For "all those who say N'ko"

MISSING IMAGE

Material Information

Title:
For "all those who say N'ko" N'ko literacy and Mande cultural nationalism in the Republic of Guinea
Physical Description:
xxi, 349 leaves : ill., photos ; 29 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Oyler, Dianne White
Publication Date:

Subjects

Genre:
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1995.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 331-348).
Statement of Responsibility:
by Dianne White Oyler.
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002057543
notis - AKP5569
oclc - 33832546
System ID:
AA00003204:00001

Full Text















4'I(O


FOR "ALL THOSE WHO SAY N'KO":
LITERACY AND MADE CULTURAL NATIONALISM
IN THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA


DIANNE


WHITE


OYLER


A DI
OF THE


SERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY


tn~T r tnnr nf mrr l rn


nn nr~nrnr






























Copyright


Dianne


1995


White Oyler















ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


This


inquiry


into


indigenous


West


African


writing


systems


their


associated


educational


institutions


represents a new departure in African history


from


the many


scholarly


works


that


study


deep


cultural


impact


western


schooling


Islamic


education.


also


represents one of the


first historical


studies on the city of


Kankan,


Republic


Guinea.


would


like


thank


members of my


committee C.


John


Sommerville,


David Bushnell,


and


Robin


Poynor


their


encouragement


, support,


helpful


comments.


Thanks


Mark


Thurner


role


spokesman


for David Bushnell


the defense.


owe a debt of


enormous


gratitude


to R.


Hunt Davis,


Jr. ,


Chair,


Steven


Feierman,


Cochair,


their


unwavering


support


developed


ideas,


sought


sources,


produced


strategies,


organized


the data that are at


the heart


of the dissertation.


appreciate


the sharing of


individual


constructive


insights


that


have


helped me


to articulate


study


indebted


great


many


people


making


this


study


possible.


First,


would


like


express









writing


systems


altogether


unknown


topic


N'ko


alphabet.


Director


owe

the


a special

Department


debt


of gratitude


Afri


can-America


to Lansine

n Studies


Kaba,


University


Illinois


Chicago,


invitation


introduction


grateful


Kankan


Professor


community,


Kaba's


advice,


home


town.


assistance,


inspiration.


richest


aspects


research


was


time


spent


supported


famille


me with


with


their


friends


friendship


Kankan


, guidance


Conakry


, assistance,


understanding.


In Conakry,


warm


thanks


to Safayou


family


Ouessou


Nabd


family


their


encouragement


many


acts


of kindness


during


my stay


there.


sincere


heart-felt


thanks


people


of Kankan


who

Kaba


accepted


embraced


adoptive


families--the


their

Kaba


sister,

family c


Sarangbe


of Kankan;


Kante


family


of Soumankoyin-K61dnin,


Kankan,


Conakry;


Diane


family


Kankan,


Conakry,


Monrovia;


Conde


family


Sanana,


Kankan,


Abidjan.


also


owe


debt


Guinee


gratitude


who


included


Chri


stian


member


missionaries


their


Haute-


families,


especially


Larry


Pixie


Charter


their


children,


missionaries


owe


to Kankan


a debt


wrapped


enormous


gratitude


their

to the


cloak


love.


members









Particular


thanks


Diaka


Laye


Kaba,


president


national board;


Al-Hajj Mouctar Kaba,


president of the Kankan


branch;


Mamady


Conde,


assistant


Kankan


branch


president,

assistant;


posthumously;

Ibrahima Kant6,


Fodd

son of


Baba


Condk,


inventor


Souleyman


research

ie Kant,;


and


Mme.


Tady


Keita


Bayo.


owe


debt


gratitude


Virgil


and Dianne Bodeen,


Public Affairs Officer


(PAO)and his


wife


during


stay


from


1992-1993,


Greg


Garland,


1993-1995,


their


positions


with


USIS


enabled


make

Jeff


the most of my visits to Guinea.


and Debbie Morton


also wish


, SIM missionaries to Siguiri,


thank


who gave


me a copy


the N'ko computer program that Jeff


developed.


Financial support for this study included an M.


Margaret


Stroh


International


Scholarship


1991-1992


from the Delta


Kappa


Gamma


Society


International.


1992-1993


Fulbright


Institute


majority


International


research in


Education


Republic


Award


funded


of Guinea.


A West


African Research Association Fellowship provided a portion of


the funds

National

holdings,

concerning


Archives


summer

and


literacy


N'ko


1994


l'Afrique


survey


in Abidjan,


Liberal Arts and Sciences and


O'Neil


Fellowship


both,


of Kankan,


C6te

the

1995,


research


Occidentale


the

The


velopment


d'Ivoire.

Dean's De


supported


Senegal's

Frangaise

interviews


College


Council


writing









Thanks

assistance,


friends


especially David C.


and

Conrac


colleagues

i, SUNY Os\


#


wego;


their

Richard


Corby,


University


of Arkansas


at Monticello;


Andrew Gordon,


University


South


Carolina


Columbia;


Elizabeth


Schmidt,


Loyola


College


Baltimore;


Olabiyi


Haig


Der-Houssikian,


University


Florida;


many


members


MANSA


organization


have


taken


interested in my work.

family for participating


Finally,

in my A


thanks


Lfrican stud


the members of my

y and research as


it were their own and for


incorporating my


African


family


into our


family


as a whole.
















PREFACE


". the colonial
'civilizing' missi<


system


was often


. to provide


justified


terms of


deemed
person.


necessary


to transform the


government


'native'
I mission


into


school


'civilized'
s, African


children
superior
former r


learned


their


religious


that


own,


European


and


practices


they
and c


culture


were


culturall


and civilization


taught


tradition


reject
ns.


were
their


third
tem of


general


education


observation


is that


common


there were


Africa's


conscious


colonial
obvious


attempts
colonial
culture.
colonies


the
to


first


government,


This


where education


foreign
educate


was


meant


more


'frenchifying


missions


and


later by the
away from his
in the French


African.


"Contact


farmer, or
of a more
the art of
on memory


with


the white


man,


also


" manufacturer,
intangible kind.


ideas.


of mouth;


as merchant,


about


Europeans taught African


the past,
and the


old


knew


most


young


least.


Now


might be committed


missionaries


paper


others


permanently


showed how words
preserved."3


1
Martir


Sheldon Gellar,
i and Patrick C


"The


)'Meara,


:olonial
eds.,


Era,


Africa,


(Bloomington,


Phyllis M.
: Indiana


University

2A. B


Press,


iabs


1986)


Fafunwa


. 128.


J.U.


Aisiku,


eds.


Education


Africa:


A Comparative


Survey,(London:


George Allen


Unwin,


the Western education


feature


African


pronounced


whether
brought


storing
and word


economic


mineowner,


changes
villagerss


tradition had depended


3n ,


__


A









"The


fact was that


most important
literacy.",4


for non-Muslim


single


areas


of Africa probably the


foreign


rule


was


middle c
compared
"5


;olonial


. none


periods,


importance with


part
the


innovations


from


advance of


spread


overseas


early and
literacy,
trade .


We read endlessly about how Europeans,


as a part of their


'civilizing


mission,


brought


education


literacy


Africa and how they taught


literacy to


Africans.


The current


inquiry


into the


invention and dissemination


an indigenous


African


case


writing


where


system,


education


N'ko


alphabet,


literacy were


not


demonstrates


practiced


form brought


to Africa but where Africans developed


their own


forms


education


literacy


themselves.


This


new


evidence goes against how we have generally conceptualized the


spread


literacy


in Africa.


Many


historians


have


studied


the deep cultural


education.


first


created

education.

cultural


This


impac

study


full-scale


indigenous


t


of western


differs fr

historical


writing


institutions


initiative


Adu


1880-


1935


Boahen,


back


ed.


schooling


of

tha


om such works


work


system


African


examine

its a


attempt


Islamic

t it is

i newly


Associated


take


into African hands.


Africa


, UNESCO General History


under


of Africa,


Colonial


Domination


Abridged Edition,


- t ar -n % lf -


"For


innovation


Africa


c


k


hn ~









present


inquiry


into


N'ko


alphabet


provides


detailed


account


creation


dissemination.


analyzes the sociopolitical


context


in which N'ko was created,


investigates


inventor's


motives


extent


that


they


can be known,


and examines the


rationale behind the selection


texts


subject


written


indigenous


N'ko.


literacy


study


introduces


in West Africa and


discusses


how


the


social


uses


literacy


develop


disseminate


differently when in the hands of


local


people


than


they would


hands


outsiders


their


designees.


It describes


how


control


language,


ultimately


literacy,


have


been


implicated


contest


economic,


political,


religious dominance


Republic of


Guinea.


contemporary


nature


N'ko


literacy


movement,


however,


inquiry


cannot


assess


long


term


results


full


implications.


Much


information


presented herein concerning the


initial


development and spread


N'ko,


1949-1986


literacy


more thorough investigation in


movement,

i towns and


bears


further


cities identified


current


literacy ca

surrounding

present. Cc


its


impaign

its i


study.

from 19!

.nception,


)nsequently,


resultant


information


86-present


events


establishes


that


an assessment oI


literacy


campaign


occur


[ the

will


ICRA-N'KO


events

living


literacy movement


require


future









The

movement


literature


limited.


David


twentieth

Dalby re


century


corded


N'ko


literacy


evidence


alphabet's


existence


1969


, in


"Further


Indigenous


Scripts


of West Africa:


Manding,


Wolof,


and Fula Alphabets and Yoruba


'Holy'


Writing.


addition


presenting


visual


representation


"Manding"


alphabet,


identified


author


as Souleymane


Kant,,


situated


use


in Mali,


Guinea,


C6te


d'Ivoire.


Although


Dalby


interviewed


Malian


who


was


literate


N'ko,


was


unable


to meet


with


Ka ntl


others


who


were


close


invention


dissemination


administration


alphabet


restricted


because


foreign


Sdkou


scholar's


Toure


access


Guinea.


While the N'ko alphabet was


invented during the period of


colonial


domination


have been


unable


to find mention of the


alphabet


official


correspondence or reports.


unofficial


Documents


Republic are not catalogued and


A 1980s UNESCO report7


are


from Sikou


unavailable


on Guinea's maternal


administrative


Tour's First

for scrutiny.


language


learning


project discusses the alphabet.


Christian missionaries


field


Guinea


have


translated


New


Testament8


into


David Dalby,


Manding,
African


Wolof,
Language


"Further


Ind Fula Alp


Studies,


Indigenous Scripts of West Africa:
,habets and Yoruba 'Holy' Writing,"
0. 1969:162-165.


---









Maninka


language


using


Roman


alphabet.


They


have


witnessed the advance of the N'ko alphabet and are considering


using


transcribe


New


Testament


attempt


reach


those who


are


literate


N'ko.


Since


have been


unable to document


the existence of the


alphabet


more


conventional


historical


manner


primarily


using written


sources,


have been


forced


to rely


heavily


upon


African


informants


information


specifically


concerning


alphabet's


origin


dissemination.


Maninka speakers


study


residing


focuses


in Kankan,


oral


Republic


histories


of Guinea,


official


dissemination point


for the alphabet.


interviewed


family


members


inventor,


Souleymane


Kantl,


contemporaries--both


supporters


non-supporters


alphabet--and


members of the general


population,


some of whom


have


never


heard


alphabet.


Most


teachers,


information,


students


however,


involved


came


from


with


N'ko


supporters,


literacy


movement.

alphabet

financial

alphabet.


observed


witnessed


resources


experienced


their dedication to


individuals


promotion


their


teachers and students strove toward


commitment

1 literacy


literacy


investing


in the N'ko


their


meager


teaching


to ]

after


Learning


a hard day


n









at work


or school


less than optimum conditions.


Those who


are


connected


with


N'ko


are


enthusiastic


about


alphabet


because,


their


view,


literacy


provides


opportunity


acquire


use


knowledge.


They


showed


their


enthusiasm by


always


carrying


books


published


N'ko


with


them


demonstrated


value


sharing the


knowledge contained in


the


books


with


those


around


them.


Many


belong


organization


that


officially


promotes


alphabet,


I CRA -


N'KO.


Proponents of the alphabet


were


only


ones who


exuded


with


this


whom


enthusiasm


for N'ko


spoke expressed


literacy.


admiration


Community members


for the


inventor,


alphabet,


promotion


alphabet.


The members of the


ICRA-N'KO Association were excited by


my interest

contribution


the

the


alphabet.


literature,


Unaware


they


David


Dalby's


embraced my work


vehicle by which they


could


tell


the story of


Souleymane Kante


foreign


invention

scholars.


N'ko,


foreign


story he

scholar,


retofore


ignored


interest


alphabet appeared to


further elevate


value


in the eyes of


local


literate


community:

in N'ko and


to bring j

validation


justification


the alpha


for those who were

ibet for those who


were


not.


The

contagious.


enthusiasm


becoming


The community of Kankan,


literate


N'ko


those who were


was


literate









in N'ko as well


those who were


not,


supported my


gathering


of the data for what


they


considered to be important


events in


their


local


history.


Almost


those


whom


contacted


shared their homes,


their stories,


and their personal archives


with


me.


Although


interviewed


equal


numbers


those


connected with and not


connected with N'ko,


executive board of the Kankan branch


the members of


ICRA-N'KO


had more of


a hand


shaping the


study.


Under their


auspices,


gained


access to the cadre of


informants many


of whom were


intimates


Souleymane


Kante--his


family


friends.


Many


those


literate


N'ko


contributed


their


personal


reminiscences,


contacts


throughout


N'ko


communications


network,


documents


from


their


private


archives


work.


Without


cooperation,


support,


promotion


these


special


interest


groups,


the questions


concerning Souleymane Kante as


intellectual


motives


invention


alphabet,


disseminated,

would have cc


process


the current


)ntinued


which


literacy


alphabet

campaign by


been


ICRA-N'KO


remain obscure.


close


association


with


promoters


N'ko


undoubtedly


shaped


interpretations


this dissertation.


see


development

academics


creation


which

today


local


enriches cultural


fashionable


form

life

to


literacy


for Guineas.


speak


Among


cultural









post-colonial


somewhat


world


contradictory


from western academics,


way)


then


impossibility


separating


African


culture


from


cultural


forms


which


have


spread


around


globe.


spite


possible


pitfalls


have welcomed my


association


with


promoters of


N'ko,


powerful


them


value


tool


define


that


association.


the hands of


interpret


local


their


think


people


own


that


Guinea,


cultural


N'ko


helping


heritage


precisely this moment when many mark


cultural


authenticity


is questioned by Westerners.










