Sidiky Diarassouba


The Senufo peoples in West Africa and in Côte d’Ivoire, in particular, have suffered a double colonization, including that of the Mandingo who have had the most penetrating and pervasive cultural and linguistic impact on them. Mandingo loan surnames within the Senufo communities are quite an edifying example. Although many members of these communities are complaisant about these loan names, over the years, increasing numbers of Senufo have expressed the desire to recover their ancient surname. Amidst this movement, a line on the sly, both insidious and alarming, has been firmly taking place. Indeed, some Senufo, more often than not, senior executives and icons of the Senufo communities, have abandoned the ancestral surname to adopt a new surname – the first or middle name of their father or a revered ancestor. Given the dimensions of Senufo names and surnames, what justifies this adoption? In what ways does this endangers the survival of the Senufo identity? It turns out that this practice is in line with a pseudo capricious desire for a search of originality which, unfortunately, takes on the appearance of a fad. This very situation surreptitiously presages another chaos regarding the cultural identity within the confines of the Senufo linguistic and cultural group.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


Senufo, Mandingo, patronymics, denaturation, transfiguration, culture and identity


Coulibaly, S. (1978). Le Paysan senoufo. N.E.A. Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Crowder, M. (1990). History of French West Africa until Independence. In Africa south of the Sahara. Europa Publications. London, UK.

Diarassouba, S. (2015). Un peuple pris dans un dévastateur tourbillon culturel effréné: Les Senoufo aux prises avec leur question identitaire. Revue de Littérature et d’Esthétique Négro-Africaines, (Société et Civilisations), 15, vol.3.

Diarassouba, S. (2007). Establishment of Literacy Standards for an oral Language: The Case of Nafara Oral Discourse Patterns, Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, (Ph.D. Dissertation), Florida State University, UMI Dissertation Services, ProQuest, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Fanon, F. (1952). Peau noire, masques blancs. Seuil, Paris.

Greenberg, W. (1955). Studies in African linguistic classification. Columbia University.

Holas, B. (1966). Les Sénoufo (y compris les Minianka). Deuxième édition, Presse Universitaire de France, Paris.

Marivaux, P. (1725). L’île des Esclaves. Princeps, Paris.

Manonni, O. (1950). Psychologie de la colonisation. Editions du Seuil, Paris.

Ouattara, T. F. (1999). Histoire des Fohobélé de Côte d’Ivoire: Une population senufo inconnue. Karthala, Paris.

Ouattara, T. F. (1988). La mémoire senufo: Bois sacré, éducation chefferie. Association ARSAN, Paris.

Person. Y. (1975). Samory: Une révolution Dioula. IFAN, Dakar, Sénégal.

Silué, S. J. (2000). Education, literacy and development in Africa. CASA, Cape Town, South Africa.

Silue, S. J. (1998). Languages and dialects of the Ivory Coast. Notes and Records 3 9, Communications of the Center for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS), Cape Town, South Africa.

Soro, T. R. (2012). Le sacré et le profane chez les sénoufo. Balafon, Abidjan.

Tuho, C. V. (1984). J’ai Changé de nom… Pourquoi? Nouvelles Editions Africaines, Abidjan.

Welmers, M. E. (1950). Notes on two languages in the Senufo group. Language, 26, 126-146.


Copyright (c) 2018 Sidiky Diarassouba

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2016 - 2023. European Journal Of Social Sciences Studies (ISSN 2501-8590) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and  Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.


Hit counter