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Table of Contents


Introduction to the Revised Edition

Background Information





Oral Tradition, Pronunciation and Spelling 

Who's Who of Characters/Glossary of Places


The Story of Sundiata

The Words of the Griot Mamadou Kouyatç

            The First Kings of Mali

            The Buffalo Woman

            The Lion Child


            The Lion’s Awakening


            Soumaoro Kantç: The Sorcerer King


            The Baobab Leaves

            The Return

            The Names of the Heroes

            Nana Triban and Balla Fassçkç


            The Empire

            Kouroukan Fougan or The Division of the World


            Eternal Mali

Author’s Notes

Promotional Information

This highly accessible translation of the classic story of Sundiata, a real king who ruled the empire of Mali just south of the Sahara desert from 1235-55, engages readers while introducing African culture and oral tradition used in Africa.

About the Author

Born in Guinea, author and playwright Djibril Tamsir Niane is a descendant of griots – African oral historians/storytellers.  He translated Sundiata, as told by the griot Djeli Mamadou Kouyate, into French under the title Soundjata ou Epoque Mandiginue in 1960.  It was later translated into English by G. D. Pickett in 1965.


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