'I will tell you of Soundyata, Father of the Savannah, Father of the Bright Land the Ancestor of those who wield the bow and arrow; Soundyata the Son of the Buffalo, the Son of the Lion: the man of many names, against whom no evil spells could work. I will speak of Soundyata the Master of a Hundred vanquished Kings'.
A thousand years ago when the great epics of Europe were told; Beowulf, the Nibelungen and the Chanson the Roland, an epic was formed in West Africa too, that of Soundyata Keita of the Manding who united the warring tribes and created the Malian Empire. This epic is still sung by the griots of Mali, as well as existing in written form. It was penned down at first in Arabic a few hundred years ago and finally in French and many other languages.
I spent a lovely quiet day at the hotel today reading this work in total solitude and stillness- the whole staff had gone off for TABASKI prayers, and I gave most of them the day off since there was only one hotel guest here.