Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate Biography | Author of Sundiata

Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate
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The story of Sundiata, the thirteenth-century ruler of Mali, came to the present through a familial line of griots, bards whose function in their society is to preserve the oral history of their people. This account was told from father to son for generations. It was first written down by the historian Djibnl Tamsir Niane, who transcribed the story as it was recounted by Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate.

The stories told by griots are not fixed in the way that written texts are: each recitation or performance may include additions or deletions, and can feature embellishment of some episodes and the downplaying of others. The griot may choose to play up the accomplishments of the distance ancestors of audience members as a sign of respect or to ensure that they will like what they are hearing. Thus, while the basic story derives from multiple storytellers who shaped it over...

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This section contains 213 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sundiata Study Guide
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Sundiata from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.