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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Uses of Oral Tradition in Senegambia: Maalik Sii and the Foundation of Bundu
Author:Curtin, Philip D.
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic terms:Senegal
Subjects:Bundu polity
oral history
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Education and Oral Traditions
History and Exploration
External link:https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1975.2592
Abstract:The story of Maalik Sii and his foundation of the kingdom of 'Bundu in the 1690s is a convenient touch-stone for examining the use of history of Senegambian bards. It has a special interest as one of the best remembered and most frequently retold of all Senegambian oral traditions. Twenty-five of the more complete versions on record have been chosen for comparison. The analysis offers a series of narratives that tell a good deal about political philosophy by showing how political authority is legitimized. They tell something about the political and social circumstances in which 'Bundu was founded. But they have to be taken as unreliable for any specific point of narrative detail. Even the teachings about the foundation of kingship have to be understood and interpreted in the light of a much broader cultural and intellectual setting. The Maalik Sii stories can only make their maximum contribution when they are examined comparatively and in the fullest possible cultural context. List of recorded versions, notes, French summary.