Sundiata

Sassouma Bérété Character Analysis

Maghan Kon Fatta's first wife, mother of Dankaran Touman. When Maghan Kon Fatta takes Sogolon as his second wife, Sassouma is extremely jealous of his preference for Sogolon. She wants her son to rule instead of Sundiata, so she makes several attempts on the lives of Sogolon and Sundiata, and eventually arranges their exile. Before her husband's death she makes life miserable for Sogolon and teases her for everything from her ugliness to Sundiata's inability to walk.

Sassouma Bérété Quotes in Sundiata

The Sundiata quotes below are all either spoken by Sassouma Bérété or refer to Sassouma Bérété. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Pearson Longman edition of Sundiata published in 2006.
The Lion's Awakening Quotes

“Listen, Djata,” said Soumosso Konkomba, “we had come here to test you. We have no need of condiments but your generosity disarms us. We were sent here by the queen mother to provoke you and draw the anger of the nocturnal powers upon you. But nothing can be done against a heart full of kindness.”

Related Characters: Soumosso Konkomba (speaker), Sundiata/Maghan Mari Djata, Sassouma Bérété
Page Number: 26
Explanation and Analysis:

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Sassouma Bérété Character Timeline in Sundiata

The timeline below shows where the character Sassouma Bérété appears in Sundiata. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The First Kings of Mali
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...family line resulted in Maghan Kon Fatta, Sundiata's father. Maghan Kon Fatta had three wives: Sassouma Bérété, Sogolon Kedjou, and Namandjé. (full context)
The Buffalo Woman
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...day. The entire city wants to see her, but they hear nothing but rumors from Sassouma Bérété, Maghan's first wife. On the day of the wedding, drums beat at dawn and... (full context)
The Lion Child
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...now moves through the king's enclosure freely, and people have become accustomed to her ugliness. Sassouma, Maghan’s first wife, becomes unbearable, since she’s jealous of Sogolon's pregnancy and of Maghan’s preference... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
...song about "the lion child, the buffalo child." Maghan distributes rice among his people and Sassouma grows even more jealous. (full context)
Childhood
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Sassouma is thrilled at Mari Djata's misfortune. Dankaran Touman, her 11-year-old son, already runs and practices... (full context)
The Lion's Awakening
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
...elders refuses to follow the dead king's wishes to reserve the throne for Mari Djata. Sassouma makes sure that Dankaran Touman is crowned king, and she herself becomes an all-powerful queen... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...memory. People say that nobody can rule with powerless legs. All the gossip stems from Sassouma, and she uses her newfound power to banish Sogolon to a small hut at the... (full context)
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
...the village. The garden grows well, but one day she finds she must go to Sassouma to ask for some baobab leaf (a condiment). While Sassouma freely gives Sogolon the baobab... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...she's being punished. Mari Djata asks her what's wrong, and Sogolon relates what happened with Sassouma. Mari Djata tries to cheer her up. When he's unsuccessful, he informs his mother that... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
...while Mari Djata keeps eating as though nothing happened. Suddenly, they hear laughter behind the hut—Sassouma is telling a serving woman how she humiliated Sogolon. Sogolon hides in her hut where... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...sings thanks to God. The entire palace hears Balla Fasséké's song and runs to see. Sassouma's whole body trembles. (full context)
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
The narrator says that from that day forward, Sassouma had no peace of mind, but man can do nothing against destiny and her efforts... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...Fran Kamara and Kamandjan. Dankaran Touman, on the other hand, possesses no authoritative qualities and Sassouma fears for his reign. She summons nine great witches and asks them for help killing... (full context)
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...explains that the witches can't justify killing Sundiata, as he's done nothing bad to them. Sassouma instructs them to go to Sogolon's garden tomorrow and pick from it. She says that... (full context)
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...Sundiata that they came to the garden to test him, as they were sent by Sassouma to provoke him. She asks for his forgiveness. Sundiata offers each woman one of the... (full context)
Exile
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...her children together. She suggests to Sundiata that they leave Niani, as she knows that Sassouma will try to harm Manding Bory and Djamarou (who possess no aptitude for protective witchcraft)... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Sassouma enters and finds Dankaran Touman collapsed. The young king says that he doesn't understand why... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
...people often think they're doing harm to someone when, in actuality, they're only assisting destiny. Sassouma thinks she's victorious, but the miseries that Sogolon and her family experience on the road... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
...that he speaks the truth because he's a guest. The narrator explains what's actually happening: Sassouma sent gold to Mansa Konkon to kill Sundiata. The king deems Sundiata the winner of... (full context)
The Baobab Leaves
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...the merchants and Sogolon recognizes them as members of Maghan Kon Fatta's court. Mandjan Bérété, Sassouma's brother, explains that they left Mali two months ago to search for Sundiata. He says... (full context)
Nana Triban and Balla Fasséké
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
...to describe how they escaped, but Nana Triban just cries and apologizes for her mother Sassouma's cruelty to Sundiata (Nana Triban never thought ill of Sundiata). Balla instructs Nana Triban to... (full context)