The Ethnography of a West African Holy Land
By Matt Schaffer and Christine Cooper
 MANDINKO :: The Ethnography of a West African Holy Land


  • 116 pages, paper back
  • Numerous b&w photos
  • Several maps and tables

Table of Contents:

  • Preface 1987
  • Introduction
  • 1. Fieldwork
  • 2. Pakao: The Setting
  • 3. Social Principles
  • 4. History
  • 5. Social Action
  • Epilogue: Mandinka Democracy

"MANDINKO" is college level text that complments Eric Charry's Mande Music book. Providing background on the Manding people and their culture and ritual.

The portrait of the Mandinko that emerges in this case study is one of a particularly religious people who have a deep sense of their own history and of their importance to the history of their particular region of West Africa. The book accomplishes what a good ethnography should—the description and interpretation of the significant institutions of contemporary Mandinka life, including social organization, sex roles, marriage, kinship, leadership and authority, warfare, a slave caste system, religion, subsistence, and environment. Where possible, these institutions are viewed in the context of social history and in light of the advent and impact of Islam.

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