu (= list I)
    18.. - 18.. Msafumu bin Tambwe (= list I)
    18.. - 18.. Mbhandi bin Bwana Haji (= Mbantsi bin Bwana of list I)
    18.. - 18.. Abdallah bin Mugné Mku (= Alidi bin Mugné Mku ?)
    18.. - 18.. Bwana Fumu


    Bob Hilkens on 31 May 2000 email : beerke_beer@yahoo.com