Soundjata ou l épopée mandingue (French Edition)
There are some limited 14th-century Arabic historiographic sources available on the early history and of the Mali Empire, notably the records of Ibn Khaldun.
Formats and Editions of Soundjata, ou, L'épopée mandingue [irogyrikewyx.tk]
Therefore, the evidence of oral tradition may be critical in reconstructing the historical events of the period. Oral tradition necessarily undergoes significant changes over the course of several centuries, but scholars have nevertheless attempted to pinpoint elements in the epic that might reflect historical events. Written summaries of the epic existed in Arabic before During the s, versions of the epic were collected by French officials and published in French and German translation beginning in Western-educated West Africans began to produce literary versions of the tale beginning in the s.
This period represents the first interaction of the oral tradition with literacy and modernity, and the transformations undergone by the narrative in the context of the presentation The first line-by-line transcription of the epic as told by a griot was made in As an oral historical epic, Sundiata conveys information not only about the history of the Mali Empire, but also about the culture of the Mande ethnic group. Mande family structures had two elements—constructive badenya or destructive fadenya. The destructive forces of fadenya eventually cause Sundiata and his mother to be exiled from Mali, in the fear that Sassouma would hurt Sogolon's family.
Badenya , or "mother-child-ness," is the affection between children of the same mother. This is represented in the epic by the support of Sundiata's sister, Kolonkan, in watching over him against Sassouma's attempts at witchcraft, and by his siblings' later support of him in his battle to reclaim Mali. Maternal support is also important for Sundiata to overcome his physical impairment and begin to walk in response to his mother's pleading. The importance of the mother is underscored by the narrator, who says "the child is worth no more than the mother is worth.
This is lost when this oral tradition is turned into an epic and written down. Even though Sundiata may not be fully credible, it is still an incredible book that could be used for learning and teaching. Sundiata can show the reader a culture that is unfamiliar, as well as values held by an ancient people. Sundiata does show the idea of becoming something extraordinary when your beginning is less than ordinary. This is an important aspect to most cultures. In my opinion, Sundiata is a book worth reading and certainly worth investing time into understanding.
This book will allow you to see a culture that may be different than your own and allow you to see a civilization that is separate from your own.
Djibril Tamsir Niane
Oct 24, Jersonmiranda rated it really liked it. Sundiata An Epic of Old Mali. T Niane, translated by G. D Pickett from the Griot Mamadou Kouyate. Kouyate shares the story from the perspective of Griots, who recount tales of kings and history by oral tradition to later kings and later generations of griots. Like many stories of those times they cannot be taken word for word as truth due to the limits they had on explaining things in society, such as the Soso king having magic powers and how they explain many things being done in Sundiata An Epic of Old Mali. Like many stories of those times they cannot be taken word for word as truth due to the limits they had on explaining things in society, such as the Soso king having magic powers and how they explain many things being done in the world by jinn, supernatural spirits in Islamic mythology.
However Griots were government officials and in being such were held to a high standard on accuracy as they would recount the tales of kings such as Sundiata to future generations in order to guide them in their rule. The story begins not with Sundiata but with his father Maghan Kon Fatta who was visited by a soothsayer who fortold him in a prophecy that he would marry a buffalo woman who would give birth to a great ruler. He followed this and received Sundiata as a reward for his dedication.
This epic gives the reader a great view of west African culture through multiple facets of the book.
It also gives some insight to the religion of the region during these times. The way that the states warred against each other was also touched upon in the book as well. The story of Sundiata not only tells the story of the great Mali king but it also goes into the lives and culture of the people of western Africa.
Also into what they value. Oct 25, Eric Staggs rated it really liked it. An Epic of Old Mali, we are presented with the heroic tale of a prince who grows to unite his people into a strong nation. Niane makes use of his background in History he received at the University of Bordeaux, tempered by a talent in writing fiction, to weave an interesting retelling of the oral tradition of Mali people.
With a wealth of information, that at times threatens to overwhelm, Sundiata gives readers an insight into legend. Prophesized by travelling In D.
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Prophesized by travelling hunter, Sogolon Djata Sundiata is born lame to a descendant of the Bambara kings. As the prince grows we see him having his moral character tested throughout his early life. This eventually leading to exile from his people, which sends him on a heroes journey to gain understanding of his people. Building up to a climactic battle and the eventual unity of the people into the Mali people.
The book presents this story with a wealth of information. With sections that break down the important figures in the story, Background information concerning with Geography, Religion, and Politics of the area and time frame , and a brief guide to the pronunciation of the words used in the oral tradition.
