Interesting facts on Mali with Magnus
Mali? Where is that? Is it in Africa? ooh do they have safaris? What type of animals do they have there? For many, Mali, the country, its culture, its music and history is unknown. When I hear the of the country Mali, I go back to memory lane when my Dad will tell my siblings and I the story of the richest man in the world, Mansa Musa or the prosperous kingdom of Timbuktu. Years later, I came across Magnus’ instagram feed on this historically rich country, I immediately knew that I had to share Mali’s often hidden story to the world. In this post we expose the most interesting facts on Mali.
Mansa Musa; excerpt: AnswersAfrica
Interesting facts on Mali: Why Mali?
My name is Magnus I am from the Netherlands. I am a photographer and I have been traveling to Africa since 1999. I already had a big passion for Africa, but I had only been to the Eastern parts before. It was not a well thought out plan, I think I booked my trip to Mali impulsively as I often do for most of my travels. I was probably listening to Oumou Sangare while searching for a destination.
Mali is located in the western part of Africa.
Interesting facts on Mali: Culture, and Religion
Mali is the heart of West African culture and upon arrival to Bamako, I immediately heard Malian music everywhere. On the radio, on the bus, in music shops, in the places I stayed, and in almost every place I visited. Sometimes on a smaller scale where a few people would make music on the streets during the weekend, to a packed stadium in Segou where I saw Oumou perform at a free concert organized by a local telecom provider.
Two other things were prevalent in Mali. The mud architecture you see all around and the colorful traditional dresses that men and woman wore.
I visited Mali in the spring of 2011, and by the end of that year, things really took a turn for the worse when Religious enthusiasts controlled Northern Mali, forbidding music and the wearing of colorful dresses.
Mali is a
Muslim country, it has always been since the 15th Century.
Sufism is also a big part of the culture. You can see this influence in many of the
and mausoleums in Mali. The Malian empire (1230 -1670) was the largest and most powerful kingdom of Africa. It was formed by Sundiata Keita but influential through Mansa Musa’s leadership. After Mansa Musa’s famous pilgrimage from Mecca, he brought back with him Muslim scholars and architects. He wanted to spread the knowledge of Islam across the country. He built five mosques in baked bricks for the first time (source). Islamic prosperity reached its peak during his reign. It was an era of development and education where knowledge and ideas were shared. Information of this enlightened period spread quickly as far as Europe and the Middle East. So much so that it spurred well-known traveler, Ibn Battuta to visit Mali.
Besides being a center of excellence, Mali was known for its trade of (Ivory, Ostrich feathers, Kola nuts and gold). Mali’s gold was important all over the world. In the later medieval period, due to Mali’s influence, west africa was producing almost two-thirds of the world’s supply of gold. (Berkeley
For more information on Islam in West Africa, click here
Interesting facts on Mali: The Music
Since my trip to Mali, my Malian music collection has grown considerably. In West Africa, you have the Griots or Djeli’s who are the keepers of traditional history which they do in music. This tradition is already hundreds of years old, some of the songs they still play are over 700 years. With time, this grew into a very sophisticated form of music with a distinct style and a tradition that keeps on evolving.