Sundiata

Sundiata The Names of the Heroes Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Soumaoro and his forces return to Sosso, while Sundiata recruits soldiers from every village he passes. Rebellious kings gather at Sibi with Kamandjan, who is now the king of Sibi. Fakoli also continues to gather troops. As they travel, Sundiata begins to recognize trees as being native to Mali. The armies gather on the savanna, and Mamoudou Kouyaté lists the gathered groups.
Trees begin to transition from symbols of Sundiata’s destiny to symbols of a specific place and what happened there—a memory device for oral storytelling. By listing the different groups, the narrator again gets to connect with and pull in listeners who may be related to one of the kings.
Themes
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon
Sundiata's cousin, Siara Kouman Konaté, is there, along with Faony Diarra, the king of Do and Sundiata's uncle. All the "sons of Mali" are in attendance and when Sundiata arrives, drums start beating. Sundiata salutes the sons of Mali and vows to the assembled to take back Mali. The griots sing Balla Fasséké's “Hymn to the Bow.”
By referring to the gathered individuals as the "sons of Mali," the narrator indicates that these people are the ones who are going to make up Sundiata's empire. Sundiata fully accepts his destiny, and "Hymn to the Bow" boosts everyone's spirits and trust in Sundiata.
Themes
Storytelling and Memory Theme Icon
Heroism Theme Icon
Family, Community, and the Mali Empire Theme Icon