1. Pliscapoivre

    Pliscapoivre Senior Member

    English, US
    Buenas tardes,

    I read this expression in a book. It's translated there as referring to something that's completely over, without hope.

    Although it's not Spanish, it's an expression apparently used in Cuba, and I wonder if it's archaic or still commonly used. Would any Cuban be likely to know the phrase?

    Thanks very much.
  2. volky

    volky Senior Member

    Puerto Rico, USA
    The correct phrase is kikiribu mandinga and it has an african origin. I haven't found too much information about it, but I'm sure that has a direct relationship with the "brujería". I found that mandinga has to do with having a black magic "work" or "hechizo", and is also refered to be another name for the devil.

    This is also the title of a famous cuban song, interpreted by Celia Cruz, among many others.
  3. Aftonfalken

    Aftonfalken Senior Member

    Uruguay Español
    No sé si aporta, pero en Uruguay se utiliza la frase "Cosa de mandinga" cuando no se le encuentra una explicación lógica a algo.
    Por ejemplo, si uno va a agarrar algo de algún lado y eso aparece en otro sin uno tener recuerdo de haberlo movido de lugar. Se suele decir entonces "Es cosa de mandinga"
    Si no me equivoco mandinga se refiere al diablo, pero ésto último no lo podría asegurar.
  4. Pliscapoivre

    Pliscapoivre Senior Member

    English, US
    Thanks for the information so far, everyone.

    Mandinga, according to Ned Sublette in _Cuba and Its Music_, is "a catchall name in Cuba for a variety of Senegambian peoples" who were captured and forced into slavery, arriving in Cuba around 1830.

  5. lizzardhenry New Member

    It is in a lot of Cuban songs, for example in "La negra Tomasa", and is spelled different ways: quiquiribú, quiquiri bu, quiquiri bun, kikiri bú, etc. I have read that it means finished, goodbye, over with. I interpreted "mandinga" as meaning "girl" but maybe I'm wrong. You can read about the history of the Mandinka or Mandinga ethnic group in West Africa on Wikipedia. :cool: So I would guess whatever quiquiri bú means, it could be from a Mandé word.
  6. magicflute New Member

    Spanish - Cuba
    The mystery is easily solved if you refer to the next line in the song. "Asi canta el gallo en la finca" Which means, "Thus sang the rooster in the farm" Kikiriki or Quiquiriqui is the usual spanish onomatopoeic spelling of a rooster's crow. "BU" is a syllable shouted to scare someone. Therefore "Kikiri Bu" is a rooster crow meaning to scare someone who might be trying to take him, in this case a "mandinga." "Mandinga" was a term used in Cuba to refer to slaves brought over from the Senegambia region of Africa. If you listen carefully to the song, you will hear that the "BU" is emphasized when sung and there is a slight pause from the "kikiri" to the "bu" separating the words. I hope this clears the mystery.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  7. Pliscapoivre

    Pliscapoivre Senior Member

    English, US
    wow, how wonderful. thank you, magic flute.
  8. nybaby40 New Member

    ok to the common Cuban folk this is a saying meaning the person died: kikiribu mandinga (kicked the bucket).
  9. ORL Senior Member

    Mandinga es la lengua que se habla en Ghana, tal vez la expresión tenga ese orígen africano.
    En Argentina, especialmente en el campo, Mandinga es el diablo.
  10. baruk New Member

    Puerto Rico
    It is a phrase in a poem from a Puerto Rican poet: Luis Palés Matos: Majestad Negra

    It refers to our African ancestors from two tribes: Dinga and Mandinga

    If there is a discussion about race, we recall the phrase saying: El que no tiene dinga tiene Mandinga: He who does note come from the Dingas is from Mandiga origin. Seems that Kikiribu is a rooster: a gallo.

    A literal translation wolud be a rooster from Mandinga tribe. it is known African slaves brought their plants and animals to africa, their food and costumes.

    Dingas and Mandingas were from Ghana, west African coast where they had a slave emporium to bring them to America.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  11. Pliscapoivre

    Pliscapoivre Senior Member

    English, US
    Thanks for all the information, everyone. I didn't know that Mandinga was a Ghanaian language, although I've been to Ghana. I heard mostly of Ewe, Ga, and Twi. A rich heritage...

    I think that I didn't phrase clearly my original question: is "kikiribu mandinga" a phrase that most Cubans today would still understand?

    Thanks again for your interest and expertise,
  12. tumaquisate New Member

    This word has direct relationship to " i am death" when is used when the word kikiribu. kikiribu mandinga used in santeria ,. it is used in a popular cuban song" la negra tomas" in which the singer said that he is in love with her because she gave her bilongo which is a hechizo o brujeria and he is in love every time she leaves him.
    also later in the song make references to a chef who cook mabinga which is dry meat, also used in a bad way as stiercol
  13. djmedley New Member

    My grandmother that is 94 years old always said "ni kikiribu mandinga!" I once asked her and she told me a story of a crazy homeless man that lived in habana that was named kikiribu mandinga. He was known in the streets and passed away in the streets. When they took apart his makeshift shack, they found thousands of dollars hidden.

    She would say that phrase when there was a crazy situation she would not want to deal with.
    "ni kikiribu mandinga!" .. (aria eso!)
  14. Agramor New Member

    At the risk of resurrecting a dead thread- kikiribu mandinga surfaces in Cuba during the slavery period, and the meaning is "dead african" which leads to popular usage for something that died or has ended.
    The root is in the English language, oddly enough. When the brittish slave traders brought african slaves to Cuba, they referred to them all as "mandinga" which was one particular tribe source as previously stated in this thread. The conditions on the slavery boats was awful and many died in the voyage, where the order would come to "kick his butt overboard, the mandinga" or kick the dead body over the side. Kikiribu is, therefore, an appropriation of kick his butt, mandinga being the african corpse.

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