Sundiata Research Paper Cultural values and

Sundiata Essay, Research Paper

Cultural values and Sundiata

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The heroic poem of Sundiata begins with the debut of the griot, and storyteller Mamadu Kouyate. Throughout the heroic poem, the importance of the griot is stressed legion times. When speech production of griots Mamadu Kouyate provinces that, ? we are the depositories which harbor secrets many centuries old. The art of fluency has no secrets for us; without us the names of male monarchs would disappear into limbo, we are the memory of world? ? ( Niane ) . It was through unwritten reciting that the heroic poem was passed along for coevalss. Though in today’s society, information has taken on new mediums, it is merely every bit of import to the civilization of today as it was to the civilization of the Mandingo. Cultures alteration, but many of the things that comprise them remain changeless.

One of the elements of civilization that has changed really small in value is faith. One can deduce from the heroic poem the importance of faith to the people of the Keita Dynasty. Specifically, the faiths of Islam and Traditional African Religion are alluded to throughout the heroic poem. In one of the first mentions to the Islamic faith Sogolon Kedjon, Sundiata’s female parent, states that? the bastioned town of Sosso was the rampart of fetichism against the word of Allah? ( Niane 41 ) . Previous to this statement thought, the reader is bombarded with semblances of black magic, witchery and Prophetss. In the civilization of old Mali, the two belief systems coincided slightly, but both were still used. It has been offered that, although Islam was a major constituent in the creative activity of the old Mali, it was merely used as a myth to legalize the godly powers of the swayer. This might assist to explicate why Islam is alluded to so tardily in the heroic poem, whereas traditional African spiritual subjects are perennial throughout the heroic poem.

A really big portion of Traditional African Religion in old Mali is predestination of destiny. The storyteller does non let one to bury the of all time of import function that destiny dramas in the narrative. The griot provinces in the heroic poem that? each adult male finds his manner already marked out for him and he can alter nil of it? ( Niane 15 ) . It is this belief that encompasses The Epic of Sundiata. Knowledge of his destiny gives Sundiata the strength to persist during adversity, and the ability to dismiss the assurance of his oppositions as romantic misguidance. In making so, Sundiata Keita sets the illustration for the people of his civilization to follow.

Strong chauvinistic feelings flow throughout the heroic poem, and to some grade The heroic poem of Sundiata? entreaties to the particularized Malinke spirit? ( Sullivan 204 ) . If anything, the heroic poem commands that those whom read it esteem the illustriousness of old Mali and the male monarchs that one time ruled it. One can non assist but to be impressed with the strength of Sundiata and his people.

The Mandingo people besides marveled at Sundiata’s ability to Hunt and his art in conflict. Most all of the characters in the heroic poem that are huntsmans or warriors are viewed as virtuous members of society. Maghan Kon Fatta and his kinsmen spoke of the huntsman that prophesized the coming of Sogolon as “righteous.” Because hunting is of such importance to the civilization, runing imagination is prevailing throughout the heroic poem. Sundiata is referred to as Simbon or? great huntsman? when the griot wants to convey about chauvinistic feelings in the reader or hearer. Within the sphere of hunting and engaging war, regard is given to those whom are unafraid as good. Fearlessness is the conjoining emotion between the huntsmans and warriors. On the other manus, fright is besides one of the dividing factors of work forces and adult females.

Gender functions play a big portion in The Epic of Sundiata. Early on, the text esta

blishes that adult females in the Mandingo civilization are to subject to the wants of the work forces around them. One can barely turn the page without reading about a adult female being given to a male monarch, either to pay court, or to assist one addition favour in the eyes of the male monarch. However, one must be sensitive to the epoch and civilization in which the heroic poem takes topographic point. The work forces in the heroic poem position adult females as weak. Sundiata even goes far adequate to state that, ? `a adult female milk sicknesss before a adult male? ? ( Niane 32 ) . In a civilisation in which hunting and warring are so dominant, and physical strength is looked upon really favourably, it apprehensible that adult females are looked down upon because they are slightly physically awkward. One must besides understand that the spiritual beliefs of the civilization influence the text. Womans in the Islamic faith have somewhat submissive functions. In the heroic poem, the physical strength of the adult female may be looked down upon, but the value of the adult female is respected.

The mental strength of the adult female is an indispensable component of The Epic of Sundiata. In peculiar, the strength of Sogolon and Nana Triban are paramount to the success of Sundiata. Sogolon’s strength is apparent throughout the heroic poem. From the clip that she is given the name? the American bison adult female? to the clip that she carries her household across Mali to Ghana, Sogolon remains the centre of strength for the Keita household. Though one does non meet Nana Triban’s character until late in the heroic poem, she every bit good uses her mental strength to send on Sundiata’s cause. When her weak brother, Dankaran Touman gave her to Soumaoro, the villainous vanquisher against whom Sundiata was contending, she outwitted him by deriving his assurance and working it. Nana was able to happen out Soumaoro’s failing and relay it to Sundiata. One can synthesise from the actions of Nana and Sogolon that although the function of the adult female in old Mali was soundless it was really much influential.

The civilization of old Mali has now since passed off. It reached its zenith under the regulation of Mansa Kankan Musa in the early 1300? s. After the regulation of Mansa Kankan Musa, the Kingdom of Mali was easy chipped off until the swayer of Morocco sent in an ground forces in 1591 to destruct what remained of old Mali. None-the-less, much of the civilization lives on through The Epic of Sundiata. Many of the ideals in the heroic poem can still be identified with in today’s civilization. Many kids, including? Malian kids by and large enjoy hearing about the period of expatriate, which is a happy clip that includes escapades, such as seeing the sights of the old imperial capital, holding an audience with the swayer of Ghana at Wagadu? ( Roth 79 ) . In add-on, many of the elements of the heroic poem that gave it appeal 100s of old ages ago still give it appeal today; it is what makes the heroic great. The dateless subjects of escapade and conquering are what gaining control one’s involvement even today in the mediums of films and telecastings. It is partly these elements that have allowed the Epic of Sundiata and the cultural values of old Mali to digest clip, and the extinction of the griot.

Niane, Djibril Tamsir. Sundiata: an heroic poem of old Mali. London: Longman Group Ltd. ,


Sullivan, Margaret Lo Piccolo. ? The heroic poem of Sundiata: Using African Literature in the

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Roth, Ronica. ? Mali’s boy-king, ? in Humanities, Vol. 19, No.4 ( Jul/Aug 1998 ) , p. 29.

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