Sundiata Keita was a puissant prince and founder of the Mali Empire. The famous Malian ruler Mansa Musa, who made a pilgrimage to Mecca, was his great-nephew. Written sources augment the Mande oral histories, with the Moroccan traveller Muhammad ibn Battúta and the Tunisian historian Abu Zayd'Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn Khaldun al-Hadrami both having travelled to Mali in the century after Sundiata’s death, providing independent verification of his existence; the semi-historical but legendary Epic of Sundiata by the Malinké/Maninka people centers on his life. The epic poem is known through oral tradition, transmitted by generations of Maninka griots; the oral traditions relating to Sundiata Keita were passed down generation after generation by the local griots, until their stories were put into writing. Sundiata was the son of Naré Maghann Konaté and Sogolon Condé. Sundiata was crippled from childhood and his mother was the subject of ridicule among her co-wives, she was teased and ridiculed for her son's disability.
This affected Sundiata and he was determined to do everything he could in order to walk like his peers. Through this determination, he walked. Among his peers, he became a leader, his paternal half-brother, Dankaran Touman, Dankaran's mother, Sassouma Bereté, were cruel and resentful of Sundiata and his mother. Their cruelty escalated after the death of Naré Maghann. To escape persecution and threats on her son's life, Sogolon took her children and his sisters, into exile; this exile lasted for many years and took them to different countries within the Ghana Empire and to Mema where the king of Mema granted them asylum. Sundiata was admired by the King of Mema for his tenacity; as such, he was given a senior position within the kingdom. When King Soumaoro Kanté of Sosso conquered the Mandinka people, messengers were sent to go and look for Sogolon and her children, as Sundiata was destined to be a great leader according to prophecy. Upon finding him in Mema, they persuaded him to come back in order to liberate the Mandinkas and their homeland.
On his return, he was accompanied by an army given to him by the King of Mema. The warlords of Mali at the time who were his age group included: Tabon Wana, Kamadia Kamara, Faony Condé, Siara Kuman Konaté and Tiramakhan Traore, it was on the plain of Siby where they formed a pact brotherhood in order to liberate their country and people from the powerful Sosso king. At The Battle of Kirina and his allies defeated the Sosso king and became the first Emperor of the Mali Empire, he was the first of the Mandinka line of kings to adopt the royal title Mansa. The Mandinka epic does not give us dates, but Arab and North African writers who visited the area about a century after the epic's events documented on paper some of the information, including dates and a genealogy. Conversely, the written sources left out other pieces of information that the oral tradition includes. Sogolon Djata Sundjata Keyita Mari Djata or "Mārī-Djāta" The Lion KingThe proper English spelling of Sundiata's name is Sunjata, pronounced soon-jah-ta, approaching the actual pronunciation in the original Mandinka.
The name Sogolon derives from his mother and Jata means lion. It is the traditional way of praising someone in some West African societies; the name Sundiata praises him through his mother which means "the lion of Sogolon" or "Sogolon's lion". The name Jata derives from Jara. Jara and many of its variations such as jata, jala or jada are regional variations, from Gambia, Guinea or Mali, for instance. Sundiata's name is thus a derivation of Jata. Soumaoro Kante was the king of the Sosso people in the 13th-century and the antagonist to Djata, or Sundiata’s, legacy as king of Mali. He, was known as the sorcerer king, for he was adept in the magical arts, though he used them to propel his tyrannical schemes. With great magical ability, a mighty army of blacksmiths, a dictator's character, any place under his rule despised him, he was known as a notoriously cruel leader, stealing wives and queens from their families, pillaging conquered territories, killing anyone who opposed his rule. He would soon conquer nine kingdoms in the Ghana Empire before conquering the Mandinka people of Mali, Sundiata’s home, Balla Fasseke, Sundiata’s lost griot.
