Sunjata

A West African Epic of the Mande Peoples

by David Conrad, Djanka Tassey Condé

Series: Hackett Classics

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1603845798
  • 9780872206977
  • 9781603845793
  • 9781603845816

A pillar of the West African oral tradition for centuries, this epic traces the adventures and achievements of the Mande hero, Sunjata, as he liberates his people from Sumaworo Kante, the sorcerer king of Soso, and establishes the great medieval empire of Mali.

David Conrad conveys the strong narrative thrust of the Sunjata epic in his presentation of substantial excerpts from his translation of a performance by Djanka Tassey Conde. Readers approaching the epic for the first time will appreciate the translation's highly readable, poetic English as well as Conrad's informative Introduction and notes. Scholars will find the familiar heroes and heroines taking on new dimensions, secondary characters gaining increased prominence, and previously unknown figures emerging from obscurity.


  • Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.; September 2004
  • ISBN: 9781603845793
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Sunjata
  • Series: Hackett Classics
  • Author: David Conrad; Djanka Tassey Condé (other)
  • Imprint: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1603845798
  • 9780872206977
  • 9781603845793
  • 9781603845816

In The Press

Thanks to his careful editing and translating of Condé's narrative, Conrad offers a highly readable version of the epic that is about a third of its original length. The translation communicates not only the poetic qualities and the essential events of the Sunjata legend but also the master bard's performance values. Thus, this rendering will fascinate those who already know the story and culture and those coming to the epic for the first time. Conrad provides an excellent introduction to Mande oral tradition, the role of the griot, and the Manding belief system. Though he makes no claim for this as the complete scholarly edition, he does provide helpful scholarly notes, a glossary, and a good bibliography. . . . Summing up: Highly recommended. --L. W. Yoder, CHOICE


About The Author

David C. Conrad is Professor of History at the State University of New York, Oswego, and President of the Mande Studies Association.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 1603845798
  • 9780872206977
  • 9781603845793
  • 9781603845816