Bandiagara is a district capital in the fifth (Mopti) region, and was
named by the people of a neighbouring village, Doucombou, who said they
were going to the "big platter," a place of abundant meat: the site of
an ancient hunting outpost for Ouologem and Tembeli. Traders would
leave their wares and produce in exchange for a portion of game
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Stinging flying ants that can crawl through the holes in a mosquito net.
Bambara meaning 'earth light' because of the shimmering of their wings
when they crawl around on the ground.
In the Bambara and Malinke languages "djeli" means "griot" and also
"blood". In their inherited duty and vocation, the djeli are the
life-blood of Malian society. As oral historians, storytellers,
singers and musicians, they keep the past in living contact with the
present by acting as ajudicators, arbitrators, even match-makers. Both
men and women practice this vocation. In this way they bind the
relations between people and families and in a wider circle the whole
of society, and allegorically, into the fabric of the whole human
Kinkeliba is a tea, made by boiling leaves. The bitter medicinal leaves
are often blended with a different, milder variety of kinkeliba to make
it more palatable. This drink is taken to relieve feaver and as a
general internal cleansing.
The marabouds are difficult to explain, partly due to the complex
character of their profession(s), and partly due to the respect they
command as a result. They are holy men, teachers and preachers of
Qu'ran (The Koran); they perform the religious rites of Islam. Some of
them, at odds with and yet coexisting with their faith, are also
practitioners of animist magic: harnessing and controlling forces
inherent in the world.
Mefloquine is recommended for areas where malaria is
chloroquine-resistant. Its functioning was still mysterious in 1994,
and a wide range of conditions and side-effects (physiological and
psychological) are given as pretexts for avoiding or discontinuing it's
Many malaria-treatment drugs are also contra-indicated when taking
Mefloquine. Treatment with increased dosages of Mefloquine is not
recommended without close medical supervision. Treating malaria while
on Mefloquine is possible with sulfa drugs (e.g. Fansidar), but
these may be difficult or impossible to obtain in country.
Considering Mefloquine? Consider the following. I am not a physician,
parasitologist or pharmacologist. I did, however take mefloquine
(brand-name "Lariam") as a malaria prophylaxis, and had to abandon it's
use due to side-effects.
Ouologem and Tembeli
Dogon founders of Bandiagara. Anda Ouologem lived with his wife Saberi,
sister of Nagnabanou Tembeli, at the north of the Yamé River.
One day Nangabanou came to find his sister, and stayed to live with her
family until Anda's death. Then Nangabanou and Anda's two sons, Badji
and Antimbé, crossed the Yamé to where Bandiagara is
today. They each built a togou, to live in and hunt from. All three
were successful hunters, but as Tembeli was the elder, he received the
greatest and best portions from the hunt, and thus it is his togou
which is remembered as the first building in the town.