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Culture and Customs of Mali (Culture and Customs of Africa Culture and Customs of Africa)by Dorothea E. Schulz
Synopses & Reviews
Rated among the world's ten poorest nations, Mali has a glorious past and a less-certain present. Culture and Customs of Mali touches on the first as background for understanding the second, exploring multiple facets of contemporary social life and cultural practices in this landlocked, West African nation.
The book offers an overview of diverse aspects of everyday social, cultural, and religious life in Mali, paying particular attention to regional and ethnic variations. It shows how current social conventions and cultural values are the product of a centuries-long history, while at the same time dispels the common perception that African societies are rooted in unchanging tradition. Readers will come away with a better understanding of the multiple ways in which Malians, starting from their own customs and cultural foundations, integrate themselves into an international economic order and a globalized world of shared media images and cultural practices.
Book News Annotation:
Schulz (anthropology, U. of Cologne, Germany) surveys the culture and customs of Mali for students and general readers. She explains the country's religion and worldview, with discussion of Islam, Christianity, and Tuareg, Bamana, Dogon, and Senufo religions and other traditions. Also explored are literature and media, including the oral tradition and the relevance of Arabic and other scripts; art and architecture, such as sculptures and masks, pottery and textiles, mud architecture, mosques, and urban housing; and cuisine and dress. Gender roles, marriage, and family, and children, youth, and socialization are discussed, as well as social customs, ceremonies, holidays, leisure, and changing values and lifestyles. Other topics covered include music, dance, and performing arts. Information on history, geography, peoples, languages, education, economics, and politics is included. The bibliography is annotated. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Touching on everything from its rich musical heritage to its varied cultural traditions, this is a thorough and accessible introduction to the contemporary lives of the different peoples who call Mali their home.
• Covers the era of French colonial occupation and of post-independent Mali in detail
• Demonstrates the modern and ever-evolving character of Malian culture and society by covering important aspects of daily life and cultural practices of the peoples of Mali
• Illustrates the rich cultural heritage and long-standing interaction of the Malian peoples with faraway places in Africa and the Middle East
• A chronology of important political events and developments from the medieval empires of Mali until the contemporary period
• Photographs of Malian life
• A glossary of key terms, such as polygyny, marriage payments, and oral tradition
• A bibliography of important work written in English on Mali, its history, peoples, culture, religion, and social customs
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