This is all before we reach the actual story itself. Then at the conclusion we are given the rich portion of notes that had been mentioned throughout the text itself. This giving the reader the satisfaction of a thoroughly researched topic. That is also the problem that I had with the novella its self. We are bombarded with so much information. I found it cumbersome to at times stop what I was reading to go back and have to check on what something meant or who somebody was. Personally, I felt it could add better flow to the story if some of the important notes were written as foot notes for the page, or even being in text for ease of clarification of the story itself.
Similar in tone to tales like Beowulf, the reader is granted with that gift of insight into the oral legends that have been passed on by the Mali people. I recommend this as a reading if you are either a student of history or literature, as you will be able to take something from the story that will help deepen your understanding of both. That is if you are willing to listen. Mar 01, Kyle rated it really liked it.
The Splendor of Sundiata The tale of Sundiata is an ancient story about a glorious African king with humble beginnings. Full of rich, traditional folklore, witty lessons and proverbs, and an epic conquest to save the kingdom of Mali from the grasp of a tyrannical king, the epic of Su The Splendor of Sundiata The tale of Sundiata is an ancient story about a glorious African king with humble beginnings.
Full of rich, traditional folklore, witty lessons and proverbs, and an epic conquest to save the kingdom of Mali from the grasp of a tyrannical king, the epic of Sundiata is sure to be an insightful read. Sundiata was one of the sons of King Nare Maghan, who was the king of Mali thousands of years ago. However, Sundiata was born a crippled child lacking the use of his legs. However, one fateful day, Sundiata gained the use of his legs and proved his might to Dankaran by uprooting a mighty baobab tree.
Sundiata thus inspires readers by overcoming adversity and beginning his journey towards kinghood. When Sundiata finally became a man of age, he assembled an army to retake the kingdom of Mali, which was conquered by Soumaoro, the evil sorcerer king of Sosso. Sundiata earned the respect of many kings and soldiers in his early conquests and eventually amassed an army powerful enough to rival the sorcerer king. Sundiata achieved great glory in battle, always fought on the front lines with his men, and campaigned zealously for justice. After many battles, Sundiata finally defeated Soumaoro and invaded his capital city, reclaiming the kingdom of Mali.
When his kingdom was established, Sundiata delivered justice where it was deserved, developed a flourishing economy in his kingdom, helped the poor, fought for the weak, and hunted thieves and evil-doers without mercy. Overall, Sundiata is sure to be an enriching book for all who read it. An Epic of Mali, written by D. Niane and translated by G. Pickett, is a historical fiction epic that will take you through how the Mali Empire came to be.
Niane wanted to write this epic to tell people of this man who created the kingdom of Mali. The epic is organized in chronological order, so I found it easy to understand when an event was happening. Niane wrote this epic in the perspective of a griot, a person who tells information of Ancient Mali. Throughout this epic, I found the main theme was legacy. This man, Sundiata, the griot is informing you of wanted to leave this legacy behind of what he has done for the kingdom of Mali. The way that Niane has formed this epic is by writing about historical details and facts of a man who created Ancient Mail.
His exposition was to write about the creation of Mali and he did just that. As I read Sundiata: An Epic of Mali, I found that Niane really focused in on one character at a time. He was sure to give each person a spotlight and not cram them all in at once. It was very easy to understand that this epic had a rhythm.
Griots usually have music behind them as they read their story and I could almost feel the beat of a drum while reading. One small downfall of this epic to younger readers is the feeling you get when reading. To a younger audience, this epic may seem hard to follow at times because of the way sentences were written to have that empowerment and historical feel to it. Overall, this epic was perfectly written and easy to follow to a young adult. I feel that Niane fulfilled his purpose of writing Sundiata: An Epic of Mali.
I would recommend this epic to anyone studying or wanting to learn about the creation of Mali. Designed for an undergraduate and perhaps a general audience, this is essentially an abridged but published before the full version of the West African epic of Sunjata, as recounted by a master bard, Djanka Tassey Conde. Conde passed in , but translator David Conrad recorded his performance in The full-length scholarly version would probably be fascinating, but according to Conrad, includes lots and lots of genealogical details and tangential local histories.
This page version st Designed for an undergraduate and perhaps a general audience, this is essentially an abridged but published before the full version of the West African epic of Sunjata, as recounted by a master bard, Djanka Tassey Conde. This page version stays engaging and manageable throughout, with footnotes that make sense of key details and references in the original text. The basic story is the tale of a falling out between wings of a family; after a bunch of preliminary matter, the core conflict is between Soso Bali Sumaworo on the one hand, and Sanjata and his mother and brothers on the other.