TABLE


OF CONTENTS


page


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


S S a S S S S 4-i -


PREFACE.


THE N'KO


ALPHABET


AND NUMERALS


S a SS a a a S S xI1x


ABSTRACT


a a S S S *. a a a a XX


CHAPTERS


INTRODUCTION
The Mande Langua
Mande Location.
The Mande Heroic
Mande Culture .
Cultural So
Occupations


* .
ges.

/Hist(
ciali
ciali;


* a .1
* . a 2

Dric Past. . .14
* . 19
zation. 22


and Settlement


Mande


Patterns.
Unity.


... a a .24
. . . 25


UNDER THE


SILK


COTTON TREE.


S a ..34


The
The
Indi

Lite
Cult
Lite
The

Soci
Conc


MADE
Pre-C
Mande


Post-


Const
Europ
genou
The
racy
ural
racy
Socia
Firs
al Us
lusio


ruction
ean Inv
s Afric
Mande.
Criteri
and Soc
under C
1 Uses
t Repub
es of N
n. .


CENTER
olonia
Intel
Era.
Coloni
Strugg
Public


AL
1
le


of Cultural Identity.
mention of Cultural identity
an Cultural Identity--


1
on:


35
. 41


S..44
a a a . 48
Context of Literacy. 50
ialism. . .55


Literacy


Guin


li c . . 58
'ko Literacy . .. .61
S* . a .63


Intellectuals.
ctuals during the


S
C


al Mande Intellectua.
le to Enter the
Transcript. .


* . 64
Sa .65
Colonial
.76
Is--N'ko's

.86


,V11











CHILDREN


The

Amar

The


The


OF THE


Cultural
Environs
a Kante's
The Samo
Sociopoli
Souleyma
Kankan 1
Sociopoli


BRIGHT COUNTRY.


Foundati
--1775-1
Arrival
ri Perio
tical Mi
ne Kante
890-1922
tical Co


on or KanKan an
870. .
in the Region (
d--Kankan 1870-
lieu into which
was born--


. . 103


cd


during
1890.


. 104

. 114


.121


ntext that Shaped .
ntext that Shaped


Souleymane Kante
Conclusion. .


a


--


-Kankan 1922-1946. .142
149


THE
The
The
Text
Earl
The
Conc


CLEAR LANGUAGE


Creation.
Reasons.
Translat
y Dissemi
Reaction.
lusion.


OF N'KO


. . . 156


1
S .1
ions. ..... .1
nation. ... .. .1
* . . 1


RESTORING
Breaking
Cult
Local Man
over
The Natio
Know


The

The

The
Conclusio


CULTURE


P


CULTURE UNDER A NEW


Gro
ura
de
Kn
nal
led


"Nat
Age
N'ko
Age
Cont
n .


OWER


Disseminati
Disseminati
N'ko Litera
Moveme
Mande Cultu
Conclusion.


und
1 N
Spe
owl
Co


Sowing the
ionalism.
ers Dispute
ge. .
est for Con


ional Langu
nda for Soc
Literacy M


n4


SUN.
Seeds of

Control


Strol
trol


over


Program"--
Control.
ment--


. .199

.202

S .216

. 221

S .222


da for Social Liberation. 232
st. .............. 234
243


of N'ko 1959-1986. . .2
of N'ko 1986--Present. . .2


--Grassroots


t. ............ .2
al Power: A Personal Choice. 2
2


CONCLUSION.


290


u


r


I


.
.











INFORMANT


RELATIONSHIPS


SOULEYMANE


KANTE.


. . .298


POEM--THE


SOULEYMANE


KANTE


TRADITION.


. 300


SAMPLES


FROM


DOCUMENTS


WRITTEN


IN N'KO


. 304


LITERACY


SURVEY


: KANKAN,


REPUBLIC


OF GUINEA


REFERENCES.


S. S 330


. C C C C C C C C . C 331


BIOGRAPHICAL


SKETCH.


C C C C S C C CC C S S349









LIST OF


FIGURES


Figure


p-4g-


Map:


Extent


Language


Map:


the Mande


Community


Approximation


the Mande


Heartland.


* a C S C C C C C C .11


Map:


Kankan
with an


Location in


insert


Bate


Savanna
region.


S.72


Map:

Plate:

Plate:

Map:


Kante


Family Movement.


Children o

Souleymane

Geographical


a


f Amara Kante.

Kante.

Divisions of


* .118

. .154


155


Republic of


Guinea


for Haute-Guinte


and Place


Guinie


names


Forestiere.


198


Map:


Bate Communities.


. a .* 255



















'N O


0.*


ALPHABET


AND


NUMERALS


hard


"nnnn.


SOURCE:


Communication


Missionaries


CONSONANTS


VOWELS


U IA C RIT KS


(Cc.leatiCI with n)

naalitcd ou tl (1)

,Iall rOIrl/ (,,)
'Il '9o0 t hjulc Oirtai ]

0"ro. h I tuIc btv iuc'

'YOg b3liC OlCtointC

,, 'vo, batc buviquc

lo, ro,.cl (on):
- _________


Wiih Ir hl


lulc 0'd na',c


,, 'voRi huvi bfusquc"

S o,, 0 bat o,4;na;c"

I. 'vo, bJn brvsuu(c


NN tblE r$L.sj d' JC t ~1. dVP9 toOL1


SOURCE


David
Afric
Yorub


alby,


"Further


a: Manding, Wol
a 'Holy' Writing


-A 1*J J L


O


Indig
f and


enous
Fula


Scripts
Alphabet
Lanquace


West
and


Studi


164.


dyj


0'y

d C


African


Lv
















Abstract


of Dissertation Presented


the Graduate


School


University


of Florida in Partial


Fulfillment


Requirements


for the


Degree of


Doctor


of Philosophy


"ALL


THOSE WHO SAY N'KO":


N'KO


LITERACY


AND MADE


CULTURAL NATIONALISM


IN THE


REPUBLIC OF


GUINEA


Dianne White Oyler


August


Chairman:


1995


Hunt Davis,


Major


Department:


History


The


Maninka


speakers,


subdivision


Mande,


have


created


the N'ko


alphabet,


one of


indigenous writing


systems


that


continues


widespread


use.


Inspired


cultural


nationalism


pre-independence


period,


Souleymane Kant6 from Kankan,


Republic


Guinea,


created


alphabet


1949.


subsequently


became


popular


among


broad


group of


Mande


speakers


even


though


they


long used


the Arabic


and Roman


alphabets.


In recent


years,


number


people


have


become


N'ko-literate


increased


dramatically.


Souleymane


Kant6


read


writings


foreigners









aspired to create an African alphabet


His search was


further


inspired by the


fact


that


foreign


alphabets were


incapable of


rendering


full


scope


of Maninka


thought.


This


study


explains


how


N'ko


literacy


originated


spread.


investigates


motives


for the


creation of


alphabet


the extent


that


they


can be known,


and it analyzes


sociopolitical


context


which


N'ko


was


created.


inquiry


examines


rationale


behind


selection


texts


written in N'ko and


traces


the development


spread of


N'ko


schools


Guinea


across West Africa.


Additionally,


it explores the context


for the


social


uses


indigenous


domination,


literacy.


foreigners


consequence


foreign-trained


colonial


professionals


imposed


alien


languages


alphabets on Maninka


speakers.


The control


of language,


and ultimately


literacy,


has emerged


center


contest


economic,


political,


religious dominance over the Maninka-speaking people of Haute-

Guinee.


adopting


N'ko,


Maninka


speakers


have


attempted


wrest


control


over


language,


literacy,


education


from


foreigners


Africans


influenced


them.


N'ko


become


central


Maninka


cultural


identity.


N'ko


promoters


have


launched a grassroots


literacy


campaign


with


intention


rising


from


their


subordinate


cultural


position.


Their
















CHAPTER


INTRODUCTION


all


sons


of Mali


all


those who


say


'N'ko


all


who


speak


the clear


language of


Mali


Sundiata:


An Epi


of Old Mali


The


N'ko


Bingerville,


alphabet


C6te


d'Ivoire,


made


first


April


1949.


appearance


invention


Souleymane Kante of Kankan,


Republic of


Guinea,


this


alphabet


constituted


an attempt


to provide


truly


indigenous written


form


expression


a set


African


languages.


Since


invention,


grassroots


movement


promoting


literacy


N'ko alphabet


has spread across West Africa


from the Gambia


Nigeria.


significant


number


Mande


speakers


Francophone


as well


as Anglophone West Africa


have learned the


'According to


officially


date


by which


informants,


assigned


reflects


alphabet


invention.


ending


was


date of


the date that
However, in
he complicated


has been
reality,


cess


created.


2Souleymane


thirteen
He was
Kante. Wh
l,- i r


Kant6


kilometers


son


ien Souleymane


r -%


t


-J


was


born


from Kankan,


famous
finished
- %R--l -


- A .- .4


Soumankoyin-K1 lnin


Republic


Quranic


of Guinea,


school


his Quranic


teacher,


school
T-- --._!


about


in 1922.


Amara


education,
A- _i A











N'ko


alphabet


even


though


their


governments


use


French


English


official


languages


Muslim


Mande-speaking


religious


leaders


use


Arabic


prayers


study


teaching.


number


those


who


are


literate


in N'ko


increased


the


without


colonial


government


independence


intervention


periods


support


without


during


official


support from the


Islamic religious


community.


N'ko


spread at


grassroots


level


because


practical


needs,


because


cultural


enabled


heritage.


Mande


Informants


speakers


in one


take


small


pride


part


their


large


region


N'ko's


spread


said


that


they


learned


alphabet because of


sentiments of


cultural


nationalism.3


The Mande Lanauaces


Mande speakers represent a diverse


population of


language


communities4


dispersed


throughout


many


countries


West


Africa.


Mande


languages


are


widely


spoken


across


West


research


dissemination site


predominantly Muslim,
Republic of Guinea. '


Bat6


as the source of


pride


was


fixed


area


centered


for the alphabet


Mande-speakin


informants fr
n6e expressed


Haute-Gui]


their motivation


one


the city
.g region


official


of Kankan


of Haute-Guinee,


*om Kankan and


pride


learn


their


number


towns


their culture
alphabet. This
as "cultural


nationalism.


3The












Africa,


they


also


bear


linguistic


uniformity


that


unprecedented


in Africa


a whole.


Nevertheless,


there


single


Mande


language7


rather


a group of


West African


languages8 which are


related


to one


another


see


Appendix A).


Linguist


Charles Bird points out,


"basically the same


language


is spoken and understood by


of these people"


[the speakers


of Mande


languages]


Between


twenty-five


to forty-six Mande


5Kalil
Unofficial


Tera,


and Official


"Mandingo


Use,


Situation


African LanguaGes:


Regard to
Proceedings


Meeting


Experts


ReGional


Sub-reional African Langua-es as Media of Culture and
Subregional African Languages as Media of Culture and


Communication


1979


(Paris:


with
UNDP,


Continent,


1981),


Bamako


(Mali


, 18-22


June


122.


6Yves


(Dakar:


Person,


IFAN,


1968),


Samori:


Yves


Revolution


Person


Tome


Dyula,
renown


work in West Africa on Mande speakers and especially


work


Samori


Toure.


Although


Person


linguist,


conclusions about Mande


independently anc
linguists Charles


languages are


same


time


similar to


those


]


distinguished


reached
Mande


Bird and David Dalby.


7Varied and contradictory


e


the Mand
Cooper,
is used


linguists
Mandingo.
Mandinko,


Ethnoqraphy


languages.


sets of


According to Matt


Mandingo originating from the French


s a general
classify the


These
meaning


term I
local


Gambians,


"those


West


from


African


Mande 1
however,


Mande s]
language
refer


the Manding.


Holy


Land,


names have grown up for
Schaffer with Christine


term


speakers,


"Mandingue,


yet
Gambi


themselves!


" in Mandinko:


(New


York:


some
a as
s as
The


Holt,


Rinehart


and Winston,


1980),


8Patricia McKissack


it is
those
also


similar tc


European
propose


the term
languages


Made


Frederick McKissack


"Romance


that


languages" which


were derived


general


name


explain


cover


from Latin.


culture


that
all
They
e of


S t -- r nl- ..- 1


1


*


-I


nl


^


111











languages10 have been derived from the


ancestral


language.


degree of their differences from one another

length of time each language has been separate


is related to the

:ed from the area


imagined as the original Mande


"heartland,


" and


the amount


isolation


new


language


community


experienced


from


those


also


left


"heartland.


The Mande


languages


that


have


remained


mutually


intelligible


are


Bamana,


Dyula,


Maninka.


11 My


informants


from Mali


Republic


of Guinea


emphasize


that


Maninka


language


spoken


today


along


Guinea-Mali


border


H aut e -Gui nie


region


Guinea


was


ancestral


language


Mali


Empire,


"clear


language"


of Mali.


Mande scholar


Yves Person has credited the


Mande speakers who spread


from Bamako westward


to Siguirl


then southward from Kouroussa


Sankaran


and Kankan with


speaking a


classical


Mande


language.


Mande languages are spoken and written


today


in most


West


African countries


as a first or second


language(see Figure


The core Mande languages are spoken primarily


in Guinea,


Mali


Cote d'Ivoire,


Burkina Faso.


These core languages are


used


10Reed F.


estimate
Culture
Ph.D. Dj


Change


Stewart says that


twenty-five


is a conservative


"Mande-speaking Peoples of West Africa


along


dissertation,


Language


Clark


University,


Environmental


1986,


- a a a


(Ann


Study c
Continue,
Arbor, MI


iw z n [


.I r



















































The Manding
Heartland
(Manden)


Manding spoken


1st language by
majority of population.


