Sundiata Essay

Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate
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In the following essay, Ramey focuses on the role of the griot in crafting a unique, individualized version of the story each time it is retold, and comments on the atypical nature of a written and published version of Sundiata.

When reading an epic like Sundiata, the reader must realize that the tale was designed to be performed for a certain audience at a specific time. Most stories that we read today have one, fixed version. However, Sundiata is an oral tale, carefully passed down through the centuries by a segment of African society charged with preserving the collective memory. Many different tribes will have griots that tell the story slightly differently, from the perspective of their own people's history. For instance, we would not expect the griots of Soumaoro's descendants to tell of the battle of Krina in the same manner as do the Kouyates, griots to...

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This section contains 1,467 words
(approx. 4 pages 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.