Traditional chiefs, joking kinship relations, and the state in the Republic of Mali

Vostok/Oriens '2018, №4

DOI: 10.31857/S086919080000435-5

The article is based on field researches of 2015 and 2016 by the author. He discusses the impact of the traditional political institutions on the political culture of the Republic of Mali. The author makes note that in Mali a kind of “dual power” exists at the level of local self-government: simultaneously with the republican authorities, traditional chiefs and village councils are very active. According to the Malian Constitution, these village institutions are entrusted with the functions of local government. Thus, in the Dogon Country as well as throughout the Republic of Mali, modern administrative boundaries cut the traditional cultural and historical ties. That makes solving problems of vital importance to the Dogon villages rather difficult. Traditional chiefs compensate for this shortcoming due to their indisputable authority they enjoy among the population and among the Republican administration. Traditional chefs realize historically established ties between the villages. Traditional political culture do play especially positive role in the “engagement” of the Tuareg and of Arabs who are involved to the conflict in the north of Mali, into the system of djamu and/or joking kinship relations.

Keywords: Mali, Dogon, traditional chiefs, djamu, joking kinship relations

Pages: С. 88–101

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