Sibiri Samaké: “Donso wassoulou Mande”

sibiri samake 2


Sibiri Samaké

Sibiri Samaké is the griot of the Sébénikoro hunters.

Mali lies at the heart of African history, and hunters lie at the heart of Malian history. From Nagara to Sessao, from Manankoro to Taoudénit, the spirit of the hunters floats over all of Mali, leaving the mark of their achievements on all its civilizations: Bamanan, Manding, Dogon, Peul, Sarakolé, Songhai and many others. Guardians of the animistic rites, the hunters are by far the oldest traditional organization spared by the sands of time; neither Islam nor Christianity have succeeded in modifying their character. These Malian hunters make up a vast family, whose doctrine is founded on four functions:

– Creation of towns and roads (95%)
– Communal army and police
– Supply of animal protein to the community
– Traditional medicine.

Through their knowledge of the brush and its flora, hunters are healers whose skills have long been proven. I had the great fortune of belonging to that vast family and practicing the hunt loyally, as a virile sport, roaming the land of the Bamanan, Mandingo, Peul and Dogon and our regions of majestic sand dunes, following the ancestral rules of hunting, which to my mind embodies an art, a science, a culture accessible to all.

The splendor of Mali’s history is inconceivable without the glorious emergence of the hunters. They have a perfect structure, flexible and practical, adapting easily to the present realities of each region of the country, without overlooking the realities of the predictable future.

The association of hunters is a human organization indispensable to the Malian nation. As born out by the daily actions of its members, any visitor setting out on a synergetic adventure will marvel at the hunter guide’s skill as he leads him from the Sudanese zone to the Sahel zone, like the master of the forest who, through his peregrinations, brings our forest trees to life. The visitor can admire at leisure the power of these men spared by the corruption of modernism.

A host of hunting celebrities provides Malian society with symbols of temerity and selflessness. Sibiri Samake is a young 28-year-old Bamanan, born in Djitoumou, in the village of Fadiobougou, in the heart of animist country. A descendant of Djitoumou Balla, Balla Sanbali, Balla Tounounbali (Balla of Djitoumou, Balla the eternal, Balla the constant), the son of Diomodje Samaké and Nango Bagayoko, Sibiri Samaké, the griot of the hunters, is the heir to a noble family. A few years ago, he lost his father, the chief hunter. Grand master Diomodjé Samaké had many disciples and was constantly welcoming the griots who came to sing of his deeds. Sibiri Samaké and his brothers were marked by these musicians. His elder brothers, Broulaye and Adama, were the first artists in the family, rapidly followed by their little brother. Even as a child, he played for his young friends. Encouraged by his father, who entrusted him to other master griots, the destiny of the man started to take from. Little by little, the bird built its nest.


Little by little, Sibiri Samaké became a griot of the hunters. Now this talented, young griot with the deep, full, fascinating voice is starting to make a name for him. Follow his peregrinations across the prairie of his ancestors. You will discover Soumangourou Kanté, the father of blacksmiths, Soundiata Keita, the vanquisher of Soumangourou, Samory Touré, Tièba, Banemba, Wessoubougou Bandiougou Diarra, a symbol of a courage and virtue who preferred killing himself to submitting to the white man, Mamadou Konaté, Modibo Keita, El Hadj Oumar, Kolomina Touré, Kankan Sékouba, Kardjigué Sissoko, Djadjé Mamadou Diallo, Toukoro Traoré and many other great figures, both famous and unknown.

In putting the accent on those who have died, Sibiri wants their courage, generosity, patriotism and integrity to serve as an example to present and future generations. He asks today’s youth to act as the guardian of the cardinal virtues of Mali of warriors, a Mali proud of its historic past. Then, without transition, Sibiri Samaké takes you into the lush forest in search of hippotragus, gazelle, gnu, panther, water buck, buffalo, warthog, etc…, over the vast tropical savannah where lions and jackals chase antelope, and down the Djoliba river, the kingdom of the hippopotamus, bustard, crowned crane antelope, hammer kop, and a thousand other birds. —Courtesy Calabash Music

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