4,000,000 in Mali (2012 V. Vydrin), increasing. 75,000 Ganadugu (Vanderaa 1991), 164,000 Wasulu (2009 census). Population total all countries: 4,072,040.
Widespread, southern, central Koulikoro, Segou, northern Sikasso, Watershed, middle Niger river; Kayes Region. Also in Côte d’Ivoire (Bambara), Gambia (Bambara), Mauritania (Bambara), Senegal (Bambara).
4 (Educational). Recognized language (1982, Decree No. 159 of 19 July, Article 1).
Beledugu, Ganadugu, San, Segou, Sikasso, Somono, Standard Bambara, Wasulunkakan (Maninkakan, Eastern, Wassulu, Wassulunka, Wassulunke, Wasulu, Wasuu). Many local dialects. The main division is standard Bambara, influenced heavily by Eastern Maninkakan [emk], and rural dialects. Bamanankan dialects are spoken in varying degrees by 80% of the Mali population. In Mali, Wasulunkakan is shared by both Bamanankan and Eastern Maninkakan, but in Guinea it is only a dialect of Eastern Maninkakan.
Growing. Up to 10,000,000 L2 speakers (2012 V. Vydrine). Adult education. Positive attitudes.
Wasulu are former Fulbe. Muslim, traditional religion, Christian.