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This is a revision of Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali, a best seller for 30 years.
Retold by griots, the guardians of African Culture, this oral tradition has been handed down from the thirteenth century and captures all the mystery and majesty of medieval African kingship. It is the epic tale, based on an actual figure, of Sundiata (Sunjata). Part history and part legend, it tells how Sundiata fulfilled the prophesies that he would unite the twelve kingdoms of Mali into a powerful empire.
This Revised Edition includes background information which provides a geographical, religious, social, and political context for the story. A ‘who’s who of characters’ and ‘a glossary of places’ will enhance the reader’s experience.
Introduction to the Revised Edition
Oral Tradition, Pronunciation and Spelling
Who's Who of Characters/Glossary of Places
The Story of Sundiata
The Words of the Griot Mamadou Kouyatç
The First Kings of Mali
The Buffalo Woman
The Lion Child
The Lion’s Awakening
Soumaoro Kantç: The Sorcerer King
The Baobab Leaves
The Names of the Heroes
Nana Triban and Balla Fassçkç
Kouroukan Fougan or The Division of the World
Posted December 5, 2009
Posted December 3, 2007
Sundiata - An Epic of Old Mali provides a heroic story of Sundiata, who is destined to become a future Malian King. However, Sundiata must defeat the current king, who is an evil tyrant purely interested in gaining money and oppressing others. This epic offers more than an entertaining story it provides a lot of background information, which reveals much about Malian culture and overall African culture during the time of Sundiata 'close to 1230 CE'. For example, the idea of ¿jinns¿ is seen constantly throughout the epic, and jinns are related with Islam and culture. This displays that Mali was an Islamic based civilization. The author of this epic, D.T. Niane, composed this epic by listening to the stories of a Griot 'an adviser who reveals historical information of ancestors' regarding Sundiata. The stories were passed down generation to generation purely by oral tradition. This also reveals the importance of oral tradition in African culture during the time of the Mali Empire. D.T. Niane does a stellar job delivering this epic. He accomplishes his task, which is to inform others about this amazing story in Malian History and its significance to how the entire continent of Africa is shaped in the long run. This book is highly recommended to those interested in African History and epic stories, such as the Iliad and Odyssey.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 5, 2007
The book, Sundiata an Epic of Old Mali, is small read for students, but will give them a detailed review of Sundiata¿s life. I understand that this book has its purpose, but I would not want to read it again. It did not grab my attention in the first few pages, and did not keep my attention through out the book. If I were to recommend this book, I would recommend it for middle school students because in high school, students would not find this book appealing. I do have to say that the author did a good job of stating their purpose. D. T. Niane did report on the life of Sundiata to show that Sundiata was an important part of history. Niane told how Sundiata founded Mali. This entire book was what I thought it would be¿ a biography about Sundiata and nothing more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.