Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Trickster in Epics: Sundiata

I haven't posted in a while. Apologies to my readers for the recess. I have been reading old epics, which are a branch of mythology and folklore, with their own tricksters in both human and animal forms. Consider The Epic of Sundiata, for instance, the exchange of words between Sundiata and Soumaoro before the two can fight each other. It seems to me that a great hero in the epics is in fact one who embodies trickster qualities: magical powers, wit and endless tricks up his sleeve. Alliances are also crucial. Sundiata is able to defeat Soumaoro because his sister, Nana Triban, at one time Soumaoro's favorite wife, managed to tease out of him the secret of his magic power. It is this knowledge that will equip Sundiata with the right weapon to beat Soumaoro. Here is a link to my other blog with an excerpt that befits the trickster tradition.