Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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By: Anonymous When I was finished reading both Sundiata and God?s Bits of Wood I had a better understanding of the strong relationship between the African people and their leaders. Even though Sundiata and Ihamim Bakayoko became leaders by different means, they displayed a lot of similarities. Sundiata was a king, so the people had to obey him because of his status. However his subjects did not follow him for that reason, they listened to Sundiata because he was a good leader. As a wise African leader, Sundiata ruled in consultation. Sundiata?s number one consultant was his griot, Balla Fasseke. As D.T. Niane said griots know the history of kings and their kingdoms, which is why they are the best advisors of kings because whoever knows the history of a country can read its future. This could be seen when Sundiata and his family were preparing to leave Mali in exile.

Sundiata?s mother who, also served as a consultant, had warned him that the queen mother was preparing to harm his family and that it would be in their best interest to leave the kingdom and return at a later time. Balla Fasseke counseled Sundiata by preparing for his departure in detail and informing him of his destiny. Balla Fasseke?s influence could be seen again on the eve of Krina before Sundiata went into battle with Soumaoro. That evening Balla Fasseke sat down with Sundiata and discussed everything with him from the history of the Mali to his role as a leader. Finally Sundiata?s dedication to consultation was obvious when the fighting finally ceased. Instead of keeping all the land he acquired for himself, Sundiata returned it to the leaders. He also set a system up whereby all the leaders would get together and discuss...