Talk:Mandinka people

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Is there any overlap between this article and Mandé? --Joy [shallot] 19:14, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes. It seems that there could be a serious reworking of the entire set of pages on "Manding" peoples and the larger Mande group, and their languages. It is easy to get confused over the relationship among them. A12n 17:10, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Other famous Mandinka people[edit]

Kunta Kinte ?[edit]

There is already an article about him, that states his Mandinka origins Kunta Kinte

Mr.T - a descendant of the Mandinka people?[edit]

Didn't Mr.T say in "Be Somebody..or be somebody's fool" that he descended from the Mandinka people, in the scene by the tree in the park where he explains all the children about the importance of roots? Mogura 16:29, 6 July 2006 (UTC)


The bit on Islam seems to have a systematic bias. just my thoughts

The use of the word "understand" implies fact - "believe" is more appropriate under a spiritual belief section - as to remain impartial to all other belief systems. Wikipedia should make no direct claims as to the state of correctness of any religion. Nicholas SL Smith 03:32, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Spiritual beliefs[edit]

This section is extremely derogatory of indigenous Mandinka religious beliefs. I'm too busy with school right now to research and re-write it, but maybe someone else has more time.  :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Knightrunner (talkcontribs) 16:27, 31 August 2007 (UTC) Knightrunner 16:36, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

I second the above comment. First of all the source is baised from the beginning with the aim of converting the Mandinka to Christianity as it's goal. They assume that all beliefs are inferior to thiers, as if they have a monopoly on the truth of the spiritual world. It's pejorative nature is unmasked in the tone and way they approach Mandinka beliefs. I have lived in the Mandinka villages of Kiang Kayaf, Nyomi- Essau, and Noumi Juffreh, and drawing from those experiences I can say that the Mandinka are a proud people whose dignity should not be derided! The Mandinkas belief are reflected in thier hospitality and kindness they show others. They never hesitate to offer strangers thier food, or even thier own bed. The belief of how the individual and how he relates to society is reflected in the proverb- siinyoo kuu buka siinyoo kaarii (A good neighbor ignores not his neighbor), and also in Ning i daa te moo la hajoo to moo fanaang daa te tara la ila hajoo to! (If you do not have peoples time they also will not have your time) This reflects humanities interdependence, which if you want to survive in a Mandinka culture you must realize that you are not alone -Isaac Christiansen —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:39, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

The Beliefs section does seem to be highly biased - lauding Islam as opposed to simply informing readers of the belief system. I contest the impartially of this section. It should be corrected or removed.

Nicholas SL Smith 03:36, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

It was recently added to this article that over 99% of these people are Islamic. Unless there is some source for this, it will be removed. Leaving a qualitative statement such as "majority" is much easier to justify without backup. Nicholas SL Smith (talk) 00:37, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Again - 99% is a very specific number - without the support of some source, such a strong claim can not be supported - and will be reverted. Nicholas SL Smithchatter 18:23, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Mandinkas fiercely opposed Islam and they paid that dearly: abb 1/3 of the Mandinkas, who refused Islam where sold into slavery to the Europeans slave-traders on the coast and sent to Americas. Many other Mandinkas who resisted Islamisation in the 19th century, where massacred. Almost all the slaves where in fact opposants to Islam. Very few Muslim Mandinkas arrived in fact as slaves in America because Muslim slave-traders, who had the absolute monopoly of the slave gathering in the African interior, did not sold them co-religionists to Europeans. Nevertheless, some Muslim Mandinkas converts where captured by European slave hunters, in the villages not far from the coast, like the case described by A. Haley in "Roots", but the historians agree that they where less than 2% of the total slaves.

The remaining Mandinkas, most probable the surviving half of the total tribe, accepted Islam. The overall outcome of the forced Islamisation process was a large loss of population, massacres of the best elements of the tribe and bloody religious jihadi cleansing against non-Muslims.

The younger generations are not aware that the people was islamized through force by tribes from the southern fringe of Sahara. More than that, some contemporary Afro-Americans sub-cultures are seeing the Mandinkas as "fierce Muslims". This is true for many Mandinkas in Africa, now, in the 21th century, but is NOT TRUE and very un-just for the poor slaves sold to Americas in horrible conditions !

The section reffering to the History of Mandinkas and the Religion of Mandinkas SHULD definitely be revisited for the memory of the innocent victims of the slave-trade !