His crudeness was not spared in Mali either, he ruled with an iron fist. Upon knowledge of Sundiata returning to Mali from his asylum in Mema, too busy fighting off Fakoli, sent his son, Sosso Balla. Moreover, around the same age as Sundiata, was to intercept and relinquish Sundiata’s army before they reached Tabon, a pivotal location on Sundiata’s journey to Mali; this was a grave mistake by Soumaoro, for Sundiata’s force was much too overwhelming for Sosso Balla and his leadership, leading to their eventual destruction at the hands of Sundiata at this battle killing Sosso Balla in the process. Sosso Balla, in shame for dishonoring his
A griot, jali, or jeli is a West African historian, praise singer, poet, or musician. The griot is a repository of oral tradition and is seen as a leader due to his or her position as an advisor to royal personages; as a result of the former of these two functions, they are sometimes called a bard. Griots today live in many parts of West Africa and are present among the Mande peoples, Fulɓe, Songhai, Tukulóor, Serer, Dagomba, Mauritanian Arabs, many other smaller groups; the word may derive from the French transliteration "guiriot" of the Portuguese word "criado", or the masculine singular term for "servant". Griots are more predominant in the northern portions of West Africa. In African languages, griots are referred to by a number of names: jeli in northern Mande areas, jali in southern Mande areas, guewel in Wolof, gawlo in Pulaar, iggawen in Hassaniyan. Griots form an endogamous caste, meaning that most of them only marry fellow griots and those who are not griots do not perform the same functions that griots perform.
Amongst the Yoruba people, the arokin is a near analogue of the classical griot. Francis Bebey writes about the griot in African Music, A People's Art: "The West African griot is a troubadour, the counterpart of the medieval European minstrel... The griot knows everything, going on... He is a living archive of the people's traditions... The virtuoso talents of the griots command universal admiration; this virtuosity is the culmination of long years of study and hard work under the tuition of a teacher, a father or uncle. The profession is by no means a male prerogative. There are many women griots whose talents as singers and musicians are remarkable." The Manding term jeliya sometimes refers to the knowledge of griots, indicating the hereditary nature of the class. Jali comes from djali; this is the title given to griots in regions within the former Mali Empire. Though the term "griot" is more common in English, such as poet Bakari Sumano, prefer the term jeli; the Mali Empire, at its height in the middle of the 14th century, extended from central Africa to West Africa.
The empire was founded by Sundiata Keita. In the Epic of Sundiata, Naré Maghann Konaté offered his son Sundiata Keita a griot, Balla Fasséké, to advise him in his reign. Balla Fasséké is considered the founder of the Kouyaté line of griots; each aristocratic family of griots accompanied a higher-ranked family of warrior-kings or emperors, called jatigi. In traditional culture, no griot can be without a jatigi, no jatigi can be without a griot. However, the jatigi can loan his griot to another jatigi. Most villages had their own griot, who told tales of births, marriages, hunts and many other things. In Mande society, the jeli was an historian, arbitrator, praise singer, storyteller, they served as history books, preserving ancient stories and traditions through song. Their tradition was passed down through generations; the name jeli means "blood" in Manika language. They were believed to have deep connections to spiritual, political powers. Speech was believed to have power in its capacity to recreate history and relationships.
Despite the authority of griots and the perceived power of their songs, griots are not treated as positively in West Africa as we may imagine. Thomas A. Hale wrote, "Another is an ancient tradition that marks them as a separate people categorized all too simplistically as members of a'caste', a term that has come under increasing attack as a distortion of the social structure in the region. In the worst case, that difference meant burial for griots in trees rather than in the ground in order to avoid polluting the earth. Although these traditions are changing and people of griot heritage still find it difficult to marry outside of their social group." This discrimination is now deemed illegal. In addition to being singers and social commentators, griots are skilled instrumentalists, their instruments include the kora, the khalam, the goje, the balafon, the ngoni. The kora is a long-necked lute-like instrument with 21 strings; the xalam is a variation of the kora, consists of fewer than five strings.
