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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.


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Astley--and the Mandingo warrior Kongo Kolo fuse with the horse and leap beyond human capacity to become the very martial ideal that unifies the entire entertainment.
Lundy's role as a Mandingo fighter reflects the contrast of the powerlessness of slavery against the super human strength it took to survive such atrocities.
Languages: French (official), Wolof, Pulaar, Serer, Diola, Mandingo, Soninke.
What most Americans know about the South has been derived from popular culture and motion pictures, beginning with Birth of a Nation (1915), epitomized in Gone with the Wind (1939), and coming down to the present through such radically disparate byways as To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Mandingo (1975).
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The final cohort of participants included four men and four women ranging in age from sixty to seventy-eight, transcending tribes and regions of Liberia, from Lofa to Robertsport, Mandingo to Basso, refugee to asylum seeker.
But the majority of roles, especially in predominantly African-American comedies, still fall under one-dimensional stereotypes: Mandingo objects of sexual desire, sissies sashaying in the hair salon, and down-low "brothas" spreading HIV.
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One finds the pattern repeatedly in West Africa, where Islamic culture, in its earliest stages, formed around the resilient cultural institution and agrarian-based corporate entity of the Mandingo (Mande-Dyula) trading village.