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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter 2017

Bamana Texts in Arabic Characters: Some Leaves from Mali

From the book The Arts and Crafts of Literacy

  • Tal Tamari


This study analyses five Bamana-language texts composed in the earlier twentieth century by Amadou Jomworo Bary, a Fulbe scholar from the Masina (Mali), that were hand copied in 1972 by the Fulbe scholar and researcher Almamy Maliki Yattara. The writing system, which uses modified Arabic characters to note phonemes specific to Bamana, is compared to other West African adaptations of Arabic script. The article also examines the doctrinal positions developed and world view implicit in the texts, which concern water rites in San (Mali), Islamic belief and practice, and healing. Attention is drawn as to how knowledge of local cultural contexts can contribute to a better understanding of these manuscripts.

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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