Both have gourd bodies. The ngoni is similar to these two instruments, with five or six strings; the balafon is a wooden xylophone, while the goje is a stringed instrument played with a bow, much like a fiddle. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica: "West African plucked lutes such as the konting and the nkoni may have originated in ancient Egypt; the khalam is claimed to be the ancestor of the banjo. Another long-necked lute is the ramkie of South Africa."Griots wrote stories that children enjoyed listening to. These stories were passed down to their children. Today, performing is one of the most common functions of a griot, their range of exposure has widened, many griots now travel internationally to sing and play the kora or other instruments. Bakari Sumano, head of the Association of Bamako Griots in Mali from 1994 to 2003, was an internationally-known advocate for the significance of the griot in West African society. Camille Yarbrough wrote a play called Tales and Tunes of an African American Griot, performed at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in 1973.
In Guimba the
Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon known as Alexander the Great, was a king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon and a member of the Argead dynasty. He was born in Pella in 356 BC and succeeded his father Philip II to the throne at the age of 20, he spent most of his ruling years on an unprecedented military campaign through Asia and northeast Africa, by the age of thirty he had created one of the largest empires of the ancient world, stretching from Greece to northwestern India. He was undefeated in battle and is considered one of history's most successful military commanders. During his youth, Alexander was tutored by Aristotle until age 16. After Philip's assassination in 336 BC, he succeeded his father to the throne and inherited a strong kingdom and an experienced army. Alexander was awarded the generalship of Greece and used this authority to launch his father's pan-Hellenic project to lead the Greeks in the conquest of Persia. In 334 BC, he began a series of campaigns that lasted 10 years. Following the conquest of Anatolia, Alexander broke the power of Persia in a series of decisive battles, most notably the battles of Issus and Gaugamela.
He subsequently overthrew Persian King Darius III and conquered the Achaemenid Empire in its entirety. At that point, his empire stretched from the Adriatic Sea to the Indus River, he endeavored to reach the "ends of the world and the Great Outer Sea" and invaded India in 326 BC, winning an important victory over the Pauravas at the Battle of the Hydaspes. He turned back at the demand of his homesick troops. Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BC, the city that he planned to establish as his capital, without executing a series of planned campaigns that would have begun with an invasion of Arabia. In the years following his death, a series of civil wars tore his empire apart, resulting in the establishment of several states ruled by the Diadochi, Alexander's surviving generals and heirs. Alexander's legacy includes the cultural diffusion and syncretism which his conquests engendered, such as Greco-Buddhism, he founded some twenty cities. Alexander's settlement of Greek colonists and the resulting spread of Greek culture in the east resulted in a new Hellenistic civilization, aspects of which were still evident in the traditions of the Byzantine Empire in the mid-15th century AD and the presence of Greek speakers in central and far eastern Anatolia until the 1920s.
Alexander became legendary as a classical hero in the mold of Achilles, he features prominently in the history and mythic traditions of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. He became the measure against which military leaders compared themselves, military academies throughout the world still teach his tactics, he is ranked among the most influential people in history. Alexander was born on the sixth day of the ancient Greek month of Hekatombaion, which corresponds to 20 July 356 BC, although the exact date is disputed, in Pella, the capital of the Kingdom of Macedon, he was the son of the king of Macedon, Philip II, his fourth wife, the daughter of Neoptolemus I, king of Epirus. Although Philip had seven or eight wives, Olympias was his principal wife for some time because she gave birth to Alexander. Several legends surround Alexander's childhood. According to the ancient Greek biographer Plutarch, on the eve of the consummation of her marriage to Philip, Olympias dreamed that her womb was struck by a thunder bolt that caused a flame to spread "far and wide" before dying away.
Sometime after the wedding, Philip is said to have seen himself, in a dream, securing his wife's womb with a seal engraved with a lion's image. Plutarch offered a variety of interpretations of these dreams: that Olympias was pregnant before her marriage, indicated by the sealing of her womb. Ancient commentators were divided about whether the ambitious Olympias promulgated the story of Alexander's divine parentage, variously claiming that she had told Alexander, or that she dismissed the suggestion as impious. On the day Alexander was born, Philip was preparing a siege on the city of Potidea on the peninsula of Chalcidice; that same day, Philip received news that his general Parmenion had defeated the combined Illyrian and Paeonian armies, that his horses had won at the Olympic Games. It was said that on this day, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, burnt down; this led Hegesias of Magnesia to say that it had burnt down because Artemis was away, attending the birth of Alexander.
