Mandinka people

Mandinka people
The Mandinka
Almamy Samory Touré.jpgSekou Toure usgov-83-08641.jpgKouyate crop 2006 06 07 guinea 600.jpg
Mali Salif Keita2 400.jpgModibo Sidibe.jpgToumani Diabaté.jpg
Salomon Kalou warming up for Chelsea.jpgKolo Touré 5.JPGSissoko.jpg
Some West Africans from the Mandinka ethnic group:
Samory Touré · Sekou Touré · Lansana Kouyaté
Salif Keita · Modibo Sidibé · Toumani Diabaté
Salomon Kalou · Kolo Touré · Mohamed Sissoko
Total population
13 million[citation needed]
Regions with significant populations
 The Gambia 714,000 (42%) [1]
 Guinea 3,063,431 (30%) [2]
 Mali 2,638 988 (22%)[citation needed]
 Côte d'Ivoire 3,123,420 (20%) [3]
 Burkina Faso 1,984,200 (15%)[citation needed]
 Niger 1,900,901 (15%)[citation needed]
 Guinea-Bissau 208,180 (13%) [4]
 Mauritania 306 900 (10%)[citation needed]
 Sierra Leone 465,813 (8%)[citation needed]
 Liberia 245,300 (7.4%)[citation needed]
 Senegal 687,822 (7%) [5]
 Chad 461,785 (5%)[citation needed]

Mandinka language
Eastern Maninka
Western Maninka
Kita Maninka



Related ethnic groups

Mandé peoples, especially the Dyula, Khassonké and Bambara

The Mandinka, Malinke (also known as Mandinko) are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa with an estimated population of eleven million (the other 3 major ethnic groups in the region being the non-related Fula, Hausa and Songhai).

They are the descendants of the Mali Empire, which rose to power under the rule of the great Mandinka king Sundiata Keita. The Mandinka in turn belong to West Africa's largest ethnolinguistic group, the Mandé, who account for more than twenty million people (including the Dyula, Bozo, Bissa and Bambara). Today, over 99% of Mandinka in Africa are Muslim.[1][2]

The Mandinka live primarily in West Africa, particularly in The Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Mauritania and even small communities in the central African nation of Chad. Although widespread, the Mandinka do not form the largest ethnic group in any of the countries in which they live except The Gambia.

Most Mandinkas live in family-related compounds in traditional rural villages. Mandinka villages are fairly autonomous and self-ruled, being led by a chief and group of elders. Mandinkas live in an oral society. Learning is traditionally done through stories, songs and proverbs. Western education's impact is minimal; the literacy rate in Latin script overall among the Mandinka is quite low. However, more than half the adult population can read the local Arabic script; small Quranic schools for children where Arabic is taught are more common.

Originally from Mali, the Mandinka gained their independence from previous empires in the thirteenth century, and founded an empire which stretched across West Africa. They migrated west from the Niger River in search of better agricultural lands and more opportunities for conquest. Through a series of conflicts, primarily with the Fula-led Kingdom of Fouta Djallon, about half of the Mandinka population converted from indigenous beliefs to Islam. During the 16th, 17th and 18th century as many as a third of the Mandinka population were shipped to the Americas as slaves through capture in conflict and therefore a significant portion of the African-Americans in the United States are descended from the Mandinka people.[3]



The Mandinka migrated west from the [Niger River]] basin in search of better agricultural lands and more opportunities for conquest. During this expansion, they established their rule from modern-day Gambia to Guinea. They were probably one of the original groups that inhabited the ancient city of Jenné-Jeno. The Mandés founded the empire of Kaabu, comprising twenty small kingdoms. Some upper-class or urban Mandinkas converted to Islam during the reign of the great Mansa Musa (1312–1337 AD).

The majority of the Mandinka were still animists at the beginning of the 18th century. Through a series of conflicts, primarily with the Fula-led Kingdom of Fouta Djallon and amongst sub-states of the Kaabu, about half of the Senegambian Mandinka were converted to Islam while as many as a third were sold into slavery to the Americas through capture in conflict. Today, the majority of Mandinka are Muslim. A significant portion of African-Americans in North America are descended from Mandinka people.[3]

In eastern areas (northern Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Southern Mali), Mandinka communities are often built around long distance trade routes. These people, often called Dyula after the Mandé word for "merchant", built communities in trading centers, spaced along trade routes, and near mining and agricultural centers, beginning during the Mali Empire. These merchant networks formed the lynchpin of trade between the desert-side upper Niger River cities (Djenné and Timbuktu, for example), highland production areas (the goldfields of Bambouk or agricultural centre of Kankan), and the coast. This last link became more important with the advent of Portuguese and other European trading posts in the 17th century, and much of the overland trade connecting the coast and interior (including the African slave trade) was controlled by Dyula merchants.


