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Fig. 83. Words from West Africa

Here are some words that were used at Mars Bluff that seem to have a West African origin.  They serve as potential links connecting Mars Bluff African Americans with specific ethnic groups in West Africa.  (Map: George Peter Murdock, Africa: Its Peoples and Their Culture History [New York: McGraw Hill, 1959], Map in back pocket of book.)   (Photo 1994)
Mars Bluff words are clues that point to places in West Africa

Archie Waiters used lee little to mean very small.
Lee is similar to a WOLOF word that means small.

Turtles were called "cooters" at Mars Bluff.

is the word for tortoise among the BAMBARA and MALINKE.

The word
nini meant breast at Mars Bluff.
has the same meaning among the MENDE.

Minda Johnson lived at Mars Bluff.

Her name may have been derived from an ethnic group - the MENDE.
 Map showing
              origin of words

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Copyright Amelia Wallace Vernon. All rights reserved, 1998. Revised, 2008.