How Sundiata Overcame Adversities in Childhood

135 views 4 pages ~ 828 words Print

Events in Sundiata's life

Events in Sundiata's life were influenced both directly and indirectly by the advantages and effects of external circumstances as they were experienced by the characters in the epic. He became a legend who would be remembered for decades thanks to the hospitality he received while in exile. His mother instilled in him a respect for religion and a belief in the Mali gods. Important topics covered in this article include how Sundiata overcame childhood hardships with the aid of the griot, kinfolk, and supernatural forces. Up to the age of seven, Sundiata was unable to walk due to his crippling condition (Niane 15). Despite the limitation in his physical body, his father saw the wisdom in him that was latter evident because of hospitality during exile, expressions from griot, the significance of relatives, and supernatural powers.

Hospitality during Exile

Exile was a misfortune meant to make Sundiata wise States that "but all that was a was part of the vast destiny of Sundiata" (Niane 14). A search party called him back to Mali to battle the sorcerer king he ran away. He received his first blessing after the exile when he made a choice to return to his city to fight Soumaoro Kante. However, this move did not please Moussa Tounkara. Sundiata also visited many land and towns during his exile. King Mema gave him a team of warriors to help him fight enemies. He interacted with the active men in exile. The hospitality he received during his exile also transformed him into a humble and peaceful man. After defeating Kante, he remembered the reception he got during the exile. He could have proudly taken over Mali, Do and Ghana. However, He decided to return the kingdoms back to their people and king. Hospitality used in the epic is central to the Mali custom. The unspoken contract between Sundiata and the host turns out to be the key to his success at the end of the story.

The Role of the Griot

The griot acts as an adviser and informer to a growing Sundiata. The griot connects old parts ancestral stories to the persons living in the present. It contextualizes Sundiata with the achievements of Mali Legends who came before him. Niane (1) states "For generations, we have passed on the history of kings from father to son." Sundiata became a great leader who gives ear to his people and would not go back to the sword. The griot's tale brings out an underlying assumption that men tend to forget greatest triumphs and foibles. It was important for Sundiata to remember his history as a child. He desired to live by emulating the lives of griot guides such as Alexander the great and Nare Maghan Djata.

The Significance of Relatives

The Malinke society considered family to be critical because it produced and nurtured human. The family provided a means for Sundiata to connect to their ancestors and create a chain of family relatives. According to Niane (23), the epic, "the name Sogolon Djata in the rapid Mandingo language became Sundiata" Belonging to a family gave him the right to this name. He depends first on his family. The role of mothers was to nurture children. Sunday's mother serves as his protector and teacher. Her mother knew the danger of living in Mali with Sassoon as a King (Niane 26). He built most of his empire upon the foundation of hospitality he received together with his family as they wandered in exile.

The Supernatural

Sundiata grew in an area with complex and relationship between magic and religion. His mother protected him from the initiation of the sorcerers through traditional rituals. The effect of supernatural powers was a reality in Sundiata's country. His mother states during the time they were leaving that "Let us leave, my son Manding and Djamarou are vulnerable they are not yet initiated into the secrets of the night" (Niane 26). The secrets of the evening were a term used to refer to sorcerers. He needed more the physical abilities to accomplish his vision and mission as the King of Mali. Although Muslims infused Islam into the society, he maintained a polytheistic view of his location. Sundiata had learned t bow before the spirits and gods mentioned regularly. Sundiata learned about Soumaoro Kante during his exile. The King slowly forced the people of Mali and the cities beyond through cruelty. He used supernatural powers to defeat his opponent Kante.

In general

In general, it turns out through this epic that a hero can only succeed in his journey through the help of others. Sundiata's success was a result of the hospitality he received during his exile, the advice from the griot, support from his relatives and supernatural powers. Even though he had superhuman strengths, his humility and weakness see throughout the epic. He gained support from family, army, friends who served him during the exile.

Work Cited

Niane, Djibril Tamsir. Sundiata: An epic of old Mali. London: Longmans, 1965.

March 17, 2023

Child Development

Number of pages


Number of words




Writer #



Expertise Childhood
Verified writer

Tony is a caring and amazing writer who will help you with anything related to English literature. As a foreign exchange student, I received the best kind of help. Thank you so much for being there for me!

Hire Writer

Use this essay example as a template for assignments, a source of information, and to borrow arguments and ideas for your paper. Remember, it is publicly available to other students and search engines, so direct copying may result in plagiarism.

Eliminate the stress of research and writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro