Sunjata: A West African Epic Of The Mande Peoples
Sunjata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples
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.
Thanks to his careful editing and translating of Condé's narrative, Conrad offers a highly readable version of the epic that is about a third of its original length. The translation communicates not only the poetic qualities and the essential events of the Sunjata legend but also the master bard's performance values. Thus, this rendering will fascinate those who already know the story and culture and those coming to the epic...
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