mali01Abe-ben (pron: abay-ben) means 'what can you do?' 'no point worrying,' 'it will work out the way it's meant to anyway'.

Islam is a strong influence in Mali (90% of the population are practising Muslims), so it is a concept that relates to insh'Allah; 'in the hands of God' (see Egypt).

Malinese have their own (predominant) language, Bambara. Bambara is the language of the capital, Bamaka. In Bambara Mali means 'hippopotamus' or 'where the king resides', and how these two go together is the subject of a complicated story from a local griot, a storyteller, singer, 'a keeper of memories'.

The griot's tradition is still strong in Mali - the word is Old French for 'Keeper of Memories', and encompasses the singers, storytellers, historians, and musicians who retell the traditions and history of the country and its people. In Bambara they are called Djalis (jah-lees). See: YouTube for Djali performances in Bambara.