ISBN 9789995280505
Pages 104
Dimensions 210 x 148 mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations
Published 2010
Publisher Editions Yeelen, Mali Republic
Format Paperback

La Geomancie des Monts Mandingues

L'art de lire l'avenir dans le sable

by Jan Jansen, Namagan Kante

This book describes a trajectory of formalized apprenticeship in a Mande divination system. This apprecticeship demonstrates, in contrast to what theories predict, that formalized arithmetic education can exist in a society that has not developed a system of mathematics, that has a low level of literacy, and in which writing is mostly a technology used for the reproduction of religious texts (and not for the organization of the society). At the same time, this book describes the hitherto never noticed divination system of the Mande Mountains, which is a system with twenty-two "houses". The numerology of this system may offer new perspectives on "classical" Mande texts of creation myths.

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About the Author

Jan Jansen

Jan Jansen has a special interest in oral tradition in Sub-Sahara Africa. He conducted extensive fieldwork in the region southwest of Mali's capital Bamako. Jan Jansen’s anthropological studies focus on the relationship between historical discourses and local politics.  

He has published extensively on local systems of education by apprenticeship and has produced - often in collaboration with Malian scholars and local male elites - numerous text editions of oral history accounts. Jan Jansen’s current research project focuses on the epistemological and methodological consequences of applying new recording and documentation technology, with a special attention for the academic traditions by which the encounter between researcher and informant is constructed. 

Jan Jansen is editor of History in Africa - A Journal of Method and co-editor of African Sources for African History (published by Brill, Leiden) and Mande Worlds (published by LIT Verlag, Munster/Hamburg).

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