GAMBIAN MANDINKA

The Mandinka of the Gambia are the western branch of the Mande peoples; they look back to the time of Sunjata and the leadership of Tira Magan Traore for their origins (the text of Bamba Suso in Innes 1974 illustrates this perception). In the 18th and 19th centuries, the society was dominated by the nyanchos, a warrior aristocracy devoted to slave-raiding for the Atlantic trade; the figure of Kelefa Sane evokes the ethos of this period. Around 1867, ongoing hostilities with the Muslim Fulbe of the Futa Jallon led to warfare, and the Almami of Timbo led an army that captured Kansala, capital of Kaabu. In a sense, the modern Gambia dates from this period.

This listing includes Sunjata texts and hunters' narratives that also appear separately in the specialized sections. Following the table of performances is a list of sources and secondary readings.

Sherif Jabarteh Kinte History

Wright 1979, pp. 117-123

Mandinka

English

ca. 1975
Kelefa Sanneh and Niumi/Jokadu

Wright 1979, pp. 95-109

Mandinka

English

1 Jan. 1975
Unus Jata History of Niumi

Wright 1979, pp. 30-40

Mandinka

English

Sept.

1974

Amadou Jebate La jeunesse de Soundiata

Recueil de littérature pp. 108-125

Mandinka

bilingual -F

ca, 1980
Amadu Jebate Janke Waali

Innes 1976, pp. 31-71

Mandinka

bilingual

April 1969
Ba Ansu Jebate Musa Molo

Innes 1976, pp. 181-254

Mandinka

bilingual

pre-1969
Shirif Jebate Kelefa Saane

Innes 1978, pp. 79-115

Mandinka

bilingual

pre-1968
Bakari Kamara Mambi and the Crocodile

Innes and Sidibe 1990, pp. 15-73

Mandinka

English

1969
Mammadu and the Great Beast

Innes and Sidibe 1990, pp. 74-120

Mandinka

English

1969
Banna Kanute Sunjata

Innes 1974, pp. 136-259

Mandinka

bilingual

1969
Dembo Kanute Faa Koli

Innes 1974, pp. 260-323.

Mandinka

bilingual

1968
Sana Kuyate Battle of Kansala

Sidibe 1980

Mandinka

English

pre-1980
Kemo Kuyate Early History of Niumi (Jasey)

Wright 1979 pp. 73-89

Mandinka

English

15 Sept. 1974
Samba Laoube and Boubacar Senn Guelowar History

Wright 1979, pp. 149-170

Mandinka

English

4 Feb. 1975
Afang Lasana Saane The Battle of Kansala

Trilling, Sourcebook pp. 6-11

Mandinka

English

ca. 1980
Saajo Saane Battle of Kansala

Trilling Sourcebook, pp. 13-22

Mandinka

English

ca. 1980
Abdoulie Samba Early Gambian history

Wright 1979, pp. 129-140

Mandinka

English

12 Nov. 1974
Bamba Suso Sunjata

Innes 1974, pp. 34-135

Mandinka

Bilingual

1969
Musa Molo

Innes 1976 pp. 127-180

Mandinka

bilingual

1969
Fode Kaba

Innes 1976, pp. 255-306

Mandinka

bilingual

1969
Kaabu Mandinka

Innes 1976 pp. 72-126

Mandinka

bilingual

1969
Kelefa Saane

Innes 1978, pp. 28-78

Mandinka

bilingual

pre-1968
Various Local histories

Cissoko and Sambou 1974

Mandinka

bilingual F

1969


REFERENCES
Sources

Sékéné-Mody Cissoko and Kaoussou Sambou. Recueil des Traditions Orales des Mandingues de Gambie et de Casamance. Niamey, CELHTO, 1974.

Kandioura Drama, ed. "Epopée de Naling Sonko (Gabou)." Dakar: IFAN. Paper presented at the Conference on Gabou.

Ethiopiques 28 (July-Oct. 1981). Special Issue: Actes du colloque international sur les traditions orales du Gabou.

Gordon Innes, ed. and trans. 1974. Sunjata: Three Mandinka Versions. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.

-----. 1976. Kaabu and Fuladu: Historical Narratives of the Gambian Mandinka. London, School of Oriental and African Studies.

-----. Kelefa Saane: His Career Recounted by Two Mandinka Bards. London, SOAS, 1978.

Gordon Innes and Bakari Sidibe, eds. and trans. Hunters and Crocodiles: Narratives of a Hunters' Bard Performed by Bakari Kamara. Sandgate, Paul Norbury/Unesco. 1990.

Amadu Jebaate.1980. "La jeunesse de Soundiata." ed. and trans. D. Creissels and S. Jatta. Recueil de Littérature Mandingue. Paris. pp. 108-125.

Bakari Sidibe. The Battle of Kansala, recided by Sana Kuyate. Banjul, Oral History and Antiquities Division, 1980. Paper Presented at a Conference on the History of Gabou, Dakar.

Alex Trilling. "A Sourcebook on the Fall of Kansala and the Life of Janke Waali." Banjul, Oral History and Antiquities Division, 1980. Paper Presented at a Conference on the History of Gabou, Dakar.

Donald Wright. Oral Traditions from the Gambia: volume 1. Mandinka Griots. Athens, Ohio. Ohio University Center for International Studies, 1979.

Donald Wright. Oral Traditions from the Gambia: volume 2. Family Elders. Athens, Ohio. Ohio University Center for International Studies. 1980.

See Also:

Alice Bellagamba. Ricordati di ieri: Storia e storie in una regione del Gambia. Torino: L'Harmattan Italia, 2000.

Djibril T. Niane. Histoire des Mandingues de l'ouest. Paris: Karthala, n.d. (1989?)

Charlotte Quinn. Mandingo Kingdoms of the Senegambia. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1972.

Christian Roche. "Les trois Fode Kaba." Notes Africaines 128 (Oct. 1970), pp. 107-111

Patience Sonko-Godwin. Ethnic groups of the Senegambia Region: Social and Political Structures. Banjul: Government Printers, 1986.

------. Ethnic Groups of the Senegambia Region: A Brief History. Second Edition. Banjul, Sunrise Publishers, 1988.

-----. Leaders of the Senegambia Region: Reactions to European Infiltration, 19th -20th Century. Banjul: Sunrise Publishers, 1995.

Donald Wright. "Kaabu and Niumi." Paper presented to the conference on Manding Studies. London, 1972.

------. The Early History of Niumi. Ohio University, Center for International Studies. Africa Series No. 32. 1977.

------. "Koli Tengela in Sonko Traditions of Origin." History in Africa 5 (1978), pp. 257-271.

------. "The Epic of Kelefa Sane as a Guide to the Nature of Precolonial Senegambian Society -- and Vice Versa." History in Africa 14 (1987), pp. 287-309.

-----. The World and a Very Small Place in Africa. Armonk: M. E. Sharpe, 1997.

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