Henry, Jos. (Joseph). The Soul of an African people: The Bambara: their psychic, ethical, religious and social life

Table of Contents

Publication Information

The Soul Of An African People The Bambara Their Psychic, Ethical, Religious, And Social Life

Chapter 1

1. Beliefs Concerning The Forces Of Nature

2. Taboos

Legend Of The Two Kouloubali

Legend Of A Branch Of The Taraoulé

Legend Of Another Taraoulé Branch

Legend Of The Two Djara

Legend Of The Samaké

3. The Gnâma

Chapter 2 Animism And Its Consequences

1. The Beliefs About Spirits

2. Sorcery And Priesthood

3. Metamorphosis

4. The Dja

Chapter 3 The Bambara's General Ideas On Human Life

1. Sickness

2. Death

3. The Reincarnation Of Souls

Chapter 4 Bambara Ideas Concerning God, Invisible Beings, And Adam And Eve

1. Belief In God

2. The Saraka

Chapter 5 Fetishism Among The Bambara; The Worship Of The Gnéna Classification Of The Gnéna, Who Are Identical With The Arab Djiné

1. What Is Meant By Gnéna Or Djiné

2. Gnéna Who Dwell In The Bush

3. Gnéna Who Roam The Village And Its Environs

4. Genie Of Ponds, Springs, And Wells

5. Genii Of The Crops

6. Genii Protectors Of Children

7. The Genie Protector Of Circumcised Youths

8. The Women's Genie

9. The Twins' Genie

10. The Genie Protector Of Villages

11. The Koté, Or Koré, Genie

Chapter 6 Worship, Celebrations, Saraka, Sacrifices, And Dances In Honor Of The Gnéna

1. The First Two Groups Of Gnéna

2. Gnéna Of The Third Group; The Eight /sic/ Categories Of Powerful Gnéna

The N'tomo, The Special Children's Fetish

The N'golo, The Special Fetish Of The Circumcised

The Mouso Ka Djiri, The Women's Special

The Sinsin, The Special Twin's Fetish

The Dasiri Fetish, Protector Of Villages

Election Of The Priest

The Choice Of The Dasiri Fetish And Its Sacred Mount

Enthronement Of The Gnéna-n-sonnaba, Priest Of The Dasiri And Dougoutigi, Head Of The Village

Sacrifices Offered To The Dasiri

The Formula Of The Sacrifice

The Semioccult Society Of The Koré, Or Koté

Chapter 7 The Worship Of Satan Or Worship Of The Gnâ, Or Boli

1. What Is Meant By Gnâ, Or Boli

2. The Legend Of The Boli

3. Boli Whose Power Is Slight

4. Boli Whose Power Is Great

5. Differences Among The Powerful Boli

6. Talking Boli

Concerning The Sirikoun

Chapter 8 The First Years In The Life Of A Bambara

1. The Sexual Morality Of The Bambara

2. Concerning Adultery And Fornication


3. The Birth Of A Child

4. Tattooing

Chapter 9 Circumcision In Bambara Country

1. The Importance Of Circumcision

2. The Soli Si Festival, Or The Vigil Of The Circumcised

3. The Da Woro Festival, Or The Sixth Day Festival

4. The Festival Of The Boloko Déou Don Bo, The Coming Out Of The Circumcised And The Excised, The Real Entry Into Civil And Religious Life

Chapter 10 Bambara Marriage

1. The Marriage Proposal (1)

2. The Diviners And Fetishes Accept Or Reject The Suitor

3. The Betrothal

4. The Wedding Of A Young Bambara Girl

5. Exhibition Of The Bride's Trousseau On The Evening Of The First Day

Chapter 11 Bambara Burials

1. The Grave And The Cemetery

2. No Sacrifice To The Shades Of The Dead

3. Respects Paid To The Uncircumcised

4. Burials Of The Circumcised, Old People, Heads Of Families, Married And Unmarried Persons, Pregnant Women

Burials Of The First Category, Those Of Old People

Burials Of The Second Category, Those Of Heads Of Families

Burials Of The Third Category, Those Of Married Persons Who Are Not Heads Of Families

Burials Of The Fourth Category, Those Of The Unmarried

Burials Of Women Who Were Pregnant Or Died In Childbirth

5. Sacrifices To Fetishes On The Occasion Of A Death

6. Respects Paid To Initiates Of The Koŕé, Or Koté

7. Burial Of The Excommunicated

8. Worship Accorded To The Dead

Untitled Section: ...

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: The Soul of an African people: The Bambara: their psychic, ethical, religious and social life

Published By: Original publisher Münster i. W.: Aschendorff. 1910. v, 238 p., [24] leaves of plates ill.

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Joseph Henry

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 2000. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Bambara (FA08)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF Descriptive somatology (142); Ethos (181); Normal garb (291); Body alterations (304); Water supply (312); Domestic service (357); Utensils (415); Borrowing and lending (426); Life and death (761); Burial practices and funerals (764); Cosmology (772); Mythology (773); Animism (774); Difficult and unusual births (845); Abortion and infanticide (847); Activities of the aged (887);

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document This volume is a study of the religion and some aspects of the life cycle of the Bambara by a French Roman Catholic missionary who had spent some years among them around the turn of the century. In the course of the work, Henry discusses the Bambara mentality and taboos, animism, general ideas on human life, Bambara ideas of God and other beings, fetishism, cults and sacrifices, the early life of the Bambara, circumcision and excision, marriage and death. Henry's views on the Bambara are highly colored by his own religious background, but, allowing for this, he was a very perceptive observer of Bambara life.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 4

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. fa08-004

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English translation from French

Note: Translation of: [L'ame d'un peuple Africain. Les Bambara leur vie psychique, ethique, sociale, religieuse] Translated for the HRAF files by Anne Coleman in 1960

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document ca. 1900

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Missionary-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Timothy J. O'Leary ; 1960

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). 1900-1910

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) Mali

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Bambara (African people)


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