Who wrote this? Please sign posts --
This is not an issue of refuting facts - it is an issue of backing up extreme claims. We only need a source for verification to include this; that shouldn't be hard to find if it is true. If it is true, but is not backed up by a third party source, it is original research and has no place on Wikipedia. Nicholas SL Smithchatter 02:07, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Again, the %99 figure seems wrong (as does the inclusion of the screed above -- with spelling corrected -- into the article). Does this include Jola peoples? Mandinka people in Sierra Leone and southern sections of Cote d'Ivoire? Why the constant digs ( ia assume by a different editor) at Islam. All slave traders were Muslim? Just not true. See Lovejoy on this. I'll want to see the text of these cited articles, and will revisit this. I fear much of this article will have to be removed and started over. T L Miles (talk) 00:21, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Looking more closely the screed above is from user:, bops around writing nasty things about Islam, mostly dealing with his native Balkans. Unless its well cited and encyclopedic, I'm removing any article sections he writes in articles dealing with West Africa I come across. That said, someone prior overwrote sections in the main article about what great, loyal, kind, etc, etc. Muslim scholars all Mandinka people are. This article is not about who's religion is better, so leave it out. T L Miles (talk) 00:29, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
I re-removed the 99% figure - it was unsupported by the article cited. Nicholas SL Smithchatter 18:52, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Population figures.[edit]

The quoted figures for populations in various countries are surprisingly precise. If there is a source for these figures, could they please be cited, so that we do not suspect that strange games are being played with the numbers, as they have been with other data relating to Sierra Leone? dbfirs 15:57, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Why I've begun re-writing this article[edit]

Well, its a mess. I've re-written the lead, and some of the culture and history, but theres much more to do. Perhaps something could be adapted form the Mende peoples article? It seems to have been taken verbaitum from a evangelical Christian website here Then someone, seeing that it was dismissive of Mandinka culture (esp. religion), basically wrote in an essay on what good Muslims all Mandinka people are. THEN, some guy from Romainia who has issues with Islam edited it further, as part of a project started at Islam in Africa to convince people African Muslims were responsible for the Atlantic Slave trade. I've removed the last two, and hacked at the first, but that basically means the culture section needs to be re-written from scratch. I'll check back in the next week, and add bits, especially drawn from Boubacar Barry's Senegambia and the Atlantic Slave Trade, as the history of conflicting states in the Senegambian interior is crucial here (roughly 1700-1880s). Much other help is needed. T L Miles (talk) 02:34, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Some guy from Romania who has issues with Islam? No way! I don't have any issues with the religion of Islam and in fact I’m an admirer of the exquisite Islamic civilizations developed inside the Abbasid Caliphate and Al-Andalus. But I have indeed problems with Islamist, Fascist and Communist propaganda, and this article was full of Islamist propaganda and lies. It described the Mandinkas as exclusivist and bigot Muslims, and this is not the case. The article obliterated the plight of the Mandinkas as slaves and the population loss during the Islamisation.

I'm not trying to convince people that African Muslims were responsible for the Atlantic Slave Trade. Quite the opposite! Please read again and do not twist my words. As I wrote, African Muslims was responsible only for INLAND African Slave Trade. It was in fact a division of tasks: the Muslims did the trade inland and the Europeans did the trade along the Middle Passage (across the Atlantic). There where indeed, very rare occurrences of Europeans who ventured inland to capture or buy slaves. As a rule, the Europeans did purchase the slaves on the ocean shore, by "parleys" (bargains held on special designated rally points for slave-marketing).

I'm aware that in the US is forbidden, because of the "politically correctness", to show the dark side of the Islamic Civilization (The African Slave Trade, the massacres during the Islamisation in different parts of the World, etc.). I understand that now, in the US, you are required to describe Islam only in nice tones and colors, and to hide the crimes committed in the name of Islam. But in some parts of the world people are still free to tell the truth and to write in a scientific and non-biased way.

After all, what is the use of History if instead of learning from it (from bad and from good events of History) we are presenting it in a biased, non-scientific and one-sided documented manner? By the way, I had a lot of experiences on reading "communist festivist and triumphalist history" in my country during the near communist past and I was horrified to see the same manner of "writing" history in a lot of articles of Wikipedia.

These are non anti-Islamic stances, these are historical facts and by revealing them to the people all over the World, it could help everybody (and the Muslim people themselves !) to learn from history and to avoid in the future, the intolerance, the violence, the mass-murders and the bigotry based on religion (irrespective of religion).

