Synopses & Reviews
Famous across West! Africa from Guinea to the Gambia, through Mali and into Burkina Faso, the heroic exploits of Sunjata - based on events in the early thirteenth century - are still constantly being reinterpreted in many different media.
Sunjata started life as a gluttonous and slow-witted child, but went on to become a celebrated warrior, who defeated the Susu overlords and founded the great Mali empire, which lasted two centuries. Equally crucial was the role of his sister Nene Faamaga, who seduced his archenemy Sumanguru into revealing the secret magical powers which made him invulnerable.
These stories remain central to the culture of the Mande-speaking peoples. This book brings together translations of live performances by two leading Gambian jalis (or bards). Where Banna Kanute's exciting version is all about violent action, supernatural forces and the struggle for mastery, Bamba Suso uses far more dialogue to reveal his insight into human relationships. A map, notes and lists of characters (many of whom have several names) help non-specialists gain access to one of the major epic traditions of Afr
"Sunjata" is an African aural epic which details the exploits of its hero as he defeats his greatest adversary, and establishes himself as master of a growing empire. This edition contains two renditions of the tale which have been transcribed and translated from by African Grigots.
Sunjata Keita was the founder of one of the greatest empires of Western Africa. These two epic accounts of his life portray a greedy, slow-witted child - said to have crawled until the age of seven - who grew up as prophecy foretold to become a mighty warrior, renowned for his bravery and superhuman strength. They describe how, with the help of his sister, who seduced their arch-enemy Sumanguru into revealing his secret powers, Sunjata defeated the Susu overlords and created the Mali Empire which would last for two centuries. Based on events from the early thirteenth century, these tales of heroism and magic are still celebrated across West Africa as part of a living epic oral tradition.
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is a major African oral epic which details the exploits of its eponymous hero who started life as a gluttonous and slow-witted child and went on to defeat his greatest adversary and establish himself as master of the growing Mali empire. The tale remains central to the culture of the Mande-speaking peoples. This Penguin Classics edition contains two very different renditions of the tale, which have been transcribed and then translated from live performances by African Griots or bards.
This edition is fully edited, with an introduction, explanatory notes, maps and chronological trees.