Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali

Sundiata an Epic

What characteristics of an epic do you find in Sundiata. Give specific examples from Sundiata: an epic of Old Mali to illustrate that the text has these characteristics

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While the genre of "epic poetry" is most frequently associated with Western canonical traditions* (particularly Greek and Roman work), the epic of Sundiata reveals that the form existed and flourished in many other civilizations as well.

Interestingly enough, the qualities associated with traditional epics are found in Sundiata as well. These include:

• Structure as a long narrative poem (often sung by a qualified storyteller)

• Concern with communicating the greatness of a civilization

• Centered around a hero who epitomizes the qualities of that civilization

• A reflection of both the high and low qualities of man

• Catalogues of the many heroes who are part of the tale

• The frequent use of gods or supernatural figures

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