Segu a Novel by Maryse Conde

1548 Words7 Pages
In the novel Segu, Maryse Conde beautifully constructs personal and in depth images of African history through the use of four main characters that depict the struggles and importance of family in what is now present day Mali. These four characters and also brothers, by the names of Tiekoro, Siga, Naba, and Malobali are faced with a world changing around their beloved city of Bambara with new customs of the Islamic religion and the developing ideas of European commerce and slave trade. These new expansions in Africa become stepping stones for the Troare brothers to face head on and they have brought both victory and heartache for them and their family. These four characters are centralized throughout this novel because they provide the…show more content…
And Naba, who loses his role model, and grieves on his behalf. As Islam continues to spread and conquer more and more lands, the more families become split as parents send their children to schools to learn how to write and speak Arabic. When Tiekoro left for Timbuktu the Troare family continued to divide and separate due to continuous forces by foreign expansion and hunger for riches.
As a son of a slave woman who had drowned herself, Siga isn’t regarded with nearly as high as prestige as Tiekoro is, despite them only being a couple hours apart in age. After being banished away for not being Muslim, Siga adjusted to his environment with the help of a kind boy and, after being a donkey boy for a while, decides to go into trade. Trade goes completely against the respectable income of a Bambara nobleman, which can be made through cultivating agriculture because the Troare family “owned plenty of good land planted with millet, cotton, and fonio, worked by hundreds of slaves” (Conde 4). Especially because the Mali Empire had been on fertile land where many different kinds of crops such as ones of sorghum, millet, and fonio could be maintained and the domestication of animals like sheep, goats, and cattle had been strong (Africa 141). Although the way of a Bambara had been agriculture, Siga ventured onto occupy the city of Timbuktu and then Fex so that

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