Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
The term N'domo refers to a mask that is used for one of the initiation rites of the Bamana people of Mali. It is believed that the Bamana were at one time matrilineal; however, since the emergence of Islam in Mali, they have been a patrilineal society like that of the Dogon and Mandinka communities in the same region of West Africa. Most Bamana villages are no more than 1,000 people. The relationship between father and son is a core axis of value in the Bamana household; therefore, the process of initiation, despite Islam, remains one of the central facts of Bamana life. This bond between father and son influences the clan name given to the son, the wealth of the family, the child's education, the identity of the child within the larger Bamana society, and the inheritance of status in the family. This entry describes Bamana culture, the N'domo ...