The structure and significance of kuranko clanship

Michael Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Recently renewed interest in the history and social structures of the Mande-speaking peoples of the West Sudan has brought to attention a problem of both ethnographical and theoretical importance. It is the problem of understanding the structure and functions of clanship in Mande societies, while at the same time interpreting the meanings of clan names, rituals, myths, totemic usages, and inter-clan relationships. In approaching the first aspect of the problem one is faced with questions of definition which have not been satisfactorily resolved; for example, are the nyamakala groups properly defined as ‘castes’, and are the dyamu (or diamu) to be described as ‘clans’ or as ‘patronymic groups’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-415
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1974
Externally publishedYes


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