Results tagged “mali”

My mate marmite

mali
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Smbaobabroad.jpgOur experiences crossing from Mauritania to Senegal had left us slightly wary of border officials, but that definitely changed when we crossed into Mali.  On the Senegalese side, the police and customs were cheery, chatty and helpful (if quite hard to actually find).  On the Malian side, they just invited us in for lunch.

A few kilometres of dusty plains covered with enormous baobab trees, and we found ourselves sitting outside a customs hut with three friendly douaniers, sharing their thiou and their thiep - a delicious meaty stew, and a tasty rice dish studded with vegetables, garlicky chilli paste and savoury hibiscus-leaf sauce.  If all of Mali was like this, we thought, we'd probably get on OK.

Smdouaniersthiep.jpgAnd as it turned out, a great deal of it was.  We spent a lot of time in Mali sharing food with people: cooking it with them in big bubbling marmites on charcoal fires; and then eating together, with everyone gathered round one big pot using their fingers.  This is partly because we're greedy, of course; but also because people here are so sociable.  And because Tabaski was coming, and the rams were getting fat ...

Aminata pounding millet

mali
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Smaminatapounding0001.JPGToday in the Dogon village of Djiguibombo we learnt how to make - a kind of thick millet porridge which is pretty much the staple food in this part of Mali.  We learnt from an expert: Aminata, who is 15 and has been making the for her whole family since her mother died some years ago.  And we realised how hard work it is: you have to pound the millet into flour by hand in an enormous mortar & pestle.  Just listen to how hard she hits it.

It's worth listening to this using headphones or proper speakers - on laptop speakers you can't really hear the bass sounds of the pounding properly.

Click here to listen.

Click here for more audio samples.

Smaminata0001.jpgSmaminatastirring0001.JPGSmtobowl0001.JPG

Balafon and djembe

mali
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Smsegousunset0001_1.JPGWent out drinking in Ségou this evening, and found a band (Groupe Pawari) playing in a bar.  One guy with a balafon, one with a very loud djembe drum, and someone occasionally doing a bit of singing.  Actually they all seemed to be able to play all the instruments - especially Issa.

We didn't take any photos of the band, or the bar.  So here's one of the sunset instead.

Click here to listen.

Click here for more audio samples.

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