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Sunjata : A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples - David Conrad


A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples

Paperback Published: 1st September 2004
ISBN: 9780872206977
Number Of Pages: 256

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A pillar of the West African oral tradition for centuries, this epic traces the adventures and achievements of the Mande hero, Sunjata, as he liberates his people from Sumaworo Kante, the sorcerer king of Soso, and establishes the great medieval empire of Mali.

David Conrad conveys the strong narrative thrust of the Sunjata epic in his presentation of substantial excerpts from his translation of a performance by Djanka Tassey Conde. Readers approaching the epic for the first time will appreciate the translation's highly readable, poetic English as well as Conrad's informative Introduction and notes. Scholars will find the familiar heroes and heroines taking on new dimensions, secondary characters gaining increased prominence, and previously unknown figures emerging from obscurity.

Industry Reviews

"This is an important resource for college teachers who would like their students to read a text which more fully resembles an oral poem and which communicates a richer, more complex, and more compelling version of the Sunjata story... (This) version... is much more worthy to be placed among the great epics of world literature. It is eminently readable for students and instructors who are willing to give it the same kind of attention they give to Homer translations..." -- Robin Mitchell-Boyask, Temple University. "Conrad offers a great deal for students and instructors, with a solid Introduction which provides the context and history of the epic, a note on Mande nomenclature, maps, an epilogue, and a glossary of important names and terms. This is truly one-stop shopping for the Sunjata epic. I think Conrad's book will be a classic..." -- Konrad Tuchscherer, St John's University. "The most easily teachable of the versions I have read... (an) important new version of a major literary achievement..." -- Paula Berggren, Baruch College, CUNY.

Note on the map of the Mande Heartland (map A)
Map A : the Mande Heartland and related Jamanaw
Map B : West Africa and area of detail according to oral tradition
Blessings, introductions, and prophets of Islamp. 1
Seven kings of Mandenp. 4
The search for a special wifep. 9
Two hunters arrive in Mandenp. 21
Do Kamissa the buffalo womanp. 30
Do Kamissa's revelationsp. 39
Death of the buffalop. 46
Sogolon Wulen Conde of Do ni Kirip. 52
A new sorceress wife for the Mansa of Konfarap. 59
The childhood of Ma'an Sunjatap. 74
Step-brother rivalry and nine sorceresses of Mandenp. 78
Mistaken murder and the question of exilep. 82
Departure for exilep. 89
A visit to Sosop. 91
The birth of Fakolip. 95
How Tenenba acquired Fakoli : Sumaworo's quest for the Soso Balap. 97
The sacrifice of Kosiya Kantep. 107
Tenenba and Fakoli visit the sacred sitesp. 112
Sumaworo's tyranny over Mandenp. 118
The expedition to find Sunjata and return him to Mandenp. 123
Kolonkan finds meat for guests from Mandenp. 127
Manden Bori's anger and Kolonkan's cursep. 129
Sogolon bestows the legacy of Maghan Konfarap. 131
The burial of Sogolon and departure from Nemap. 140
The return of Sunjatap. 146
Conde pride and descent from Adamap. 149
Fakoli reveals his powerp. 153
Fakoli explains his dilemma and takes his leave from Mandenp. 156
Fakoli finds trouble in Sosop. 158
A visit to Kamanjan in Sibip. 169
A strategic alliance : Kolonkan's marriagep. 173
The battle of Negeboriyap. 175
Trading insults and swearing oathsp. 177
The battle of Dakajalan and Fakoli's revengep. 183
The campaign against Jolofin Mansap. 187
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780872206977
ISBN-10: 0872206971
Series: Hackett Classics
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 1st September 2004
Publisher: Hackett Publishing Co, Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.3 x 14.1  x 1.4
Weight (kg): 0.31