Mandinka are rural subsistence farmers in the Sahel who rely on peanuts, rice, millet, maize and small-scale husbandry for their livelihood. During the wet season, men plant peanuts as their main cash crop. Women work in the rice fields, tending the plants by hand. This is extremely labour-intensive and physically demanding work. Only about 50% of the rice consumption needs are met by local planting; the rest is imported from Asia and the United States.

The oldest male is the head of the family and marriages are commonly arranged. Small mud houses with conical thatch or tin roofs make up their villages, which are organized on the basis of the clan groups. While farming is the predominant profession among the Mandinka, men also work as tailors, butchers, taxi drivers, woodworkers, metalworkers, soldiers, nurses, and extension workers for aid agencies. However, most women, probably 95%, remain in the home as wives and mothers.

Mandinka culture

Mandinka Griot Al-Haji Papa Susso performing songs from the oral tradition of The Gambia on the kora

Mandinka culture is rich in tradition, music, and spiritual ritual. Mandinkas continue a long oral history tradition through stories, songs and proverbs. In rural areas, western education's impact is minimal; the literacy rate in Roman script among these Mandinka is quite low. However, more than half the adult population can read the local Arabic script (including Mandinka Ajami); small Qur'anic schools for children where this is taught are quite more common. Mandinka children are given their name on the eighth day after their birth, and their children are almost always named after a very important person in their family.

The Mandinka have a rich oral history that is passed down through griots. This passing down of oral history through music has made music one of the most distinctive traits of the Mandinka. They have long been known for their drumming and also for their unique musical instrument, the kora. The kora is a twenty-one-stringed guitar-like instrument made out of a halved, dried, hollowed-out gourd covered with cow or goat skin. The strings are made of fishing line (these were originally made from muscles of cow). It is played to accompany a griot's singing or simply on its own.

A Mandinka religious and cultural site under consideration for World Heritage status is located in Guinea at Gberedou/Hamana.[4]

Customs of the Mandinka

Most Mandinkas live in family-related compounds in traditional rural villages. Mandinka villages are fairly autonomous and self-ruled, being led by a council of upper class elders and a chief who functions as a first among equals.


Marriages are traditionally arranged by family members rather than either the bride or groom. This practice is particularly prevalent in the rural areas. Kola nuts, a bitter nut from a tree, are formally sent by the suitor's family to the male elders of the bride-to-be, and if accepted, the courtship begins.

Polygamy has been practiced among the Mandinka since pre-Islamic days. A Mandinka man is legally allowed to have up to four wives, as long as he is able to care for each of them equally. Mandinka believe the crowning glory of any woman is the ability to produce children, especially sons. The first wife has authority over any subsequent wives. The husband has complete control over his wives and is responsible for feeding and clothing them. He also helps the wives' parents when necessary. Wives are expected to live together in harmony, at least superficially. They share work responsibilities of the compound, cooking, laundry, etc.

Passage into adulthood

The Mandinka practise a rite of passage which marks the beginning of adulthood for their children. At an age between four and fourteen, the youngsters have their genitalia ritually cut (see articles on male and female genital cutting), in separate groups according to their sex. In years past, the children spent up to a year in the bush, but that has been reduced now to coincide with their physical healing time, between three and four weeks. This group of children form a special, internal bond, one which remains throughout life.

During this time, they learn about their adult social responsibilities and rules of behavior. They learn secret songs which teach them what it is to be a Mandinka. These songs teach them how they are to relate to members of the opposite sex, including their parents, their siblings, their relatives, and eventually their spouses, as well as their elders and their peers. They are cared for and taught by elders of the same sex; these persons become their life-long sponsors, a very special relationship.[citation needed]

Great preparation is made in the village or compound for the return of the children. A huge celebration marks the return of these new adults to their families. The children are given new clothes and treated with new respect by their elders. Boys and girls are honored with a dance.

