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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ecological Perspectives on Mande Population Movements
Author:Brooks, George E.ISNI
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:West Africa
ethnic groups
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3171777
Abstract:How may one account for the present distribution of speakers of Mande languages in West Africa? Available data regarding population movements, economic activities, State-building, and other historical processes are examined here in the context of eight climate periods spanning the past eight millennia: the Atlantic Wet Phase (c. 5500 to c. 2500 BC); a two-and-a-half-millennia-long period of desiccation; a six-centuries-long transition period between c. 300 BC and c. 300 AD; four centuries of moderate rainfall c. 300-c. 700; four centuries of abundant rainfall c. 700-c. 1100; a four centuries' long dry period from c. 1100 to c. 1500; a brief wet period, c. 1500-c. 1630; and a two-centuries-long dry period lasting until c. 1860. Like other West African groups, Mande speakers responded to changing climatic conditions in a variety of ways, including adapting to changing rainfall patterns in a given area, migrating to different locations, taking advantage of circumstances regarding commercial exchanges, or raiding neighbouring groups. The principal focus of the paper is the northern subgroup of Mande speakers. Dialects belonging to this group include Soninke, Susu/Jallonke/Yalunka, Vai/Kono, and Mandekan. Ref.