Sundiata Women Essay

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In Sundiata, women played many roles from Mothers (raising their children) to ones filled with jealousy and hatred, to hard-working and at times oppressed beings. The responsibility of a woman being a mother comes or should come natural. Therefore a mother would do any and everything to protect their child. Sologon, whom is the mother of Sundiata portrayed this trait of a woman by fleeing with her son Sundiata to Timbuktu to avoid him being killed. Sologons fleeing was brought about by the jealousy of Sassouma Béréte, who had plotted on her son being heir to the throne. Sassouma
Béréte was the very first wife to King Kontae (father of Sundiata). She was also the co wife (African kings at this time were known to have more than one wife) of Sundiata
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Although Sassouma Béréte plays the role of the antagonist (one of) in this epic she is considered as “politically ambitious” and a “despised wife” who contravenes the social norms of
Mande society. She is also likened that of a strong woman who plays major role in her son’s successions to the throne (due to Sogolon fleeing w/Sundiata).
In the Epic of Sundiata one could make the observation that women were not held in the same regards as men, and were treated as unequal. Women were allowed very few rights as the

timing of which the story takes place would depict and their roles as illustrated were to men of higher authority, who controlled their women with whom they were in relations with. Women are depicted as “trophy” to men and nothing more. Throughout the epic a sense of bravado and machoism is played out, giving off a man’s world feeling which women and little or no real reason to be wanted.
To understand the epic and the roles in which women played, one may not have to look further than how the book has been put together. First and foremost, the book is being told through the eyes of a man (good luck ladies). After the introduction of the Kings, we are
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