As a result of these traditional teachings, in marriage a woman's loyalty remains to her parents and her family; a man's to his.

Religious and spiritual beliefs

Today, over 99% of Mandinka are Muslim.[1][2] Mandinkas will recite chapters of the Qu'ran in Arabic. Most Mandinka practice a mix of Islam and traditional African religions, which includes a belief in the existence of spirits. These spirits can be controlled mainly through the power of a marabout, who knows the protective formulas. In most cases, no important decision is made without first consulting a marabout. Marabouts, who have Islamic training, write Qu'ranic verses on slips of paper and sew them into leather pouches; these are worn as protective amulets by men, women, and children.

The Kora

The Kora has become the hallmark of traditional Mandinka musicians". The kora with its 21 strings is made from half a calabash, covered with cow's hide fastened on by decorative tacks. The kora has sound holes in the side which are used to store coins offered to the praise singers, in appreciation of their performance. The praise singers are called "jalibaa" in Mandinka. According to "The Kora" (2002): as [the kora] is played, it begins to take on a life of its own and it is believed that the singer and the instrument become one". The kora was traditionally used as "storage for historical facts, to memorize the genealogy of patron families and sing their praises, to act as messengers and intermediaries in disputes between families, to serve as guardians of traditional culture, and to entertain". Today, however, the kora is losing its importance. Although it is a skill passed down from father to son, it is primarily used to entertain people, most especially tourists.[citation needed]

Mandinka in literature and other media

One Mandinka outside Africa is Kunta Kinte, a main figure in Alex Haley's book Roots and a subsequent TV mini-series. Haley claimed he was descended from Kinte, though this familial link has been criticized by many professional historians and at least one genealogist as highly improbable (see D. Wright's The World And A Very Small Place). Martin R. Delany, a 19th century abolitionist, military leader, politician and physician in the United States, was of partial Mandinka descent.

Mr. T, of American television fame, once claimed that his distinctive hairstyle was modeled after a Mandinka warrior that he saw in National Geographic magazine.[5] In his motivational video Be Somebody... or Be Somebody's Fool!, he states that "My folks came from Africa. They were from the Mandinka tribe. They wore their hair like this. These gold chains I wear symbolize the fact that my ancestors were brought over here as slaves."[6]

Many early works by Malian author Massa Makan Diabaté are retellings of Mandinka legends, including Janjon, which won the 1971 Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire. His novels The Lieutenant of Kouta, The Barber of Kouta, and The Butcher of Kouta attempt to capture the proverbs and customs of the Mandinka people in novelistic form.

Mandinka people by country

Sierra Leone

  • Alhaji Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, President of Sierra Leone from 1996–2007
  • Haja Afsatu Kabba, Former Sierra Leone's Minister of Marine Resources and Fisheries
  • Alhaji Mohamed Kemoh Fadika, current Sierra Leone's ambassador to Iran
  • Mabinty Daramy, current Sierra Leone's Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry
  • Fode Dabo, current Sierra Leone Ambassador to Belgium; he is also Sierra Leone's permanent representative to France, Netherlands, Luxemburg and Italy
  • Alhaji Shekuba Saccoh, current Sierra Leone's ambassador to Guinea
  • Ibrahim Jaffa Condeh, Sierra Leonean journalist and news anchor
  • Neneh Dabo, Director of the Sierra Leone Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).
  • Mohamed Kakay, member of parliament of Sierra Leone from Koinadugu District (SLPP)
  • Mohamed B. Daramy, Sierra Leone minister of Development and Economic Planning from 2002–2007
  • Alhaji A. B. Sheriff, member of Parliament from Koinadugu District (SLPP)
  • Sidique Janneh, former financial secretary of the PMDC political party and current SLPP vice chairman for the southern province.
  • Tejan Amadu Mansaray, member of parliamt of Sierra Leone representing Koinadugu District (APC)
  • Kadijatu Kebbay, Sierra Leonean model; Miss University Sierra Leone 2006 winner and represent Sierra Leone at the Miss World 2006 contest.
  • Sheka Tarawallie, Sierra Leonean journalist and the current Sierra Leone State House Press Secretary to president Koroma
  • Alhaji Bomba Jawara, member of parliament of Sierra Leone from Koinadugu District (SLPP)
  • Harietu Turay, Deputy Sierra Leone National Women's Leader of the SLPP
  • Isata Jabbie Kabbah, Sierra Leonean National Women’s Leader of the SLPP and wife of former Sierra Leone president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
  • Kanji Daramy, Sierra Leonean journalist and spokesman for former Sierra Leone's president Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. He is also the former Chairman of Sierra Leone National Telecommunications Commission.
  • Brima Dawson Kuyateh, Sierra Leonean journalist and the current president of the Sierra Leone Reporters Union
  • Karamoh Kabba, Sierra Leonean author, writer and journalist
  • Sheikh Alhaji Fomba Abu Bakarr Swarray, Prominent Sierra Leonean Imam
  • Mohamed Bayoh, current Sierra Leonean ambassador to Nigeria
  • Sitta Umaru Turay, Sierra Leonean journalist
  • K-Man (born Mohamed Saccoh), Sierra Leonean musician
  • Alhaji Lansana Fadika, Sierra Leonean businessman and the SLPP current chairman for the Western Area. He is the younger brother of Kemoh Fadika.
  • Sidique Mansaray, Sierra Leonean footballer
  • Lansana Baryoh, Sierra Leonean footballer
  • Brima Keita, Sierra Leonean football manager
  • Habib A. Saccoh, U.S GOV-DHS/FEMA: Hydrogeologist/ENV-SPC.
  • Mohammed Ali Sesay, Sierra Leonean Hajj manager


