The Daggatouns ... A Review, Henry Samuel Morais, Philadelphia 1882 (49845)

Only Edition - Inscribed by Author

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Listing Details

Lot Number: 49845
Title (English): The Daggatouns ... A Review
Note: Only Edition - Inscribed by Author
Author: Henry Samuel Morais
City: Philadelphia
Publisher: Edward Stern & Co.
Publication Date: 1882
Estimated Price: $300.00 USD - $600.00 USD
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Description

Physical Description

Only edition, 14 pp., octavo, 155:105 mm., light age staining, gild edges, nice margins. A very good copy bound in the original wrappers.

Inscribed by Author on title.

 

Detailed Description   

Henry Samuel Morais (Philadelphia, May 13, 1860 – New York City, September 21, 1935) was an American writer and rabbi. He was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and educated at private and public schools of that city. He received his religious instruction from his father, Sabato Morais. For about twelve years he was a teacher in the schools of the Hebrew Education Society and in the Hebrew Sabbath-schools of Philadelphia. Morais was the principal founder and for the first two years managing editor of the Jewish Exponent. He edited also The Musical and Dramatic Standard (Philadelphia) and The Hebrew Watchword and Instructor, and was a frequent contributor to the Jewish and general press of the United States; he was on the reportorial and special staff of the Philadelphia Public Ledger almost four years.

Morais was acting minister of the Congregation Mikveh Israel in Philadelphia (1897–98) and minister of the Adath Yeshurun congregation, Syracuse, New York (1899–1900 and again 1902–03), and of the Jeshuat Israel congregation at Newport, R.I. from 1900 to 1901. He is the author of: Eminent Israelites of the Nineteenth Century, Philadelphia, 1880 and The Jews of Philadelphia, 1894, the most important local history of the Jews in America as of 1906. Morais died in New York City on September 21, 1935.

Reprinted from the Jewish Messenger March 11, 1881, a review of Mordocai Aby Serour's Les Daggatouns.

Daggatun was a nomad tribe of Jewish origin living in the neighborhood of Tementit, in the oasis of Tuat in the Moroccan Sahara. An account of the Daggatun (whose name may perhaps be derived from the Arabic "tughatun" = infidels) was first given by Rabbi Mordechai Abi Serur of Akka (Morocco), who in 1857 journeyed through the Sahara to Timbuktu, and whose account of his travels was published in the Bulletin de la Société de Géographie. According to R. Mordecai, the Daggatun live in tents and resemble the Berber Tuaregs, among whom they live, in language, religion, and general customs. They are fairer in complexion than the generality of African Jews, and are still conscious of their origin. They are subject to the Tuaregs, who do not intermarry with them. R. Mordecai is the authority for the statement that their settlement in the Sahara dates from the end of the seventh century, when 'Abd al-Malik ascended the throne and pushed his conquests as far as Morocco. At Tementit he tried to convert the inhabitants to Islam; and as the Jews offered great resistance he exiled them to the desert of Ajaj, as he did also the Tuaregs, who had only partially accepted Islam. Cut off from any connection with their brethren, these Jews in the Sahara gradually lost their Jewish practises and became nominally Muslims.

These statements of R. Mordecai evidently rest upon some foundation. The Arabs driven to Ajaj are to be identified with the Mechagra mentioned by Erwin de Bary ("Ghat et les Tuareg de l'Ain," p. 181), among whom a few Jews are said still to dwell. V. J. Horowitz ("Morokko," p. 58, Leipsic 1887) also speaks of many free tribes in the desert regions who are Jews by race, but who have gradually thrown off Jewish customs and have apparently accepted Islam. Among these tribes, Horowitz says, are the Daggatun, numbering several thousands and scattered over several oases in the Sahara, even as far as the River Dialiva or Niger. Horowitz says that they are very warlike and in constant conflict with the Tuaregs. According to Horowitz, the Mechagra mentioned above are also to be reckoned as one of these Jewish tribes.

 

Hebrew Description  

 

References

Singerman 3087; JE; Rabbi Isidore Loeb, Les Daggatouns, Paris, 1880