Sundiata Short Essay - Answer Key

Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate
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1. What is a griot?

A griot is the man who takes over the role of historian and oral story teller in Malian culture. In Sundiata's story, Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate is the griot, remembering Sundiata's family history and telling his story.

2. Who were the early kings of Mali?

The early kings of Mali are better known as Sundiata's ancestors. They were a deeply religious group of men who traveled to Mecca in order to seek advise from Allah on how they should govern the country.

3. How well did Sundiata's ancestors know the land they were raised in, and how can you tell?

Sundiata's ancestors were very adept at living in the unforgiving Malian terrain. Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate has been passing on their legacy for generations, and remembers how Sundiata's ancestors were skilled hunters and knew how to extract medicine from the plants and herbs of the land.

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