Manding


spoken


as 1st language by


substantial minority


widely


and/or


as a second language











linguae


francae13 by the substantial


numbers of


Mande


speakers


Guinea


Bissau,


Liberia,


Senegal,


Sierra


Leone,


Gambia.


Smaller populations of Mande


speakers can be


found in


northern


Ghana,


northern


Togo,


northern


Benin,


eastern


Nigeria.


dissertation


In Guinea,


focuses,


Mande-speaking


Mande


language


area


on which


called


this


Maninka,


one of


the core Mande


languages.


is the


language of Haute-


Guinee


(upper


Guinea)


also


used


lingua


franca.


Radio and television broadcast


news and religious and cultural


programming


Maninka.


written


alphabets--in


Roman alphabet15


N'ko.


neighboring


Cote


d'Ivoire,


Dyula


name


for the


second


first


three


language of


core


a minority


Mande


group


languages.


living


While


north of


country,


country


Dyula


especially


serves


lingua


for trade.


Dyula


franca


used


throughout


radio


television


for news,


announcements,


advertising,


Islamic


1A lingua franca is a language widely understood and used


for general
Bambara in
d'Ivoire.


Literacy


communication in a


Mali,
African


Maninka


Community


Education,


(Dakar:


country,
1 Guinea,
Lanauaqe:


UNESCO,


e.g.
anc
s an


Hausa in Nigeria,


d


1985)


Dyula
their
, p.10


Cote


use


14Stewart, p. 1.











religious programs.


Although written in


N'ko


alphabet,


Dyula has not been standardized to a written form in the Roman


alphabet.

percent


Mande


languages are


population


first


Mali--a


language


country


where


sixty

1 the


major Mande languages are spoken.


Bamana


(Bambara)


, the third


core


language,


is the Mande


language with


greatest number


of speakers.


Together with Maninka,


serves as


lingua


franca


for trade.


Second


to French


on the


radio,


20 Bamana is


used to communicate the news and governmental


programs.


There


are


government


publications


Bamana,


N'ko


alphabet,


which


is restricted


to non-governmental


uses.


Smaller but no


less


important Mande-speaking


communities


come


from


Gambia,


Burkina


Faso,


Senegal.


Mandinko,


local


Mande


language


Gambia


used


radio


communication.


one


time


there


was


Mandinko


language


"Tera,


18As a part of


C6te d'Ivoire,


Koumassi


interview 84,


visited N'ko


witnessed


August


schools


Mande


1994


at Abobo,
speakers


, in Abidjan,
Treicheville,


using


N'ko


written


communication.


19UNESCO


language of
approximately


has sponsored
instruction,


41.2


percent


including Dyula. Unesco
Africa, African Community


projects


which
1984,


literacy


Regional
Lanquaqes


Office


Dyulc
had


African
for Ed


their


i


was


achieved
languages


location


in Literacy


and Education: 7


Regional


Survey


, (Dakar:


UNESCO,


March












newspaper,


named Kibaro.


was


also


a medium of


instruction


UNESCO pilot


literacy projects


in the


Roman


alphabet


Arabic


script.


22 Some


Mandinko


speakers


also


write


their


language


indigenous


N'ko


alphabet.


In Burkina Faso,


Dyula


first


language


large


portion


population


radio


generally


communication.


used


Government


lingua


documents


franca


record


Roman


alphabet,


some


local


people


write


N'ko


alphabet.


24 In


Senegal,


Mandinka/Maninka


spoken


Casamance


Bamana


spoken


east,


speakers


two


languages


have


little


problem


understanding


one


another.


Both


are


used


radio


programming,


and both


are


written


in Roman


script,


with


some


local


people writing them


also


in N'ko.


This study


focuses on language as a social


and political


unifying


force.


Like


other


African


language


communities,


Mande speakers exist


in a pluralistic


society,


and are,


out of


UUnesco


Regional


Office


Education in Africa,


23One informant described seeing Mandinkos from the Gambia


learning
interview


N'ko


from


inventor


, 1993,


in Kankan,


N'ko


alphabet.


Group


Guinea.


24Mande-speaking


the


N'ko


alphabet


Burkinabes


from


were


inventor


reported
Souleymane


seen


Kante.


learning


Group


- -r .- t


I


n r ..












necessity,


multilingual.


understanding


that


individual


Mande-speaking


language


communities


are


capable of


communicating


directly


with


one


another


because


linguistic


similarity


enables


them


to bridge


communication


that


developed


through


time


space


experience


that,


while


people


speaking


Kpelle


Mende


languages


can


understand one another,


Kpelle and Soninke speakers


could not.


Each Mande-speaking


language community,


however,


is conversant


with


Mande


Maninka


subregional


Thus,


lingua


case


franca--Bamana,


Soninkc~


Kpelle


Dyula,


speakers,


the SoninkC would use


Bamana


Kpelle would


use Maninka


to communicate.


While


recognizing


that


there


are


no Mande


speakers


speakers


Mande


languages,


ease


communication


this


study


uses


"Mande


speaker"


serve


umbrella


term


embracing


members


wider


community


speakers


Mande


languages.


The term Maninka


denotes the


local


language


Haute-Guinee,


Republic


Guinea,


which


N'ko


alphabet


originated


and was


disseminated.


Mande


Location


There


some


debate


over


location


area


identified


"Mande


Heartland.


Some


scholars


have











cultural


continuity


Mande-speaking


peoples


was


centered.


That continuity was


reinforced also


pilgrimages


ancient


town


Kangaba.


27 One


local


scholar,


Bokar


N'Diaye,


approximated


extent


Manden


extending


from present-day Bamako,


Mali,


to the Fouta Djallon in Guinea,


producing


area


with


diameter


approximately


five


hundred kilometers.


Another


local


scholar,


Tayiru Banbera,


has suggested that


d'Ivoire,


Kouroussa,


'heartland"

Republic


extends


Guine;


from Korhogo,

- 29 -


a.


Lilid e 1tLe


Cote

Bird


estimates the core as existing


from Segu,


Mali


well


down into


northern C6te d' Ivoire.30


Bird has independently


assessed


that


area


approximating


size


France.


However,


geographic


space occupied by the


"heartland"


shifted


over


time.


27Stewart


8Stewart


cites


Bokar


N'Diaye,


a Malian


scholar


in his book


Les Groupes


Ethniques au Mali,


proposes these


dimensions.


29David


Bamana


Secu


University


C. Conrad,
According


Press


, 1990)


State
Tayiru
290.


Intrigue:


Banbera,


EDic


(Oxford:


Oxford


, p.




























































o :oo


Figure


APPROXIMATION OF THE MADE HEARTLAND (Djibril











Most


Mande-speaking


peoples


trace


their


historical


expansion to Manden.


My Mande


informants


from the Republic


Guinea


situate


Mande


heartland


within


trapezoidal


area fixed by the


following four cities:


Siguiri,


Republic of


Guinea;


Niani,


place of


Kita,


Republic of Mali;


Republic of Guinea


Niani


(see


capital


Bamako,


Figure 2).


Republic of Mali;


Although the actual


Sundiata's Mali,


is disputed,


these


Guinean


Mande


speakers


are


convinced


that


modern


town of Niani,


located in


Guinea on


the Sankarani River at


Mali-Guinea b

approximation


order,


occupies


the N

space


iani


between


the

the


Sundiata

SSenegal


epic.

and


This

Niger


River basins.


Whereas it appears to be a nucleus for N'Diaye's


representation,


lies


outside


reaches


Banbera's


description.


The


large


extent


number


Mande


individual


diaspora


make


Mande


languages


difficult


determine


total


number


Mande


speakers


today.


1972,


David


Dalby


estimated that


there were ten million Mande speakers in


West Africa.33


1979,


Chevrier


estimated


their number


sixteen million,


a figure that


was


impossible to check because


Mande


languages


were


added


total


Bamana,












Maninka,


Dyula


approximately


fifteen


speakers.


million


More


Mande


recent


speakers


figures


who


suggest


inhabit


significant


portion of


region stretching


from Senegal


Nigeria.


35 In


addition


those


whom


Mande


language


constitutes


their


first


language,


there


are


others


who


have


learned one as a second language.


fact,


as already


noted,


Bamana,


Dyula,


Maninka


linguae


francae


sub-


regional


trade.


These


linguae


francae


unite


Mande


speakers


across


vast


area


providing


common


means


communication among the


first-


second-language


speakers.


Mande


populations


are


fluid


surprisingly


similar


throughout


region.


Because


Mande


languages


are


linguae


francae


region,


Mande


speakers


move


about


freely.


They readily


cross the


political


borders established


by the Europeans and maintained by


today


states.


Networks


related


families


have


moved


back


forth


across


region for purposes of


commerce and


religion.


example,


merchant


from


Kankan,


Guinea,


will


find


family members


with


34DiOUl&~


Laye


"The


Inter-African


Languages


Communication


African


Lanquaqes:


Proceedings


Meeting of


Experts on


Regional


or Subreaional


African Languages as Media of Culture and Communication with


the Continent


Bamako


(Mali),


18-22


June


1979,


(Paris:


UNDP,


1979),


A. .


96-97.












whom


will


stay


during


business


trip


to Abidjan,


C6te


d'Ivoire.


such


travel


follows


nationally


recognized thoroughfares that


can be officially monitored and


controlled.


Some


follow previously


established trade


routes so


that people can easily


evade official


notice.


If major


roads


are monitored,


then people


use the back roads.


The keys to the


process of movement


communication


are


informal


networks


and Mande


languages.


As we


shall


see,


these


keys


have opened


door to


the development


and spread


the N'ko alphabet.


Mande


Heroic/Historic


Past


The dispersal


of Mande speakers


from the heartland across


West Africa was the


result of


regional


factors which included


climatic


change,


trade,


religious


secular


wars


domination.


From the cradle of Mande civilization in


the Niger


Valley


emerged the Pre-Manding,


Soninke speakers who


fashioned


empire


Ghana


then


spread


Mande


language


through


long distance


trade.


Later,


Proto-Manding,


the -Maninka


-Bamana speakers,


left


cradleland.


The


desiccation


Sahara


was


part


larger


climatic


change


that


drove


Mande


speakers


southward.


After


they


had moved south


and west,


they


found


themselves divided


Djoliba


a


River. 37


This


separation


developed


into


I












linguistic division.


East of the


river,


Mande


speakers


found


themselves


one


many


cultures


over


which


they


eventually


asserted their dominance.


West


river their


population


was


more


homogeneous


both


culturally


linguistically.


38 Those who


remained on


the Niger


River were


the Bozo who controlled the


dominated


upper Niger,


while Songhai boatmen


river downstream from the Niger bend.


Songhai settlements,


at an area where


Beyond the


rapids obstructed Niger


River

ruled


traffic,


lower


most


Niger


easterly


imposing


Mande-speakers,


tolls


river


Busa,


trade.


Those who


remained near the


riverain area continued working in


agriculture,


becoming sedentary farmers,


while


those who moved


into drier


areas of


savanna soil


became


pastoralists.


Person


credits Mande

technology, a


speakers with domesticating rice,


nd learning to extract


acquiring iron


the gold that supplied the


trans-Saharan


trade.


' Early traders


introduced Mande


speakers


whose sour
into a sa
was in the
of Guinea.


:ce
lit


was


water


Fouta
lake,


Djallon
Azawad.


Adrar Mountains and


Sanche


Gramont


flowed
, The


flowed


northeast


e Quorra
southwest


Strong


River
into


Brown


emptying


source


the Gulf


God:


Story of the Niger


River,


(Boston:


Houghton Mifflin Company,


1976


, p.


3Daniel F.


McCall,


"The Cultural Map and Time-Profile of


Mande-speaking


Peoples,


Papers


Mandinq,


-











to the horse41 which later became


important for state-building.


Mande


speakers


spread


throughout


savanna,


they


encountered


Mande


co-existed


state-building


with


began


other


among the


cultures.


northwestern Mande


speakers who


brought


together previously


independent


groups.


southwestern Mande


speakers,


the other


hand,


appeared


to disperse


in order to


escape military


domination and state


authority.


northernmost


Mande


speakers,


Soninke,


constructed an early Mande state,


the Ghana Empire,


around


eighth


century.


43 The


empire


was


nourished


Niger


Senegal River basin agriculture,


and it


dominated the north to


south


gold-salt


introduced


Islam


trade


with


North


empire,


Africa.

while


Arabic traders

individual Mande


speakers


accepted it,


was


only


king of


after


Ghana


destruction


not.


Ghana


Almoravids


1O76 44


that


Islam


advanced


among


rulers.


41McCall (p.63)describes
three types of horses: the Ba


Mande
Irbary


access


horse-trade


the following
from Morocco,


mixed


breed


Arabian


horse


from


central


Sudan,


indigenous


'ponies"


from Cayor


(Senegal),


(Burkina


Faso)


Cotokoli


(northern Benin).


42Ibid.,


43McKissack


historians


believe


McKissack


that


Ghana


(p.10)


began


assert


rise


that


most


commercial


power


as early as 300 AD.











After


rejected


a brief


Islam,


period,


rose to


however,


power


the Mande-speaking Susu,


recaptured


46 who


the leadership of


what had been


Ghana.


Then the Mande-speaking Maninka


founded


Mali after consolidating power


around their capital


of Kangaba


Niger


River.


kings


Mall


accepted


Islam


first nominally beginning with Sundiata who defeated


Susu


warrior-king


Sumanguru,


later wholeheartedly.


In time the Mali Empire ruled over


that


had once been


ancient


Ghana.


Later


it expanded


include


control


over the


Niger


River


and the savanna down


forest


area


along


the Gambia


River to


the Atlantic


Ocean.


From the


twelfth


fifteenth


centuries,


Mali


dominated


Ghana's old north


south routes


for the trade in salt


the Bambuk and Bour6 gold


fields.


gold and


During this


added


period,


that


Malian


expansion broadened the area available


for proselytization


Islam.


thriving


commercial


center


Timbuktu was


famous


Islamic culture and education.


Not all


of the leaders


of the Mali


Empire became Muslim:


ancestors


Bamana


rulers


left


Mali


establish


their


own


non-Muslim


state.


Mali's expansion and the growth


trade


routes


helped


"The word Susu is


speculated


to be a


variant


name


Sisi


or Ciss6,


royal


clan


of Ghana.