  • Samory Toure, founder of the Wassoulou Empire, an Islamic military state that resisted French rule in West Africa
  • Sekou Toure, President of Guinea from 1958–1984; was also the grandson of Samory Toure
  • Alpha Conde, current Guinean President
  • Sekouba Konate, Guinean Military leader
  • Lansana Kouyate, former prime minister of Guinea
  • Kabine Komara, current Prime Minister of Guinea
  • Sekouba Bambino, Guinean musician
  • Sona Tata Conde, Guinean musician
  • Fode Mansare, Guinean footballer
  • Daouda Jabi, Guinean footballer
  • Mamadi Kaba, Guinean footballer
  • N'Faly Kouyate, Guinean musician
  • Kaba Diawara, Guinean footballer
  • Mamady Keïta, Guinean musician
  • Mory Kante, Guinean kora musician
  • Mamady Conde, Guinean foreign minister from 2004–2007
  • Alhassane Keita, Guinean footballer
  • Demba Camara, Lengendary lead singer in Bembeya Jazz till 1973
  • Sori Kandia, Guinean musician
  • Sekou Diabate, Bembeya, Legendary (Guitarist) musician
  • Djeli Moussa Diawara, Guinean musician (also known as Jali Musa Jawara - 32-stringed Kora player)


  • King Sao Bosso Kamara, King Of Kings, one of the founders of Liberia.
  • Sekou Conneh, Liberian politician.
  • Momolu Dukuly, former Liberian foreign minister.
  • [[Mohamed Salia Dukuly]],Community activist, former Chairperson of Australia Mandingo Association.Hails from Big Geweh Town, Suehn-Mecca District, Bomi County.
  • Fomba Kanneh, Current Liberian Senator from Lofa County.
  • Amara Konneh, Current Liberian Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs.
  • Sheik Kafumba Konneh, Liberia Islamic Scholar and Member of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  • Losene Donzo, Former Liberia Minister Public Work.
  • Losene Kamara, Former Liberia Finace Minister.
  • Molian Jallabah, Current Member of Liberian Parliament representing Voinjama and Quardu-Gboni Districts, Lofa County.
  • Musa Bility, Liberia permanent businessman, current president of the Liberia Football Association.
  • Professor Alhaji G.V. kromah, journalist, lawyer, politician and currently a professor of mass communication and an instructor at Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law at the University of Liberia.
  • Karmoh soko sackor former associate justice of the supreme court of Liberia
  • Abdul Karim Kanneh, Liberian businessman
  • Honorable Morris Manjue Kromah, First National Secretary General of the Federation of Liberian Mandingo Associations in the United States of America (FELMAUSA), Founding member of Felmausa, Current President of the Wisconsin Mandingo Association of Milwaukee (WIMAM), Community organizer, Member of the FELMAUSA Medical Mission Trip to Liberia in 2011. Healthcare Practitioner and community activist.
  • Sheich Aboubakar Sumaworo, Grand Mufti Of Liberia, Grand Imam Of GurLey Street Mosque.
  • Sekou W. Konneh. Professor, head of the Sociology Dept At University Of Liberia.
  • Kabineh Ja'neh, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Liberia.
  • Ibrahima Kaba, Former Minister of Commerce, and Transport,
  • Ansumana F. Kromah, former Member of National Election Commission and former government Minister,
  • Edward Beyan Kesselly, former government Minister and Politician,
  • Sekou Kromah, Deputy Minister of Post and Telecommunication.
  • Late Major General Beyan Konneh Kesselly, former Commanding General of the Liberian Armed Forces
  • Abass Dolleh, Liberian Journalist
  • Abraham Bernand Waritay,Liberian Journalist
  • Ansu S.Konneh,Liberia Journalist
  • Late Chief Musa Gboni Kamara, former Member of Liberian Parliament and Paramount Chief of Quardu Gboni Chiefdom (Now named Quardu Gboni District)

