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Analytical Essay on Portrayal of Mansa Musa in Sundiata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples. by David C. Conrad

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Abstract:

In the book Sunjata a West African epic of the Mande peoples by David C Conrad he shows how the Manding are a backbone of West Africa for a significant long time, this epic pursues the endeavors and achievements of the Mande’s first king, Sunjata. It sets up the phenomenal medieval empire of Mali. The author passes on the strong story push of the Sunjata epic in his presentation of liberal determinations from his understanding of a show by Djanka Tassey Condé who is the narrator in the book.

In the epic of Sundiata which speaks not only stories about the empire of Mali in the thirteenth and fourteenth century but in addition mentions the ancient Manding societies and the power of women is a beautiful work of composing that portrays a timeframe about history that is not well known. Such a discourse is around the basic inquiry of the unwavering quality of oral custom; to deny the epic’s exclusively in light of the fact that it depends on oral convention establishes a negligence for a type of history that when utilized accurately may uncover essential social qualities and morals that can be connected to the present society. ‘Any source which depends on oral history creates a discussion between scholastics as to its unwavering quality, as learning that is passed down orally starting with one age then onto the next might be wrong because of human ‘contortions’ amid correspondence’ (Conrad 150). This can be seen as an unpreventable introduction of human tendencies of bias into the story, which may be difficult to unwind from this present reality. For example, in the preface to the epic, the narrator Djeli Mamoudou Kouyaté states that ‘ by his mouth one will become acquainted with the narrative of the incredible Mali, the tale of him who, by his endeavors, outperformed much Alexander the Great” (Sundiata 1-2). The storyteller is obviously a colossal admirer of Sundiata, which may have driven him to decorate his depiction of the King and this brings out in his group a comparative regard. The author David Conrad attests in different types of the epic. ‘ have at times deliberately coordinated their earnest attempts at anticipating Sundiata over all others as a brilliant image of the Mande past ‘ (147). The biases being portrayed could lead the readers to endorse that the epic, or any record subject to oral show, may not be reasonable as a free source, for dread that the information it presents might be mistaken and misleading.

In spite of Conrad ‘s declaration that the epic is every so often crude in view of the distinctive tendencies inside it, he proposes that it remains a very credible source when utilized and related to different people. Conrad demands that ‘the exhibit of coordinating just one or, more perfect circumstance there are a couple of assortments of the Sundiata epic the shot of surmounting the formally constraining burdens related with filtering this material for obliging information and ‘ just through near utilization of all accessible material can a possibly recorded diagram of Mande history start to rise ‘ (146). The epic is unmistakably an important chronicled source; however, this does not nullify the inclinations and other such human favoritism inside it which could create a bogus history. While one must be mindful of the standard disadvantages of collecting information from hundreds of years of oral transmission, the Epic of Sundiata is unmistakably too significant a source to disregard in any investigation of thirteenth and fourteenth century Malian history. Not many essential sources stay from this period and those that do must be treated with a specific dimension. Neglecting the epic as a recorded source on the sole grounds that it depends on an oral convention uncovers a long-standing Western partiality against oral accounts, However, Kouyaté who is the storyteller proposes that ‘other people use writings to record the past, but … writing lacks the warmth of the human voice’ (Sundiata 41). While most written sources may be progressively trustworthy in Western historiography, African people rely upon describing as an approach to all the more promptly understand and partner with their descendants, and this vitality can’t be ignored. In ignoring oral messages as chronicled sources, one allows the remarkable western conceptualization of ‘right history’ that is, written history to confine his or her thoughts. Oral sources should also be as basic as created ones; in advising diverse kinds of source material, the classicist approaches a progressively broad extensiveness of information.

Also, one may battle that the veritable estimation of the epic does not lie in its precision its ability to relate basic dates or sureness’s anyway in its ability to concede the characteristics and feelings of the old Mande people. It demonstrates an exceptional appraisal on the point of the sensibility of the epic as a true source by recommending that in the Mande, individuals did not anticipate that the griot should give them verifiable verifications or dates; they anticipated that the griot should give an importance to their lives. As the narrator says, he ‘teaches” kings the history of their ancestors so that the lives of the ancients might serve them as an example, for the world is as it were, through the accounts of the storytellers, relatives had the capacity to get to the shrewdness and direction of their progenitors and apply such messages in the present day. In the Sundiata Epic, qualities, for example, dedication, fortitude and religiosity rise as indispensable to the Mande individuals, which can offer the readers an imperative understanding into their mind. Such a critical understanding can’t be disregarded, regardless of whether the setting or plot of the story isn’t constantly chronicled. The Western historiographical distraction with certainties has veiled this option, yet similarly imperative, utilization of the epic. Towards the end of the epic the reader could recommend that the epic may not be reasonable as a recorded source on account of irregularities in the story, others, for example, Conrad, proposes that it remains an important source when used accurately. While it is undoubtedly essential for the audience to be mindful of any potential human obstructions in the Sundiata account, it stays as critical chronicled source that offers a one of a kind knowledge into the qualities and morals of the Mande individuals. old, but the future springs from the past’ (Sundiata 1). Speaking of the future springs from the past as mentioned earlier the power of women played a significant role in the epic and this can be seen in today’s world and how even though the world is patriotic now women in the ancient times did have a voice.

