How did Mali get its name?

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it got its name from the malian empire and it means "the kingdom of sand" in The Malian language

What were the mali?

An empire created by indigenous Muslims in western Sudan of West Africa from the 13th to 15th century. It was famous for its role in the trans-Saharan gold trade.

Who name mali?

Probably from the Malinke empire who ruled in the area from the 12th to the 16th centuries