The Meaning Of Power And Religion In The Epic Of Sundiata

730 Words3 Pages
In Medieval West Africa, nations of political power and religion overlapped. In the Epic of Sundiata we see this intersection in the role of prophecy. This essay will show that prophets regularly and ploy supernatural means to reinforce the political status of future King, Sundiata. While using exerts from the Epic, this essay will analyze the text to show the underlying meaning of power and religion in Medieval West Africa In the beginning of the Epic, the griot lays out the story by setting up the unforeseen future. The griot states, “God has his mysteries which none can fathom. You, perhaps, will be a king. You can do nothing about it. You, on the other hand, will be unlucky, but you can do nothing about that either. Each man finds his way already marked out for him and he can change nothing of it." The griot, as a repository for history and hence a spokesman for the largeness of Time, often reminds his listener of how small mankind can be in the face of such greatness. The tone here is a bit harsh as the griot points to his audience and tells them they know nothing of what is meant for them. But this is the griot's purpose: to remind us that we are subservient to greater forces than any man could hope to understand or master. No matter what anyone tried to do to hinder Sundiata’s greatness, they could not stop it. They just enabled what they did not want to happen. This is what the griot is trying to tell them. He is telling them that no matter what they do to try

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