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Endangered languages -- Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone -- Social life and customs, Kim language -- Sierra Leone


African Languages and Societies | Applied Linguistics


Late morning to mid-afternoon: recording session in the Bundo house again, Taamuke: Mami Tɔka (Moiwo’s mother), Mama Ko (I thought her name was Maako; she’s Kɔna Lango Sɔndai’s daughter or niece), and Maama Kine were scheduled to record, but Mama Jilo and Kema Janga gathered, too. There was a nice feeling to the session, which ran long. The women are neighbors and know each other well. Mama Jilo remembered a song partway through the session and taught it to the others. Mami Tɔka seemed to me not to be a great speaker; she used simple and repetitive language, and wasn’t a very enganging speaker, from what I could tell—she didn’t seem to involve the others; wanted to tell her own point of view. But she was the person who most wanted to talk, so I let her. Mama Kine went last and told a dɔmi, ‘story,’ (‘folktale’?) that she was clearly translating from Mende to Kim. She said she wanted to tell it first in Mende so “the boys,” Atɔ Moiwo and Solomon Kine, “who don’t understand Kim,” would understand. It was a very lively telling, punctuated by chanting and singing, in which the other women all participated. Then she retold it, immediately, in Kim; she relapsed into Mende a little during the singing, but for the most part went through the whole story pretty fluidly. Then Mami Tɔka ended the session by leading another song.


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Africa, Sierra Leone, Tamuke


Hannah Sarvasy (creator), Tucker Childs (contributor), Adama Mende (subject)


Kim, English

ISO 639

kia, eng

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080430_00_HSjrn_0007.pdf (115 kB)
Researcher notes

dkb0172.tif (3133 kB)
Adama Mende photograph