Oral Literature as Moral Guide: "Sunba" in Contemporary Media

Over the past twenty years, "Sunba," an old Malinke story combining narrative and sung portions, has inspired several songs composed for diffusion via contemporary media (radio, television, audio- and videocassettes); three new songs were created in Mali about 2000. The pop creations assoc...

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Published in: Research in African literatures Vol. 40; no. 1; pp. 57 - 73
Main Author: Tamari, Tal
Format: Journal Article
Language: English
Published: Bloomington Indiana University Press 04-01-2009
Subjects:
War
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Summary: Over the past twenty years, "Sunba," an old Malinke story combining narrative and sung portions, has inspired several songs composed for diffusion via contemporary media (radio, television, audio- and videocassettes); three new songs were created in Mali about 2000. The pop creations associate refrains from the old songs with evocations of friends and relatives of the artists as well as, in one instance, civil strife on the African continent. Thus, the words, personages, and events of the ancient story are still fundamental to artists' and listeners' identities, and their understandings of the problems they face in their own lives today. The artists whose works are analyzed are: Mory Kanté, Moutchatcha (Yoro Diallo), Mah Kouyaté, and Doussou Bagayogo.
ISSN: 0034-5210
1527-2044
1527-2044
DOI: 10.2979/RAL.2009.40.1.57