BAMBARA (MALI) (2,2,3-,3+,2,2;8,8;D1)




IndexAfricaMali → Bambara






At the end of girl’s initiation, girls are told by the initiators about types of husbands, how to behave with their husband’s friends, how to secure marriage, and how to resist advances of men who might court them[1]. Zahan (1960:p48)[2] [?] relates about the institution called “woman-friend”. Being liaisons hidden from adults, the boy watches her virginity, and she prepares the meals of the initiates.



Additional refs.:


§         Couloubaly (1984-5)[3]

§         Diallo, Assitan (1978) L'excision en Milieu Bambara. ENSup, Bamako, Mali. Mémoire de fin d'études, juin

§         Dicko, Lalla A. (1987) L'excision en Milieu Bambara du Mali: rite initiatique ou pratique mutilante? Mémoire de fin de cycle à l'Ecole des Assistants Sociaux et Educateurs Spécialisés (ENAES), Dakar

§         Imperato, Pascal J. (1977) African Folk Medicine: Practices and Beliefs of the Bambara and Other Peoples. Baltimore: York Press (pp. 185-90 on female genital operations)











Janssen, D. F., Growing Up Sexually. VolumeI. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed. 2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology

Last revised: Sept 2004


[1] Thiam, A. (1978) La Parole aux Négresses. Paris: Éditions Denoël. English translation, 1986, p101-2

[2]Zahan, D. (1960) Sociétés d’Initiation Bambara, le Ndomo, le Koré. Paris: Mouton [?]. Also cited by Erny

(1972 [1981:p61])

[3] Couloubaly, P. (1984-5) L’enfance Bambara, Bull Instit Fondament d’Afr Noire 46,1/2:137-85