Amadou Hampâté Bâ

Last updated
Amadou Hampâté Bâ
Amadou Hampate Ba.jpg
Born1900/1901
Died15 May 1991

Amadou Hampâté Bâ (1900/1901 15 May 1991) was a Malian writer and ethnologist.

Mali republic in West Africa

Mali, officially the Republic of Mali, is a landlocked country in West Africa, a region geologically identified with the West African Craton. Mali is the eighth-largest country in Africa, with an area of just over 1,240,000 square kilometres (480,000 sq mi). The population of Mali is 18 million. Its capital is Bamako. The sovereign state of Mali consists of eight regions and its borders on the north reach deep into the middle of the Sahara Desert, while the country's southern part, where the majority of inhabitants live, features the Niger and Senegal rivers. The country's economy centers on agriculture and mining. Some of Mali's prominent natural resources include gold, being the third largest producer of gold in the African continent, and salt.

Ethnology social science that deals with ethnies (Peoples)

Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that compares and analyzes the characteristics of different peoples and the relationships between them.

Contents

Biography

Amadou Hampâté Bâ was born to an aristocratic Fula family in Bandiagara, the largest city in Dogon territory and the capital of the precolonial Masina Empire. At the time of his birth, the area was known as French Sudan as part of colonial French West Africa, which was formally established a few years before his birth. After his father's death, he was adopted by his mother's second husband, Tidjani Amadou Ali Thiam of the Toucouleur ethnic group. He first attended the Qur'anic school run by Tierno Bokar, a dignitary of the Tijaniyyah brotherhood, then transferred to a French school at Bandiagara, then to one at Djenné. In 1915, he ran away from school and rejoined his mother at Kati, where he resumed his studies.

Fula people A large ethnic group in Sahel and West Africa

The Fula people or Fulani or Fulɓe, numbering between 38 and 40 million people in total, are one of the largest ethnic groups in the Sahel and West Africa, widely dispersed across the region. As an ethnic group, they are bound together by the Fula language and their Islamic religious affiliation, their history and their culture.

Bandiagara Commune and town in Mopti Region, Mali

Bandiagara is a small town and urban commune in the Mopti Region of Mali. The name translates roughly to "large eating bowl"—referring to the communal bowl meals are served in.

Dogon people ethnic group

The Dogon are an ethnic group living in the central plateau region of Mali, in West Africa, south of the Niger bend, near the city of Bandiagara and in Burkina Faso. The population numbers between 400,000 and 800,000. They speak the Dogon languages, which are considered to constitute an independent branch of the Niger–Congo language family.

In 1921, he turned down entry into the école normale in Gorée. As a punishment, the governor appointed him to Ouagadougou with the role he later described as that of "an essentially precarious and revocable temporary writer". From 1922 to 1932, he held several posts in the colonial administration in Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso, and from 1932 to 1942 in Bamako. In 1933, he took six months' leave to visit Tierno Bokar, his spiritual leader. (See also:Sufi studies)

Gorée Commune darrondissement in Dakar Region, Senegal

Île de Gorée is one of the 19 communes d'arrondissement of the city of Dakar, Senegal. It is an 18.2-hectare (45-acre) island located 2 kilometres at sea from the main harbour of Dakar, famous as a destination for people interested in the Atlantic slave trade although its actual role in the history of the slave trade is the subject of dispute.

Ouagadougou City in Centre Region, Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou, also Vagaga, is the capital of Burkina Faso and the administrative, communications, cultural, and economic centre of the nation. It is also the country's largest city, with a population of 2,200,000 in 2015. The city's name is often shortened to Ouaga. The inhabitants are called ouagalais. The spelling of the name Ouagadougou is derived from the French orthography common in former French African colonies.

French Upper Volta former colony of French West Africa

Upper Volta was a colony of French West Africa established on 1 March 1919, from territories that had been part of the colonies of Upper Senegal and Niger and the Côte d'Ivoire. The colony was dissolved on 5 September 1932, with parts being administered by the Côte d'Ivoire, French Sudan and the Colony of Niger.

In 1942, he was appointed to the Institut Français d’Afrique Noire (IFAN — the French Institute of Black Africa) in Dakar, thanks to the benevolence of Théodore Monod, its director. At IFAN, he made ethnological surveys and collected traditions. For 15 years he devoted himself to research, which would later lead to the publication of his work L'Empire peul de Macina (The Fula Empire of Macina). In 1951, he obtained a UNESCO grant, enabling him to travel to Paris and meet with intellectuals from Africanist circles, notably Marcel Griaule.

Dakar Capital city in Senegal

Dakar is the capital and largest city of Senegal. It is located on the Cap-Vert peninsula on the Atlantic coast and is the westernmost city on the African mainland. The city of Dakar proper has a population of 1,030,594, whereas the population of the Dakar metropolitan area is estimated at 2.45 million.

Théodore Monod French naturalist and explorer

Théodore André Monod was a French naturalist, explorer, and humanist scholar.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

With Mali's independence in 1960, Bâ founded the Institute of Human Sciences in Bamako, and represented his country at the UNESCO general conferences. In 1962, he was elected to UNESCO's executive council, and in 1966 he helped establish a unified system for the transcription of African languages.

His term in the executive council ended in 1970, and he devoted the remaining years of his life to research and writing. In 1971, he moved to the Marcory suburb of Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, [1] and worked on classifying the archives of West African oral tradition that he had accumulated throughout his lifetime, as well as writing his memoirs (Amkoullel l'enfant peul and Oui mon commandant!, both published posthumously). He died in Abidjan in 1991.

Marcory Suburb and urban commune in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Marcory is a suburb of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It is one of the 10 urban communes of the city. Marcory is one of four communes of Abidjan that are entirely south of Ébrié Lagoon, the others being Treichville, Koumassi, and Port-Bouët.

Abidjan City and autonomous district in Côte dIvoire

Abidjan is the economic capital of Ivory Coast and one of the most populous French-speaking cities in Africa. According to the 2014 census, Abidjan's population was 4.7 million, which is 20 percent of the overall population of the country, and this also makes it the sixth most populous city proper in Africa, after Lagos, Cairo, Kinshasa, Dar es Salaam, and Johannesburg. A cultural crossroads of West Africa, Abidjan is characterised by a high level of industrialisation and urbanisation.

Bibliography

(translated into English and published as A Spirit of Tolerance: The Inspiring Life of Tierno Bokar , Bloomington, Indiana: World Wisdom, 2008)

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References

  1. Hawkins, Peter. "Amadou Hampaté Ba". French Literature Companion. Answers.com. Retrieved 2009-04-02.

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