By Fritz H. Pointer

An important severe variation and English translation of this crucial African epic delusion.

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Additional info for African Oral Epic Poetry: Praising the Deeds of a Mythic Hero

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In addition, "despite popular belief to the contrary, it is not uncommon to hear women perform versions ofSunjata and other epics" (Duran 201). The only gender difference is that ''women know the story of Sunjata as well as men, but men can speak the 35 story, women can only sing it" (Hale 227). So, women focus more on the praise lines and songs than on the narrative. On the other hand, Salaam, tells us "In The Epic of Sara, a Malinke epic usually sung by female griots, the hero is a woman who defies the tradition of prearranged marriage in order to honor her vow to marry the man she loves.

It is the symbols within the context of myth which give rise to all thought. (Salaam 15) Myths, a people's stories, accounts of imaginary or past events, are important to them. The myths, the stories and tales people believe in inform their behavior. Once we believe something it becomes part of the very apparatus of our mind, determining our desires, fears, expectations and subsequent behavior (Harris 12). 18 A belief is a lever that, once pulled, moves almost everything else in a person's life.

There is, for example," the story of Muhammad's 'night flight' to Jerusalem (the hoofprint of his horse, Borak, is still allegedly to be seen on the site of the Al-Aqsa Mosque)" and we all know that horses cannot and do not fly (Hitchens 140). Karen Armstrong puts it this way in A Short History ofMyth: Myths about flight and ascent have appeared in all cultures, expressing a universal desire for transcendence and liberation from the constraints of the human condition. These myths should not be read literally.

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