This book contains some of the finest examples of Mandinka oral tradtions ever published, both in English and the original Mandinka, along with a chapter of Mandinka Arabic script texts translated into English. As a complement to the author's ethnography of the Mandinka published in 1980/1987, this book presents legends about jihad leaders, witchcraft, local Islam, cosmology, the founding of villages, great leaders among women, notable social institutions and other significant people and places. The Pakao country of southern Senegal developed into a West African center of pilgrimage. This book reveals the linguistic richness of Mandinka as an African literature in its own right and contributes to broader Mande studies. Since Mandinka figured prominently in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, this book also lays a basis for future work by the author on a cultural legacy of Mandinka in the New World.
Matt Schaffer, D.Phil. (1976) in Social Anthropology, University of Oxford, England, is CEO of Global Tactics, Inc, in Spokane, Washington. He wrote Mandinko:The Ethnography of a West African Holy Land (Waveland Press, 1987) and published Pakao Book (1975).
"L'une des grandes réussites de ce recueil de M. Schaffer se trouve dans le souci constant de l'auteur." – Mamadou Diouf, in: Journal of African History
All those interested in West African history, anthropology, and literary oral traditions, especially those interested in Mande studies, witchcraft, religion, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, along with students of local Arabic script manuscripts.