1. a member of an agricultural people living in Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Ivory Coast.2. the Mande language of the Malinke people.
* * *Cluster of peoples occupying parts of Mali, Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire, Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau.They speak a Mande language of the Niger-Congo family. Numbering 4.7 million, they are divided into numerous independent groups dominated by a hereditary nobility. One group, the Kangaba, has one of the world's most ancient dynasties; its rule has been virtually continuous since the 7th-century founding of the Mali empire. Most contemporary Malinke grow millet and sorghum and tend cattle. In religion they are divided among Islam and indigenous faiths.
* * *▪ peoplea West African people occupying parts of Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau. They speak a Mandekan language of the Mande branch of the Niger-Congo family.The Malinke are divided into numerous independent groups dominated by a hereditary nobility, a feature that distinguishes them from most of their more egalitarian neighbours. One group, the Kangaba, has one of the world's most ancient dynasties; its rule has been virtually uninterrupted for 13 centuries. Beginning in the 7th century AD as the centre of a small state, Kangaba became the capital of the great Malinke (Mali) empire known as Mali (q.v.). This was the most powerful and most renowned of all the empires of the western Sudan, now memorialized in the name of the Republic of Mali.The contemporary Malinke are an agricultural people, cultivating such staples as millet and sorghum and tending small herds of cattle, kept primarily for trade, bride-price payments, and prestige. Houses are predominantly cylindrical, with thatched straw roofs, and are often grouped in substantial numbers and surrounded by a palisade. Descent, inheritance, and succession are patrilineal. Since about the 12th century they have mostly been Muslim.
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