Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali

Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali Character List

Djeli Mamadou Kouyaté

The griot who tells the story of Sundiata.


The hero of the epic and founder of the Mali Empire. Also known as Maghan Sundiata and Mari Djata and Naré Maghan Djata and Sogolon Djata.

Sogolon Kedjou

Mother of Sundiata, and a great sorcerer.

Soumaoro Kanté

A great sorcerer king, and Sundiata's primary antagonist. Sundiata creates the Mali Empire by defeating him.

Sosso Balla

Soumaoro's son and one of his chief generals.

Dankaran Touman

Son of Sassouma Bérété, half-brother to Sundiata, and king of Mali in his stead before Sundiata's exile.

Balla Fasséké

Sundiata's griot, gifted to him by his father. The son of Maghan's griot Gnankouman Doua.

Maghan Kon Fatta

Sundiata's father, also called Naré Maghan. King of Niani.

Sassouma Bérété

Maghan Kon Fatta's first wife, the "queen mother" who forces Sundiata's exile.

Manding Bory

Son of Namandjé, half-brother to Sundiata and his best friend. An ally in the war with Soumaoro.

Gnankouman Doua

The griot of Sundiata's father, Maghan Kon Fatta.


Third wife of Maghan Kon Fatta and mother to Manding Bory.

Nana Triban

Daughter of Sassouma Bérété, half-sister to Sundiata and later his ally in the war against Soumaoro.

Fakoli Koroma

Nephew of Soumaoro. He rebels against his uncle when Soumaoro steals his wife.

Fran Kamara

A childhood friend of Sundiata's. Later the king of Tabon and ally to Sundiata. Named Tabon Wana after he becomes king.


A childhood friend of Sundiata's. Later the king of Sibi and ally to Sundiata.

Soumosso Konkomba

Leader of the nine great witches of Mali.

Mansa Konkon

The king of Djedeba and a great sorcerer. He grants Sundiata and his family asylum in their exile but later reneges on the protection.

Moussa Tounkara

The king of Mema. He grants asylum to Sundiata and his family for many years. Sundiata becomes his viceroy and he learns much from the king.


A tribal chief who defends Sosso after Soumaoro's defeat.


An ancestor of Sundiata's. The conquerer of Mali.


Head of the Mali ironsmiths (meaning a soothsayer). He gives Sundiata the iron rod that helps him stand.


Father of Farakourou, a smith of Niani. He makes the iron rod that helps Sundiata stand.

Lahibatoul Kalabi

An ancestor of Sundiata's. He brought grace on Mali through his pilgrimage to Mecca.


Daughter of Sogolon, Sundiata's older sister.

Oulamba and Oulani

The two hunters who win Sogolon and grant her as wife to Maghan Kon Fatta.


Daughter of Sogolon, Sundiata's youngest sister.

Mandjan Bérété

Sassouma's brother. He finds Sundiata in Ghana after Mali is occupied by Soumaoro Kanté.

Soumaba Cissé

King of Wagadou. He gives half of his men to Sundiata to fight Soumaoro Kanté.

Singbin Mara Cissé

A divine of the court who tells tales of Alexander the Great to Sundiata as they travel from Ghana to defeat Soumaoro Kanté.


Magician wife of Fakoli Koroma who is stolen by Soumaoro Kanté.

Kita Mansa

The king of Kita, protected by the jinn of a great mountain. He refuses to offer submission to Sundiata, who defeats him and drinks of Kita's magic pool of water.