Thursday, January 13, 8800

Founding of Mopti (c. 1800) - Griots

Mopti (Pronounced Mohti) is a city

at the confluence of the Niger and the Bani in Mali,

between Timbuktu and Ségou. The city lies on three islands linked by dykes: the New Town, the Old Town and Bani. As a result it is sometimes known as the "Venice of Mali."

The islands had long been inhabited, but Mopti was only founded in the nineteenth century as part of the Massina Empire, later becoming the base of El Hadj Umar Tall.

El Hadj Umar Tall, also Umar Tal,Umar Taal "Umar Futi", al-Hajj Umar ibn Sa'id Tal, or el-Hadj Omar ibn Sa'id Tal, (ca. 1797 - 1864) was a West African politician, Islamic scholar, and Toucouleur king who founded a brief empire encompassing much of what is now Guinea, Senegal, and Mali. Early in his career he preached and wrote against social injustices such as the Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The music of Mali is dominated by forms derived from the ancient Mande Empire. The Mande people make up most of the country's population, and their musicians, professional performers called jeliw (sing. jeli, French griot), have produced a vibrant popular music scene alongside traditional folk music. Influences also come from the hundreds of ethnic groups surrounding Mali, as well as Moorish and European musical forms.

Mali - Mopti - Kondawele