Tukulor Empire , Segu Tukulor Empire , Toucouleur Empire

Tukulor Empire,  Segu Tukulor Empire , Toucouleur Empire was an empire founded by Al Hajj Umar or Umar Tal (c, 1796-1864).


After taking a hajj to Mecca and residing with Muhammad al-Ghali, Al Hajj Umar was made muqaddam(headman) and caliph of the Tijaniyah. He was given sanction to destroy paganism and bring about a pure Islam in the Sudan. 

Al Hajj jihad began in 1852, with the conquest of Tamba in 1853, bringing the Dinguiraye under his total control. He received new recruits inspired by his victory. Resources aquired from the conquest was used to re-enforce his army. He added shotguns to his army aquired from the English in Sierre Leone. After aquiring the Bambuk goldmines, he conquered Kaarta in 1855. Nioro the capital of Kaarta became the center of his operation.

Al Hajj set his sights to the west, Futa Toro, which put him in opposition against the Qadiriyah zawiyas and the French. In response to the threat, the French constructed the Médine Fort to divide Al Hajj's territory between Dinguiraye and Kaarta. The French also made treaties with local leaders to undermine Al Hajj's authority. In his expansion west Umar had to put down the Jawara revolt. He attacked  Médine Fort  in 1857, but was unsuccesful.

After the unsuccesful attempt west, he lead a mass movement of his army east, aiming for Segu. The French took the offensive in 1859 by destroying Umar's Gemu base in 1859. The French offensive forced Umar to give up any offensive towards Senegal. By March 9 of 1860, Umar Tal had conquered Segu. Umar later turned his sights to Hamdalahi in Massinia. The invasion would be difficult to justify because Hamdalahi caliphate was muslim and Fulani. In May 17, 1862, Hamdalahi fell. As soon as it was conquered rebellion ensued. Umar fled the city on February 6, 1864. On February 10, the insurgents caught up with him. He fell to his death, off the cliff of Degembere, near Bandiagara. 

Umar's empire did not survive his death. His nephew Tijani tried to recapture territories, with opposition from Umar's son Ahmadu Seku. The French eastward movement began to gobble up the empire.


The empire would have been ruled by a pasha, elected from the populace and military beys controlled by a spiritual leader. The spiritual leaders would have been aided by a council. 

Work Cited 

Kevin, Shillington(2005). Encylopedia of African History, Volume 3, P-Z Index. Fitzroy Dearborn: Newyork, Ny, pp. 1591,1592,  1-57958-245-1