Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Art of Letter Writing

More Manuscript Library excitement...
with Jeremy Dell, PHD student with the university of Pennsylvania who just spent a couple of weeks here. He is our first research student since Ariela Marcus Sells (from Stanford) in 2012, just before the Coup d’Etat. He found plenty of interesting stuff, such as a 18th century Kitab Tarsil, a ‘how-to’ guide to letter writing, with examples such as : from a ruler to another ruler, from a father to a son; from a son to a father; from a servant to a master etc.
Predictably, I wanted to know girly things like ‘were there any love letter examples?’ but there were not, alas. Then I realized that it would not have been any point at the time since virtually no girls in this area knew how to read or write...


Blogger Jason said...

That's sad. Is women's literacy still an issue?

3:10 PM  
Blogger toubab said...

Hello Jason,
Literacy, full stop, is an issue in Mali with figures of 40 to 50 per cent adult literacy only, depending on what figures you look at. But at least there is not much difference between boys and girls now- both boys and girls go to at least primary school these days.

3:25 PM  

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