chapter  19
12 Pages

The Guest is a Hot Meal: Questioning Researchers’ Identities in Mande Studies

WithBrehman Diabate (alias Clemens Zobel), Sidiki Kouyate (alias Jan Jansen)

This chapter aims to explore the consequences of having a jamu, in relation to the presentation of the self in the field as well as in relation to the collection of data. Thus, it is an attempt to start an inquiry into methodological characteristics which are pertinent to Mande research, at least in Bamako and South of Bamako. Mamadou Kouyate had instructed Mamadou Diawara to say that he was sent for a talk about the village foundation and the first village chiefs. In general each village chief agreed without hesitation to Kouyate's request to record the village foundation story. Kouyate's research had stressed that both so-called historical traditions and identities are contemporary context-bound constructions that serve to demonstrate the status of a person or a group. Both in Diabate's research area and in Kouyate's collaboration with Sundiata Keita mansarenw and other horonw was inevitable.