If you are intending to re-write the article, please try to do it in a scientific, non-biased manner and do not use propagandistic materials, like Islamist authors. And please, refrain yourself from primitive personal attacks, which by the way, are forbidden by Wikipedia!

For clarification, here is an excellent book from your own country : New York: Macmillan . Mannix, D. and M. Cowley (1966) "Black Cargoes: A History of the Atlantic Slave Trade"

Have a nice day and a good start for a future better article on Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:10, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Sekou Conneh.png[edit]

The image Image:Sekou Conneh.png is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

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This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --06:33, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Neglected source[edit]

The explorer had a lot to say about the Mandinka in his book.

Park, Mungo (1816). Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa: Performed in the Years 1795, 1796, and 1797. London: John Murray.

And none of the editors of this page have referred to it.MidlandLinda (talk) 19:57, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Genital mutilation[edit]

Yet another Wikipedia article pussyfoots around the disgusting practice of the genital mutilation of children in Africa, presumably for PC reasons. I'm very disappointed but not surprised. -- (talk) 20:31, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

I agree. The section should be edited and made more encyclopedic. But don't assume so called "pussyfooting". Just edit the article. --Mordekai wiki (talk) 15:54, 20 November 2011 (UTC)


A small section could be added on Mandinka drumming and the drums used by the Mandinka- the kutiro, kutirindingo and sabaro. They are peg drums, smaller than sabar, but like sabar they are played with one hand and one stick, usually with three drummers. There are a few good recordings of kutiroo music- one by Mamadou Ly, and also Jelibaa Kuyateh (Gambian Kora star who mixes contemporary and traditional styles) has a kutiro section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:36, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

This article is seriously confounding MANDINKA/MANDINGO people and MANINKA = MALINKE/MALENKE people.

They are different ethnic groups and they speak different languages.

Yes, the Mandinka/Mandingo are closely related to the Malinke/Malenke, but they are distinct peoples.

The Mandinka/Mandingo are predominantly found in Senegal. The Malinke/Malenke (((with three main ethnolinguistic

groups speaking three different dialects: Western Malinke, Kita Malinke, and Eastern Malinke))) are found more in

far eastern Senegal, Mali, and Guinea.

People need to get this stuff straight. There's A LOT of ethnographic, ethnolinguistic, 'pure' linguistic, sociolinguistic,

etc. literature out there.

The Keita clan in Mali do not consider themselves Mandinka/Mandingo. They are MALENKE and they speak MALENKE = MANINKAKAN.

Simply put, people are confusing and merging the MANDINKA and the MANINKA (= Malenke/Malinke).

They are related peoples, and are related to the Bamana (aka Bambara) and Dyula/Jula... but these are all separate

people and they speak different languages, about as similar/close as French, Italian, and Spanish are to each other. (talk) 20:17, 9 August 2010 (UTC) --someone who has been to Senegal, Mali, and the Ivory Coast several times for research

Mandinka people by country[edit]

This entire section is a mess. Masses of red links, and it's nothing more than a random collection of names, without rhyme or reason. I don't see how this would be useful to a reader wanting to learn about Mandinka people. This isn't material for an encyclopaedia article. The section should be deleted in its entirety. --MichiHenning (talk) 04:55, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

I have removed all the redlined names and placed them here. Before putting them back, please explain why the person is notable and why it should be listed here despite not having a page of their own on Wikipedia. --MichiHenning (talk) 22:49, 8 May 2012 (UTC)

At an age between four and fourteen,... between three and four weeks. ... during this time, they learn about their adult social responsibilities and rules of behavior.

Connection with capoeira[edit]

The following was added by an anonymous editor: "Mandinga -- as this people group is referenced in nearly all Capoeira Lore reaching back to West Africa as the 'Musical Hunters.' "

Considering the use of the word to describe fetishes among people of African origins in Brazil ([1]), it seems plausible that this is indeed the same word. Islam did spread among Mandinkas somewhat earlier than among most other West African peoples. The semantic development would have been "Mandinka" > "Muslim" > "incomprehensible Muslim ritual" > "magic" > "ability in capoeira" ([2]). However, that's still just a guess and it should be sourced; furthermore, this unexpected use of the word in another language certainly does not belong in the lede.-- (talk) 02:06, 24 April 2013 (UTC)


Looks like the only people of note that Senegal has ever managed to come up with are footballers. I'm sure that readers who want to learn about the Mandinka will be pleased to find out that, mostly, the Mandinka are footballers, at least in Senegal… MichiHenning (talk) 08:46, 27 March 2016 (UTC)