About the People
This second largest people group in Guinea make their living as farmers, miners, and merchants. Patriarchal and polygamist, their society is known for its ingenuity and leadership. The Maninka value honesty, logical thinking, and the ability to speak in public; however, they are very suspicious and men avoid close personal relationships. Maninka Islam approves of divination, healing, and certain magical procedures. Fear plays a large part in their spiritual lives.
About the Project
The Maninka trace their roots back to the vast, wealthy Mali Empire of West Africa, which rose to power in the 1200s. Today, also known as the Malinké or Mandingo, they are the same people group numbering over four million and found in at least six countries of West Africa. They are a “gateway people” to more than 10 million Mandé speaking peoples of West Africa. These staunchly Muslim traders, skilled workers, and farmers pride themselves on spreading Islam throughout their trade routes, from the heart of West Africa to the Atlantic coast
- Location: Guinea, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone. Also known as: Malinké, Mandingo.
- Population: 4,000,000
- Primary Religion: Folk Islam
- Number of Christians: around 2,250
- Language: Maninkakan (dialects change according to population segment)
- Maninka are only 0.06% Christian — 99% of the population is lost
- Steeped in Islam and African Traditional Religion
- Located mostly in rural areas
- Health care: Small local gov’t clinics with limited supplies, no prevention awareness or clean water in most villages; poor sanitation practices and African traditional medicines.
- Family Structure: Polygamous marriages
- Diet: rice with tomato and onion-based sauce with peanuts, ground millet, eggplant, leafy greens or meat/fish; fruits—mangoes, bananas, oranges, papayas, grapefruit.