Alhaji Sekou Bility(late) Former Mandingo tribal chief and former Chairman Of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL)

  • Alhaji Ansumana Ayoubah Dukuly (Late) and Most Revered Islamic scholar from Quardu Gboni District, Lofa County.
  • King Varflay Kolleh Kamara, King of Upper Green Coast, before the partition of Liberia.
  • Sekou Jabateh Oliseh,Footballer,CSKA Moscow,Lone Star
  • Nuoho S.M.Kenneth,Prominent Youth Avocate,
  • Siaka A.Turay,Prominent Business man,
  • Lossenie B. Sheriff, Veteran Liberian Journalist, Sociologist and Politician,
  • Morris M. Dukuly, Former Liberian Presidential Affairs Minister and Former Speaker of Liberian Parliament.
  • Ahmed K. Sirleaf II,award winning international human rights advocate, public international law, crisis management, and conflict resolution professional.
  • Ltg. K. Abe Kromah, former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Of Liberia, former Deputy Director of Police for CID Affairs, and former Deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Maritine of the republic of Liberia
  • Anthony Kessely-President of the Union of Liberian Association in the AMERICAS ULAA.
  • Honorable Foday Mohamed Kabineh Sirleaf I,revered Islamic scholar, teacher and promiment member of the House of Sirleaf, Bopolu Medina, Gbarpolu County, Republic of Liberia.
  • Mohammed Richard Konneh, First Elected President of the federation of Liberian Mandingo Associations in the United States of America.
  • Ousman OBE Bamba, Activist, Founder of Movement for Mandingo Justice (MOMAJ).
  • Manyou MAS Bility- A youth activist


  • Alhajj Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, The First President of The Gambia.
  • Sheriff Mustapha Dibba, Veteran politician and the First vice President of the Gambia.
  • Sheriff Saikouba Sisay, Former Governor of The Central Bank of The Gambia & Minister of Finance of The First Republic of The Gambia
  • Alhajj Sir Farimang Mamadi Singateh, the second and last Governor General of The Gambia.
  • Bakary Bunja Dabo, Former vice president and finance minister from 1987-1994.
  • Seni Singhateh, First Dean of the then Gambia school for the blind and disable.
  • Ousainou Darboe, Gambian opposition leader.
  • Sidia Jatta, opposition politician.
  • Jatto Ceesay, Footballer
  • Foday Musa Suso, international musician.
  • Demba Sanyang, Paramount Chief.
  • Lalo Kebba Drammeh, Legendary Kora musician till 1973.
  • Omar Faderah, Bun Jeng, Muslim scholar and preacher.
  • Jali-Kemo Kuyateh, Griot, orator and language expert in Mandinka.
  • Bakary kebbaring kamara, Oral historian,orator and language expart in mandinka.
  • Kang Kaleefa Jaabi, Renowned Muslim scholar and Qur'anic Translator in Mandinka.
  • Wandifeng Jobarteh, Legendary Kora musician and songwriter/composer.
  • Foday Kabbah Dumbuya, Warlord and regional chief.
  • Mama Tamba Jammeh, Regional chief.
  • Sanjally Bojang, Regional chief
  • Jaliba kuyateh, famous Gambian musician.
  • Edward Singateh, former vice president.
  • Hatab Bojang, Gambian Muslim scholar.
  • Kunta Kinte, one of the most famous first-generation African slaves.
  • Ba-Kausu Fofana, Muslim scholar and preacher.
  • Fah Ceesay, Alkalo of Mandinari.


