Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali

Life Purpose and Responsibility in Sundiata, The Lion King of Mali College

In Sundiata: The Lion King of Mali, responsibility closely aligns with life purpose for those who must fulfill key roles in Malian society, and throughout the story, exemplary characters dutifully perform the obligations. Responsibility in this illustrated adaptation of Sundiata: An Epic of Old Mali is confined to the roles of king, parent and griot. These roles are clear obligation which falls to the characters who fulfill them responsibly and completely. Execution of responsibility is the way in which order and structure in society are ensured and the destinies of the characters are fulfilled through the discharge of these duties. Responsibility in Mali is a defined onus which falls to those who respond and accept their roles, arising to and shouldering the demands placed on them. King Nare Maghan, Doua, King Sundiata, Balla Fasseke, and Sogolon are the leading figures of caliber and paragons of characters who devotedly do their duty and fulfill their destinies.

One of the Malian king’s responsibilities consists of “pass(ing) on (his) realm, intact if not increased to (his) descendants” (Wisniewski 1999). This onerous responsibility of kingship and of the relay of power, authority, title to an heir/successor is prime. Upon...

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