D. T. Niane

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Trees, Seeds, and Growing

Trees, particularly the silk-cotton tree, are employed throughout the story as a symbol for the strength and power of the Mali Empire. The silk-cotton tree is covered in defensive thorns and is one of the…

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The Buffalo of Do

Oulamba and Oulani kill the Buffalo of Do with a combination of exceptional hunting skills and magic. This combination is later reflected in the way Sundiata must kill Soumaoro, who terrorizes his subjects in…

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Hymn to the Bow

Balla Fasséké composes the song “Hymn to the Bow” just after Sundiata, at age seven, wrenches the iron rod he’s using as a cane into the shape of a bow. This song is the…

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