CULTURAL TOURS to MALI
with Abdoul Doumbia
NEXT TOUR -- June 25 - July 15,
lesson in Bamako
|Abdoul Doumbia invites you to join him for three weeks of learning and
adventure immersed in the rich, vibrant, and ancient culture of Mali, in the
heart of West Africa. The trip's home base is Mali's bustling capitol of
Bamako. Here you'll be offered two drum and two dance classes per day with
Abdoul and other master drummers and dancers from the various national troupes.
Outside of classes you'll have opportunities to shop at local marketplaces for
traditional arts and crafts, or visit tailor shops to have clothes made.
|At night you can
sample the big-city nightlife at Bamako's many nightclubs, featuring the best
of Mali's flourishing modern music scene. If their schedules find them in
Bamako, you'll have the chance to meet some of Abdoul's more well-known
friends, such as kora-player-extraordinaire Toumani Diabate, and
renowned singers Oumou Sangare, Habib Koite, and Salif
Keita. You will also have the incredible and unique opportunity to
experience traditional Mande ceremonies, and even participate if you so choose.
Dogon granaries in
|The highlight of the
trip is a five-day tour north to experience village life and see the ancient
cliff-dwellings of the Dogon people. The first stop will be Abdoul's home
village of Zambougou. You will be warmly welcomed by Abdoul's family, who are
part of the blacksmith clan. You will be invited to observe the ancient craft
of blacksmithing, as well as experience other facets of traditional village
life. The journey will then continue north to the village of Sanga, in the
heart of Dogon country. There you will be able to explore the cliff dwellings
and caves that dot the landscape in this sacred and mystical region. The tour
finishes back in Bamako, where drumming and dance classes resume. At the end of
the trip, you will be treated to a traditional music and dance celebration in
your honor, featuring your teachers along with others of Bamako's finest
dancers and drummers.
The Mosque in Abdoul's
Abdoul's uncle Samu
|"Going to Mali was an incredible opportunity to
experience not only ancient, mysterious, and magical cultures, but amazing
people as well. These people who have so little in the way of material
possessions are so open in sharing their music, dance, history, belief systems,
values, love and happiness with others. They have given the world a wealth of
talent through music, rhythm, dance and instrumentation, and it's an
extraordinary experience to be immersed in it." -- Karen Marx, 3-time
Prof. Sekou Camara performing
a cowry-shell divination
Abdoul and past-participant
Prof. Hafiz Shabazz in
Dogon house in Sanga
|LANGUAGE AND CULTURE The "lingua franca" of Mali is
French. However, many people you will encounter, especially outside of Bamako,
may only speak their native language. The entire tour will be accompanied by
Professor Sekou Camara, professor of English at Universite Lycee in Bamako, who
will act for translator for the group. Professor Camara is also an expert on
many aspects of traditional culture and history, and will be leading
discussions throughout the trip.
|PROGRAM COST / AIRFARE The
program in Mali costs $1800. Each participant is also responsible for
purchasing his or her own airfare to Bamako. We understand that this amount of
money can be prohibitive, but costs have risen dramatically in West Africa over
the past several years. The program cost is due by May 1.
|LOGISTICS Classes are geared
towards intermediate or advanced sutdents, but all levels can be accommodated.
Room, board, and program-related travel within Mali are included in the program
cost. While in Bamako, participants will live together in a villa with running
water and electricity. Meals will consist of a simple breakfast, followed by
traditional home-cooked meals at midday and evening. Optional dounou, kora, ngoni, balafon,
talking drum, bell, singing, and Bambara (Bamanankan) language lessons are
available for an additional cost.
|Abdoul's experience leading trips in Mali,
combined with his own sensitivity to issues of taravleing abroad, ensure a
truly moving, authentic African cultural experience. He welcomes you to share
in the wonders and adventure of his homeland of Mali.
Right-Click Here (and choose Save) to download a flyer containing
above information in PDF
Further information is also available,
including a more detailed
registration forms, online resources,
and a suggested reading list.