Such legends may have emerged when Alexander was king, at his own instigation, to show that he was superhuman and destined for greatness from conception. In his early years, Alexander was raised by a nurse, sister of Alexander's future general Cleitus the Black. In his childhood, Alexander was tutored by the strict Leonidas, a relative of his mother, by Lysimachus of Acarnania. Alexander was raised in the manner of noble Macedonian youths, learning to read, play the lyre, ride and hunt; when Alexander was ten years old, a trader from Thessaly brought Philip a horse, which he offered to sell for thirteen talents. The horse refused to be mounted, Philip ordered it away. Alexander however, detecting the horse's fear of its own shadow, asked to tame the horse, which he managed. Plutarch stated that Philip, overjoyed at this display of courage and ambition, kissed his son tearfully, declaring: "My boy, you must find a kingdom big enough for your ambitions. Macedon is too small for you", an
A blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects from wrought iron or steel by forging the metal, using tools to hammer and cut. Blacksmiths produce objects such as gates, railings, light fixtures, sculpture, agricultural implements and religious items, cooking utensils and weapons. While there are many people who work with metal such as farriers and armorers, the blacksmith had a general knowledge of how to make and repair many things, from the most complex of weapons and armor to simple things like nails or lengths of chain; the "black" in "blacksmith" refers to the black firescale, a layer of oxides that forms on the surface of the metal during heating. The origin of "smith" is debated, it may come from the old English word "smythe" meaning "to strike" or it may have originated from the Proto-German "smithaz" meaning "skilled worker." Blacksmiths work by heating pieces of wrought iron or steel until the metal becomes soft enough for shaping with hand tools, such as a hammer and chisel. Heating takes place in a forge fueled by propane, natural gas, charcoal, coke or oil.
Some modern blacksmiths may employ an oxyacetylene or similar blowtorch for more localized heating. Induction heating methods are gaining popularity among modern blacksmiths. Color is important for indicating the workability of the metal; as iron heats to higher temperatures, it first glows red orange and white. The ideal heat for most forging is the bright yellow-orange color; because they must be able to see the glowing color of the metal, some blacksmiths work in dim, low-light conditions, but most work in well-lit conditions. The key is to have consistent lighting, but not too bright. Direct sunlight obscures the colors; the techniques of smithing can be divided into forging, heat-treating, finishing. Forging—the process smiths use to shape metal by hammering—differs from machining in that forging does not remove material. Instead, the smith hammers the iron into shape. Punching and cutting operations by smiths re-arrange metal around the hole, rather than drilling it out as swarf. Forging uses seven basic operations or techniques: Drawing down Shrinking Bending Upsetting Swaging Punching Forge weldingThese operations require at least a hammer and anvil, but smiths use other tools and techniques to accommodate odd-sized or repetitive jobs.
Drawing lengthens the metal by reducing one or both of the other two dimensions. As the depth is reduced, or the width narrowed, the piece is lengthened or "drawn out." As an example of drawing, a smith making a chisel might flatten a square bar of steel, lengthening the metal, reducing its depth but keeping its width consistent. Drawing does not have to be uniform. A taper can result as in making a woodworking chisel blade. If tapered in two dimensions, a point results. Drawing can be accomplished with a variety of methods. Two typical methods using only hammer and anvil would be hammering on the anvil horn, hammering on the anvil face using the cross peen of a hammer. Another method for drawing is to use a tool called a fuller, or the peen of the hammer, to hasten the drawing out of a thick piece of metal. Fullering consists of hammering a series of indentations with corresponding ridges, perpendicular to the long section of the piece being drawn; the resulting effect looks somewhat like waves along the top of the piece.
