Mandinka Culture

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Introduction The Mandinka are West African people that live by both the Islamic teaching and traditional practices. The Mandinka are a patrilineal group, and the oldest male is the head of the lineage. The Mandinka rely heavily on agriculture and trade with local villages and with Arabs. The majority of the Mandinka people practice a mix of Islam and traditional belief. Sundiata translated by D.T Niane is an epic about a legendary emperor who grew up from a crippled kid to powerful ruler who defeats evil and brings Mali into its golden age. In Mandinka culture, religion is used to make important decisions, including politics. Overview of the Mandinka People Location The Mandinka people were originally from Mali, but they migrated west…show more content…
Around the year twelve hundred there was many different kingdoms in the area of Mali, they traded with other villages and Arabs but also competed amongst each other over land. Maghan Kon Fatta was king of the city of Nianiba and one day a soothsaying hunter predicts that he would have a son that will be a great ruler but only if he marries an ugly woman that two hunters will bring to him. Later on two hunters bring a hideous woman named Sogolon who the hunters earned by defeating an evil buffalo and proposes the king to take her as his bride. The king remembered the prediction made by the soothsayer and accepts to marry Sogolon. Sundiata was the son of Maghan and Sologon; he was born crippled and as he grew up he was made fun by everyone. After the king’s death the elders gave his eldest son Dankaran Touman power. As time passed the mockery from the queen mother about Sundiata pushed Sogolon to hit Sundiata, as she was ashamed of him. In order to wipe his mother’s sorrow and shame Sundiata ordered a metal rod to made to help him stand on two legs and he lifted the baobab tree from the ground and brought it back to his house, and from that moment onwards, his strength was unquestionable. Fearing her son might lose his status of king the queen mother decides to exile Sundiata and his…show more content…
The opening of Sundiata illustrates the king and his advisors under a tree and encountering a soothsayer who informs them about the future of the Mali Kingdom. King of Mali, destiny marches with great strides, Mali is about emerge from the night…Oh, that woman! She is ugly, she is hideous, she bears on her back a disfiguring hump. Her monstrous eyes seem to have been merely laid on her face, but, mystery of mysteries, this is the woman you must marry, sire, for she will be the mother of him who will make the name of Mali immortal for ever (Niame5-6). This selection clearly depicts the interaction between religion and political decision-making as a soothsayer, who is highly regarded in the Mandinka religion to foresee the future and work closely with the spirits, tells the King to marry an ugly woman In order to help his kingdom prosper. As a king he put his own feelings aside and abides by the sayings of the soothsayer proving that the sayings of a soothsayer impacted the judgment of the king. Later in the story Sundiata gathers his army and prepares them to attack Soumaoro. During times of war rulers take important decisions and in Mandinka culture religion aids in

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