The culture of Mali

The tribes in Mali are Bambara which consists of 31.4%, Fula Macina 9.6%, Soninke 7.4%, Sanghai 6.3% and Dogon 5%. Bambara is one of the largest tribe, who occupy many of the civil servant positions. Only the Dogons and the Tuareg are the ones who practice a more traditional way of life.


Dogon is located mainly in the administrative districts of Bandiagara and Douentza. The population in this region is most heavily concentrated along a 200 km stretch of escarpment called the Cliffs of Bandiagara near Timbuktu, South of the Sahara Desert in West Africa.


They are an ethnic group and are approximately 700 Dogon villages. Their homeland has been designated a World Heritage site because of its cultural significance. They are famous for their artistic designs in woodcarvings and elaborated masks. Their dances include over 80 varieties of masks where each of them depends on the type of celebration.


The Fulani of Mali is also known as the Fulfulde or Peul and estimates their number in Mali between 850,000 to 1,000,000 people. They are from a subgroup known as the Futa Jalon. They are one of the largest nomadic societies in the world covering at least six nations in West Africa.


The Tuareg or blue men of the desert are one of the ancient nomadic tribes still eking out a desert existence. They are famous for their artwork and their fighting abilities and are a proud race of people.


there are 32 languages listed for Mali but French is the official language and most of the population uses Bambara as its mother tongue. There is a small number of Christians but most of the Malians are Sunni Muslims and a low level of indigenous or traditional animist beliefs.


The food in Mali is similar to that of other areas in West Africa. Fish dishes are popular and include Nile perch which is fried or grilled, stewed or baked.


People in Mali are very creative whether it might be architecture, wood carvings, brass carvings, mud cloth fabric design, gold jewellery, dance or music. They are known for genuine mud cloth with hand painted designs using the traditional methods which have been passed on for many centuries.


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