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 Cultural guide: General
 GAMBIAN TRADITIONAL FAMILY NAMES
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2007 :  12:19:33  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
what do you know ? do we really know what our family names mean ?


for example what does Minteh mean ? or Ngom , or even common family names like Bojang ,Tambajang ,Njie etc .

an afqan shop keeper asked me last week what my name was since he saw me dress as a muslim ,i said suntou touray ,he then asked me what does suntou means i explain then he said what about Touray ? i said well i never though about that .
let's pop-up with what our family names mean .this is important .it is not self-glorification but cultural histroy for education .
in the west family names meant some thing ,in middle east they meant some thing ,so what about for us . this is nothing political .it is a little history .i am crap in oral history .i was good in west african history but unfornuately never interested about cultural history .Alhasan have raise some interesting points .the jalis connected with witch craft ,my God so jaliba may be a witch craft so guys beaware jaliba on his frequent tours .

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com

Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 16 May 2007 :  12:26:14  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
for aprc guys what those jammeh mean ?

for udp what those darboe meant ?

for nadd what those sallah mean ?

fro ndam what those juwara mean ?

for ppp what those jallow mean ?

for neutral what those this family names mean ?

names like bah , sarr ,samateh ,ceesay ,sanyang ?

as for sanyang they are palm wine consumers .nothing important about them but they are also jataduban whatever that means .

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2007 :  18:05:42  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
no surprise . i knew that most gambian like myself don't have a glue what our family names meant .so this is my hobby now .i will do my best to compile a sub-data base of what most family names meant and where they originate from .so pray for me. i start the research yesterday and most of my friends i contacted don't have a glue.

if i say now what Smith means i will get answer in a short while ,also if i say what philips means similarly some body will find an answer .you can even look up this family names in a dictionary .
infact i ask a close Nigerian friend of mine who is Ebo what his family nmae meant ,without a blink he said moonlight .in ebo that means Onwa .his name is frank onwa . now he said most chiefs in nigeria use that title .so the ball is in our court ,at least let find out what our family names mean. i believe they are not just meaningless sounds .God bless .

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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Janko

Gambia
1267 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2007 :  18:27:36  Show Profile  Visit Janko's Homepage Send Janko a Private Message
Here is the meaning of mine

The family name Kamara or Camara
Ka = to
Mara = control, have power over, be in command of, rule

Clean your house before pointing a finger ... Never be moved by delirious Well-wishers in their ecstasy
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Janko

Gambia
1267 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2007 :  19:05:39  Show Profile  Visit Janko's Homepage Send Janko a Private Message
Mostly family names are also associated to animals (totem), taano in mandingka. This taano or totem serves as the emblem or revered symbol of the family and is a reminder of its ancestry and a protector of the family. Sometimes the totem/taano has a mythology. So in trying to depict the meanings of family names the animal symbolism can be of help.


Good idea Santanfara.............

Clean your house before pointing a finger ... Never be moved by delirious Well-wishers in their ecstasy
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2007 :  21:54:31  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
thanks for that janko , so kamara is sorted .now what about others .

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2007 :  23:33:50  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
tambajang is a breakdown of two words in mandinka . Tambo mean arrow ,and jan mean long .so combine word Tambajang now means longarrow .this came about as a result a man who is considered very tall sitting in a traiditional gardering with a longarrow in his hand .so a person call out can that long arrow owner sit dowm .so he got the name from that occassion .Tambajang teo .

i will try sillah .sillah is mocked name which mean sillo which is a grass that stunt the growth of crops especially maize .so silla comes from sil lo which is mandinka word for the grass .i may be wrong on that one.

Jatta may mean lion as jatto in mandinka .

what about malian family names like Sankareh ,trawalley ,jagana ,makannera ,konateh ,koitah etc.

also Sidibeh this is malian .

family names used by sarahules and jahankas are mostly : Drammeh ,Jaiteh ,mendy ,gomez or i am wrong mendy and Gomez are mostly manjako .this are portuqise in origin.
more later.

