[Ads-l] Mumbo Jumbo / Mumbu Jumbu

Z Rice zrice3714 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 26 16:52:21 UTC 2020

I first chanced upon the mask reference in a racist 1738 text published by
Francis Moore. Most books – as is the case in the text (de Hondt) forwarded
by Barrett – seem to employ Moore’s observations in one form or another.
The “bourgeoisie” understanding of this term that I alluded to earlier
seems to be rooted in Moore’s usage, which differs from that of the
everyday population (particularly in the South and among Native Black
Americans in general).

A cognate for the term as it occurs in the South and among Native Black
Americans in overall is the Cuban mambo ‘words said in appeal to a spirit,
form of dance’.


Zola Sohna


Date:    Wed, 25 Nov 2020 10:01:26 -0800
From:    Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM>
Subject: Re: Mumbo Jumbo

"Histoire Genéralé des Voyages Depuis Le Commencement du VXe Siécle” (vol
4, 1747, https://tinyurl.com/y3n8hfqs <https://tinyurl.com/y3n8hfqs>, p.
232) mentions mumbo jumbo in connection with the Mandingos (Mandinkas).
The Mandinkan connection is also mentioned in "The SAGE Encyclopedia of
African Cultural Heritage in North America" (https://tinyurl.com/y5g56d47 <

I did not see either of the words in a dictionary of Mandinka at
http://resourcepage.gambia.dk/langabot.htm <
http://resourcepage.gambia.dk/langabot.htm>, but maybe it is there in a
different form.

See also https://tinyurl.com/y52phtnj <https://tinyurl.com/y52phtnj>.
“Mama” is in the dictionary.

Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
Formerly of Seattle, WA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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