Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
African DominionA New History of Empire in Early and Medieval West Africa$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael A. Gomez

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196824

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196824.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 22 January 2022

The Meanings of Sunjata and the Dawn of Imperial Mali

The Meanings of Sunjata and the Dawn of Imperial Mali

Chapter:
(p.61) Chapter Five The Meanings of Sunjata and the Dawn of Imperial Mali
Source:
African Dominion
Author(s):

Michael A. Gomez

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691196824.003.0006

This chapter assesses the narrative of the rise of imperial Mali and the life of its founder, Sunjata. Sunjata and Mali's origins are at the center of an involved discussion of sources and method. As such, a layering of testimony is critical to uncovering Mali's imperial transformation, and more important than whether it was completed under Sunjata is the subsequent deployment of his person and period as vehicles of authentication. Perhaps the most poignant example of this is Sunjata's exile, for which issues of historicity fade in comparison with its purpose as a charter for central and provincial power. Similarly, the conquest of the Susu, though highly probable, also establishes the basis for Mali's enduring regional claims. The oral traditions also contain key insights into early Mali's relationship to Islam, evincing a careful balancing act between ancestral and Islamic principles and forces.

Keywords:   imperial Mali, Sunjata, Mali, provincial power, Susu, Islam, Islamic principles

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.