Sundiata: an Epic of Old Mali

May 8th, 2015
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D.T. Niane’s book Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali tells the history of Mali’s former ruler from the perspective of a royal griot, Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate of the village of Dejliba Koro (Siguiri) in Guinea. According to Niane, he is not trying to write a traditional history book, rather, he is trying to present the history of Sundiata’s empire through the traditional African form of memory using oral tradition as his only sources.

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Sundiata: an Epic of Old MaliD.T. Nianes book Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali tells the history of Malis former ruler from the perspective of a royal griot, Djeli Mamoudou Kouyate of the village of Dejliba Koro (Siguiri) in Guinea. According to Niane, he is not trying to write a traditional history book, rather, he is trying to present the history of Sundiatas empire through the traditional African form of memory using oral tradition as his only sources. He claims that the West has taught historians to avoid oral traditions and to rely instead primarily on written documents. However

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