The Republic of Mali is the seventh largest country in the African continent
. Located along the western region of Africa, Mali is one of the few countries in the world that is considered as a landlocked nation. That means that the country is completely surrounded by other countries. The Republic of Mali shares its borders with the country of Algeria to the north, the country of Niger to the east, Côte d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso to the south, Guinea to the southeast, and the countries of Mauritania and Senegal to the west.
The country of Mali had once been one of the three Western African empires which had the trans-Saharan trade. Between the eight and late sixteenth century, the trans-Saharan trade was an integral trade route between merchants living in the region of the Sahara and those that live along the Mediterranean. After being under the French rule as part of the French Sudan, Mali eventually gained its status as an independent country of its own in the year of 1960. In 1991, a multi-party democracy was established in Mali and became the Republic that it is known today.
Here in the country of Mali, music plays a vital role in the lives of the locals. Traditional songs have continued to be passed down from generation to generation following an oral tradition primarily done by the local griots, which were recognized among the locals as the “Keepers of Memories.” The same holds true to its literary heritage. For this reason Mali has been considered as one of the liveliest intellectual centers in the African continent.