Definition of Bambara in English:


Pronunciation /bämˈbärə/ /bɑmˈbɑrə/

nounBambara, Bambaras

  • 1A member of an indigenous people living chiefly in Mali.

    ‘This synthesis of spiritual worldviews is not unique to Hausa Islam, but is found in most other Afro-Islamic communities, such as those of the Somali, the Swahili, and the Bambara.’
    • ‘The term ‘Mande’ frequently refers to a group of closely related languages spoken by the Malinke and other west African peoples such as the Bambara, the Soninke, and the Dyula.’
    • ‘The Mande peoples are comprised primarily of the Malinke, Bambara, and Juula.’
    • ‘And while most slave exports from Senegambia were male Bambara from inland areas, slaves captured in the immediate area of Dakar included as many females as males.’
    • ‘The black African group includes the Fulani, Soninke, and Bambara.’
    1. 1.1The language of the Bambara, belonging to the Mande group.
      ‘As well as different musical languages, French, English and Bambara add more diversity to the lyrical mix.’
      • ‘There were two French hymns, one Tamashek, one Bambara and one Songhai hymn.’
      • ‘But this means that we should expect that dozens of other Black English words had been traced to, say, Bambara, Mende, Twi, Yoruba, Efik, Umbundu, and so on.’
      • ‘Malians Keita and Diakite sing in Bambara; Dabo - originally from the troubled state of Guinea Bissau - sings in Biafada and Creole.’
      • ‘Though she sings in her native Bambara, her fame until now has been among western audiences who could not understand the often controversial messages in her songs.’


  • Relating to the Bambara or their language.

    ‘I went to Mali, where Touaregs were the laughing stock of the ethnic Bambara tribe.’
    • ‘The head of one of these figures, in fact, is a further stylization of the graceful curvature traditional to Bambara antelope masks.’
    • ‘Yeelen, based on an actual myth, tells the story of a young man of the Bambara tribe in 13th century Mali.’
    • ‘Many musicians are coming around to the idea that the blues could have been rooted in the Bambara musical tradition and transported to the US in the slave ships.’
    • ‘And Maryse Conde's monumental historical novel Segu traces the odysseys of members of a Bambara royal family from Segou in Mali.’