The Duguwa dynasty, or Dougouwa (700-1086), is the line of kings (mai) of the Kanem Empire prior to the rise of the Islamic Seyfawa dynasty in 1086.[1]:21

According to the Girgam, the Duguwa kings were the kings of Kanem whose dynastic name is derived from Duku, the third king of the Duguwa. Comparisons with accounts from Arab geographers show that the Duguwa were the king of the ruling class called Zaghawa. Up to recently historians believed that the Duguwa kings mentioned in the Girgam ruled in Kanem just before the first Muslim kings.[2]

Richmond Palmer states, "To all intents and purposes both Saif ibn Dthi Yazan and his son Ibrahim are a myth. The first Mai of Kanem was 'Mai Dugu Bremmi,' who succeeded because he was the 'dugu' (tegasi) or son of the chief's daughter or sister..." "The name dugu means strictly that he was the son of the daughter or a Mai, or Chief, i.e. the person the Tuareg call tegasi, or heir." "Descent among the Maghumi, as among the Tuareg, passed to the son of a sister of the deceased king, called among the Tuareg, the tegasi or heir..." "The legendary eponymous ancestor of the Saifawa, as the Maghumi are called, only became in Muslim times Saif, the 'lion of Yaman'."[3]

One historian suggested that all the Duguwa kings except one were ancient Near Eastern rulers. Their names and titles bear witness of the founding of Kanem by refugees from the Assyrian Empire c. 600 BCE.[4] This hypothesis is, however, not widely accepted.

Table of Duguwa kingsEdit

Name of the king[3]:90 Reign [5][1] Historical name and dating [6] Historical identity
(1) Saif Sargon of Akkad (2334-2279) Founder of the Akkadian Empire
(2) Ibrahim Abraham Legendary Israelite patriarch
(3) Dugu c. 784-835 Hammurabi (1792-1750) Founder of the Amorite Empire
(4) Fune c. 835-893 Pûl/Tiglath-pileser III (744-727) Founder of Neo-Assyrian Empire
(5) Arsu c. 893-942 Rusâ/Ursâ I (730-713) 6th Urartian king
(6) Kâturi c. 942-961 Kuter-Nahhunte (1730-1700) 22nd Elamite king
(7) Ayuma (Biyoma) c. 961-1019 Bunuma-Addu (c. 1770) 1st king of Nihrija/Nairi
(8) Bulu c. 1019-1035 Nabopolassar (626-605) 1st Neo-Babylonian king
(9) Arkaman c. 1035-1077 Assur-uballit II (612-609) Last king of Assyria
(10) Shu c. 1077-1081 Sammuramat (810-807) Regent during the infancy of Adad-nirari III (810-783)
Unknown ? ?
Kak.r.ah . . Local king c. 970 CE
Unknown ? ?
(11) 'Abd ul Jalil c. 1081-1085 First Duguwa king (1064-1068) First Muslim ruler of Kanem


  1. ^ a b Urvoy, Y. (1949). Historie De L'Empire Du Bronu (Memoires De L'Institut Francais D'Afrique Noire, No. 7 ed.). Paris: Librairie Larose. p. 26.
  2. ^ Smith: Early states, 167.
  3. ^ a b Palmer, Richmond (1936). The Bornu Sahara and Sudan. London: John Murray. pp. 9, 38, 118, 180.
  4. ^ Lange: Founding of Kanem, 13-18.
  5. ^ Urvoy, Empire, 26.
  6. ^ Lange: Founding of Kanem, 13-16.


See alsoEdit