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(1) The self-designation (also, Malinke, Man-ding, Wangara, Mandinga, Mali) of a group of peoples living in West Africa—in southern Gambia, northern and northeastern Republic of Guinea, western Mali, the Republic of the Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Portuguese Guinea (Bissau)—who speak the Malinke language. The group also includes the Koranko and Wasulunka in the Republic of Guinea, the Manyanka in Liberia, and several other groups.

(2) A name used primarily in French works to refer to a large group of closely related peoples: the Malinke proper, or Manding, Mandinga), the Bambara (Banmana), and the Dinla. All of them live along the upper course of the Senegal and Niger rivers; they constitute the main population of western Mali, northeastern Republic of Guinea, southern and eastern Senegal, and certain regions of the Republic of the Ivory Coast, Upper Volta, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Portuguese Guinea (Bissau). Total population, approximately 4.2 million (1970, estimate).

The Mandingo speak languages related to the northern group of Mande languages. Most of the Mandingo are Muslims; old animistic beliefs and ancestor worship are still practiced in some areas. The chief occupation is farming (millet, corn, rice, kidney beans); livestock raising (goats, sheep, donkeys, poultry) is poorly developed; the Diula engage in trade. The basic form of Mandingo rural village settlements is a group of mud huts surrounded by a mud wall. A kindred group, usually a large patriarchal family, lives in each village. Traditional social relations, such as secret societies, caste differences, and age-class systems, are still partially retained in many regions. However, all of these ancient institutions are gradually disappearing.

According to legend, the historical center of the formation of the Mandingo peoples was located along the upper reaches of the Niger River, where, in the eighth century, the political unification of the Mandingo was achieved with the founding of the Mali state.


Sund’iatta: Mandingskii epos. Leningrad-Moscow, 1963. (Translated from French.)
Labouret, H. Les Manding et leur langue. Paris, 1934.
Labouret, H. Paysans d’Afrique occidentale. Paris [1941].




a group of languages that includes the Bambara, Malinke, and Diula dialects (Mande-tan group of the Mande languages). Malinke is spoken in Senegal, Sudan, the Republic of the Ivory Coast, Gambia, and Guinea (1.1 million people); Bambara is spoken in Senegal, Sudan, Guinea, and Upper Volta; Diula is spoken in the Republic of the Ivory Coast and Upper Volta. There are approximately 4.2 million speakers of Mandingo languages (1970, estimate).

Vowels are distinguished according to degree of opening (degree of aperture of the speech passage), for example, bere “stick,” bεrε “stone.” Other phonetic features include the presence of long vowels (ba “big,” “mother”), nasalized vowels (bo “to go out,” b5 “room”), and the labialized consonant gb. Suffixes are used in word formation and for inflection. Concept alienability and inalienability categories occur.


Delafosse, M. La Langue mandingue et ses dialectes, vol. 1. Paris, 1929.
Delaforge. Grammaire et méthode Bambara, 6th ed. Paris, 1947.


References in periodicals archive ?
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se le recibio su declaracion por medio de interpretes, dijo que era de nacion mandinga y que desde su nacimiento tenia la virtud para curar los males que se causaban por hierbas y hechizos; era "una gracia que saco de la barriga de su madre".
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En 1784 se resolvio en Santa Fe, en junta de tribunales, la construccion de nuevas fundaciones en Caiman, Carolina, Concepcion y Mandinga (29).
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Sesenta anos antes en la ciudad de Mexico Pedro Briseno habia vendido a Anton Mandinga, un esclavo sano y sumiso de 30 anos, por 300 pesos de oro comun, cuya conversion equivalia a 90,000 maravedis (34).