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2007 :  23:39:39  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message

i will help udp supporters here by trying to explain their leader's family name . darboe may mean DAR which is mouth in mandinka or combine words DARBOE may appropriately mean commence the partition .ah dar bo

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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mbay

Germany
1007 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2007 :  12:44:48  Show Profile Send mbay a Private Message
Well am with you about the Mara= control but what about Ka=Ca.
if am well informed in our language , as am a Camara too means a ruler or controller compound=house.
maybe every language has its own meaning?.

quote:
Originally posted by Janko

Here is the meaning of mine

The family name Kamara or Camara
Ka = to
Mara = control, have power over, be in command of, rule


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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2007 :  14:56:00  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
mbye ,we need more sarahule family names please . there will be a website for gambian family names soon .it is a shame that we don't know what our family names mean .i phone a couple of my fula friend but hardly any of them knows what there surmanes meant. like bah ,sowe ,baldeh . i was a mansajang lad so there are lots of baldeh and bandeh .but can we say baldeh is from bah or vice versa ? i will do my best in time permitting .

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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Alhassan

Sweden
813 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2007 :  16:35:08  Show Profile Send Alhassan a Private Message
Santanfara,
There is a book that was produced in Mali on this specific topic.
I shall look in my library if my children returned it. they were in Polandand Russia serching for their mothers decendance and in Senegambia and Mali. As I am Njie I am Conteh, Jarra or Tunkara.
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mbay

Germany
1007 Posts

Posted - 24 May 2007 :  16:48:04  Show Profile Send mbay a Private Message
Bro you real put a very tough questions here the same time very interested point.
as we all knew our problems that we are very buried with our background cos lack of information from our elders/wise but i will try to play my portion in this mater if i catchup more information's.
i hope you will be more patience with me?

quote:
Originally posted by Santanfara

mbye ,we need more sarahule family names please . there will be a website for gambian family names soon .it is a shame that we don't know what our family names mean .i phone a couple of my fula friend but hardly any of them knows what there surmanes meant. like bah ,sowe ,baldeh . i was a mansajang lad so there are lots of baldeh and bandeh .but can we say baldeh is from bah or vice versa ? i will do my best in time permitting .

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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 25 May 2007 :  00:50:10  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Alhassan
Santanfara,
There is a book that was produced in Mali on this specific topic.
I shall look in my library if my children returned it. they were in Polandand Russia serching for their mothers decendance and in Senegambia and Mali. As I am Njie I am Conteh, Jarra or Tunkara.


alhasan ,please do that .mbye take your time .we are here ,where ever one is living the bantaba is available .

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2007 :  00:08:49  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
i got the meaning one surmane mostly used by the jahankas .

SUWAREH .this is a family name that was drive from a horse .yes a horse .the legend heard that a man call Mbemba laye was riding a horse through a village .people start asking who is that man sitting on a SUU WA REH . NOW DON'T GET COMFUSE .suwo is mandinka word for horse ,WAREH means different colours ,like a horse with different stripes of colours .may be black and white or red and black spots on the horse's body.
Mbemba laye became Mbemba laye suwareh .the man on a colourful horse .many young mandinkas may get comfuse about the meaning of wareh ,this may be a touch of jahanka .may be kondorong may know .jahankas mix well with sarahules .

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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Santanfara



3460 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2007 :  11:36:53  Show Profile  Visit Santanfara's Homepage Send Santanfara a Private Message
i got quiet a lot of resourses from listining to jali nyama suso this morning cortesy of onegambia.com .big thanks to gainde for the oral history .on the whole musa mollow and alpha mollow where sokinkes .

now to the real issue . the family name Suso is the main origin of many other famous gambian family names .
according to jali nyama from Suso we have Danjo ,Mbaw ,Gaye ,Jammeh ,dumbuya . this is interesting .suso's are cousins to Tourays so one need to find out if that may be extended to all the rest .
the meaning of Suso may mean suwo su ,soro in mandinka is prick ,so suwo su is prick the horse as suwo mean horse .this are times when fighting is all done on the horse back .so people prick there horse for speed . Suso originated from Sumanguru which use to part of the mali

Surah- Ar-Rum 30-22
"And among His signs is the creation of heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colours. verily, in that are indeed signs for men of sound knowledge." Qu'ran

www.suntoumana.blogspot.com
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Sister Omega



United Kingdom
2085 Posts

Posted - 26 May 2007 :  20:49:26  Show Profile  Visit Sister Omega's Homepage Send Sister Omega a Private Message
Ba = Soul
Njie = Lion

Peace

Sister Omega

Peace
Sister Omega

Edited by - Sister Omega on 26 May 2007 20:49:54
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