[Mansa-l] translation of "marigot"

Marcia Lynne Tiede m-tiede at northwestern.edu
Mon Mar 16 11:59:01 CDT 2015

Marie and all  --  My West African experience was not coastal, but in the Sahel in northern Cote d’Ivoire, where there was a spring?-fed small pond in a relatively wild (overgrown) area.  It was a glorified hog wallow, though I did see an elderly woman bathing in it once.  I’m pretty sure my translator called that the marigot – at least, that’s how I have thought of it ever since.  So I have mentally translated marigot generically as “water hole” when I’ve encountered it in literature.  Cassell’s dictionary defines it as “small W. African river or lake.”

I like your idea of just retaining “marigot”, with an explanatory footnote.


From: Edda Fields-Black [mailto:fieldsblack at cmu.edu]
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 11:06 AM
To: Peter Weil; William Moseley
Cc: Bassett, Thomas J; mansa-l at groups.txstate.edu
Subject: Re: [Mansa-l] translation of "marigot"

This translation captures the meaning of “marigot” in coastal Guinea along the Rio Nunez and Rio Pongo.

Edda L. Fields-Black

From: Peter Weil [mailto:pmweil at udel.edu]
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 10:34 AM
To: William Moseley
Cc: Bassett, Thomas J; mansa-l at groups.txstate.edu<mailto:mansa-l at groups.txstate.edu>
Subject: Re: [Mansa-l] translation of "marigot"

Dear All,

I am sure that “marigot" is used to apply to all that others have mentioned. However, in Senegal, especially the Casamance area, these streams play an important role in rice farming, especially by Jola populations, but also some Mandinka populations. “Marigot” is applied to estuaries that develop in the wet season based on local rainfall. These streams become increasingly saline during the end of the wet season and at the beginning of the dry season, as the Casamance River decreases its flow rate and salt from the ocean intrudes further into it and into the mouths of the temporary estuaries. Olga Linares describes them as “tidal creeks."

Peter Weil

On Mar 16, 2015, at 9:20 AM, William Moseley <moseley at macalester.edu<mailto:moseley at macalester.edu>> wrote:

Dear All,
I agree with Tom: "intermittent stream" or "lowland seasonal stream." In certain parts of north Africa these are also referred to as 'wadi' - which I'm guessing is Arabic in origin.

On Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 7:50 AM, Bassett, Thomas J <bassett at illinois.edu<mailto:bassett at illinois.edu>> wrote:
I think of  "intermittent stream" or "lowland seasonal stream."

Thomas J. Bassett
Professor of Geography and GIS
Director, LAS Global Studies
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
From: Marie Rodet [mrodet at hotmail.com<mailto:mrodet at hotmail.com>]
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 3:15 AM
To: Mansa
Subject: [Mansa-l] translation of "marigot"
Dear colleagues,

I'm trying to find a good way of translating "marigot" into English. I'd be tempted to leave it untranslated in the English text but let me know your thoughts.

Many thanks,
Marie Rodet

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William G. Moseley
Professor and Chair of Geography
Director of African Studies
Macalester College
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Email: moseley at macalester.edu<mailto:moseley at macalester.edu>
Tel: (1) 651-696-6126, Fax: (1) 651-696-6116, twitter.com/WilliamGMoseley<http://twitter.com/WilliamGMoseley>

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University of Minnesota
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