Sarakholais warriors FREY, Côte occidentale d'Afrique - Jeanniot - 1890 - Gallica (Bnf)
he name “Cisse” is widespread in all the countries of Manding tradition. It is a very old noble family name dating back, as far as the
tradition attests, at the time of the Kingdom of Wagadou, that is to say : in the seventh century AD. The historical traces mention Djabe Makan (Diaba) Cissé, unifier of the empire of Wagadou
It seems that the name “Cisse” is an honorific patronymic name attributed to the founder of the dynasty Wagadou
for bringing the horse in West Africa , and indeed, the very name “sy” means in sarakhole tongue (language of the Soninke), “white horse”.
The historian Youssouf Tata Cisse told us many information :
« Djabe Cisse, the blessed and the horseman, like the cult of Kangalika (snake-god of his ancestors), introduced the cult of the Wagadou Bida, a clever Wagadou genius, half man - half
serpent, nicknamed Sâba, i.e. : “Great Big Snake” or “Sacred Snake”. »
A part of the song Miniyamba refers the myth.
« It is also Djabe Cisse who popularized the breeding of horses », dixit Youssouf Tata Cisse.
Certainly, as confirmed Moussa Fofana, former education consultant at Koutiala, on the website Soninkara (dedicated to the Soninke diaspora), the massive use of horses and cavalry warfare accelerated expansion of the Soninke Empire of Wagadou.
Actions of the Cissé through History
In the history of the Manden , the Cisse clan had to play key roles, many times ;
The Cisse founded several dynasties who founded in their turn many city-states in Mali, one hypothesis is that they have
founded the first city-state on the site of Djenne (Djenne - Djenno) from the third century ;
In the thirteenth century, the Cisse were the very first family with the Bérété (with whom they compete for the rule since
Tomonno Manghan Bérété ) to introduce Islam to Mali, at the time of Sundjata, and they helped actively the founder of the
Manden Empire in his conquest, under the aegis of Bougariba Cissé ;
so after the victory of the latter on Soumaworo Kante,
they have been gratified of the honorary title of “Manden mori.”
1 . Youssouf Tata Cissé said that it was at that time that the first praising panegyric was sung in honor of the Cisse clan :
"Cisse, the lineage of the kings of magnanimous Wagadou
Founded by descendants of Niamey ( the queen mother ! )
God in his greatness brought down rain for you money
Rain of gold and diamond rains
And ultimately rewarded you for the rain of faith.
Descendants of the golden and silver-wearded riders and horsemen,
You are strong , generous and brave." [ back to text ]