McCall, p. (












spread


Mande


languages


through


region.


After


Mali's


decline,


Songhai


empire,


which


was


non-Mande


speaking but


Muslim,


took


over


political


leadership


central


eastern portion of


the Mali


empire.


A vassal state of the Mali


empire,


49 Kaabu,


ruled over the


Mande


speakers


who


migrated


Senegambia


region


before,


during,


after


Mali


empire.


This


Mandinka-


speaking


state


governed


large


portion


Senegambia


until


they were defeated in


1860


by the


Pular speakers of the


Fouta


Djallon.


Other


Mande


speakers


settled


region


of the Gambia River


and established kingdoms that continued as


independent


entities until


they


fell


under


British


control


1880s.


The Mande speaking state of Segu ascended to power


in the


eighteenth


century--a


river trade


flow


Bamana-speaking


Niger


forest


from Timbuktu


trade,


state.


It dominated the


to Djenne,


ultimately


along with


expanded its


rule


into


Senegal


Valley.


kingdom's


rulers were


Muslims,


Islam


began


spread


early


nineteenth


century


in towns and among the boat people of


the Niger


River.


4According to oral


Tiramangan


Trao rd


tradition,


conquer


Sundiata sent


Wolof


king


who


his general
had killed


Malian emissaries


sent


to purchases horses.


Traord'


campaign


-~~~~~~~~_ -1 -. -S -- -1 -


n ~..!1


~1..


m,


*


1-_1 _












Enclaves of Muslim clerics


traders,


Soninke-speaking5'


Jakhanke,


who originated


in Ja


near


the Niger bend,


could be


found


throughout


empire.


Meanwhile,


Bamana speakers


countryside


remained


true


their


indigenous


religion.


nineteenth


century


witnessed


emergence


another


Mande-speaking


empire


builder,


Samori


Toure.


brought


impose


diverse


them


Samori built


peoples


under


uniformity


empire


dominion


Mande


same


time


tried


language


that


Islam.


Europeans were


carving


out


their


empires


same


region.


came


into


conflict with


Europeans who


ultimately


destroyed his


empire.


Samori


known


among


Mande


speakers


last


great


resistor to


colonialism.


Mande


Culture


Just as there is a debate surrounding the


nature of Mande


languages


location


Mande


"Heartland,


there


been


debate


over


nature


Mande


culture.


Scholars have questioned the existence of


a broad


overarching


Mande culture.


One group of


scholars has


rejected


the notion


51According


Lamin


Sanneh,


Jakhanke


are


Sonink6


... .











Mande


cultural


coherence.


While


acknowledging


commonality of Mande


languages,


they believe that


the cultural


characteristics of Mande speakers


are


similar to


those of


speakers of


other groups of


related


languages


West Africa,


implying a general


West African


culture based on environmental


factors.


These


scholars


thus


place


paramount


importance


environment as the discerning factor


in separating people into


discreet


cultural


groups.


Arguing


for Mande cultural


coherence,


an early


cadre of


Mande


scholars


convened


the Conference on Manding Studies


London


1972.


They


argued


that


this


coherence


distinguishes Mande speakers


from


those of


other West African


languages.


scholars


who


have


specialized


Mande


studies" have discerned not only


a commonality


in language but


investigated


salient


features


Mande


demonstrated by diverse Mande speakers measuring the


culture
cultural


coherence
settlement


Africa:


areas


patterns.
Study of


of religion,
"Mande-speaking


Culture


Change


professions,
Peoples of


along


and
West


Language


Environmental


Continue.


53Stewart


Jacques


Maquet


identifies
, Warren


this


group


D'Azevedo,


Melville Herskovitz,
geographers William


Morgan and John


Pugh.


5The scholars presenting papers on Mande


culture


conference
McCall, Ni


include


.cholas


David


Dalby,


Hopkins,


Charles
Labelle


Bird,


Prussin.


Daniel


Together


I


* *


I


r .I











also


culture


can


seen


from


their


definition


Mande


culture in


the booklet


prepared


for the conference:


"The


term


'Manding'


used


cover


number


West


African


peoples


who speak related forms of the same


languages


language


and who share a similar culture:


[i.e.

these


a family of

include the


Mandinka


Malinkt


[Maninka],


Bambara


Bamana,


Dyula and the


With


Vai,


together with many smaller


papers


conference


ethnic groups.


springboard,


subsequent


Mande


Mande


culture


scholars


, finding


have


explored


distinct


commonality


cross-cutting


cultural


coherence that


threads through


the complexity and diversity of


cultural


Islam


practices.


example


, the socialization of the


prior


Mande


youth


arrival


was dependent


age-grade associations operating within the context of


a local


ancestral


religion.


Although


Islam has diversified


the Mande


religious


world,


age-grade


association


still


plays


valued


role


the socialization of Mande youth in both Muslim


and non-Muslim


soc


ieties.











Bas


1986


quantitative


work,


Reed


Stewart


concluded


that


there were more


similarities among


languages of


the northern,


southeastern,


and southwestern


subfamilies


see


Appendix


than


within


each


subfamily.


example,


speakers


from the northern subfamily


have more


in common with


the


Mano


speakers


from


southeastern


subfamily,


Guerz6


(Kpelle)


speakers


from the southwestern subfamily


, than


with


other


speakers.


Cultural


Socialization


The


family


organization


most


Mande


speakers


patrilineal,


lineage.


where


These


three


lineages


four


group


generations


together


form

form


the

clans


basic

over


which a


gerontocracy directs the


political


life of the


family.


Localized lineages occupy


entire


villages,


or entire quarters


a town


Before


arrival


Islam,


the Mande


employed


system of


responsibility


initiation societies


it was to socialize


both men


children


women,


into


whose


becoming


vital


members


community.


The


societies


operated


seven


year


cycles.


students


within


each


cycle


developed


strong moral


ties


to one another.


political


hierarchy


initiation societies was not


based


on any


one


lineage












on the eldest cycle of


initiates-


For the


upper Niger valley,


there were


six named


age-grade


associations.


Mande


speakers


who


are


Muslim


have


adhered


age-grade


initiation


society


educative,


religious,


economic,


and military


contribution


community' s


social


order.


Many


Muslim


Mande speakers also


longer


have an


responsible


age-grade


religious


association.


teaching,


Although


age-grade


association


continues


community


moral


socialization


youth.


Today,


predominantly


Muslim


Kankan


there


are


age-


grade


associations


called


sid~s


which


draw


together


men


women who were


born


same


five


year period


There


special


bond


among


members


slck.


members


meet


to discuss community problems,


together


to guide


youth,


celebrate together,


as do


the women


when


they


have


an occasion


to dance


the Mamaya.


60 In


village of


Sanana,


'1'd


certain


governs


secular,


social


interactions


youth


61 Youth


behavior


becomes


their


5During my


rese


arch in Kankan


, from September


1992


until


July
secds


1993, I
to Manii


learned about
nka society f


rom


function and importance of the
informants.


60Although
meetings. I d


not


, however,


participate,


have


was


present


opportunity


sddc


join the


I I


I .











responsibility


, and they


organize


activities


for young people


guide


them


secular


decision-making.


Both


initiation


societies


Islam


exist


the Mande


heartland.


Although


much


Mande-speaking


world


Muslim,


Mande


eakers


such


Bamana


speakers


have


resisted


Islamic


proselytization


societies


Islam


other


continue


Mande-speaking


employ


groups


initiation


live


fringes of


the Muslim Mande-speaking world.


Occupations


and Settlement


Patterns


Mande


speakers across


West Africa are


farmers,


herders,


and/or traders.


en route to sell


season


local


finds Mande-speaking


commodities or to purchase,


farmers


for resale,


products


cattle,


valued


locally.


because


Mande


past


speakers


cattle


have


farm


been


acquire


judged


measure of wealth.


Even today


, the bride


price


assessed in


reference


cattle


They


live


villages


towns


with


their


farms


a short


distance


away.


Generally,


Mande


speakers


have


special


occupational


groups


such


bards/griots


called


jeli


Mande,


blacksmiths/potters,


role


leatherworkers.


blacksmith


62 Stewart


example


focused


special


occupations.


found


that


status


a smiths


everywhere












except


among


Susu


high.


Among


Maninka


(non-


Muslims)


Bamana


speakers


smith


seen


possessing


special


sacred


powers.


southern


southwestern


Mande-speaking


groups,


smiths


are


important


ritual


specialists.


Among the southern Mande speakers and the


northern

guardians.


Vai-speaking


Among


group,


northern


smiths


Mande


speakers,


are

the


the

smiths


town

are


centrally


located in


a special


compound


or quarter,


often at


the city


gates.


Among the


southern Mande speakers,


smiths may


town


gates


are


otherwise


assigned


specific


compound


or section


city.63


villages of


the Maninka


Bamana


speakers


are


very similar


in any


given


environment.


One readily observable


difference


number


mosques.


Maninka


town


mosques will


be more numerous.


In comparing the


and Mende


Mande


speakers


forest


zone,


Stewart


found


their


villages to


similar


general


arrangement


houses,


terraces,


and walls,


relationship of the village


forest.


Both


used


forest


as a defense


perimeter.


Mande


Unity


Until


recently


there was


no single


force


that


potential to


unify


Mande-speaking


populations


West


""












Africa.


While


they


possess


general


sense


cultural,


linguistic,


had a


and historical


universal


identity


term to express


, they


unity


have not


their


the past


cluster


peoples


language


true


, however,


that many Mande


speakers


were


unified


Mali


empire,


spoken


language was


Sundiata


important


epic


their


were


sense of


important


identity.


creating


The words


a memory


shared


Mande


history,


placing


value


orally


transmitted knowledge


in the Mande


language.


The Mande


trade


diasporas


helped


spread


this


sense


shared


history


over


whole


area,


within


which


people


preserve


memories


their


heroic/historic


past.


After


empire


decline,


however,


many Mande speakers


have


lived


under the governance


of people


speaking


other


languages.


In addition,


most


prestigious


languages--the


languages of


domination and control--were often


written


ones.


absence


Mande


language


literacy was


mark


subordination.


Moreover,


latest


period,


under


European


domination,


possibility


Mande-based


political


challenge was


reduced


stematic


subdivision


Mande


speakers


into


small,


unrelated


units.


French


were


exceptionally


aggressive


carrying


this


subdivision.


imaginary


lines


that


served


to divide


colonies


French


West


Africa


were


drawn


they


were












small


insignificant


group,


however,


potential


join


together


in one


large


formidable


political


unit.


The


Maninka


speakers


Guinea


have


recently


taken


lead in promoting Mande cultural


identity.


Seeing themselves


as occupying the core of the Mande world,


they


have


embarked


upon


campaign


enhance


cultural


identity


cultural


unity.


The commonality of


language


a heroic/historic


past have been insufficient


to serve


a catalyst


a Mande


unity,


Maninka


speakers


are


using


new


"secret"


weapon,


indigenously


invented


written


form


Mande


language--the N'ko alphabet.


This


alphabet


being promoted


among


Mande


speakers


Guinea


literacy


campaign


which


part


wider


cultural


movement.


local


non-


governmental


organization,


ICRA-N'KO,


which


existed


since


1987,


actively


literacy


campaign


since


June


1991


ICRA-N'KO


supports


dissemination


N'ko


both


individual


group


settings.68


promoting


local,


national,


regional


N'ko


literacy


education,


organization


widened


campaign


cultural


unity


66L'Association


Recherches


sur


pour


l'Alphabet


l'impulsion
N'ko.


Coordination


67Interview


July


1993


Conakry.











through N'ko to


include


not only the


Mande


speakers of


Guinea


the heartland but also all


the Mande


speakers distributed


within


context


of a West African


diaspora.


Union


Manden


Guinea,


another


non-governmental


organization,


secured official


recognition


from the government


Lansana


Conte


1992.


Although


promoted


new


Mande


cultural


organization,


Union Manden


actually


a revived


ethnic organization of


1946.


It has organized to preserve and


protect


Mande


culture.


69 It


adopted


N'ko


literacy


important


part


its


program.


Despite


relatively


short


time


scene,


Union


Manden


may


become


ultimately


N'ko


more


important


alphabet.


Union


than


ICRA-N'KO


Manden


introducing


current


form


aligned


itself


with


predominantly


Mande


party


Alpha


Conde,


Rassemblement


voiced its political


Peuple


allegiance


loudly


Guineen


(RPG).


enough to


threaten


current


government,


which had initially


allowed it


join


public


dialogue.


July


1994,


Lansana


Conte's


government


forbade


activities


Union


Manden.


this


69According to David Conrad,


the organization was


"founded


promote


culture


awareness


among youth


apprec
Mande


for future generations.


iation
world,


Mande


history


in order to


"MANSA Newsletter,


" No.24,


preserve


1994,











enforced,


then


Union


Manden


will


driven


underground,


even


then


likely to


continue


operating,


use


the N'ko


alphabet


for written


communication.


Although


N'ko


based


Maninka,


alphabet


designed


to be


universal


among Mande


speakers.


According to


expressed


reasons


inventor,


Souleymane


Kante,


Mande


speakers


will


able


communicate


readily with


one


another


campaign


despite


loudly


their


divergent


articulates


dialects.


cultural


present


motivation


N'ko


literacy.


Softer,


individual


voices


background,


however,


whisper


potential


political


possibilities.


The


second


chapter,


"Under


Silk


Cotton


Tree,


review


literature


associated


with


underlying


questions related


discusses


intellectuals,


to identity


construction


further


and social


cultural


explores


literacy.


identity,


use of


The chapter


defines


language


unifying force.


The chapter continues with


an explication


development


dissemination


social


literacy


delineating


criteria


literacy,


examining the differences


between


institutional


individual


value


placed


upon


literacy,


evaluating


differences


educational


" is











Chapter


"Mande


Central,


examines


emergence


N'ko


literacy


important


cultural


element


from


continuously


evolving


construction


Mande


identity.


explores the changes in Mande cultural


identity which have


acceptance


attempts


N'ko


illuminate


literacy


events


a cultural


component.


personalities


who,


over


time,


have


forced


these


changes


suggest


composition of


demonstrates


shaping of Mande


intellectual


N'ko


identity


groups who


literacy


Guinea


have defined


today


identity.


participates


and influences


shape


of Mande


identity


other parts of West Africa.