But while Sumaworo is a fantastic villain - he slaughters whole villages, and wears a shirt and pants made out of the skin of his human victims - the greater parts of the epic, and some of the most interesting details, consist of conversations and negotiations among Sunjata's family and allies. Sometimes, these are funny, for example, when two influential young warriors 'win' Sunjata's young mother as their wife, but can't handle her sorcery, and get rid of her by transferring her to Sunjata's father. Often, the episodes illustrate social mechanisms for resolving minor conflicts, tensions, or inadvertent insults.
I suppose one lesson, for ordinary folks hearing the epic recited, is that if legendary figures with super powers can resolve their conflicts through dialogue and compromise, and end up founding a great empire, we who have no recourse to magical powers have even less reason to resort to open conflict. One of the other nice touches of Conde's version is his insistence - repeated throughout the performance - that all human beings are descendants of Adam, and are brothers, essentially the same, no matter our specific lineages. Bamba Susa and Banna Kanute, Sunjata: The Mande Epic of Sunjata is the story of the thirteenth century founder of the second empire, the Empire of Mali, who is variously known as Sonjara, Sunjata, Sundiata, etc.
While the better known European epics were fixed by memorization and later in writing at an early period and exist in standard editions with minimal variations, the African epics are still part of a living oral composition tradition, and so are told quite differently with each performance. I read two books which between them contain three different versions by three different poets.
The first book, collected and translated by Gordon Innes, contains two versions from Gambia; the second, collected and translated by David C. Conrad, contains one much longer version from Guinea. All three versions have been considerably abridged for publication.
While this and the other African epics reflect what must have been the original form of the European epics, there are also interesting differences; there is much more emphasis on magic and women play a much greater role. Feb 21, Joseph F. I can add yet another fine national epic to my library. Sundiata is an epic of Mali, told by a griot a singer of the culture's lore. The eponymous hero, like others, has unusual beginnings: Strangely, his young life is not so promising: But when he sees his mother's exasperation, the lion awakes, and he fells a tree while standing on two legs.
Sadly, his stepmom is evil and w I can add yet another fine national epic to my library. Sadly, his stepmom is evil and wants to destroy him, so he and his natural mother go into exile. The highlight of this story is when he faces the Sorcerer King; a despot who isn't happy until he conquers Mali as well as other kingdoms. He has magical protection, and it is only when a taboo is broken, can he be defeated.
Sundiata is seen in Mali as a mighty king, who extended his country's borders and ruled an empire. How much of this is historical fact I don't know. What I found intriguing about this tale, other than it being a fine story, is just how familiar it feels. It can sit right alongside Europe's great epics. It has certain motifs and tropes that is universal in epic storytelling.
It may be African, but apart from African details such as food and musical instruments, it does not feel like you entered a different world of legend. Part of it might be the character of this English version, but maybe not. The human drama concerning the freedom from tyranny and the arrival of a sacred hero is very human, no matter what country or continent you are from. The belief in magic and taboos is also very striking when you notice its continuity with other cultures. Perhaps before reading this book I may have dismissed this "myth" as an unnecessary social text; however; as one of my professors told me, myth is a social text, and you have no right to dismiss, only the right to know.
Basically, griotes are intermediary sources between ancestors and current rulers. Th Perhaps before reading this book I may have dismissed this "myth" as an unnecessary social text; however; as one of my professors told me, myth is a social text, and you have no right to dismiss, only the right to know. They have a complete recollection of Mali's history and rely on oral tradition rather than written text. There issss a disclaimer in the book, saying that there is no definitive version of the Sundiata epic story, and to ask which is "right" is a "very Western question.
He tells of a time where people from the Mali Empire were susceptible to rumor and impatience and thought they could control destiny. He goes on to honor the greatness of Sundiata as a ruler, which I won't spoil. Long story short, the griot and his ancestors have remained in Mali for centuries, and it is crucial that historians and readers honor this local history and knowledge in order to accurately represent and learn about Mali. I liked it and saw value in the book. Feb 23, Kayla rated it it was ok Shelves: I was most interested in the first half of the book, when Sogolon Sundiata's mother is first introduced and the sections that talked about Sundiata's childhood.
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When Sogolon and her son are exiled, though, I thought the story became kind of complicated and there were too many people being introduced all at once most of them being rather inconsequential. This study shows that in Africa, supernatural forces play vital roles in the society and therefore dominate the African oral epic traditions. Furthermore, the study is significant in the sense that it tries to describe the worldview, especially the religious and cultural beliefs of the particular society or group that produces the epic. The thesis is made up of six chapters. In the second chapter, I examine the impact of supernatural devices on the lives of the epic heroes Sundiata, Shaka, and Lianja, the predictions and divinations about their births, childhoods, exiles or epic journeys, their ascension to the throne as well as their genealogies and deaths.