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Kouroukan Fouga The Constitution of Ancient Mali

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posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 02:38 PM
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Not sure how well this thread will be received as it promises to be dry but It goes into the idea of state craft and rule of law In one of the largest empire in Africa known as medieval Mali.
However knowledge is to be shared and ignorance denied.

This document was as important for that region of Africa as the Magna Carta for Western Europe and from at about the same-time,the Kouroukan Fouga however was formally in oral tradition and then codified in about 1236 the same time of the Magna Carta in 1215, most people would have recognized the Magna Carta as having a great impact on the eventual idea that Man is a free being with formal representation in governing counsel , that idea would take centuries to realize off- course and many found it as a precursor to the US constitution and the parliamentary system in Britain, In the Malian empire a similar document was being put into place.


The Kouroukan Fouga or Kurukan Fuga is purported to be the constitution of the Mali Empire (mid-thirteenth century to c. 1645), created after the Battle of Krina by an assembly of notables to create a government for the newly established empire. It was first alluded to in print in Djibril Tamsir Niane's book, Soundjata, ou la Epoupée Mandingue. Subsequently versions of it were published in Mandinka and translated by Youssouf Cissé into French in 1991, and finally, a version of compiled in 1998 by a group of traditional historians as well as modern linguists.

According to these texts, the Kouroukan Fouga established the federation of Mandinka clans under one government, outlined how it would operate and established the laws by which the people would live. Mansa (Emperor) Sundiata Keita presented the document at a plain near the town of Ka-ba (present day Kangaba), and it has survived through oral tradition passed down by generations of djeli or griots. The djeli have preserved much of the history of the Mali Empire including its kings, battles and system of government.




The Kouroukan Fouga divided the new empire into ruling clans (lineages) that were represented at a great assembly called the Gbara. There were 16 clans known as the Djon-Tan-Nor-Woro (quiver carriers) responsible for leading and defending the empire. There were also 4 clans known as the Mori-Kanda-Lolou (guardians of the faith) that guided the ruling clans in matters of Islamic law. There were 4 nyamakala clans (people of caste) who had the monopoly on certain trades, which included but was not limited to smelting, woodworking, and tanners. Lastly, there were 4 clans of djeli (masters of speech) who recorded the history of the empire through song. Combined these would make up the 29 seat Gbara at the plain of Kouroukan Fougan (named after the event where Sundiata "divided the world"). The 30th seat was likely occupied by the mansa's djeli called the belen-tigui (master of ceremonies), or may have been reserved for a female monitor since the constitution states women are to be represented at all levels of government (edict 16).
www.absoluteastronomy.com...


In it there is even procedure of environmental management.
Preservation of Nature and how to deal with a defeated enemy

Preservation of Nature
Article 37: Fakombè is nominated chief of hunters.

Article 38: Before setting fire to the bush, don't look down at the ground, raise your head in the direction of the top of the trees to see whether they bear fruits or flowers.

Article 39: Domestic animals should be tied during cultivation and freed after the harvest. The dog, the cat, the duck and the poultry are not bound by the measure.

Final Disposals
Article 40: Respect kinship, marriage and the neighbourhood.

Article 41: You can kill the enemy, but not humiliate him.

Article 42: In big assemblies, be satisfied with your lawful representatives.

Article 43: Balla Fassèkè Kouyaté is nominated chief of ceremonies and main mediator in Manden. He is allowed to joke with all groups, in priority with the royal family.

Article 44: All those who will transgress these rules will be punished. Everyone is bound to make effective their implementation

www.absoluteastronomy.com...
Klik for more read and enjoy..
edit on 22-9-2013 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 02:41 PM
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Great read, thanks for bringing it to the forum!
It would be interesting to see how this Constitution is reflected in modern day Mali.
edit on 22-9-2013 by MysteriousHusky because: (no reason given)


Edit: After some research I was unable to find commemoration on Mali currency etc. It remains, largely, shrouded in history.
edit on 22-9-2013 by MysteriousHusky because: addition



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 02:50 PM
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MysteriousHusky
Great read, thanks for bringing it to the forum!
It would be interesting to see how this Constitution is reflected in modern day Mali.
edit on 22-9-2013 by MysteriousHusky because: (no reason given)


I am not sure if they are following the same document my best guess is that they are following something similar to the French with a touch of Islamic law but they would need to change a few things and updated it as there shouldn't be anything as Slaves to be represented..because that institution is supposedly outlawed,but with little work they can bring it back to life if needs be.



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 03:06 PM
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reply to post by Spider879
 


For sure, you cannot underestimate the French influence. Additionally it appears as if corruption is playing a significant impact in Mali politics. NY Times Article






Corruption and impunity at every level of the state, but especially at the top, destroyed the army, undermined government institutions and persisted unchecked under the former president, whose ouster in a military coup last year created a disarray that the Islamists capitalized on to take over the north.



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 03:15 PM
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reply to post by MysteriousHusky
 



Mansa Musa seated with gold nugget being visited by Abu Bakr a Moorish chieftain whose brother was ruling parts of Iberia

I don't think they minted coins their traders dealt in gold dust while the high royals monopolize gold nuggets and bars of gold..keeping it all in the family one of their Kings Mansa Musa was recentely named the world's richest individual of all times by Forbs magazine.


You've probably never heard of him, but Mansa Musa is the richest person ever.

The 14th century emperor from West Africa was worth a staggering $400 billion, after adjusting for inflation, as calculated by Celebrity Net Worth. To put that number into perspective -- if that's even possible -- Net Worth's calculations mean Musa's fortune far outstrips that of the current world's richest man Carlos Slim Helu

and family

www.huffingtonpost.com...
edit on 22-9-2013 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 03:31 PM
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MysteriousHusky
reply to post by Spider879
 


For sure, you cannot underestimate the French influence. Additionally it appears as if corruption is playing a significant impact in Mali politics. NY Times Article






Corruption and impunity at every level of the state, but especially at the top, destroyed the army, undermined government institutions and persisted unchecked under the former president, whose ouster in a military coup last year created a disarray that the Islamists capitalized on to take over the north.


Yes and this is the same country where crime and corruption was virtually non existent some 700 yrs earlier.
Ibn Battuta:


AN ACCOUNT OF WHAT I FOUND GOOD AMONGST THE BLACKS AND OF WHAT I DISLIKED
Amongst their good qualities is the small amount of injustice amongst them, for of all people they are the furthest from it. Their sultan does not forgive anyone in any matter to do with injustice. Among these qualities there is also the prevalence of peace in their country, the traveller [sic] is not afraid in it nor is he who lives there in fear of the thief or of the robber by violence. They do not interfere with the property of the white man who dies in their country even though it may consist of great wealth, but rather they entrust it to the hand of someone dependable among the white men until it is taken by the rightful claimant.
edit on 22-9-2013 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 08:31 PM
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reply to post by Spider879
 


I never knew this existed. Way cool, thanks for posting.

I like the way the examples spell out basic concepts we can easily recognize today. It seems very modern even. I think we need the one about killing the enemy but not humiliating him
Very important to maintain decorum when smiting your opponent.



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 08:49 PM
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ABNARTY
reply to post by Spider879
 


I never knew this existed. Way cool, thanks for posting.

I like the way the examples spell out basic concepts we can easily recognize today. It seems very modern even. I think we need the one about killing the enemy but not humiliating him
Very important to maintain decorum when smiting your opponent.


Yeah Abu Ghraib and other incidents came to mind.



posted on Sep, 23 2013 @ 08:13 PM
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giving this thead a well deserved bump.









 
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