The smith turns the hammer over to use the flat face to hammer the tops of the ridges down level with the bottoms of the indentations. This forces the metal to grow in length much faster than just hammering with the flat face of the hammer. Heating iron to a "forging heat" allows bending as if it were a soft, ductile metal, like copper or silver. Bending can be done with the hammer over the horn or edge of the anvil or by inserting a bending fork into the hardy hole, placing the work piece between the tines of the fork, bending the material to the desired angle. Bends can be dressed and tightened, or widened, by hammering them over the appropriately shaped part of the anvil; some metals are "hot short". They become like Plasticine: although they may still be manipulated by squeezing, an attempt to stretch them by bending or twisting, is to have them crack and break apart; this is a problem for some blade-making steels, which must be worked to avoid developing hidden cracks that would cause failure in the future.
Though hand-worked, titanium is notably hot short. Such common smithing processes as decoratively twisting a bar are impossible with it. Upsetting is the process of making metal thicker in one dimension through shortening in the other. One form is to heat the end of a rod and hammer on it as one would drive a nail: the rod gets shorter, the hot part widens. An alternative to hammering on the hot end is to place the hot end on the anvil and hammer on the cold end. Punching may be done to make a hole. For example, in preparation for making a hammerhead, a smith would punch a hole in a heavy bar or rod for the hammer handle. Punching is not limited to holes, it includes cutting and drifting—all done with a chisel. The five basic forging processes are combined to produce and refine the shapes necessary for finished products. For example, to fashion a cross-peen hammer head, a smith would start with a bar the diameter of the ham
École normale supérieure William Ponty
École William Ponty was a government teachers' college in what is now Senegal. The school is now in Kolda, where it is known as École de formation d’instituteurs William Ponty, it is associated with the French university IUFM at Livry-Gargan. Many of the school's graduates would one day lead the struggle for independence from France, including Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Bernard Binlin Dadié of Côte d'Ivoire, Modibo Keïta of Mali, Hamani Diori and Boubou Hama of Niger, Yacine Diallo of Guinea, Hubert Maga of Benin, Mamadou Dia of Senegal and Maurice Yaméogo and Daniel Ouezzin Coulibaly of Burkina Faso. André Davesne, author of children's books like Mamadou et Bineta apprennent à lire et à écrire, André Demaison are Ponty graduates, as are Justin Auriol and Marcel Séguier, authors of books to teach mathematics to elementary and middle school students. Other students included internationally known jurists Kéba Mbaye and Ousmane Goundiam and Guinean politician Diallo Telli, a founder of the Organisation of African Unity.
Begun by Governor General Jean-Baptiste Chaudié of the French colonial government at Saint-Louis, Senegal on 24 November 1903, the school was moved to the Island of Gorée in 1913. In 1915 it was named in honour of the deceased William Merlaud-Ponty, Governor General of French West Africa. From 1913 to 1938 the school occupied a building on Gorée built before 1800 for the pirate slave traders Jean and Pierre Lafitte. After 1938 the school occupied a former military garrison in Sébikotane, about 40 kilometres from Dakar, a village called Sébi-Ponty sprang up to house the school's indigenous African personnel. In 1965 the school moved to Thiès, 70 kilometres east of Dakar, a portion of the Sebikotane building was turned into a prison. During the government of Senegalese Prime Minister Léopold Senghor, repairs to the building at Sébikotane were neglected, its occupation by squatters was tolerated. In 1984 the school moved to Kolda; the school has a two-year common core curriculum followed by students intending to become teachers or administrative clerks.
