Malinke love poem in n'ko alphabet. A maninka (maninkakan, malinka, maninga) of West Africa. This small poem is in a mande language, for the whole Malinke ethnic in Guinea, Mali, Senegal, and Ivory Coast, nearly a million Africans. Malinke was the language of the great empire of Mali, which reached its zenith in the 14th century and from which the name of the modern country of Mali is derived. Malinke belongs to the Mande branch of the Nigero-Congo family. The single term Mandingo refer to all its varieties. The alphabet n'ko is the transcription script of the mande languages of West Africa. In Senegal there are 20 ethnic groups that have preserved their traditions and each speak their own language in a characteristic geographical area.
Malinke are people from Mali occupying a part of the Niger plain. They live mainly from agriculture (rice, sorghum, millet, fonio). The practice of craft work (weaving, sewing) is reserved to men. Grouped around a clan, living in fortified villages, each extended family of patrilineal filiation with patrilocal residence, with an endogamous tendency - marriage being regulated by a dowry in money and oxen - is subject to the absolute authority of an elder, and forms an economic, social and legal unit. Organized according to the system of age classes which brings together self-help associations and working societies on the one hand, and initiatory associations on the other, Malinké society is also hierarchized in differentiated classes - noble, free men , Slaves - involving the distribution of religious roles (caste). The ancestors cult maintains the existing opposition between the traditional religion and the Muslim religion, to which the Malinkés nevertheless adhere.