In Search of Sunjata

In Search of Sunjata : The Mande Oral Epic as History, Literature and Performance

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The Sunjata epic, which celebrates the founder of the 13th century Mali empire, is the most famous African epic. The pathbreaking essays by well known scholars in this watershed volume examine Sunjata from a variety of perspectives.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 360 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 24mm | 621.42g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 2 maps
  • 0253212480
  • 9780253212481
  • 1,383,449

About Ralph Austen

Ralph A. Austen is Professor of African History, co-chair of the Committee on African and African American Studies, and chair of the Committee on International Relations at the University of Chicago.
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Table of contents

Editor's Introduction The Dichotomy of Power and Authority in Mande Society and in the Epic of Sunjata, John W. Johnson The History of the Sunjata Epic: A Review of the Evidence, Ivor Wilks The Epic of Sunjata: Structure, Preservation, Transmission, Seydou Camara The Historical Transformation of Genres: Sunjata as Panegyric, Folktale, Epic, and Novel, Ralph A. Austen Sinimogo-The Man for Tomorrow: Sunjata on the Fringes of the Mande World, Stephen Belcher Searching for the Historical Ancestor: The paradigm of Sunjata in Oral Traditions of the Sahel (13th-19th Centuries), Mamadou Diawara The Gesere of Borgu: A Neglected Type of Manding Diaspora, Paulo Fernando de Moraes Farias Jeli and Sere: The Dialectic of the Word in the Manden, Karim Traore Mooning Armies and Mothering Heroes: Female Power in Mande Epic Tradition, David C. Conrad Sunjata as Written Literature: The Role of the Literary Mediator in the Dissemination of the Sunjata Epic, Stephen P. D. Bulman Butchering Heroism?: Sunjata and the Negotiation of Postcolonial Mande Identity in Diabate's Le Boucher de Kouta, James R. McGuire The Production and Reproduction of Sunjata, Charles S. Bird An Ethnography of the Epic of Sunjata in Kela, Jan Jansen Out of Print: The Epic Cassette as Intervention, Reinvention, and Commodity, Robert C. Newton Glossary Bibliography
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