SURF

Samba Kane

Fula Poetry in the Valley of the Senegal River

My research concerns the cultural identity of the Fula people in Mauritania and Senegal, West Africa. What does it mean to be Fula in this particular region of the world? To answer this question, I will explore two volumes of poetry, written in the Fula language by Ibrahima Moctar Sarr, a Mauritanian journalist by formation who became a civil rights leader and an advocate for the preservation of the Fula language. We have much to learn from the Fula history and culture. The Fula are rarely the dominant group in the countries in which they live. Despite facing assimilative forces, they find ways to fight back and save themselves from disappearing from the map. Learning about what constitutes their identity and everyday life through their poetry can help us design strategies to save other endangered languages. It is a way to lead by example by acknowledging the value of other peoples perspectives, building bridges between the various people of our world.

Message to Sponsor

I would like to thank the Pease Fund for this wonderful research opportunity. Thanks to your generosity, I was able to work towards being the change I wanted to see in the world. I have a feeling that it is only the beginning for me and that there is much more to do. With your precious support, I was able to embark on this challenging but exciting project of pulaar poetry translation.
  • Major: Linguistics
  • Sponsor: Pease Fund
  • Mentor: Sam A. Mchombo