In the Epic of Sundiata the power that ladies had can be viewed as a smart strategy that is increased through understanding, and the slyness to utilize this learning. Sassouma Berete knew this intensity of this. At the point when Sogolon is to wed the lord, Sassouma Berete utilizes her shrewdness to spread bits of gossip about Sogolon. As D.T. Niane writes in Sundiata, ‘It was realized that she was not the most beautiful, however the interest of everybody was stirred, and as of now a thousand accounts were circling, the majority of them put out by Sassouma Berete, the lord’s first spouse’ (Niane 11). This proposes Sassouma Berete comprehended the intensity of utilizing her experience and slyness to make an unpleasant atmosphere for Sogolon. At the point when Sogolon winds up pregnant with Sundiata, Sassouma Berete starts the way toward deciding how it would influence her and her kids. D.T. Niane, states, ‘What might happen to her, Sassouma Berete, if her child, effectively eight years of age, was excluded for the infant that Sogolon would get the world?’ (Niane 12). In this scenario Sassouma Berete utilizes her experience and slyness to attempt and change the course of fate. In the instance of Sassouma Berete it very well may be seen that lady had control, a kind of power, however that it was utilized in a negative manner. This isn’t the situation with this kind of intensity ladies had in Sundiata. All through the story are instances of ladies utilizing a similar capacity to deliver positive outcomes. While estranged abroad in Djedeba, Mansa Konkon’s little girl demonstrates the utilization of this intensity of shrewdness to secure Sundiata. Realizing that her dad, Mansa Konkon, never lost at the round of wori, the kings daughter discloses this to Manding Bory. At the point when the following day comes and Sundiata is brought to play wori against the lord he can beat him with this learning. D.T. Niane expresses, ‘In certainty the lord’s little girl had uncovered the key to Mandy Boring’ (Niane 30). This demonstrates a positive utilization of the power she had. Next in Sundiata is the slyness used by Sundiata’s half-sister Triban. She discloses to Sundiata how, in the wake of being compelled to be the spouse of Soumaoro, ‘I realized how to compliment him and make him envious’ (Niane 56). Triban proceeds to clarify that she gets Soumaoro to reveal to her his shortcoming with her cunning by saying, ‘Let me know, lord if rulers, disclose to me what jinn secures you…’ (Niane 57). After Soumaoro advise everything to Triban she designs a break out with Bella Fasseke. Triban talks about how she had the information and experience to use her cunning and did this for Sundiata. Subsequent to getting away she rushed to Sundiata to disclose to him this (Niane 58).

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In the book Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali Mecca was a city of Saudi Arabia which was a holy spot where the Muslims yearly heavily assembled called the Hajj happens. It is trusted that a Muslim should take a visit at this heavenly spot at any rate once in his or her lifetime. Being a Muslim Mansa Musa a realm of the medieval kingdom of Mali additionally made such a vital visit to Mecca amid his rule. On his journey it is said that he conveyed a ton of gold with him, and he spent it extravagantly. However, the gold was spent in such a way, the consequence of his journey was of incredible essentialness to his kingdom. It got an extraordinary change to his realm. Yet at the same time his luxurious spending of gold got a negative effect Egypt. This paper will break down Mansa Musa’s journey to Mecca by talking about its favorable circumstances and its inconveniences. I will begin by examining the points of interest that this journey brought into the Malian Kingdom. These preferences were the acknowledgment of Mali in different nations which added to exchange, the fortifying of Islam and the advancement of training. After that I will examine about its burdens which are spending gold to the detriment of Malians and furthermore the effect that it conveyed to Egypt’s gold exchange.

To start, with Mansa Musa’s journey is considered as one of the best in the medieval occasions. Rose E. Dunn (2004) has underscored this view by expressing that ‘[T] he hajj of Mansa Musa entirety’s up Mali’s vital spot among the kingdoms of Africa and Asia in Ibn Battuta’s time’ (p. 113). Clearly his journey to Mecca was extremely essential to his kingdom. From his journey and the spending of gold made Mali to be perceived outside of Africa as one of the most extravagant and most noteworthy kingdoms of that time. This acknowledgment may have prompted the foundation of political associations with Europeans and the Middle Eastern nations, which may have encouraged its gold exchange. From those connections Mali had the capacity to make new exchanging ties that could have expanded his realm’s riches. Dunn (2004) has noticed that Mansa Musa’s rule came at a period that the relations with the Muslim dealers and with the conditions of North Africa were especially vital attributable to the solid market for gold (p. 116). In this manner, from his journey he more likely than not presented Mali to these Muslim shippers and the North Africans, in this manner they may have made new exchanging accomplices. Likewise, by having many exchanging relations, it might imply that the kingdom of Mali’s gold exchange may have been fortified. From those exchange incomes Mali turned into a prosperous kingdom.

