What values were honored by the Mandingo culture in Sundiata?

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The values of the Mandingo culture are strength, courage, kindness, and wisdom. All of these values can be seen in Sundiata, who is the hero of this epic tale. He had to overcome his lameness to become a great warrior and hunter. He was kind to all those who supported him in exile and brave to lead his army against Soumaoro. And he was wise enough to learn proverbs as a young boy, which enabled him to become a wise ruler after becoming king.

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Sundiata is an epic hero's tale that was passed down orally and told by a griot, a person whose job it was to retell the customs and traditions in the African Mali society. Thus, the values of the Mandingo culture have been passed down from generation to generation.

First of all, strength and courage were admired. This characteristic is evident in Sundiata. He has to overcome his lameness as a young boy to grow into the great warrior, hunter, and king he was prophesied to become. He spent his youth in exile, and he had to return to save his homeland, which he did.

As well, kindness was valued and rewarded. Sundiata was able to build up a great army from those kingdoms that supported him in exile. With this army, he was able to defeat Soumaoro at the battle of Krina.

Wisdom is also valued for "men's wisdom is contained in proverbs" (29), and Sundiata learns these proverbs at an early age. This allows him to become a wise ruler as well as a courageous one.

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One of the main values of Mandingo culture is that of the family and its central role in their lives.  Most of the people live in compounds or small villages dominated by a single family or a familial structure and they are relatively autonomous by village or compound allowing for each group to rule themselves.

They admire hard work and the difficult work in the fields (mainly raising rice) is considered to be an honorable profession, something that is celebrated in their culture.

Much of Mandingo culture was also passed down orally, they valued very highly tales and proverbs that were often used as teaching tools.

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