Heart of the Ngoni: Heroes of the African Kingdom of Segu / Edition 1

Heart of the Ngoni: Heroes of the African Kingdom of Segu / Edition 1

4.0 1
by Harold Courlander

ISBN-10: 0870239295

ISBN-13: 9780870239298

Pub. Date: 11/16/1994

Publisher: University of Massachusetts Press

Product Details

University of Massachusetts Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.04(w) x 9.01(h) x 0.48(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Heart of the Ngoni: Heroes of the African Kingdom of Segu 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very engaging and well packaged collection of stories from Mali, in the heart of West Africa. The stories emerge from Mali's ancient oral tradition and recount all manners of heroic exploits, wars, sorcerers, political intrigue, and ambitious men. This is oral history delivered in an artistic, sometimes epic-style writing. The stories make for a fascinating inside view of a complex precolonial African society, ordered according to its own system of clan and caste. The Kingdom of Segu contained many different villages and ethnicities--a far cry from the primitive 'tribal' societies usually depicted by European writers and travelers in Africa. The characters of these stories are ennobled by their proud community, sometimes literally. But 'Heart of the Ngoni' is hardly composed of instructive bedtime stories. It unflinchingly recounts treachery, jealousy, and countless battlefield slaughters brought on by the pride of great leaders. If there are any morals to be gained from these stories, they would be 'Never doubt a fortune teller' and 'Never try to rise above your station in life.' A good many western readers would have trouble taking such messages to heart. Nonetheless, 'Heart of the Ngoni' grants the outsider unique insight into life in Segu before the white man came, and its stories are translated into beautifully epic language. You might come away from this collection a bit shaken by the journey, but you'll probably be glad you made it all the same.