Bonne fête a tous les musulmans du monde, que la paix règne dans le monde. Merry Ramadan! May Peace Reign.

This photo was taken on our recent
trip to Djenne while filming our
documentary on Musical Traditions in Mali: Young Mali.

L’équipe de i4africa du souhaite une bonne Eid al Fitr à tous les
musulmans du monde. Eid Mubarak.

This photo was taken on our recent
trip to Djenne while filming our
documentary on Musical Traditions in Mali: Young Mali.

iforafrica:

Calling the masks: This photo was taken on our recent trip to Dogon while filming our
documentary. We were lucky to happen upon this special ceremony. The
last time it had taken place was 15 years ago. It’s a Daama, a
collective funeral and initiation.

Dogon Funeral Masks. This photo was taken on our recent trip to Dogon while filming our
documentary. We were lucky to happen upon this special ceremony. The
last time it had taken place was 15 years ago. It’s a Daama, a
collective funeral and initiation.

Calling the masks: This photo was taken on our recent trip to Dogon while filming our
documentary. We were lucky to happen upon this special ceremony. The
last time it had taken place was 15 years ago. It’s a Daama, a
collective funeral and initiation.

Initiation: This photo was taken on our recent trip to Dogon while filming our documentary. We were lucky to happen upon this special ceremony. The last time it had taken place was 15 years ago. It’s a Daama, a collective funeral and initiation.

This is a full playlist of the i4Africa series on Musical Traditions in Mali. The following ten vignettes are mini-documentaries about traditional music and dance in Mali in the words of practicing artists and musicians.

This series was made possible by a grant from the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. A special thanks goes out to the Public Affairs Department at the US Embassy in Bamako.

“In past times, I would not point this horsetail at a person who did not make blood flow.” The Bolon (Warrior’s harp) is the instrument of the Warrior Kings of Mandé. While other ethnic groups play a similar instrument, according to Ibrahim Traoré, he is the only person playing the Mandinka Bolon in Mali today.

Function of Tradition: The bolon is a warrior’s harp and was played to give courage to men going to the battlefront. It was played after the battle to celebrate the victory, and during the execution of captives who refused to surrender and swear allegiance to their new masters.
Reason for disappearance: The royal wars no longer exist. Those who ruled are no longer in power. The traditional social systems of Mandé have been replaced through colonialism, independence, and democracy. Those who had the power are now without. It is suggested that the individuals who worked with the colonial powers were actually people of caste, and have replaced the true nobility. Learning to play the bolon is not easy. The world of the bolon is dangerous. One must be well educated in the knowledge of plants and spells in order to navigate safely.

The masks of Fadiobougou, In the cultural zone of Djitoumou, serve many purposes. For the Bambara, just hearing the word Djinn is terrifying. The masks imitate things found in the bush. After seeing the imitations, peoples knowledge of it can stop them from panicking. The experience can help you overcome your fear. In the fall, if there has been a good harvest, the village prepares the masks to organize the celebration. On that day, everyone is peaceful and and they forget all their grudges. Both old and young respect each other. The masks bring people together, and promote social cohesion.

Function of tradition:
If there is a good a harvest, the people organize the celebration. This celebration promotes peace and social cohesion. The masks prepare people for what they may encounter in the bush, whether it’s the supernatural djinn, or a wild animal. The encounter between the villagers and the masks teach them how to react when the find themselves confronted with an actual situation.
Reason for disappearance: Today, many people are more interested in music from other regions like Wassoulou, and other forms of music, both national and international, that they hear on the radio, television, and Internet. Among the youth, hip-hop is far more popular than traditional music. Nigerian pop music has also become very popular in Mali.