A look at histories and historical narratives of people around the Africana World.
The Girgam is the royal chronicle of the Kanem-Bornu Kingdom. It provides the names of 68 rulers and information about their reigns. The people of the Kanem-Bornu empire believed that knowledge of one’s name gave “power”. Thus, genealogies were considered valuable and were kept hidden from strangers. The Girgam has been useful to modern historians as it has helped them piece together the ruling families of the time and get a better sense of the ruling family structure in the dynasty. After the Sefuwa dynasty, the surviving Kanems wanted to erase all memory of the period, and subsequently destroyed all copies of the Girgam that they could reach.