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Old 17th December 2022, 04:21 PM   #1
ShakaAmaZulu
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Default Help to translate Mahdi Flag (1897)

Hello,
Could you please help me to translate what's written on this Mahdi flag from Redjaf Battle (1897) ?
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Old 17th December 2022, 07:48 PM   #2
Jim McDougall
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This is amazing, and I must say I had never heard of this battle, nor the Belgian presence in the Sudan (from 1894 in agreement with British to acquire Lado enclave) .
While I was going to ask how we know this is Mahdist and from this battle, I found this painting online (Wiki) and among the Mahdist forces far to the right what appears to be a red and white flag appears.

What research on this is at hand? what sort of provenance?

Battle of Rejaf (Battle of Bedden) 17 Feb. 1897. LADO near Nile at center of map, is where Rejaf is situated.

It must be kept in mind, this area was extremely to the south in Sudan, and of course near the Congo regions as well as Uganda.
In the regions of Sudan farther up the Nile were the Mamluk descended population in areas where slaving was in place and where Mahdist forces conscripted the numbers of men who had been among the potential slaves. This explains the number of weapon forms seen in Mahdist context (with thuluth motif) which are not indiginous to Sudan, but to these southern regions.
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Old 17th December 2022, 08:51 PM   #3
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Literature:

Major De Grez, The Battle of Redjaf (3 juni 1898), Brussel: Imprimerie Alphonse Ballieu, Chaussée de Louvain
Reprint of the review "À travers le monde", September-October 1935, # 9-10
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Old 30th December 2022, 11:20 AM   #4
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On pole spear a label : "Dr Louis Laurent collections (Namur - Belgium) and hand written in french "Lance derviche / Prise de Redjaf".

Doctor Louis Laurent (Namur, 12.4.1858 - Namur, 16.2.1905) was in Congo (Equateur District) from Jan. 1892 to Oct 1894. He participated to military operations in Lukula, Aruwimi-Uele and Bangla Districts. (Biographie Coloniale Belge, T.II, 1951, col. 594-595)
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Old 1st January 2023, 12:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall View Post
This is amazing, and I must say I had never heard of this battle, nor the Belgian presence in the Sudan (from 1894 in agreement with British to acquire Lado enclave) .
While I was going to ask how we know this is Mahdist and from this battle, I found this painting online (Wiki) and among the Mahdist forces far to the right what appears to be a red and white flag appears.

What research on this is at hand? what sort of provenance?

Battle of Rejaf (Battle of Bedden) 17 Feb. 1897. LADO near Nile at center of map, is where Rejaf is situated.

It must be kept in mind, this area was extremely to the south in Sudan, and of course near the Congo regions as well as Uganda.
In the regions of Sudan farther up the Nile were the Mamluk descended population in areas where slaving was in place and where Mahdist forces conscripted the numbers of men who had been among the potential slaves. This explains the number of weapon forms seen in Mahdist context (with thuluth motif) which are not indiginous to Sudan, but to these southern regions.
https://military-history.fandom.com/...attle_of_Rejaf

Hello Jim, Heres a small quote on that battle from https://military-history.fandom.com/...attle_of_Rejaf I QUOTE" The Battle of Rejaf, or the Battle of Bedden, was fought on 17 February 1897 between the Belgian-led forces of the Congo Free State and Mahdist rebels in South Sudan. The battle resulted in a Congolese victory and the permanent expulsion of the Mahdists from the Lado Enclave, as well as the establishment of a Belgian outpost along the Nile.

King Leopold II, the Belgian king and ruler of the Congo Free State, acquired the Lado Enclave in South Sudan from Britain in 1894 as part of a territory exchange which gave the British a strip of land along the eastern Congo for Belgian access to the navigable Nile. However, the territory was overrun with Mahdist rebels who had established their stronghold at the town of Rejaf, which occupied a valuable position for trade along the Nile river. After a wave of new funding from the Belgian government in 1895, King Leopold ordered an expedition to be led into the Lado Enclave to expel the Mahdists and fortify Rejaf as a strategic military and trading outpost.