Ivory Coast

  • Alassane Dramane Ouattara, Current Ivorian President, Former Prime Minister and Former World Bank Executive.
  • Henriette Diabaté, Husband Ivorian politician, former government Minister
  • Kolo Touré, Ivorian footballer
  • Salomon Kalou, Ivorian footballer
  • Arouna Koné, Ivorian footballer
  • Abdul Kader Keïta, Ivorian footballer
  • Bakari Koné, Ivorian footballer
  • Bonaventure Kalou, Ivorian footballer
  • Muhammeh Jah, The Gambian Businessman of The Year for many years
  • Alpha Blondy, Ivorian (Reggae) musician.
  • Aicha Kone, Ivorian (Lead singer) musician.
  • Yaya Toure, Ivorian footballer
  • Douk Saga, Ivorian musician
  • Late Dr. Balla Keita, Former Ivorian Minister of Higher Education and Politician


  • Seckou Keita, Senegalese musician
  • Souleymane Diawara, Senegalese footballer
  • Alhajj Sidia Jaabi, Muslim scholar in Cassamance.
  • Ansumana Manneh (Nghansu Masing), Warlord and regional chief in Cassamance.
  • Babou Jobarteh, Kora musician in Cassamance

Burkina Faso

  • Amadou Coulibaly, Burkinabé footballer
  • Cheick Kongo, Burkinabé mixed martial artist
  • General Lamizana President
  • Colonel Saye Zerbo]] Head of Sate from 1980 to 1982
  • General Ali Traore, Chief Defence Force
  • General Honoré Traore, Chief Defence Force
  • Colonel Mamadou Traore, Chief of Staff of National Gendarmerie
  • Late Joseph Ki-Zerbo, Political Leader and Historian

See also


  1. ^ a b Logon, Roberta A. (May 2007). "Sundiata of mali". Calliope 17 (9): 34–38. 
  2. ^ a b Quinn, Charlotte A.; Quinn, Charlotte A. (Dec., 1973). "Mandingo Kingdoms of the Senegambia: Traditionalism, Islam and European Expansion". The American Historical Review 78 (5): 1506–1507. doi:10.2307/1854194. JSTOR 1854194. 
  3. ^ a b Bound To Africa — The Mandinka Legacy In The New World
  4. ^ "Architecture vernaculaire et paysage culturel mandingue du Gberedou/Hamana - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  5. ^ Mentioned in a number of interviews, including Mr. T: Pity The Fool,, Published Thursday, November 09, 2006. Mr. T gives a 1977 date, for an article with photos on the Mandinka in Mali. National Geographic Magazine's index has no record of such an article.
  6. ^

Further reading

  • Charry, Eric S. (2000). Mande Music: Traditional and Modern Music of the Maninka and Mandinka of Western Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0226101614. 
  • Robert W. Nicholls. The Mocko Jumbie of the U.S. Virgin Islands; History and Antecedents. African Arts, Vol. 32, No. 3 (Autumn, 1999), pp. 48–61+94-96
  • Matt Schaffer (Editor). Djinns, Stars and Warriors: Mandinka Legends from Pakao, Senegal (African Sources for African History, 5) (African Sources for African History, 5). Brill Academic Publishers (2003) ISBN 9789004131248
  • Matt Schaffer. Bound to Africa: The Mandinka Legacy in The New World. History in Africa 32 (2005) 321-369
  • Robert J. Mundt. Historical Dictionary of the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire). Scarecrow Press/ Metuchen. NJ - Kondon (1987) pp. 98–99
  • Lucie Gallistel Colvin. Historical Dictionary of Senegal. Scarecrow Press/ Metuchen. NJ - Kondon (1981) pp. 216–217
  • Pascal James Imperato. Historical Dictionary of Mali. Scarecrow Press/ Metuchen. NJ - Kondon (1986) pp. 190–191
  • ETHNOLOGUE Languages of the World- Thirteenth Edition (1996).

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