Mali Journals

Mali

A travel journal to Mali by sociolingo

Quote: Mali, one of the largest countries in Africa and one of the least known. Come and find out why I enjoy living here! I first came to Mali in 1999 when I spent seven weeks, setting up research into mother tongue education in schools. I went back in October 2000 and stayed until March 2001. We lived in Bamako the capital and worked in a school on the outskirts of town. We loved the country and arrived back here to live and work recently. In these pages I will try and give you a little taste of life here. I'm still finding out more about the country I live in and as I do, I'll post more pictures and information.

Mali

Overview

Quote:
Most tourists come to Mali to visit Timbuktu, and Dogon country, but they are really only a small part of this enormous country. For me, it’s the people who make the country rather than the sights. But in this journal I will try and tell you a little about both. Quick Tips: Lots of places to visit in Mali including: Bamako (the capital) Mopti - a village constructed on three islands Djenné - with its splendid architecture Dogon country: the amazing houses in the cliffs Gao - the old capital of the Songhoi empire dating back to the Middle Ages Kayes - A town rich in history and with colonial architecture Sikasso - with its natural history...Read More
Quote:
The folklore of Mali is rich. Each village community has its own cultural heritage reflected in its dances and music. Usually these take place on flat ground in the village, which has become a public site. They will be heralded by drumming and singing, and enormous crowds can gather even in very small villages. These traditional ceremonies and celebrations are an occasion to exhibit art and beauty through the splendour of the costumes, jewelry, and hairstyles. A real fashion parade! Different celebrations have different significance. There are collective dances; ceremonies for men and for women; dances reserved for initiates of cults; and entry into mystic universes...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2004

Malian music

Attraction

Quote:
Ever present, melodious or raucous, languorous or invigorating, plaintive or strident, music in Mali accompanies dances, ceremonies, games, work, or war. In fact there is music for any circumstance. Music is used to transmit messages, to support historical traditions and stories of hunting. The oral story is an art form in Mali and a class of people called 'griots' are dedicated to transmit oral history. Their songs are an important part of any celebration. There are a number of musical instruments to be found in Mali. There is a variety of percussion instruments which include different kinds of tam tam drum, tambourine, and tambours and many small instruments...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 8, 2004

Local crafts

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
Local crafts in Mali are rich and varied, differing from one region to another. All craft products are made by hand, often in villages. By buying local crafts you are helping to keep these traditions alive and also helping the local economy. Many of the crafts take their influence directly from nature. One of the most famous is the bogolan fabrique or mudcloth. The 'mud' is mined on the banks of the river Niger. Designs are painted on the hand dyed cloth. The designs are nature based and are symbolic. Often families have their own special designs. Jewellery is a major craft industry in Mali. Both silver and gold is worked. Most of the gold is mined in Mali. The desi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 9, 2004

Cinemas in Bamako

Attraction

Quote:
There are a number of cinemas dotted around Bamako of varying degrees of comfort. I'm going to update this entry as I try them out and find out more information. Here's what I have so far... Well, the local advice is to go to the Babemba Cinema. Find the French Cultural Centre in the centre of town, turn left and follow the road round. (Or ask a taxi driver to take you there!) The showings are at 4 pm (kids films); and 9 pm. At weekends there are showing at 4 pm, 6.30 pm, 9 pm, and 11 pm. The costs start at 1,000 cfa and go up to 2,000 cfa for the late night showings. This is now showing all the latest American/European films ... in French. We went to see the newest Harry Potter film t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 9, 2004

Mali, real Africa

Story/Tip

Quote:
The country of Mali, whilst little known outside of Africa, has a long and distinguished history. Lying as it does between the arid desert of North Africa and the fertile tropical regions, Mali has long been part of trade routes in Africa. Originally part of the Empire of Ghana (no relation to the present-day country of Ghana) in the 4th century. The capital of the region was then known as 'Kounbi Saleh' and the emperor was known as the 'Tounka' or King of gold. This empire reached its height in the 10th century with the conquest of the city Berbère d'Aoudaghost. This was one of the fabled cities of gold, and was famous for its salt and slaves. The Empire of Mali was founded in the 11th century and th...Read More

Languages of Mali

Story/Tip

Quote:
The language situation in Mali is characterised by the coexistence of a large number of Malian languages together with French, the ex-colonial language. The country is divided administratively into eight regions plus the district of Bamako, the capital, which do not correspond to language group boundaries. Thirty-six differentiated languages have so far been identified, which fall primarily into three major language families (see Table 2, Language Family Affiliation derived from Grimes, 2000): Niger-Congo (27); Nilo-Saharan (5); and Afro-Asiatic (3). The largest group of these in Mali, the Niger-Congo family, can be further divided into three sub-families: Atlantic (3 languages), Gur (7) and M...Read More