Sunjata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples

By Djanka Tassey Condé; David C. Conrad | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

This previously unpublished version of the great West African narrative popularly known as the "Sunjata epic" is being made available in response to a long-felt need for a text that is formatted in a reasonable approximation of the original performance values of the narrator, but which is at the same time readily comprehensible to readers previously unfamiliar with Manding cultures and their most definitive oral tradition. The narrative chosen for this book was recorded in five original sessions and several follow-ups in 1994 at Fadama, a village near the Niandan River in northeastern Guinea. The performer was the jeli ngara (master bard) Djanka Tassey Condé (d. 10/10/97), who was the last of the great Condé bards of Fadama. One of Tassey's brothers was the locally famous bard Mamadi Condé, who died in 1994. Tassey and Mamadi were sons of Babu Condé (d. 1964), one of the greatest bards who lived during the colonial era. Babu served as an informant for the historian Yves Person, and for the novelist Laye Camara. At the time of the Condé-Camara collaboration in 1963, Laye Camara described Babu as the most celebrated bard in upper Guinea.1 Djibril Tamsir Niane (who first brought the Sunjata epic to the attention of the English-speaking world in his popular but reconstructed Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali "Longman 1965") was well acquainted with Babu and his sons Mamadi and Tassey, and it was Niane who introduced me to the Condé bards of Fadama in 1994.

The reservoir of knowledge from which the present text is drawn makes up part of the intellectual legacy left by Babu Condé and his forebears. One of Babu's ancestors, Frémori Condé, is said to have been the jeli of Imuraba Keita, who was a descendant of Sunjata's brother Manden Bori.2 The Fadama Condé bards' perception of Mande history is influenced by a collective family belief that they are related to the Condé and Diarra of the ancient chiefdom, or jamana, of DÒ NI KIRI (tr. "Dò and Kiri"), which was the homeland of three of the most important female characters in Mande epic tradition. Daughters of the ruling family of Dò ni Kiri, the Condé sisters are identified as Dò Kamissa the Buffalo Woman; Sogolon Condé, the mother of Sunjata;

1 Camara 1984: 23.

2 Camara 1984: 28.

-ix-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Sunjata: A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 206

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.