General Cultural Themes of mali • Mali is a country of ancient civilizations. With the succession of different Empires, the Kingdom of Mali has been a center and crossroads of different African peoples from whom we inherited our current culture. • From this rich culture I will introduce some different aspects.
Weddings are celebrated in 3 steps. • In the morning, the official celebration is very similar to a western wedding through drumming, balafon and other celebartions/practices • The Imam and witnesses celebrate the religious ceremonies at the Mosque. • The wedding ends with the entry of the couple into the nuptial room
Baptisms are celebrated on the 7th day after the baby is born. Early in the morning after morning prayer, a group of men will read some verses of the Koran and name the baby. The baby is always named after members or close friends of the family.
Funerals - Generally men at the cemetery bury bodies while women stay at home. All family, friends and neighbors will get together for at least one week to support the family of the dead; food, money and moral presence are supplied.
Rituals and Holy Places • Anniversary of the birth of the Prophet Mohammed and of his baptism. • Ramadan, or "small feast." • Tabaski, or "big feast," in commemoration of Abraham's sacrifice, forty days after Ramadan, families sacrifice a sheep, people wear their best outfits, and everyone busily exchanges gifts of meat and prepared foods as a sign of solidarity. The Islamic holidays as well as Christian holidays such as Easter and Christmas are officially recognized.
SECULAR CELEBRATIONS Independence Day, 22 September, is a major public holiday in Mali and the occasion of parades, political speeches, and other celebrations Other public holidays include: • The commemoration of the overthrow of MoussaTraoré (25 March), • Armed Forces Day (20 January), • Labor Day (1 May) • Africa Day (25 May).
SECULAR CELEBRATIONS In addition to the celebrations on the public calendar, there are a number of well-known regional festivities • the sogobo of the Ségou region • the reroofing of the sacred hut in Kangaba • the sigui, a Dogon festival celebrated every sixty years.
ARTS • While architectural styles in Mali vary, most buildings are made of sun-baked clay in Sudanese style. • The tradition of adobe architecture in Mali is more than a thousand years old. It has led to the construction of famous mosques in Djenne and Timbuktu and the well-known mansions of the ancient city of Djenne. This architecture is the living and triumphant proof of the integrity of the relation between population and their roots.
The University of Tombouctou, actually in Sankore mosque, was more than merely a great intellectual nucleus of the West African civilizations of Ghana, Mali and SonghaiAmong its most formidable scholars, professors, and lecturers was Ahmed Baba, a highly distinguished historian frequently quoted in the Tarikh-es-Sudan and other worksAll the ancient hand-written documents are kept in the Library of the Center Ahmed Baba. Scholars are racing against time to preserve these ancient texts
Graphic Arts - Malian pottery, sculpture, and textile tradition - in particularbogolanfini, hand-woven cotton bands decorated with dyes and mud and sewn together to make cloths - are extremely diverse and have been the subject of numerous studies. A visit to the Musée national du Mali, in Bamako, provides visitors with an appreciation of the richness of Malian artistic traditions. Malian artists have also distinguished themselves as film directors, including SouleymaneCissé, CheickOumarSissoko, Adama Drabo, and KadiatouKonaté.
Performing Arts - In terms of the quality and success of Malian music, it suffices to mention stars of international reputation such as Salif Keita, Ali FarkaTouré, OumouSangare, and Ami Koita. Extremely active - and with significant implication for development - is the (predominantly comic) theater tradition in Mali known as koteba.
Ethnic Groups: • Bambara, Fulani, Madingo, Sarakole, Bobo, Bozo Dogon, Touareg, Arabs, • Most ethnic groups distinguish themselves as • horonw (free people or nobles) • nyamankalaw (mostly professional groups such as leather workers, griots, and smiths. Not considered to be noble) • jonw/wolosow (first-generation slaves or slaves born in the family)
Dogon Culture • The center of the country is the magnificently dramatic Bandiagara escarpment, home to the fascinating culture of the Dogon • Dogon legends include details about stars and the universe without any form of star gazing equipment. Scientist are only now discovering these facts with modern telescopes • Ancient festivals are based around a star astronomers only recently discovered • The Dogon peoples’ main festival involves the star Sirius • Dogon peoples are also known for their artistic masks
Mali, land of Peace, Hospitality and Tolerance: the harmony in our society comes through Dialiya, Diatiguiya and Sinankouya : • Mali is a country with a peaceful culture and gentle traditions which are based on 3 important themes: • Dialiya : The peace maker, the master of the word; in charge of the transfer of history and tradition from generation to generation • Diatiguiya : is the art to receive foreign people, the passion of hospitality • Sinankouya : is the joking relationships between ethnic groups, tribes, and cousins. These joking relationships have a powerful function in maintaining social stability and eliminate conflict at the micro and macro level