Sundiata teaches Malinke people about the characteristics of an ideal leader

The renowned scholar from Mali, Amadou Hampate Ba, wrote that one cannot know Africa’s history without understanding “Africa’s living tradition.” According to Ba, Africa’s oral history is an essential component of knowing how African people understand and interact with the past. For the people of Mali today, the past serves as a means of communicating key social values and norms to future generations. Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali by D.T. Niane is an example of Africa’s oral tradition. While the Sundiata epic is an account of the origins of the fourteenth century Mali Empire, it is also a living tradition or a guide for Mande speaking people today about the characteristics of an ideal leader, the importance of religion, and expectations for young men and young wen in Mandinka society. Write a three to four page essay (750-900 words) that explains how the epic of Sundiata teaches Malinke people about the characteristics of an ideal leader. In your introductory paragraph, write a thesis that makes an argument about the value of the Sundiata epic as an example of statecraft in pre-colonial Africa. What evidence do you find in the novel that illustrates the importance of moral leadership and building a unified and cohesive state? Choose no more than three specific examples from the work that illustrate your argument and elaborate on them in the body of your paper. Rely only

 

 

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