The Epic of Sundiata Sample Essay

The Epic of Sundiata is a West African narrative that tells the narrative of the rise to power of Mali’s greatest male monarch. Sundiata ( Son-Jara ) . In this heroic poem. the griot Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate begins the narrative from the mortifying childhood of Son Jara ( Sundiata ) . to the green-eyed monster between his stepmother Sassouma and his half brother Dankaran Tuma. to the continue conflicts with the great magician Soumaoro and the ulterior accomplishments of Sundiata for his homeland and his people.

The Empire of Mali rose out of what was one time the imperium of Ghana. Mali had been a province inside of the Ghana Empire ( Goucher. 232 ) . Ghana was the first imperium to emerge in West Africa around the sixth century C. E. ( Goucher231 ) . Ghana used the strategic place taxing the desert nomad bargainers of the North and the gold bring forthing people of the South ( Goucher. 131 ) . After the autumn of Ghana. the Mali Empire took its topographic point and rose to power under the leading of Sundiata. “the king of beasts King. ” Under Sundiata. Mali expanded quickly west to the Atlantic Ocean. South into the wood. and east beyond the Niger River. and north as the Sahara desert. The Mali Empire dominated the huge inside of West Africa. a largely part of mountains. savanna. desert. and woods. Here. it was the place of a rich diverseness of people. including nomads. bargainers. husbandmans. and cattle Herders. Depended much on the trans-Sahara trade. the Empire of Mali shortly prospered. The Mali Empire was organized as presenting stations in the long distance train trade and trading centres for the assorted West African merchandises ( Goucher. 234 ) . The Mali Empire lasted from 1235 until about 1468.

West African was the centre of trading in this period. Merchants from different locations would come to West Africa to merchandise goods and exchange their beliefs. In the book. when Sundiata and his household went to expatriate. they would go with a train of merchandisers to Ghana utilizing the trans-Sahara trade path. The Sundiata gives inside informations about trading in the metropolis of Ghana. There were a batch of white bargainers ; tethered camels and donkeys signified the transits of the bargainers traveling in and out the metropolis of Ghana. The book gives inside informations about the trading points such as gold. salt. Fe. slaves. and tusk. Gold and salt were really of import trading points in West Africa. With great wares being trade. metropolis and provinces in West Africa shortly prosper. In Sundiata. it gives inside informations about how the people of Mali wore their gay frock with gold shone in their hair and carpuss with heavy Ag watchbands on of import activities ( Sundiata. 9 ) . The book besides referred to some biggest forfeit being made. “…a hundred white bulls. a 100 white random-access memories and a 100 white cocks” ( Sundiata. 72 ) . This signified that West Africa had legion resources and they can acquire it easy through trades.

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There are two faiths represented in the Sundiata ; Islam and Niger Congo faith. In the narrative. the griot Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate referred to past ascendants of the Mali Empire. The ascendants played an of import portion in the Mali civilization. The people of Mali worshipped their ascendant Kings and worshiped the nature liquors. They respected some animate beings as Gods. For illustration. Sundiata’s female parent. Sogolon was the Buffalo and Sundiata as the Lion Child. The Sundiata gives inside informations about the Niger Congo faith by the art of beating. “The male monarch had the membranophones beaten and before noon all the dwellers of the state were gathered in the chief square” ( Sundiata. 8-9 ) . Besides. when Sundiata was born. the male monarch announced the birth of his boy by the headlong beats of the royal membranophone. Drumming was used to go through out intelligence. meeting with the male monarch. gathered the people of Mali. etc. The Empire of Mali besides had forecaster or diviner. The Smith. Farakourou. was the forecaster in the Empire of Mali. He knew about Sundiata fatal legs and how he will get the better of his tragic childhood by doing the Fe rods. which subsequently assisted him on his first measure.

Islam was besides an of import faith for the Empire of Mali. The Sundiata stated how Lahilatoul Kalabi. the first black prince to do the Pilgrimage to Mecca and the prince Bilali Bounama ; a devoted retainer of the Prophet Muhammid ( Sundiata. 2 ) . Because of the trans-Sahara trade. merchandisers shortly introduced Islam into the Empire of Mali quickly. The metropolis of Cisses was a really spiritual metropolis ; there were legion Numberss of mosques. which signified that Islam was being practiced.

In Sundiata adult females were non every bit equal as work forces. The gender male seems to hold more power and more control over the female. Work forces were able to hold many married womans and adult females can non make anything about it. For illustration. the Maghan King had three married womans and the magician King ; Soumaoro had up to hundred of married womans. Womans were normally slaves and labour workers. They were besides associated with cookery. cleansing. and caring for their kids. Some were barbarous and evil for illustration. Soumosso Konkomba the first married woman of King Maghan Fatta. Womans were besides played the function of sisters. female parents. merchandisers and sorceresses.

Equally far as females were concerned. their activities were in the house. Cooking. cleansing. and caring for the kids occupied the bulk of the clip of the adult females. and on occasion they would be called upon to farm the Fieldss.

Because West Africa did non hold composing system during this period. unwritten tradition played an of import portion for its history. In Sundiata. it stated that in Mali. every King and Prince have there ain griot. The griot served to go through down the history of there past ascendants. “From his oral cavity you will hear the history of your ascendants ; you will larn the art of regulating Mali harmonizing to the rules which our ascendants have bequeathed to us” ( Sundiata. 17 ) . Without the griots. the history of Mali would be lost and the younger coevalss will non cognize about their ascendants or their great imperiums. Griots are the memory of worlds ; their words bring to life the workss and feats of male monarchs for younger coevalss ( Sundiata. 1 ) . Griots are the lone individual who would retrieve the ascendants and many great things about their people. “Griots teach kings the history of their ascendants so that the lives of the ancients might function them as an illustration. for the universe is old. but the future springs from the past” ( Sundiata. 1 ) .

The Sundiata is a narrative of the immature prince Sundiata who brought together the Empire of Mali. He destroyed the great magician Soumaorp Kante and followed his male parent footfalls as King of the Mali Empire. Under his power. the Mali Empire prospered due to the trans-Sahara trade and the great resources that were found at Mali. The Epic of Sundiata still plays an of import function in West Africa today. It relives to state the narrative of their past ascendants and how rich their imperiums were.


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