Family Identity and the State in the Bamako Kafu, C.1800-C.1900

By B. Marie Perinbam | Go to book overview

Preface

This work acknowledges a debt of gratitude to all who helped. First, I recognize the several Bamako families, the Niare, the Drave, the Ture, to mention but a few, and those of the Bamako region, such as the Kante, the Kulibaly, the Jabate, and the Keita, who graciously entered into my research, allowing themselves to be portrayed in the pages of this book. Willingly providing information, which at the time may have seemed remote, irrelevant, and downright invasive, their contributions shaped in many respects the perspectives in this book. To this extent, I acknowledge particularly Seydou Niare, Nana Niare Drave, Suleyman Drave, and Bani Toure, who were a source not only of information but also of inspiration, imagination, and hospitality. In many respects, this book is their collective portrait.

Second, beyond the circle of families, I owe special recognition to Ali Ongoïba, Archivist at the Archives Nationales Maliennes, Bamako, as well as to Thiemoko Kante, Mahmadou Sarr, Seydou Camara, and Klena Sanogo, all of the Institut des Sciences Humaines at Bamako. Generous with their time and gracious beyond compare, they not only unveiled the complexities and fascinations of the vast Mande cultural world--throwing light on the multiple regional configurations--but they also uncovered the filigreed ideographs that incised the great cultural templates, or that had slipped practically unnoticed through the cultural crevices serrating the Mande's cultural landscape. In many respects, this book mirrors their complex, conjugated minds. Also invaluable was the assistance from other personnel at the Archives Nationales Maliennes and the Institut Fondamental d'Afrique Noire at Bamako.

Third, I acknowledge with gratitude the help of members of the jeli (griot or bardic), mercantile and mining families, such as the Jabate and the Drame, the Sylla the Sisse and the Konate, the Kante the Dumbya and the Sissoko, whose oral recountings bespoke the peoples' lives, those who, since great antiquity, have heard the epic songs of the Do ni Kri1; or

____________________
1
Mande terms for the Mande plain and mountains of the middle and upper Niger.

-ix-

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