United States of Manden
Manden ka Kelenyalen Fasow
|Recognised national languages||Bamana |
|Recognised regional languages||Senufo |
|Foreign languages||English |
|Government||Unitary national republic|
Manden, officially the United States of Manden (Mandenese: Manden ka Kelenyalen Fasow) is a country in West Africa bordering Morocco, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Masina, and Guinea. The heart of the Manden Empire since the 13th century, the country fell to the Tukulors and then the British in the 19th century. Gaining full sovereignty in 1964, the country became a national republic.
Government and Politics
Manden is overwhelmingly populated by speakers of the Manding languages, a mutually intelligible dialect continuum with a direct historical connection to the empire of Sunjata Keita. These dialects are part of the larger Mande languages, which include more distantly related tongues such as Susu and Samogo spanning West Africa.
The official language and lingua franca of the country is Mandenese (Mandenese: Mandenkan), a standardized unified koiné, which is based on the Bamana dialect. The idea of a standardized Mande koiné began with the work of Amadu Summano (1873-1955), leader of the Kayes Language Society (Kayes ka Kanko Tønba). The invention and spread of the 1921 system of romanization (1921 san sębęnnikęchogo) cemented the importance and use of the koiné within Mandeland and eastern Gambia. In 1965, it became the official language of the United States of Manden and was dubbed 'Mandenese' by English speakers.
Around two-thirds of the country identify as Muslim. Primarily introduced during the medieval period, Islam became the dominant religion of Manden during the 18th century. Animists, Zoekerists, and Calvinist Protestants make up significant minorities.