Sunjata (Penguin Classics)

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9780140447361: Sunjata (Penguin Classics)

Sunjata Keita was the founder of one of the greatest empires of Western Africa. These two epic accounts of his life portray a greedy, slow-witted child - said to have crawled until the age of seven - who grew up as prophecy foretold to become a mighty warrior, renowned for his bravery and superhuman strength. They describe how, with the help of his sister, who seduced their arch-enemy Sumanguru into revealing his secret powers, Sunjata defeated the Susu overlords and created the Mali Empire which would last for two centuries. Based on events from the early thirteenth century, these tales of heroism and magic are still celebrated across West Africa as part of a living epic oral tradition.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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From the Back Cover:

Famous across West! Africa from Guinea to the Gambia, through Mali and into Burkina Faso, the heroic exploits of Sunjata - based on events in the early thirteenth century - are still constantly being reinterpreted in many different media.

Sunjata started life as a gluttonous and slow-witted child, but went on to become a celebrated warrior, who defeated the Susu overlords and founded the great Mali empire, which lasted two centuries. Equally crucial was the role of his sister Nene Faamaga, who seduced his archenemy Sumanguru into revealing the secret magical powers which made him invulnerable.

These stories remain central to the culture of the Mande-speaking peoples. This book brings together translations of live performances by two leading Gambian jalis (or bards). Where Banna Kanute's exciting version is all about violent action, supernatural forces and the struggle for mastery, Bamba Suso uses far more dialogue to reveal his insight into human relationships. A map, notes and lists of characters (many of whom have several names) help non-specialists gain access to one of the major epic traditions of Afr

About the Author:

Bamba Suso (d. 1974) was one of the foremost Gambian griots and had an extensive knowledge of local oral traditions.

Banna Kanute (d. circa 1994) was a renowned musician and griot who played with the Gambia National Troupe.

Gordon Innes researched and wrote about Mande languages and oral literatures during his career at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Lucy Duran and Graham Furniss have written on African music and literature respectively and teach at SOAS.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Sunjata Keita was the founder of one of the greatest empires of Western Africa. These two epic accounts of his life portray a greedy, slow-witted child - said to have crawled until the age of seven - who grew up as prophecy foretold to become a mighty warrior, renowned for his bravery and superhuman strength. They describe how, with the help of his sister, who seduced their arch-enemy Sumanguru into revealing his secret powers, Sunjata defeated the Susu overlords and created the Mali Empire which would last for two centuries. Based on events from the early thirteenth century, these tales of heroism and magic are still celebrated across West Africa as part of a living epic oral tradition. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780140447361

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Sunjata Keita was the founder of one of the greatest empires of Western Africa. These two epic accounts of his life portray a greedy, slow-witted child - said to have crawled until the age of seven - who grew up as prophecy foretold to become a mighty warrior, renowned for his bravery and superhuman strength. They describe how, with the help of his sister, who seduced their arch-enemy Sumanguru into revealing his secret powers, Sunjata defeated the Susu overlords and created the Mali Empire which would last for two centuries. Based on events from the early thirteenth century, these tales of heroism and magic are still celebrated across West Africa as part of a living epic oral tradition. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780140447361

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Bamba Suso (author), Banna Kanute (author), Graham Furniss (editor), Lucy Duran (editor), Graham Furniss (introduction), Lucy Duran (introduction), Graham Furniss (notes), Lucy Duran (notes), Bakari Sidibe (translator), Gordon Innes (translator)
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