Those who intend to study medicine, pharmacy or midwifery study a further year of introductory science at William Ponty School before transferring to the National School of Medicine and Pharmacy. Peggy Roark Sabatier, Educating a colonial elite: the William Ponty school and its graduates, University of Chicago, 1977 R. Dumargue, "L'enseignement du français à l'école William-Ponty" in L'Information d'Outre-Mer, No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 1939, pp. 27–32 Christophe Batsch, Un rouage du colonialisme: L’École normale d’instituteurs William Ponty, Université de Paris VII, 1973, 97 p. Yamar Sarr Fall, L’École Normale William Ponty de 1912 à 1948, Université de Dakar, 1986, 115 p. Denise Savineau, Reports No. 1-18 to the Governor General of French West Africa, 1937 Video from the school at Seby Ponty, 2006
A polyglot is a book that contains side-by-side versions of the same text in several different languages. Some editions of the Bible or its parts are polyglots, in which the Hebrew and Greek originals are exhibited along with historical translations. Polyglots are useful for studying the history of its interpretation; the first enterprise of this kind is the famous Hexapla of Origen of Alexandria, in which the Old Testament Scriptures were written in six parallel columns, the first containing the Hebrew text, the second a transliteration of this in Greek letters, the third and fourth the Greek translations by Aquila of Sinope and by Symmachus the Ebionite, the fifth the Septuagint version as revised by Origen, the sixth the translation by Theodotion. However, as only two languages and Greek, were employed, the work should be called a diglot rather than a polyglot in the usual sense. After the invention of printing and the revival of philological studies, polyglots became a favourite means of advancing the knowledge of Middle Eastern languages, for which no good references were available, as well as for the study of Scripture.
The series began with the Complutensian printed by Axnaldus Guilielmus de Brocario at the expense of Cardinal Ximenes at the university at Alcalá de Henares. The first volume of this, containing the New Testament in Greek and Latin, was completed on January 10, 1514. In vols. ii.−v. the Hebrew text of the Old Testament was printed in the first column of each page, followed by the Latin Vulgate and by the Septuagint version with an interlinear Latin translation. Below these stood the Chaldee, again with a Latin translation; the sixth volume containing an appendix is dated 1515, but the work did not receive the papal sanction until March 1520, was not issued until 1522. The chief editors were Juan de Vergara, López de Zúñiga, Hernán Núñez, Antonio de Nebrija, Demetrius Ducas. About half a century after the Complutensian came the Antwerp Polyglot, printed by Christopher Plantin; the principal editor was Arias Montanus, aided by Guido Fabricius Boderianus, Masius, Lucas of Bruges, others. This work was under the patronage of Philip II of Spain.
Next came Guy Michel Lejay's Paris Polyglot, which embraces the first printed texts of the Syriac Old Testament and of the Samaritan Pentateuch and version by Jean Morin. It has an Arabic version, or rather a series of various Arabic versions; the last great polyglot is Brian Walton's, much less beautiful than Le Jay's but more complete in various ways, among other things, the Syriac of Esther and of several apocryphal books for which it is wanting in the Paris Bible, Persian versions of the Pentateuch and Gospels, the Psalms and New Testament in Ethiopic. Walton was used much new manuscript material, his prolegomena and collections of various readings mark an important advance in biblical criticism. It was in connection with this polyglot that Edmund Castell produced his famous Heptaglott Lexicon, a monument of industry and erudition when allowance is made for the fact that for the Arabic he had the great manuscript lexicon compiled and left to the University of Cambridge by William Bedwell.
The liberality of Cardinal Ximenes, said to have spent half a million ducats on it, removed the Complutensian polyglot from the risks of commerce. The other three editions all brought their promoters to the verge of ruin. Subsequent polyglots are of little scholarly importance, the best recent texts having been confined to a single language; the numerous polyglot editions of parts of the Bible include the Genoa psalter of 1516, edited by Agostino Giustiniani, bishop of Nebbio. This is in Hebrew, Greek and Arabic, is interesting from the character of the Chaldee text, being the first specimen of Western printing in the Arabic writing system, from a curious note on Christopher Columbus and the discovery of America on the margin of Psalm xix. Parallel text "Polyglot Bibles" in Catholic Encyclopedia Hutter Polyglot online This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Pollard, Alfred William. "Polyglott". In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica. 22. Cambridge University Press.