The Belgian expedition, led by Commandant Louis-Napoléon Chaltin, reached the position after a month-long advance north-east towards the Mahdist stronghold. The rebels, numbering two-thousand, had established a two-mile line across a range of hills, giving their numerically superior forces a tactical advantage over Chaltin's eight-hundred men. After a failed flanking maneuver by the Mahdists, Chaltin's forces stormed the heights and dislodged the rebel defenders. The Congolese companies pursued the retreating Mahdists back towards the town of Rejaf, where a final defense was made and similarly defeated.

The victory, achieved at relatively little cost, cleared the Lado Enclave of Mahdist rebels and secured Rejaf as a Belgian base for future operations in the surrounding territories and along the Nile. Rejaf became the seat of government within the Lado Enclave, and remained thus when the British eventually reclaimed the territory in 1910". UNQUOTE.

Did you notice that Bunyoro was placed on your map?

Regards, Peter Hudson.
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Old 1st January 2023, 01:35 AM   #6
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In addition I think Wiki makes a further statement
thus I QUOTE"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Rejaf

The Lado Enclave
Main article: Battle of Rejaf

Francis Dhanis, ca. 1900
In 1894, King Leopold II signed a treaty with the United Kingdom which conceded a strip of land on the Free State's eastern border in exchange for the Lado Enclave, which provided access to the navigable Nile and extended the Free State's sphere of influence northward into Sudan. After rubber profits soared in 1895, Leopold ordered the organization of an expedition into the Lado Enclave, which had been overrun by Mahdist rebels since the outbreak of the Mahdist War in 1881.[44] The expedition was composed of two columns: the first, under Belgian war hero Baron Dhanis, consisted of a sizable force, numbering around three-thousand, and was to strike north through the jungle and attack the rebels at their base at Rejaf. The second, a much smaller force of only eight-hundred, was led by Louis-Napoléon Chaltin and took the main road towards Rejaf. Both expeditions set out in December 1896.[45]

Although Leopold II had initially planned for the expedition to carry on much farther than the Lado Enclave, hoping indeed to take Fashoda and then Khartoum, Dhanis' column mutinied in February 1897, resulting in the death of several Belgian officers and the loss of his entire force.[46] Nonetheless, Chaltin continued his advance, and on 17 February 1897, his outnumbered forces defeated the rebels in the Battle of Rejaf, securing the Lado Enclave as a Belgian territory until Leopold's death in 1909.[47] Leopold's conquest of the Lado Enclave met with approval from the British government, at least initially, which welcomed any aid in their ongoing war with Mahdist Sudan. But frequent raids outside of Lado territory by Belgian Congolese forces based in Rejaf caused alarm and suspicion among British and French officials wary of Leopold's imperial ambitions.[48] In 1910, following the Belgian annexation of the Congo Free State as the Belgian Congo in 1908 and the death of the Belgian King in December 1909, British authorities reclaimed the Lado Enclave as per the Anglo-Congolese treaty signed in 1894, and added the territory to Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.[49]"UNQUOTE.
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Old 1st January 2023, 09:59 PM   #7
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Peter, thank you SO much for these thorough accounts of these campaigns which really add dimension on this fascinating flag!

Ah yes!! BUNYORO!!! its amazing how small this African world and its history becomes as we learn more and as always, it is the weapons, and items related to these peoples are what compels us to keep going, and learning.
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Old 12th June 2023, 09:33 AM   #8
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Default Translation done !

Thanks to my friend, translation is done in french & english !

Texte central (Central text):

Nabī allah / prophete de Dieu / Prophet of God
Yā allah yā allah / O Dieu O Dieu / O God O God
lā al-wajl la-ka / ne crains rien / Don’t fear anything
Kalb abyaḍ / chien (sic) blanc / White dog
Taghallaba / que [Dieu nous] donne la victoireThat / [God] gives us victory

Marge gauche (Left margin):

Allah yu‘āfī-ka / Dieu te garde en bonne sante / God keeps you healthy
Allah yuhannīÂ’-ka / Dieu te felicite / God congratulate you

Marge droite (Right margin):

[--] allah / [--] Dieu / [--] God
Lā yajī-ka sharr / aucun mal ne t’atteindra / No harm will reach you
Allah yarwī-nā wajha-k bi-khayr / Dieu t’assure le bien / God assures you of good

Just one word [--] is missing.

Next work is to restore the flag
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Old 30th December 2022, 09:40 AM   #9
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error

Last edited by ShakaAmaZulu; 31st December 2022 at 09:32 AM. Reason: double
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