Mali, Sundiata

1154 Words5 Pages
Throughout the process of historicizing the past, women are primarily left out of the history books and stories for their contribution to civilization. However through the unearthing of antiquity it is clear that women were prominent in both the advances and declines of human society and culture. In the Epic of Old Mali, Sundiata’s success and failures can arguably be attributed to the women in the story. This essay will first introduce information on the cultural background on the Mail Empire regarding female involvement and secondly will argue that the roles of the women were integral to the strength and weakness of the empire. The women who will be discussed are Sogolon Kedjou, Nana Triban, and Sassouma Berete and their roles will be analyzed…show more content…
These oral traditions are passed down through each generation and establish a historical account regarding the founding of the Mali Empire. According to oral traditions, the Mali Empire was first established when, “the victory of Sundjata put an end to the Sosso kingdom, and opened the way for the extension of Mali’s authority over the Sahel”. Once the empire was formed it took over vast territories and expanded in all geographical directions. In addition to this expansion the Mali Empire engaged in many trading activities with extended it power along the region. Considering the greatness and vastness of the Mali Empire, it is crucial to understand its place in history as a considerable power and how it’s founding came to be. Due to a lack of written records and the important cultural emphasis on oral traditions, one of the most valuable resources for understanding Mali’s founding is Sundiata An Epic of Old…show more content…
In the epic Sundiata is referred to by many names one being “Sogolon Djata” which later on in the Mandingo language transformed to Sundiata or Sundjata. Sogolon is the mother of Sundiata so he is given her name as a title, which later transforms into the name that he is now commonly known. Matrilineality provides Sogolon with the agency to claim what she has created and highlights her power as a woman and mother. Owing to the fact that Mali was a matrilineal society provides some insight into the important role women played in both the creation of the empire and it’s sustained success for many

More about Mali, Sundiata

Open Document