||Music is one of the main cultural resources of Mali.
Going back to ancient empires, such as the Mande empire,
there is a rich tradition in praise songs. These malinke or mandingue praise
songs are the exclusive domain of the griots (djeliw), hereditary
praise singers, genealogists and historians, formerly singing on the royal courts.
This music is still alive and performed, but modern Malian music has become
more diverse as several other styles developed over time. For example,
there is the more up-tempo Bambara sound by the big bands of the 1970s and 1980s such as
Super Biton and Super Djata, the Mali blues of
Boubacar Traoré 'Kar Kar', the bluesy
Songhaï music of Ali Farka Touré, Afel Bocoum
or Sidi Touré, and the thriving Wassoulou sound made famous by Oumou
The use of traditional instruments is widespread, examples are the kora,
a (mostly) 21 string harp-lute, the bala or balafon, a wooden xylophone
with calebashes as resonance boxes, the ngoni, a 4-string lute, the kamele
n'goni, a youngster's lute, the dozon n'goni, a lute of the hunters, the
m'bolon, a bass lute, and of course several percussion instruments such as the
djembé (of Guinean origin), the tama
(small talking drum) and the doun-doun.
The use of modern instruments such as the electric guitar or the classic guitar is often done in
a way to imitate the sound of the traditional instruments.
Malian music has become quite popular in Europe and North America, which is expressed in CD sales, concerts and festival
appearances as well as a number of awards won by Malian artists. A number of artists have been nominated for a Grammy Award,
several of the nominees won a Grammy Award over the past decade.
||Official name: République du Mali|
||Region: West Africa|
|Main ethnic groups:
||Around 15, main groups are Mandé (Bambara, Malinké, Soninké/Sarakole,
Khassonké), Fula (Peul), Bobo, Senoufo and Minianka (Mamana), Songhai, Tuareg, Moor.
Smaller groups are Bozo, Somono, Dogon|
Flags courtesy of ITA's
Flags of All Countries used with permission.