Discover the Bozo: West Africa’s Expert Fishermen along the Niger River in Mali
Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of the Bozo, a fascinating ethnic group thriving in West Africa. Named after their traditional straw houses, the Bozo people have their own unique clan names like Sorogoye, Hain, and Tieye.
Renowned for their outstanding fishing skills, the Bozo are hailed as the “masters of the river.” They have a rich linguistic heritage, with the Bozo language belonging to the Soninke-Bozo subgroup of Northwestern Mande within the Niger-Congo family. In fact, there are multiple distinct varieties within the language.
The Bozo culture began taking shape during the 10th century Ghana Empire, when they settled along the banks of the Niger. They played a significant role in establishing the historic cities of Djenne and Mopti.
Despite being predominantly followers of Islam, the Bozo also maintain animist traditions. Their deep connection to the Niger River is reflected in their chosen animal totem, the bull. The bull’s body symbolizes the Niger, while its horns represent the Bozo fishing pirogues.
Experience the richness and allure of the Bozo culture, where fishing prowess and cultural heritage intertwine seamlessly.