Sundiata

Summary
Analysis
After destroying Sosso, Sundiata marches to Diaghan, whose king had been a strong ally to Soumaoro. Sundiata takes the city in a morning. Sundiata divides his army into three parts and takes the largest part to march on Kita, whose king, Kita Mansa, is extremely powerful. He's under the protection of mountain jinn that inhabit a pool of water in the middle of the mountain. The jinn are evil and only Kita Mansa has access to this pool, but whoever drinks the water can become very powerful.
Sundiata continues to accomplish fantastical feats by taking these cities in hours. This creates even more evidence in support of Sundiata's destiny. Kita Mansa represents another version of Soumaoro, as it's implied that Sundiata won't be able to beat him through military strength alone.
Themes
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
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Sundiata demands that Kita submit. Soothsayers advise Sundiata to make sacrifices, so he sacrifices 100 white rams, cocks, and oxen. The jinn reply favorably, as the cocks die on their backs. The sofas advance to the sound of “Hymn to the Bow” and take the city relatively peacefully, although Kita Mansa dies. The city allies itself with Sundiata.
As implied, Sundiata must appeal to local spirits and use magic in order to take Kita. He's rewarded for using magic in this way with a peaceful conquest and an immediate alliance. The jinn will evidently protect anyone if shown the appropriate respect.
Themes
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
The next morning, Sundiata decides to go to the mountain to make sacrifices to the jinn and thank the jinn for the victory. Sundiata and the army traverse all the way around the mountain and accept submission from the villages on the mountainside. Early the next morning, Sundiata sacrifices 100 cocks to the jinn, and then heads off to find the magic pool with Balla Fasséké. When Sundiata finds the pool, he addresses the jinn and thanks them for his victory. He drinks from the pool and when he returns to the army, he seems extremely brilliant.
Sundiata's relationship with these jinn reinforces again that magic is earned. These jinn are immensely powerful, and they're not anything that Sundiata can simply overpower. They must be shown respect and reverence in the form of sacrifices and thanks, which recalls how Sundiata dealt with the witches as a child. In return, the jinn grant Sundiata even more greatness.
Themes
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
Sundiata and his army travel through several cities, and Sundiata hunts on the mountain with Manding Bory and Kamandjan. 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 decide it's time to return to Mali. By this time, all of Sundiata's generals had finished conquering neighboring kingdoms and lands, and they all now recognize Sundiata as their king.
By making a sacrifice to the Buffalo of Do, Sundiata pays his respects to the spirits that brought Sogolon to Niani in the first place. By honoring his ancestors and the past in this way, Sundiata continues to demonstrate that this respect for people, living and dead, is absolutely necessary in order to be a true king.
Themes
Fate and Destiny Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Magic and Religion Theme Icon
Get the entire Sundiata LitChart as a printable PDF.
Sundiata.pdf.medium