Beauty In Sundiata

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The political discussion of gender and beauty can be found in the reading of Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali. The text expressed how gender and beauty was manifested in the culture and traditions of the ancient societies. It is apparent that the ideologies that are manifested in society today are not new ideas, but they are instead an extention of the way in which our ancestor’s societal structure was. Firstly, the reading highlighted similar issues associated with gender and beauty, because there was various ways that women were hindered. In this society, women did not hold high positions in society. Most of the women were either maids or wives. This proved that women were not thought of equal to men. Even today, women are still not treated…show more content…
In the story one of the main character Sogolon was not considered beautiful, because she had a humped back. In this ancient society, if you were not beautiful women than you would not be as important. Therefore, Sogolon was automatically characterized as the “Other”. On the contrary, Sogolon would turn out to be very useful to the king. A soothsaying hunter told the king that he must marry ugly women, because she will bore him a child that will be a great ruler. However, when Sundiata turned out to be disabled the king started to be very saddened. Thus, when Sundiata bore him more children that were unattractive, the king continued to be extremely disappointed. In result, he sent her to live somewhere else for a period of time. In addition, the politics of gender and beauty are manifested within the text where Sundiata was looked down on. People within the society would make fun of him and his family, because he was disabled until the age of seven. He was not able to walk, thus he too was placed outside of the power circle. He was considered unfavorable to the dominants in the society because of his disability. For example, Sundiata was not placed into the throne when the king died. The king’s first wife hated Sogolon and Sundiata, so she made sure that her son ascended to the throne. She was able to do this with ease, because everyone in the Mali empire was

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