Sundiata/ Things Fall Apart Essay

1249 words 5 pages
Andrea C. Mathis
Dr. T. P. Mahadevan
Introduction to Humanities I
21 October 2014
Revised: 1 December 2014
Make Believe Creatures

Historically Africa has been partly constructed by journals, books, etc. written by white hand. It is believed by many that one cannot truly talk about the land, unless they have lived the land. Two particular novels and oral epics that depict this perspective, the perspective of the colonized, are Things Fall Apart, written by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, and Sundiata by author Djibril Tamsir Niane. At the end of Things Fall Apart, the District Commissioner, who was the British colonial administrator put in place to govern the Igbo society, is shown writing a book he plans to call the Pacification of the
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Not every man in Umuofia had the same beliefs as Okonkwo; which soon drives him and his son further and further apart.
As was mentioned earlier, the District Commissioner would portray a false account of Africa, which could be argued from the epic Sundiata as well. The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger would also suggest that the people of Mali were too unprivileged. The epic of Sundiata is told by the griot, storyteller and keeper of history, Djeli Mamadou Kouyaté. Unlike Things Fall Apart, Sundiata had a professional agency that transferred knowledge from generation to generation; because the griot comprises the sum of Mali's history, it is only through him and his family that memory can be preserved. As the DC would most likely cast the people of Mali for not having schools, it was how their empire essentially survived. It was never the arrogance of the kings wanting to be remembered, but what drove them to storytelling to younger generations was the fear that everything that had been accomplished in the past would one day be forgotten and the empire will not continue to grow; this is proven in the opening page of the epic as Djeli states, “I teach kings the history of their ancestors, so that the lives of the ancients might serve them as an example, for the world is old, but the future springs from the past”.
“God has his mysteries which none can fathom. You, perhaps, will be a king. You can do nothing about it. You, on


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