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The Epic of Kelefaa Saane

Sirifo Camara. Edited and translated by Sana Camara

Publication Year: 2010

This powerful and popular epic honors the legendary warrior prince of Kaabu and Mandinka cultural hero, Kelefaa Saane. A standard of the griot repertoire, the epic of Kelefaa Saane is customarily taught to young performers at the beginning of their careers. Sirifo Camara's masterful recitation was recorded in Dakar in 1987. It has been transcribed in Mandinka and is translated into English here for the first time. The epic, as it describes Kelefaa's life and exploits, relates what it means to be Mandinka. Kelefaa's extraordinary prowess and virtue derive from the political, social, moral, and theological founding myths of the Mandinka people. This beautiful and engaging performance provides a unique perspective on the intellectual and literary heritage of West Africa.

Published by: Indiana University Press


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pp. vii-viii

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Preface and Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

THE EPIC OF KELEFAA SAANE is part of the repertoire that maintains the memory of a legendary warrior prince of Kaabu, a kingdom in the Senegambian area of West Africa, in the nineteenth century. He helped rally the Mandinka people to defend their region against the threat of an invasion. Today, the Mandinka jal

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pp. xiii-xxxii

The Mandinka griot, known locally as jali, sees himself as the keeper of values that are deeply rooted in the oral traditions of the Senegambian peoples, including the Fulani, the Soninke, and the Wolof. These peoples share a vast region and many cultural traditions with other societies. The bards convey those values in the epics of the ancient Soninke ...

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Note on Spelling and Pronunciation

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pp. xxxiii-xxxiv

I have to a large extent followed the spelling conventions adapted by the Centre de Linguistique Appliqu

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pp. 2-164

Balaamaη! tenkiliη ηanaa a niη kànnii waali Saarafaa Ñaaliη Jeenuη Boobóo Tumóo niη Boobóo Senkuη Pacaananka Dàllaa Jeenuη Pacaananka tenkiliη sóólaa Tenkiliη ηanaa a niη kànnii waali Yoobaa! Jumaa le be ñiη kooraa kosóo la? ...

Annotations to the Mandinka Text

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pp. 165-178


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pp. 179-180


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pp. 181-185

E-ISBN-13: 9780253004246
E-ISBN-10: 0253004241
Print-ISBN-13: 9780253354631

Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 5 b&w illus., 3 maps
Publication Year: 2010

OCLC Number: 635293816
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Epic of Kelefaa Saane