The Marka belong to the great group of the Mande. They live to the north on its cousins the Bambara, and they extend until the northeast zone of Senegal, where they receive the name of Sarakolé.

The Bambara and the Marka share many beliefs. The main difference is that the last ones were from the beginning more receptives to the Islam, and began to commerce when the Bambara was only dedicated to agriculture. For that reason they settled down throughout the great commercial routes, near Niger and Senegal rivers, with their main affluents.

The Marka used for their rituals related with fishing or farming, masks covered with plaques of copper or brass (alloy of copper and zinc). This is a reminiscence of a more prosperous past, when the masks were adorned with gold. Nowadays, the second source of incomes in Mali behind cotton is gold, but far from serving to adorn masks, its explotation is carried out by foreign companies that export almost everything.

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