Sundiata

The Buffalo of Do Symbol Icon

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 much the same way that the buffalo terrorized the people and hunters of Do. The Buffalo of Do, then, stands as an early suggestion that brute strength alone isn't enough to vanquish evil and terror—magic is important, too. Furthermore, it's not enough to simply use magic on its own. The hunter brothers and Sundiata must look outside themselves and consult outside sources (the old woman and soothsayers) in order to determine what type of magic is necessary. Thus, as the slaying of the Buffalo of Do demonstrates, heroes can only emerge victorious once they show humility, accept the terms of their fates, and accept help from those wiser than they are.

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The Buffalo of Do Symbol Timeline in Sundiata

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Buffalo of Do appears in Sundiata. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Buffalo Woman
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...to Do. On the way they met a wounded hunter who told them that a buffalo was terrorizing Do, killing people daily. The king of Do, Do Mansa-Gnemo Diarra, promised rewards... (full context)
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...have died, but because of the brothers' generosity, they will be successful in killing the buffalo. She says that she herself is the buffalo. She instructs the brothers on how to... (full context)
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
When Oulamba and Oulani catch sight of the buffalo, it charges them, but the brothers do as the old woman told them and they... (full context)
The Empire
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
...They travel to Do, where Sundiata sacrifices a white cock at the site of the Buffalo of Do 's death. A whirlwind picks up and blows towards Mali, and Balla Fasséké and Sundiata... (full context)