Son-Jara : The Mande EpicPerformance by Jeli fa-Digi Sisoko

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The epic of Son-Jara (also known as Sunjata or Sundiata) celebrates the exploits of the legendary founder of the Empire of Old Mali and is still widely recited among Mandekan-speaking peoples of West Africa today. As performed by griots, or professional bards, it embodies deeply rooted aspects of Mande cosmology and worldview. This edition of the epic presents the full, linear Mandekan text side by side with John William Johnson's important English translation. Fully annotated and explained, the text provides historical and contextual frameworks for understanding this African epic. A complete recitation of the epic by Jeli fa-Digi Sisoko recorded in the town of Kita, Mali, is sold separately. This powerful text and inspiring performance show why the epic of Son-Jara has taken its place among the world's greatest epics.
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Product details

  • Audio cassette | 352 pages
  • 131.6 x 146.8 x 10.4mm | 104.33g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • Annotated
  • Abridged
  • 6 b&w photos
  • 0253343364
  • 9780253343369

Table of contents

PrefaceIntroductionThe HeroThe BardThe TextThe EpicAnnotationsGenealogyBibliography
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Review quote

Praise for previous editions: "... a major addition to the literature on oral traditions and ... a useful commentary on the conceptions and uses of various spiritual powers in Mande society." Journal of Religion in Africa
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Rating details

1,743 ratings
3.58 out of 5 stars
5 22% (384)
4 30% (531)
3 34% (601)
2 10% (166)
1 3% (61)
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