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.
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