Notwithstanding exchange, the other noteworthy thing that Musa’s journey conveyed to his kingdom was the fortifying of Islam. It has been expressed that ‘Mansa Musa was normally an incredible most loved of Muslim conclusion, both in Mali and the more extensive Islamic world’ (Dunn, 2004, p. 116). So, Musa being a pioneer who was focused on Islam helped in spreading and fortifying this religion in his kingdom. Regardless of the way that Islam was presented in Mali before Musa’s rule, yet after his journey Islam turned out to be solid there. His journey may demonstrate that he was a given Muslim who needed to get others on route to change over to Islam. One way that Mansa Musa helped in spreading Islam was through his liberality amid his journey. When he was spending the gold, numerous individuals could have been pulled in by his thoughtfulness and may have been moved to pursue his religion. In addition, the job that he took in structure the mosques in Mali might be proof that he needed to reinforce Islam there. As indicated by the BBC’s account of Africa about Mali, it expresses that Mansa Musa’s riches was spent forever in the structure of mosques in Gao and Timbuktu. This may imply that Musa was devoted at Islam, and thus those Mosques could have gone about as an instrument to convince and urge more individuals to pursue the Islamic religion.

Additionally, his journey helped his realm in advancing instruction. Mansa Musa turned Mali in turning into a focal point of learning. As indicated by the sound about ‘Domains of Mali and Songhai’ Mansa Musa on his way from the journey he carried with him Arab researchers and Architectures, who helped in structure the University of Timbuktu which adjusted the Islamic lessons. This may have made Timbuktu one of that period’s best taking in focal point of which researchers from everywhere throughout the world could come to contemplate. Likewise, for him [Mansa] to have adjusted Islamic lessons in his Kingdom, it might have additionally assumed a job in the fortifying and impacted the Islamic religion and culture. In spite of the fact that the Malian Empire profited by his journey, his free spending of the gold may have made the individuals who profited to profit to the detriment of his kin. It has been expressed that ‘The Cairenes made inestimable advantages out of him and his suite in purchasing and selling and giving and taking’ (Dunn, 2004, p. 113). From this it tends to be seen that for the individuals who got that free gold had the capacity to put resources into that equivalent gold which consequently gave them a great deal of benefits. Be that as it may, in the event that it was not for his free spending those benefits could have been made by his kin. Besides from his rich spending of gold, it influenced the Egyptian gold market. Dunn (2004) expressed that Mansa Musa’s spending of gold influenced the Egypt’s gold esteem and it made its value fall (p. 113). From this it tends to be seen that Egypt truly experienced Musa’s journey, and this may have made the abundance of Egypt decay. Also, it is said that it took over 10 years to settle the economy of Egypt.

In outline, it has been seen that Musa’s journey rolled out a critical improvement in his Kingdom. From that journey Mali was known and it made political associations with European and Arab countries. What’s more, in these relations they set up exchanging attaches that empowered Mali to aggregate more riches. Aside from that Musa’s journey demonstrated that he was devoted to the Islamic religion, and after his journey he helped in fortifying this religion in his Kingdom. He did that by structure mosques in Mali’s urban areas. Besides Musa advanced instruction in his Kingdom by conveying Arab researchers who helped him to fabricate the Universities which made its Capital Timbuktu turning into the focal point of Islamic learning. Nonetheless, his spending of the gold left a negative effect in Egypt’s gold market and Egypt’s economy wound up flimsy for over 10 years. So, his journey profited his kin in the meantime it influenced different states. In spite of the fact that that is the situation, Mansa Musa left a heritage that will at present be recollected in Mali or Islam as well as in the World history.

Work Cited

  1. Conrad, David C, and Djanka T. Condé. Sunjata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub. Co, 2004. Print.
  2. Niane, Djibril Tamsir., David W. Chappell, and Jim Jones. Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali. Harlow, England: Pearson Longman, 2006. Print.

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Analytical Essay on Portrayal of Mansa Musa in Sundiata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples. by David C. Conrad. (2022, August 12). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/analytical-essay-on-portrayal-of-mansa-musa-in-sundiata-a-west-african-epic-of-the-mande-peoples-by-david-c-conrad/
“Analytical Essay on Portrayal of Mansa Musa in Sundiata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples. by David C. Conrad.” Edubirdie, 12 Aug. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/analytical-essay-on-portrayal-of-mansa-musa-in-sundiata-a-west-african-epic-of-the-mande-peoples-by-david-c-conrad/
Analytical Essay on Portrayal of Mansa Musa in Sundiata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples. by David C. Conrad. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/analytical-essay-on-portrayal-of-mansa-musa-in-sundiata-a-west-african-epic-of-the-mande-peoples-by-david-c-conrad/> [Accessed 31 Jan. 2023].
Analytical Essay on Portrayal of Mansa Musa in Sundiata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples. by David C. Conrad [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Aug 12 [cited 2023 Jan 31]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/analytical-essay-on-portrayal-of-mansa-musa-in-sundiata-a-west-african-epic-of-the-mande-peoples-by-david-c-conrad/
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