The

describes


fourth

the t


chapter,


historical,


"Children


political,


Bright

social


Country,


background


about the Mande heartland--the context within which


the author


created


alphabet.


chapter


begins


with


precolonial


region,


arrival


then


Souleymane


reconstructs


Kant6's


father


sociopolitical


environment


of colonial


Kankan.


Souleymane


Kantd was


born


Soumankoyin-


Kdld jnin


about


thirteen


kilometers


from


Kankan,


Republic


Guinea,


1922.


was


son


famous


Quranic


school


teacher,


Amara


Kante.


When


Souleymane


finished


Quranic


school


education,


could


read


write


Arabic


translate


Islamic texts.


Being raised


a scholarly


setting











read extensively,

taught scholar.


and became


returned


known


as an autodidact,


to Kankan


after


a self-


independence


promote


alphabet.


Chapter


, "The


Clear


Language


Mali--N'ko,


" details


invention


indigenous


alphabet.


Based


testimony of


family


, friends,


contemporaries of


Souleymane


Kante,


response

African


the chapter demonstrates Souleymane


challenge


culture.


Informants


Kant,'


alleged


discussed


their


pro-active


inferiority


conversations


with Kante.


They tell


what


he said


about


his motivations


the invention and his


the alphabet.


recommendations


The chapter describes t


for the dissemination of

he texts that Souleymane


Kante


translated


transcribed


into


N'ko


value


N'ko


literacy to


the Mande-speaking


community.


"Restoring


Culture


under


New Sun,


" the


sixth


chapter


reconstructs the historical,


political,


social


context


independent


Guinea


into


which


Souleymane


Kantl


formally


introduced


alphabet.


chapter


describes


contest


among Mande speakers to acquire


control


knowledge


through


literacy


maternal


language.


traces


dissemination


alphabet


N'ko


schools


spread


from


Kankan


movement


as well


development


from which a literacy


informal


campaign would


later be


grassroots


forged.











literacy campaign of


ICRA-N'KO.


chapter


continues


placing the grassroots N'ko


literacy campaign into the context


world


literacy


campaigns.


chapter


concludes


discussing individual motivations


becoming


N'ko


literate.


Chapter 8


is a brief


conclusion that


organizes the events


surrounding


N'ko


literacy


campaign.


assesses


reasons given by the


speakers of


Mande


languages


for choosing


learn


N'ko


alphabet


using


in concert


with


Arabic


written


Arabic


script


French


written


Roman alphabet as a


part of


their


individual


quest


to acquire


control


knowledge.


N'ko


literacy


can only


be understood when placed into


wider historical


context of


acquisition


struggle


control


over


among Mande


knowledge.


speakers


Because


language


core


of what


constitutes


cultural


identity,


N'ko


becomes an


extension of


identity--language in its written


form.


Thus


focus


throughout


the dissertation remains on


Mande


struggle


over


acquisition


control


knowledge


whose


through

language


language

this al


literacy.


phabet


based,


For Mande


speakers


invention


N'ko


proven


to be


significant


event


their


cultural


history.


This cultural-identity-based


literacy revolution has












the potential


significant


to unify


the Mande


population


are


speakers


described


of West Africa,


Sundiata:


Epic of Old Mali


"all


sons of Mali


all


those


N'ko.

















UNDER THE


Chapter 2
SILK COTTON TREE


your
comprehensible


words


are


obscure.


speak


clear


Make


your


speech


your


savanna.


Sundiata:


An Epic


of Old Mali


Mande


speakers


Guinea


have


suggested


that


cultural


nationalism is the driving


force


behind N'ko


literacy.


This


position poses questions about


literacy--its


association with


culture


implications


cultural


political


movements.


Mande


speakers


would


have


paused


evaluate


the salient


issues of


such


questions


under the


"silk


cotton


tree.


Before


describing


personalities,


re-


enacting the events,


and situating them in time and space,


discussion


under


silk


cotton


tree


would


define


underpinning elements of


identity,


literacy,


nationalism,


their


relationship


This


chapter


to one


first


another,


explores


study


concept


at hand.


cultural


identity


and defines


general


terms.


Next


sets


forth


the component


elements


cultural


identity,


manipulates


them


into


coherent


whole,


cultural


identity


redefines


itself


over


time.


focus


then


shifts


language











Europeans played in the construction


cultural


identity


African language-speaking


communities.


The chapter


continues


with


evaluation


initiatives


creation


indigenous


cultural


identity


community


African


language-speakers


themselves.


The chapter also discusses


literacy


examines


in a


colonial


context


where


European


language


literacy


were


used


explores


govern


disparate


uses


language


literacy


communities. It

subordinate groups .


also

It


further explains the context in which independence governments


such


Republic


Guinea,


sought


inherit


privileges


those


who


mastered


colonial


language


literacy.


Construction


of Cultural


Identity


Cultural


identity


is a


socially


constructed


phenomenon.


Its concern is with defining and


redefining


obligations


among


the members of


society.


Each


social


group


identifies


itself


name


which


divides


"we"


"they.


Many


1Peter
Language,


Cambridge


Burke,


eds.


"Introduction,


Peter


University


Burke


Press,


a Social
Porter,


History


(Cambridge:


1987),


2Justin


Identities


Willis,


"The


Histories,


Makings
Journal


Tribe:


African


Bondei


History,











most stable groups


identify themselves by their


language which


binds


them


together


neighbors


sets


them


apart


from


other


cultures.


4 Seen


as one


most


powerful


signs


identity,


language binds the community together


expressing


collective


values.


6 A


nationality


can


built


upon


complementary


communications


network


among


members


language


community.7


Paulo


Freire


says


simply that


language


culture.


language,


however,


Identifying


culture


only


reduces the constantly


referring


changing


complexity


social


organization


to a single dimension.


It also


obliterates


differences


culture


which


exist


within


language


family.


4Yves Person
consciousness of ct


states


iltural


that


identity


language
and that


first


culture


personified by that
Tome I, (Dakar: I]


Fl


language.
AN, 1968),


Samori:


Revolution Dvula,


5Thomas K.


Communication


Fitzgerald,


Dialogue,


Metaphors of


(New


York:


Identity:


State


A Culture-


University


York


Press,


6Jay L.
Perspectives


Kroll, anc
University


Robinson,


"The


Literacy,


Mike
Press


Rose,
, 1988),


Social


eds.


Context


Eugene


Carbondale,


243;


Literacy,


Kintgen,
Southern


" in


Barry M.
Illinois


Fitzgerald,


. S 4 -


7,


*


*,


r ri 1












Language,


only


one


cultural


symbols


around


which


identity


organized.


Also


important


are


shared


values,


heroic


and a


cultural


"positive"


actors.


view of


Leroy


ethnic


Vail


history


complete with


explains


that


construction


cultural


identity


ethnicity


"consciously


crafted ideological


creation.


Since


identity


does


exist


as a natural


consequence of


shared


culture,


catalyst


needed


community


focus


"traditional


of newly


values,


formed ideologies.


" thus opening the way


Intellectuals


for the


are


acceptance


agents who


oversee


this


"conscious


construction


identity.


Their


competing


discourses


eventually


resolve


into


complex


statement


of what


constitutes


identity.


Vail


identifies


these


intellectuals


"culture


brokers.


intermediaries


Among

and


these

Europeans


are

who


African

are


governmental

missionaries,


historians,


anthropologists .


Vail


however,


does


credit


Africans


with


formulation


indigenous


cultural


identity


before


arrival


Europeans


therefore


9Leroy
the cultural
The Creation


Vail


asserts


symbols


that


that make


of Tribalism


language sta
up identity.


inds


Leroy


in Southern Africa


core


Vail


(ed.)


, (Berkeley,


University


of California


Press


, 1989)


, p.


a n"











does


relation


explore


to European


intellectuals


influence.


recreated


His discussion


their


roles


focuses


upon


Europeans as the catalysts


responsible


for the


re-invention of


identity.


considers


European


missionaries


being


instrumental in defining the


identity


of some Africans through


translating the Bible to


indigenous


languages


using the


Roman


alphabet.


Missionaries


also


chose


cultural


symbols


they


deemed appropriate


and selected


version


local


history


that they supported.


In Vail


view,


Europeans trained a cadre


of local


intermediaries


, and together with


them reinvented the


group's


cultural


identity,


then


socialized


youth


that new


identity through mission schools.


is difficult


understand how this


foreign-constructed


identity then


changed


from within.


Steven


Feierman,


other


hand,


says


that


intellectuals emerged


from within


indigenous


social


order.


He defines


recognized


expressive


intellectuals


organizational


activities.


those who are


directive,


This


"engaged in socially


educative,


conceptualization


intellectuals


draws


upon


society's


language


specific


cultural


knowledge


create


cultural


identity


collectivity.


Broad


collective


identities


are


result


social


and intellectual


processes and


the overlapping settings












cultural


activity.


community's


cultural


identity


develops


from


dialogue


generated


multiple


social


and intellectual


discourses.


When


individuals or


groups


use


language to control


others or resist being controlled and when


societies


change or


resist


change,


they take


part


in debates


which


are


shaped


reshape


language.


When


voices


representing


new


knowledge


are


added,


cultural


identity


changes.


who are


intellectuals discuss their conflicting


points


view


through


their


discussions


cultural


identity


group


re-emerges.


foreign-trained


intellectuals


enter


this


group


, the


newly


emerging


identity


accommodates the


integration of the


new voice;


and the


foreign


voice


heard


only


one


voice


among


many.


Constantly


changing,


cultural


identity represents the


final


chord derived


from


struggle among


the community


voices.


The


construction


cultural


identity


leads


conceptualization


nation


nationalism.


Benedict


15David


William


Cohen


E.S.


Atieno


Odhiambo,


Siava:


The Historical


AnthroDoloiv of


an African


Landscape,


(London:


Currey,

1Terence


pluralistic
struggled t
Tradition
Letitimacv <


1988),


Ranger


societies
:o produce
Revisited:


the State


prefers
n which
cultural


Feierman's


African
identity'


Case


construction


creative
v. "The


Colonial


in Twentieth-Century


initiatives
Invention of


Africa,


Africa:


Essays


Honour


of A.H.M.


Kirk-Greene,


eds.


Terence


Ranger


James











Anderson defines


a nation


as an imagined


political


community


with


finite


borders


beyond


which


other


nations.


defines the community as


imagined because


individuals


within


will


never


know,


meet,


hear


about


most


their


co-


members,


know


language


that


their minds that


makes


community


the community

imaginable. 20


exists.


When


particular


community's


communication


language


social


becomes


contexts,


major


then


nation


form


most


easily


imagined.


Conceived


from


deep


cultural


roots,


nationalism


a consciousness


expressed


an existing


nation,


the consciousness that invents a nation where one


had not previously existed.


According to


Partha


Chatterjee,


Anderson's


construct


nation


state


follows


establishment


popular nationalism.24


vanguard


This


intellectuals


idea


who


of nation-ness that


mobilize


leads to


19Benedict Anderson,


the Oriain


Spread


Imacqined


Communities:


Nationalism,


(London


Reflections


: Verso,


1983)


2E.D.


Hirsch,


regarded as a part of


can


regarded


Literacy:


What


asserts


its culture


totality
American


Every


nation's


language


or conversely,
*f its language.


Needs


Know,


can


culture
Cultural
(Boston:


Houghton Mifflin,


, 1987)


, p.


21Laitin,


9)


-











formation


nation


state


distinctly


European


construct


imported by


Africa


and Asia.


European


Invention


of Cultural


Identity


Many


bases


indigenous


cultural


identity were


attacked


identities


under


that


conquered.


colonial


forced


They


domination.


colonists


their worldview


first imposed


invented


cultures


a European


language


they

the


official


language,


making


common


language


for purposes


efficient


administration


rule 26


Because


new


language


promised


upward


occupational


social


mobility,


African


subjects


chose


their


language


repertoire.


Within


the boundaries


fixed under


imperialism,


Europeans


tried


imported


define


European


justify


their


capital


leadership


European


work


role.


ethic.


They


They


also


brought


with


them traditions


that


evolved


Europe


from


them


created


new


social


order


continent.


Europeans


took


themselves


roles


gentlemen


professional


men.


They


became


soldiers,


traders,


store-


--











keepers,


concession-seekers,


policemen,


missionaries.


Keeping


themselves


senior


supervisory


highly


skilled


jobs,


Europeans


relegated


Africans


to mostly


menial


unskilled


work


traditional


occupations.


Africans


worked


farming


supply


agricultural


exports


that


funded


worked


European


unskilled


administration


laborers


colonies.


providing


They


manpower


well


oiled


machinery


transportation


goods


into


international


market


infrastructure that


construction


secured control


colony's


colonial


interior.


Africans


acted


domestic


workers


relieving


Europeans


from


drudgery


managing


household


addition


their


other


duties.


Colonial


officials offered


some Africans


an opportunity


to participate as subordinate colonizers,


providing them with


material


rewards,


knowledge


modern


technology,


prestige of white collar positions.


Certain


segments


African


community


accepted


ended


supporting


colonial


social


order.


In some


cases


they


came


from segments


society


who


would


have


difficulty


rising


within


indigenous African social


order.


A number were


young men


'2Terence Ranger,


"The


Invention of Tradition


Colonial


_ I ..


...


m











wanted to circumvent


the power of


elders who


restricted


their


access


power,


control,


status,


example,


when


wealth.


they


Older


high


men


bride


exercised


wealth


coopt


young men's


labor


and exclude


them from


early marriage.


Some collaborators were,


for whatever


reason,


social


outcasts


whose only


chance


at status


and wealth was


embracing the


new


social


order.


Within


they


power


over


those


who


previously


been


dominant.


Colonial


officials


foreign-


trained African intellectuals combined


forces


for modernizing


Africa.


role


new


social


order


was


transform


modernize Africans under


European


tutelage.


Europeans


created


the colonial


educational


system to socialize Africans as a new


African


elite


cadre,


transitional


group


neither


wholly


African nor wholly


scope of


were


European.


modern knowledge


carefully


educational


preserve


Colonial


accessible


selected


curriculum was


occupational


education


to Africans.


schooling;


restricted


status


content


quo.


limited


Africans


however,


in order to


addition,


colonizers tried to disseminate


a European work


ethic


and code


30Ranger,


"Revisited,


82-83.


31Peggy R.
Africa: The


Sabatier,


"'Elite'


Limits,


Education


1903-1945,


" stat


in French
.es that


West
after


--- .


Ii-I


--











of conduct,


along with


the appropriate employment skills.


highest


level


to which Africans could aspire


colonial


administration


was


that


assistant


European


charge.


Africans could never reach above


level


junior


administrators


colonial


administration.


They


were


civil


servants,


policemen,


and teachers.


African soldiers and


junior


officers


followed


French


officers


into


battle


Tirailleurs


Senegalais,


West


African


army


that


distinguished itself


in both


the First and Second World Wars.


Indigenous African


Cultural


Identity--The Mande


Mande


speakers,


whom


this


study


based,


have


followed


an indigenous path


construction of


their own


cultural


identity.


They


remember the


fact


that


they


are


descendants of the Mali


Empire described by Sundiata's


jell


"all


those who


N'ko.


According to


D.T.


Niane,


The Mande 1
peoples by
is the 'Kan


ike


to distinguish


their
gbe'(clea


language.
r language


themselves
For them,
e par ex


from other
Mandingo
:cellence).


Linguist


Charles


Bird


points


importance


term


Mandekan,


umbrella


term


inclusive


Mande


33Freire
important


and Macedo
dimension


54)
the


point out
colonial


that i
world


language
and


was
that


Europeans


imposed


formal


informal


social


controls


through


European


language.












languages.


Oral


traditions


show


that


Mande


speakers


called


themselves


"Mandekalu


'the


people


Mande.


Mandekan means


'the


language of


the Mande.


Sharing a common language does not mean that


people share


the


whole


culture.


Maninka


Bamana


speakers


example,


share


their


language


are


divided


religion.


Maninka speakers are predominantly Muslim and Bamana


speakers


are not.


When speakers


from the two groups meet,


they


look at


one


another


Mande


speakers


speak


one


another


"we


, they


also


know


respect


their


cultural


differences.37


Europeans


called


Mande


speakers


central


Mande-speaking


region


"Manding"


thus


called


language

cultural


speakers


Manding


particularities


Mandingo,


that


subtly


brushing aside


divided


them.


Although European notions of


identity


have to some extent


been


integrated


into


current


development


Mande


identity,


construction


an identity


for Mande


speakers


is primarily based on an indigenously formed conceptualization


36Charl


Study of the


Change
Dalby,
D.146.


" in


(New


Bird,


"The Development of Mandek


Role of Extra-linguistic


Lanauaqe


York:


History


Africana


Factors


in Africa


Publishing


an (Manding):
in Linguistic


, edited


Corporation,


David
1970),


interview


* e


August


1994,


Conakry,
*


i


I


J


I


ml












of culture which has evolved through


long history of Mande


civilization.


Before


Europeans


arrived,


Mande-speaking


intellectuals were


involved in


formation


and reformation


of Mande


culture.


Among the Mande


individuals have


been assigned roles


intellectuals,


Feierman


sense


term,


based


upon


their


control


over


specific


knowledge


power


limited


fields


Patrick


McNaughton


states


that


Mande


respect


knowledge of


powerful


kinds


Indigenous


revere


knowledge


intellectuals


as important


included


Nyamakala,


special


professions,


among


them


include


bards/griots,


smiths/potters,


leatherworkers.3


As society


has changed


composition


intellectuals.


Nyamakala


have been

by other


joined by

intellectual


and have to some

Is whose voices


degree been overshadowed

represent diverse values.


They


include


Islamic


intellectuals


versed


in Arabic


literacy,


foreign

trained


trained intellectuals


intellectuals


literate


influenced


French,

the


Warsaw


foreign

Pact


nations.


The


collective


term,


Mande


speakers,


represents


a wide


range


diverse


communities.


40 Not


only


does


wider


38Patrick


McNaughton,


Mande


Blacksmiths


-r~~~ C -


--


r


rr


I .


I











community


historical


possess


heritage,


powerful,


each


unifying


individual


cultural


ethnically-


diverse communities also


possesses


a rich culture based on its


own locality.


voices of the


individual


communities blend


into


collective


speakers


through


voice


Mande


larger


language


community


itself.


Mande


stronger


sense


Mande


language


community,


thus


overcomes


Mande


diversity.


Mande


individuals


see


themselves


today


they


have


past,


as belonging to a


larger


community which speaks


same


language,


shares the elements of


a heroic/historic


past,


and


exists


a defined


space.


Many


also


see


themsel


ves


part


cross-cultural


Islamic


religious


community.


Many


others


see


themselves


members


wide-ranging,


Mande-


speaking trading


community


extending beyond


space of


core


community.


Still


others


are


conscious


their


participation


wide


readership


N'ko


literature.


Though


Mande-speaking


community


can


thus


seen


imagined one,


it does


conform


Anderson


definition


nation


with


borders.


Mande


populations,


which


are


surprisingly


similar throughout


the region,


move easily


across


the borders of West African states,


and through


their movement


defy


conventional


political


constructs.


For


example,


Dyula












also


imagine


themselves


members


West


African


community


Islam as


a whole.


Literacy Criteria


1957


UNESCO


described


literacy


indistinct


continuum of


abilities.


Jeanne


Chall


established


three


stages of


literacy that


would


divide


continuum according


reader's


skills.


stage


one,


least


literate,


reader


learns


initial


decoding;


at stage


two,


reader


gains


fluency by reading texts which are already


familiar;


stage


three


they


read


learn


new


ideas.


43 Most


scussions


use


"literacy"


mean


functional


literacy


which people read for


ideas which


they


apply to


new


contexts.


UNESCO defines a person


literate


he or


can read


write


everyday


can


understand


life.


44 For


a short


Lawrence


simple


Stone,


statement


literacy


related


means


ability to


use


suggests,


written


however,


word as


that


a means of


term


communication.


literacy


perhaps


4Jack Goody


"The


Impact


Islami


Writing


the Oral


Cultures of West Africa


Cahiers d'Etud


Africains,


463.


, p.


'Daniel A


World,


(Oxford


Wagner,


Future


Pergamon Press,


of Literacy


in a Chancina


1987),


S -











inappropriate and should be


replaced by the term alphabetism.


This term is already widely used in French-speaking countries


where


literacy


discussed


terms


alphabetisation.


Literates,


semi-literates,


illiterates


have


always


co-


existed in society.


stated


goal


of most


governments today


is one hundred percent


functional


literacy


for their citizens.


social


uses of


literacy


have


evolved


over time.


Europe before


sixteenth


century,


literacy was


restricted


educated


elite


Catholic


clergy


controlled


religious


knowledge through Latin


language


literacy.


"culture of the book"


emerged in


Europe


as a direct


result


the


Protestant


Reformation.


invention


moveable


type printing press and the


rise


of a print


industry provided


written


need


vernacular Christian


literate


society


texts.


Protestantism


extended


created


literacy


vernacular


languages


masses.


During


this


period


literacy was


demonstrated


reading


Bible


works


Protestant


Reformers


from


texts


that


previously


been


memorized.


"God's people were


in God's Word from the


to be a literate


printed page.


Chall


people


points ou


taking

t that


reading


Bible


other


religious


texts


previously


committed to memory


are at


the second stage of


literacy.


Like


Christians of that period,


many non-Arabic-speakers in Islamic











societies

controlled


demonstrated

religious k


stage


knowledgee


literacy.


through


Muslim


Arabic


scholars


language


literacy while the practitioners


read memorized


texts


such as


the Quran.


Cultural


Social


Context


Literacy


Inherent in the character of


literacy


process of


communication within


and among


communities.


Literacy does


consist


just


mechanics


reading


writing.


Rather,


also


encompasses


cultural


context


what


read


or what


being written--the


pool


knowledge which


community


shares.


48 A


shared


general


knowledge


enables


literate


community


deal


with


new


ideas,


events,


challenges. 49


In addition,


the community


institutions define


the social


context


literacy.50 These


include


schools which


are


responsible


for the acculturation of youth to


their social


and


political


responsibilities.


Literacy


helps


people


47Colin Lankshear with Moira Lawler,


Literacy,


choolina,


and Revolution,


(New


York:


Falmer


Press,


1987)


, p.


48 Community is defined by David Laitin


created by the shared values
particular configuration of


of a culture


internal


that


de~


and external


) as a being
velop from a
stimuli that


lead


a common


filtering of


information.


49Hirsch,


p.11.


I











exert


control


over


their


lives


rationalize


decision


making,


gives


people


equal


power


transforming


social


relations.


Spoken


skills


personal


language


from


experience,


represents the


direct


whereas


acquisition


communication


literacy represents a


of knowledge


interaction


consumption


information which is


indirect


and mediated


through written


language.


In both,


known knowledge


unknown knowledge


are


brought


together.


Although


literacy


was


only


intended


supplement


personal


interactions of


experience,


books


have


replaced experience at


literacy


the heart of


education.


has become a necessity of modern


life.


Consequently,


The ability


read


write


essential


successful


employment,


upward


social


mobility,


achievement


personal


goals,


political


and social


stability.


function


literacy


societyS5


based


upon


varieties


reading


writing


activities


available


ordinary


people


ordinary


circumstances.


Adults


read


"Michael Apple,
Revolution Colin


"Foreword"


Lankshear


with


to Literacy,


Moira


schooling


Lawler,(New


York:


Falmer


Press,


1987)


, p.


5Wlad


Godzich,


Culture of


Literacy,


(Cambridge,


Harvard


University


54John


Press,


Szwed,


1994)


"The


101.


Ethnography


Literacy," in


iX.


I












write


many


types


social


purposes.


Literacy


provides


information


about


practical


problems


daily


life,


delivers


information


pertinent


social


relations,


distributes


supports


information


attitudes


about


ideas,


local


records


distant


pertinent


events,


information,


serves as an aid to memory,


and substitutes


for oral messages.


"Literacy


Event"


any


occasion


when


type


written


information


central


comprehension,


interaction,


interpretation


text


literate


reader


group


readers 56


one


point,


discourses


among


interest


groups


may


negotiated


from


positions


equality,


diversity


discourse


cultural


allows


cultural


inequality.


manipulation


Particular


forms


resulting


language


literacy


lose


their


autonomy;


some


move


into


positions


advantage


become


dominant


This


dominant


discourse,


promoted


emergent


state


bureaucracy


, mediates


divergent discourses of


cultural


pluralism in


confines of


nation


state.


There


develops


official


state-


56Shirley Brice Heath,


-Ever-shifting Oral


on Literacy,


eds.,
1988)


Eugene


(Carbondale,


, pp.


"Protean Shapes in Literacy


and Literate Traditions,


Kintgen, Ba
Southern


wrry M.


Kroll,


Illinois


Events-


in Perspectives
and Mike Rose,


University


Press,


350-356.


__











sanctioned


state's


elite


ruling


culture


groups.


that


represents


The dominant


culture


goals


is described in


public


group's


transcript.


official


subordinate


culture


interest


groups


Juxtaposed


the

whose


dc


unofficial

individual


,minant

culture


interest


identities


banished:


they


are


accepted


into


official


culture.


relationship between the dominant and subordinate interest


groups


are


most


commonly


experienced


within


social


relations of


class,


gender,


race/ethnicity


, culture,


and age.59


Social


cultural


literacy,


however,


reflect


only


interests


dominant


group.


Dominant


group


goals and values evolve


from the cultural


struggle between the


dominant and subordinate


interest


groups.


Intellectuals


from


dominant


interest


group


construct


this


national


culture


upon which


life of


a nation


can be designed.


The dominant


group asserts a national


through


culture


state-sponsored


based on


educational


a national


system.


language


national


culture and national


language are needed for nation building.W


Nations


provide


compulsory


education


elementary


level


create


pool


loyal,


literate


citizens


who


can


drafted


into


military


employed


governmental


bureaucracy.


According to Michael Apple,


literacy


can be


used











to manipulate


existing relations


among


interest


groups.


order


retain


dominant


position,


dominant


interest


group


may


provide


subordinate


interest


groups


with


inferior


education,


that


subordinate


group


unprepared


cultural


contest


accepts


implicit


messages


about


the dominant


group's


superiority.


For subordinate interest groups,


literacy constitutes the


"language


possibilities,


because


potential


used


tension


bringing


between


about


literacy


change.


There


instrument


always


social


control


and as a


vehicle


liberation.


64 Students


from subordinated


cultures


can


employ


selected


knowledge


contained


dominant


discourse


empower


themselves


restructure


social


relations.


Moreover,


literacy


gives


them


access


to the


knowledge available beyond what


the dominant


interest


group


willing


provide


pre-packaged,


pre-determined


pre-established


discourse.


65 The


politics of


literacy


enable


those


subordinate


groups


whose


cultures


have


been


61Apple


, p.


62Lankshear,


63Freire


AL.~ .


and Macedo,


..- -


- S














marginalized by


education,


mass media,


and economic production


to reclaim their


cultural


identity.


Literacy


under Colonialism


case


foreign national


colonialism,


cultures


governments


representing


established administrative


control


over


independent


African


cultures.


Under


umbrella


colonial


administration,


government


imposed


its national


metropolitan


culture


heterogeneous


community.


colonial


government


became


dominant


interest


group


relegated


diverse


African


ethnicities


role


subordinate interest groups.


used state-sponsored


education


to redesign a national


culture


in its own image and


in its own


language.

Europeans


eligible


education.


produced


Colonial


govern


education


limiting


education


According to


reproduced


reinforced


numbers


limiting the


Freire and Macedo,


class,


rights


students


content


"colonial


gender


that


schools


racial


inequalities,


educational


structure


inculcated


Africans with beliefs that


demeaned


their


language,


culture,


Ibid. ,


67Colonizers


to choose


spent


a European


centuries


language


trying to


because Afri


convince


can


Africans


languages were


*3. -


..











and history.70


Marshal


relates that


school


system was


key


institution


which


colonial


state


controlled


society.


class,


constantly


race/ethnicity,


colonial


education


changed


gender,


was


process


age and locations.


de-Africanization


regulating


legacy


African


people.


colonial


government


spread


literacy


incorporate


European


values


into


invention


African


cultural


identities.


Brian


Street


asserts


that


instilled


new


assumptions


about


value


written


word


invoked


profound changes


in cultural


identity


social


basis of


knowledge.


73 The


process


was


gradual


overtly


non-


threatening that


indigenous


cultures were


not


overwhelmed by


culture shock.


Street


further states that


the transference of


literacy

cultures


from

was


the

more


new

than


dominant culture

spreading the t


subordinate


technicall


aspects


reading and writing.


literacy


of the new national


culture


made


subordinate


cultures


eminently


aware


dominant


culture's


power.74


Literacy


became


a part


much


wider


process


domination.


Its


practice


administration,


bureaucracy,


religion


consolidated


colonial


7oIbid.,


71~ ,


143.











government's


authority


over


subordinate


groups.


imposition


foreign


based


culture


met


with


refusal


become


literate


many


members


subordinate


group.


Freire and Macedo assert


that


this act


resistance


meant a


refusal


learn


the specific cultural


codes and


competencies


valued by the dominant


culture.


In French


Guinea,


example,


use of


French as


language of


instruction began


process of


deculturation


elementary


school.


Students


who


learned


about


superiority of French language and


culture


showed


disdain


their


rural


mother


methods


through


school


tongue


ridiculed


earning


rural


living."


system


life-style


students


jobs


civil


advanced


service


which required only minimal


skills,


their


French acculturation


elevated


them


status


evolue.


78 That


acculturation,


however,


did not buy them assimilation,


although it


lost


them


cultural


continuity.


Freire and Macedo


explain


that


colonial


schools


deculturated


Africans


while


acculturating


them


75Laitin


, p.


76Freire and Macedo


nCiting the observations of A.


Colot in Dakar,


Laitin


relates


primary
family


that


teaching


school


a student


effect


a foreign language


brutal


rupture


life.


, p.











pre-defined


colonial


model.


They


educated


labor


force


low-level


managers


whose


was


promotion


maintenance


status


quo.


These


educated


Africans


believed


that


they


were


superior


"peasants.


Social


Uses of Literacy


in Guinea's


First


Republic


successor


state


colonial


government,


Guinea's First Republic attempted to create a national


culture


with


French


official


language.


Macedo


observes


that


national


chose


leaders of newly


European


independent Afri


language


can


because


countries often


international


status and its attendant guarantees of


upward mobility.82


single


dominant


language,


language


power,


was


official


one


education,


administration,


cultural


79Graff,


80Freire
observes that


privileged


avoid


this,


Macedo,


143;


Marshall


the choice of one Mozambican


one ethnic
they chose


group and marginalize


European


langua


(pp.


107-108)


language would have
:ed the others. To
ige as the official


language.


81An


official


even a foreign
government fo
*


language


colonial l
- formal


inguage


use


defined
a, that


her<
has


been


government,


any language,
chosen by the
education, or


"white "


r











life.


National


official


government


unofficial


international


communication


through


diplomacy,


the media,


business


internal


external


economies


were


conducted


official


language.


perpetuation


French as


the official


language was


supported by


bureaucrats


and


elites


whose


command


language


placed


them


position of power over those who did not


have


such a command.4


Guinea's


population


was willing to


use


language other than


individual maternal


languages


fulfilled economic


social


goals.


85 The


government


proposed


to draft


the general


population


into


planned


social


order


over


which


control through

envisioned using


state-sponsored


literacy


educational


an instrument


system.


building upon


fragile


ethnic


unified


consciousness


groups together


literacy would mold


that


defeat


a wholly


"Guinean"


brought


colonialism.


citizenry


Social


educated


support


values,


attitudes,


and beliefs that would support


country's


newly


forming


socialist


economy


to support


government


possessing


modern


practical


skills


reading

The

language


and writing to


promotion


failed


fulfill t

a national


heir place in t

culture through


Guinea because deep


local


state.


an official


loyalties,


which


FR a


*











were


recognized by the simultaneous promotion of


the maternal


language"


language


instruction


local


regional

"national"


levels .87

cultural


First,


order


this

focusing


policy

on a


fragmented


return


to African


roots.


Instead of


forging a single


culture,


it promoted


individuality of the subordinate


cultures.


Secondly,


because


the government was


unable


to provide


universal


elementary


secondary


education


to the entire population,


created a gap


between


those


who


knew


local


language


those


commanded


the official


language.


Those who


had mastered


official


language became part of the elite which had re-formed


itself


the time of Guinea's


independence.


The small


French-


speaking


who


elite


found


fact


that


opposed


they


general


were


official


language.


founding


88 That


Second


Republic


1984,


smoldered


when


until


"National


"Sekou Tour6


focus of


the maternal 1P
of instruction
official langu
the secondary <


language.
for pr


age


which


primary


was


and
the


"National
e promotion


elementary
language


Language Progr
n of education


am"
in


language
and the


871n


1953,


UNESCO


proclaimed


the


importance


resented


itself


population


illiterate


resentment


1968


instituted


was


The mother tongues were


French
college


level.


schools


instruction











Language


Policy" was overturned. 89


Under the


Second and Third


Republics


Lansana


Cont6,


French


still


official


language


instruction.


Guinea,


Guineans


once


view


again


French


language


language


instruction,


the ethnic equalizer that,


no matter the


level


education,


will


enable the


individual


to achieve


upward social


mobility.


And,


in search of that


upward mobility,


individuals


the educational


system aspire


to white collar


jobs.


Since


late


1980s,


however,


country's


economic


difficulties


have


made


difficult


most


Guineans


who


have


graduated


from the


lycees and


universities


find


jobs.


Social


Uses


N'ko


Literacy


When


Souleymane


Kant


invented


N'ko


alphabet,


some


Mande


speakers were


literate


in Arabic


others


in French.


The social


uses of


literacy


for those who controlled religious


knowledge


through


Arabic


centered


creation


maintenance of the


religious social


order.


The social


uses of


literacy


government


those


language


acquired


Guinea


French


centered


official


creation


favorable


designed his


political


alphabet


social


take back


order.


from the


Souleymane


special


Kant6


interests











control


over


knowledge


and


place


hands


general Mande-speaking population


for their


social


liberation.


As a means


individual


social


improvement


liberation,


thus empowering


literacy brought about


literate individuals to


participate


within


community.


realm


local


knowledge,


one


Soc


use


N'ko


literacy


been


standardization


distribution


local


knowledge.


Mande


speakers


have


collected,


recorded,


preserved


local


knowledge since


1949 when dissemination of the alphabet began.


Those


who


write


N'ko


have


shared


that


knowledge


with


others


general


Mande-speaking


population.


this


way,


literacy has


legitimate local


forms of knowledge.


Local


knowledge


been


elevated


same


status


as the modern


knowledge which is


translation


recorded


French


religious,


Arabic.


political,


technological,


and scientific materials


into


N'ko


has made


foreign


knowledge


more


accessible


to Mande


speakers


same


time,


expanded


understanding


that


knowledge


providing


translation


maternal


language.


Souleymane


Kant6


advised Mande


speakers


learn


three


literacies,


learn


written


form


Mande


N'ko


pure


understanding of what


they possessed imperfectly


the other


languages


literacies.


reasoned


that


Mande


speak


ers











better


access


modern


technological


scientific


information


without


depending


upon a


foreign


language.


Conclusion


Identity,


ongoing process of


literacy,


cultural


nationalism


definition


interact


redefinition.


case


Guinea's


literacy movement


that


Maninka


portends


speakers,


produced


the overcoming of


an inertia


spawned


colonial


neo-colonial


subordination.


invention


N'ko


alphabet


grassroots


literacy


movement


that


Guinea.


followed inspired


Among


Maninka


the Maninka


other


cultural


Mande


revival


speakers,


cultural


revival


produced


vision


"imagined"


community


Mande


speakers


who


can


share


knowledge


through


the maternal


themselves


language


stewardship


literacy.


role


using


The Maninka


N'ko


see


alphabet


draw together the Mande nation into a coherent


cultural


whole.


present,


Mande


nation


exists


beyond


cartographer's


accomplish


borders.

cultural


Some


Maninka


unification


from


speakers


which


hope


future


political


movement


can


emerge.

















CHAPTER


MADE


CENTRAL


. Mali had


fallen under the domination of


Sundiata:


An Epic


of Old Mali


This


speakers


chapter


created


examines


re-created


process


their


which


cultural


Mande


identity,


repeatedly


reordering


reinterpreting


world


their


their


heroic/historic


intellectuals.


past


offers


broad


interpretation


relationship


between


historical


events


construction


Mande


identity


over


seven


hundred and fifty years.


tries to


hear the echoes of Mande


voices,


made distant over time,


interpret


changing


dynamics


language.


does


so with


special


attention


language


dynamics


the mid-twentieth


century,


when


Maninka-speaking people of


Guinea


took


leadership


role


creating


indigenous


Mande


literacy


weapon


achieving


overall


Mande


cultural


unity.


Although


evolution


this


Mande


chapter


identity


describes


a broad


overall


scale,


ongoing


focuses


a new master









65

because this is the community from which the alphabet has been


formally


disseminated.


chapter


portrays


images


Mande cultural


identity which came


into


focus


various


sets


cultural


values


were


absorbed.


recognizes


that


Mande


speakers


are


homogeneous


population.


Although


region's Mande speakers


have been heavily


Islamized,


Mande


speakers


are


Muslims.


While


population


of Kankan


Haute


Guinde


, Republic


Guinea,


are


predominantly


Muslim,


many Mande speakers across the border


in Mali


are not.


Muslim


non-Muslim


Mande


speakers


have


been


forced


into


cultural


adaptations as they


have exchanged roles of


political


dominance.


Pre-Colonial


Intellectuals


precolonial


past,


griots


known


many


Mande


speakers


within


jeli,


cadre


acted as


of Mande


a group of


cultural


intellectuals.


2 They


intellectuals


constructed


Mande


cultural


identity


around


the Mande


language


a rich


'Although
C6te d'Ivoire,


merchants


from


the d
those
SHaut


i


ssemination


alphabet


begins


first disseminators were Maninka-speaking
e Guinee. Later the formal point of


dissemination


is Kankan.


2Patrick


intellectuals


McNaughton


possess


explains


technical


that


these


expertise


attributes replete with mysterious spiritual


power.


indigenous
i special
Thus, the


a. I I I 9 -


I





r


*












heroic/historic


guardian of


past.


their heritage.


role


3 The


jell


jeli


was


that


preserved Mande


history


and


culture


orally


transmitting


significant


stories


from


the past about events,


decisions,


families,


and individuals as


well


legends


, religious


conventions,


mores,


cultural


expectations.


Their monopoly


on cultural


knowledge


coupled


with


their


exclusive


control


over


selection


presentation


society.


that


jell


knowledge made


strengthened


them a


Mande


powerful


cultural


force


identity


two distinct ways.


First


they


inculcated Mande culture among


Mande


constantly


reinforcing


cultural


knowledge.


Secondly,


they


proselytized


non-Mande


speakers


who


were


associated with or dominated by the Mande.


According to Mande


scholar


Patrick


McNaughton,


"They


manipulate


details


history to motivate their audiences.


.to


inspire


the Mande


citizenry,

potential


fill

that


people with


society


the desire


remains


live


solid and vital


their


Another


regional


historian,


George Brooks,


writes that


jell helped


observed


Humblot,
that t


one


jell


literature and Mande musical


Kankan


acted
arts


colonial


administrators,


conservators


"Kankan:


oral


Metropole de


Haute-Guinee,
et Documents,


4Charles
t a


" L'Afrique


, juin


S. Bird,


9


Francaise:


1921,

"Oral


Renseianements Coloniaux


139.


the Mande,


an -


" Papers on


- -





W











create


articulate


Mande


"heroic


age,


celebrate


political


and military prowess,


to explain


rationalize


social


cultural


patterns.


7 They


used


this


knowledge of


jell


past


controlled


to mediate


present.


knowledge by manipulating


language--


Mande


heroic


language.


past


They


orally


preserved


promulgated


that


knowledge

knowledge


through


their


command


Mande


languages.


Sundiata


epic8


example of


an orally transmitted


tradition


which


explains


Empire


of Mali


was


established as


a result


of Sundiata'


defeat of the Susu Empire.


the epic of


Sundiata,


Sundiata'


jell


assigns


identity


according to


spoken


language


, those who


are Mande are


all


the sons of Mali


all


those who


'N'ko'


, all


who speak the clear


language of Mali


jell


enjoyed a


unique


place


society.


They were


second


only to


traders


in spreading


language.


Since writing did not


exist among the Mande during this period,


the contest over the


7George
Society, an


. Brooks,
Trade in


Landlords


Western


Africa


Strangers:
1000-1630,


Ecology,
(Boulder,


Colorado


Westview


Press,


1993)


"I am
recorded by


using
Djibril


version


Tamsir


oral


tradition


Niane


9Djibril


footnote
Mandingo.


number


Tamsil
r 61


Niane


which


The Mandingoes


follows


says,


'N'ko'


word
means


like to distinguish


'N'kc
'I


with


say'


themselves


*1


from
I


.. I


..











acquisition and


control


of knowledge


revolved around


its oral


transmission


as opposed to a later time when


the contest would


be over i

of power;


.ts written

Mande spe


transmission.


Mande was the only


akers needed no other


language


language


to function


society


Mande


languages


were


spoken


Mande


adopted


people


they


conquered


those


with


whom


they


traded.


dominated


facets


social


discourse--


political/administrative,


religious,


economic.


Mande


languages


have


dominated


portion


West


Africa


commercial


network12


because


many


major


West


African


trade


routes


passed


through


Mande-speaking


communities.


These


routes connected


the desert,


sahel,


savanna,


forest.


While


major Mande occupation was


agriculture,


many Mande


speakers were engaged in commerce,


a dry-season


either as a full-time or as


profession.


Kankan


developed


savanna


trade


town


astride


trade


routes


running


from


forest


through


savanna


desert.


Kankan,


overland


trade


route


from


11These


region


images


is my


portraying the


synth


esis of


hegemony
he works


of Mande


Mande


speakers
scholars


interviews with Mande


speakers.


12The


Hausa


language


dominates


commercial


network


farther east beyond
Nigeria.


the Francophone/Mande


fringes


in northern


r2-


-


I 1











forest


desert


Niger


River


trade


route


Milo


River,


one


its


tributaries.


Kankan


derived


importance


trade


from


going


going


coming


riverine


coming


from


position


from


where


brokered


Sankaran


Kouroussa


Niger


trade


River


Brooks


identifies the


principal


long-distance traders as Mande


speakers.


Non-Mande


speakers


learned


the Mande


language


communicate


in the


market


place;


and during periods of Mande


dominance,


government


title of


jell


within


chief


promulgated


expanding


town


Mande


culture,


community.


region


history,


Kankan


southern


maintain


Soudan


until


1894


when


trade


patterns


shifted


Bissandougou


Siguiri.


Packed


into


trade


caravans


arriving


from


Maghreb


Islam


penetrated


Mande


world


beginning


seventh


century.


Long


distance


traders


north


south


gold-


salt


trade


route are credited with


the diffusion of


Islam into


West


Africa.


Over


time


Islam


spread


towns


situated


along the trade routes dominated


by the Mali


Empire.


new


from the
Binger ic
Kankan in
le Mossi


sixteenth
lentified t
Du Nicer


(1887-1889),


nineteenth


individual


au Golfe


Tome


routes


de Guinde
, (Paris:


par


centuries;


that


passe'


le Pays de


Librairie


Capitaine
d through


Konci


Hachette,


1892),


. 131


A r


Cie.,











religion


gained


many


converts,


because


Mande


speakers


were


impressed


with


knowledge


wealth


possessed


traders.


Others


have embraced


Islam


new


religion


during periods of


ecological


insecurities


such


as drought and


famine.


number


Muslim


converts


increased


trade


towns


like Kankan because trade provided the


financial


support


necessary


free


Muslim


scholars


educate


next


generation.


19 As


Arab


traders


Islamized


Mande


world,


Arabic accompanied by the Arabic script became


language of


religious power.


Local


officials embraced the potential


power


held in the written word.


Arabic


literacy dominated the realms


religion


administration,


while


unwritten


Mande


remained


language of


trade


vernacular.


jell


eased


transitions


that


occurred as cultural


accommodations were made


under the duress caused by the making


and remaking of West African empires.


They


harmonized


new


belief


system within the


context of Mande cultural


identity by


incorporating


Islam


into


Mande


heroic


past.


jell


were


were


joined


Muslims


cadre


of Mande


literate


intellectuals by


Arabic,


marabouts.


those who


These


religious


leaders


profited


from


West


African's


cultural


response


incorporating diversity presented


by new members











community.21


Many


marabouts


added


knowledge


African


healing


art s


their


own


compendium


medical


information.


Trade


communities


depended


upon


Muslims


healing,


official


political


and diplomatic correspondence,


commercial


accounting


correspondence.


Kankan,


these


Islamic


Mande


intellectuals


were


Maninka-Mory.


principal


Kaba


marabout


family


families who moved


represents


into


one


region


Bate around


credited


1550


with


(see


bringing


Figure

i Islam


Kaba


region


family

despite


has

the


been

fact


that


Islam had been practiced in Bat6 communities before their


arrival.


with


Not only were


them the


they marabouts,


rich Sarakoll6 heritage


they


trade.


also


Thus


brought


Kankan


grew


into a


commercial metropolis more quickly


than


been


left


alone


to evolve on


trade


route.


Guinean


21Brooks,

22Ibid.


116.


117.


YKefing Cond4 says that


Sarakoll6s


from


term originates


Ghana


from


the Maninka-Mory were


Empire.


"Maninka


They


came


la mory"


from


originally
Djafunun.


"Marabouts des


Maninka"
(p. 137)
Diafonou.


which became


described


ancestors


the contraction Maninka-Mory.


origins


were


Humblot


Maninka-mory


onink&-speaking


Muslims


settled


in Kankan


through small,


successive migrations,













tr






U


'.I

.Ll.
'I r


S I U U *
. S ~ g g gi *


p


* e 9 -


. .


Simbwutv *2


R 1/<


- /


a. *


-...


FI ,


I S~
~. I-c


ClolQrtQ


0 200 400 600 k
1 .__-


IC Iii-


Bat6


10uOuAQU$


is
s s


C oil-w W-
- -~- ---~


OoC.


I..-



Il\~p1J


-- 001n


IJQl


iiS n

uldiv Oci Ij

-,-
0..-.s, .
t -- or -


Figure


KANKAN'S L
the region
Kwamena-Pol


LOCATION
known

, John


IN THE


SAVANNA


Bate


Tosh


- I *. ~r .. -


Richard
V A- --- -


with


adapted
Waller
2 r


an in


from
and


se
Mi


Michae


S.-
n n I fl rw r~ n


rt of
chael


I II I I I


*'


'\


- *


h











historian


Kefing


Cond6


defined


Kankan's


role


that


intermediary


between


savanna


forest.


The


Maninka-Mory


swelled


ranks


heretofore


restricted


those


controlling


knowledge


through


medium


language.


value-based,


Mande


They


joined


identity


jell


what


constructing


become


mixed


society.


Eventually,


Islamic


discourse


became


a major


influence


construction


identity


because


marabouts


proselytized


next


generations


through


Quranic


education.


Kankan


environs


became


renowned


quantity


quality


Islamic


schools.


Literacy


language


power,


Arabic,


became


altogether new


feature


of cultural


identity which


acted


as a


catalyst


slightly


different


way.


Literacy


altered


Mande conceptualization of time and space.


fixed calendar


division


day


into


prayer


times


regularized


time,


new


graphic


techniques


altered


approach


spatial


relationships,


such


measuring,


numbering,


recording,


repeating


observations.


26Kefing Cond4.


27Humblot
increasingly


139)


important


indicated


role


that


marabouts


held


community.


rn












Quranic


school


students


became


Quranic


scholars


learned


Arabic


higher


level


literacy


than


their


brethren


who


only


memorized


Quran


their


prayers.30


The Quranic


scholars


not only


read but


they


also


interpreted


explained


religious


works.


Literacy


in Arabic


also


gave


them


access


sum


accumulated


Arab


knowledge


recorded in history,


literature,


sciences.


For those


literate


Arabic


, however,


communication


second


language r<

constructed


resulted


thought


alteration


processes.31


This


their indigenously

problem manifested


itself


second


thought


a difficulty


language


the second


internalizing


difficulty


language.


data


learned


expressing


For students whose


original


language of


instruction


was


their


mother


tongue,


second


language


communication


conversant


posed


with


obstacles


literate


understanding.


Arabic


Those


controlled


dissemination


religious


knowledge.


When


French


30According


Jeanne


Chall


levels


literacy


discussed
ability to
definition,
it because


albeit
today's
level


Chapter


read


familial


stage
- and


students who memorized


reading


lower


definition


three.


memorized


stage


literacy


memorized
d the Quran


text


literacy


functionally


Cited


represents


texts.


could


considered


than


literate


Daniel


the
this


"read"


literate,


someone


in Arabic,


Resnick


i.e.


Lauren


Resnick,


"The Nature of Liter


An Historical Exploration,


-S


--












arrived,


Mande-speakers who were Muslim and literate


in Arabic


represented a


large portion


of Mande


speakers


West Africa.


Cultural


accommodations


were


easy


Mande


speakers were


propelled


forward through


the nineteenth century


and


into


colonial


era.


Mande-speaking


community,


however,


endured


the stress applied by many different


factors.


Significant


commercial


changes


occurred


as the


result


shift


from


slave


trade


legitimate


trade


early


nineteenth


century.


Although


commodities


changed,


trade


routes continued


to operate as they had in the past.


European


attempts


redirect


trade


away


from


north-south


trade


route


coast


little


effect


existing


Mande


trade network which was connected


coast


by the


forest.


latter


half


nineteenth


century,


Mande


empire-builder


Samori


Tour


consolidated many Mande


speakers


under


rule.


Taking


title


Almami,


Samori


created


West


African


supported


conquered


empire


Islam.


peoples


which


created


who


actively


schools


been


promoted


re-educate


among


those


faithful.


Students


from


throughout


empire


were


funnelled


into


schools


around


Kankan.


Samori


negotiated


mutual


32Students


were


allocated


according


region:


w w


w -- T









76

defense treaty with the Maninka-Mory of Kankan in a pact based


on their mutual


interest in


conversion


non-Muslims


region.


However,


Kankan


refused


aid Samori


in his


attack against


S ~r~ ho ure ma


Cisse33 because


Ciss4 was a Muslim


Sarakoll&


origin.


Samori


then


turned


war machine


Kankan,


conquering it


1881.


KaramB


Daye


Kaba,


ancestor of


ruling Kabas of


Kankan


today,34


sought


French and


invited


them to


Kankan


to oust


its oppressor.


Mande


Intellectuals during the


Colonial


European


Mande


control


speakers


trade


within


empire


builders


nineteenth


inflicted


century.


newly-imposed,


their


They


artificial


rule


attempted


boundaries.


Despite


this,


the trade networks maintained


their fluidity


flowed


along


established


routes


that


passed


through British-


controlled


Sierra


Leone


independent


Liberia.


European


languages usurping political


administrative


power


did not


affect


the trade


interior.


Europeans were truly unable


capture


trade


diaspora


interior

operated


trade

the


because


trade


Mande-speaking


networks.


Lines


communication


commerce


were


dominated


Mande-speaking


33Person


records


this


name


Shre-Brema.












merchants


living in


the diaspora.


Language made


them invisible


as they


entered and


exited


local


communities


trade


towns


without


detection.


Merchants


from


Kankan


moved


across


artificial


colonial bore

illustration


ders with regularity


population


and with


impunity.


movement


36 A good

story of


Souleymane Kant6's trip to COte d'Ivoire


1942.


French


closed


war.


border


Seeing


crossings


that


on the main


French


roads


were


because of


imprisoning


travelers/traders,


Kant6


students


traveled


back


roads.


Each night,


they


stayed with


an imam or


teacher


small


village.


For


thirty-five


days,


small


group


walked


from


Soumankoyin-KolBnin,


Guinea,


Bou ak&,


Cote


36The


following


documented some of


network.


The merchants


in Karifamoriah,


spent


informants


time


that


in group


time


are
they


merchants
spent within


interview 08,


1949


Cote


March


d'Ivoire


who
the


have
trade


1993


time


1959


Kankan,


Dakar.


ii


the informant spent


Interview
time i


March


.n 1949


1993


in Cote d'Ivoire and


1955


in Kankan,
and then in


Mali,


and


time


interview


time


in 1941


1955


Sierra Leone.


this
1952
1993,


time


informant


he spent


In interview


spent


time


Kankan,


1949


1956


, May 8,
in Bamako,


in Sierra Leone


Kankan,


one


member


C6te


Lom6


1993,
Mali,


1940-1945


in Cote d'Ivoire.


i informant
d'Ivoire,


, Togo and
in Kankan,


and in Dakar,


In group


spent


time


spent


April


Bamako,


, 1993,


Mali


In interview


time


1954-1955


Cotonou,


interview


1942


1948


Ghana,


Benin


informant


Senegal,


May 8,
Bamako,


spent
time
1993,
Mali,


time


*












d'Ivoire.


French


officials


expressed


concern


about


movement


people


across


these


borders.


38 However,


recognizing


that


trade


network


was


already


in place,


French


did


not


want


disrupt


unnecessarily.


Instead,


representatives


shops


Kankan


from


French


commercial


effort


houses


into


established


trade


this


recognized major redistribution


center.39


Informants


identify


names


such


CFAO,


UNICOMER,


Chavanel,


ESCOA,


PERISAC


Compagnie


Niger40


commercial


establishments


Kankan


during the

While


1940

the


S


1950s.


political/administrative domination


of empire


builders


was


new


experience


Mande,


trauma


generated


European


domination


was


based


European


0One of the students who had walked


to Cote d'Ivoire with


Kant6 detailed


trip.


Group


interview


April


, 1993,


Balandou.


38Governor


Guinea


Crocicchia


letter


Governeur


General Haute Commissaire de


1'Afrique Frangaise


, September


1942,
Liberia


movement


, and Guinea borders.


peoples


This


along


is one


Sierra


example


Leone,


found


Archives


1'Afrique Occidentale


Frangaise,


3Jean


French


Compagnie
Marseille.


from


Suret-Canale


companies


Frangaise
Compagnie


Bordeaux


represented
representing
Germany, Soc


1


other
foreign


says


Guinea,


de
du
Union


that


most


1'Afrique


Niger


1900


there


important


Occidentale


Francais,


Comptoirs


important
interests


ci.t6 Commerciale de


Chavanel,


d'Outre-mer


firms.


were


Other


Pelizaeus


were


which


(CFAO)


fifty
h was


from


Peyrisac


(UNICOMER)
companies


from


Quest Africain (S


Bremen,


iCOA)


from











attempts


usurp


Mande


culture


imposing


foreign


language. Many Maninka speakers

new official language of power by


in Haute-Guinre


refusing to


resisted


learn


and by


refusing to send their children


colonial


schools where


language


instruction


was


French.


Under


French


domination,


a new type of


intellectual


appeared,


a European-


style,


school-trained


bureaucrat


who


was


literate


in French.


Those who manipulated the French


language


and literacy


gained


access


enhanced


status


control

and we


over


!alth.


knowledge


French


which


(and


assured


French


them


literacy)


became


new


language


power


realms


politics,


administration,


international


economics;


Arabic


(and


Arabic


literacy)


remained


language


Islamic


religious


power;


and Mande


languages continued as


language of


local


regional


commerce


vernacular.


Literacy,


as written language,


became an important


issue


in the contest


access


to and


control


over


knowledge.


access


to this modern knowledge was


limited


those who were


educated in French.


The problem for those who


became speakers


French as


a second


language


resulted


alteration


41Many Maninka speakers
taught Maninka children t


rejected
> take i


schools


because


character


they
the


"Tubabs"


(whites).


According


informants


group