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A Story From: Mali
Read Time: ["16 to 20mins"]
For Ages: 8 to 10yrs., 12 to 14yrs.

Feeling abandoned and desperate, a magical old woman lashes out.
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Retold by Elaine L. Lindy. ©2005. All rights reserved.


The historical figure Kieta Sundiata (circa 1210-1260?), also known as the Lion King of Mali, is celebrated as the founder and ruler of the Mali Empire. In 1235, Sundiata defended Mali against the King of Sosso and went on to conquer other neighboring domains until Mali became the largest West African empire during the 13th and 14th centuries. He is credited with ushering in a period of peace and prosperity. One story that speaks to the wealth of the Mali empire is that when a King of Mali traveled to Mecca in 1332, he gave away such enormous amounts of gold that the value of gold in Egypt plummeted. Sundiata is still revered as a national hero in Mali and his legend lives on through stories, songs, poems, and dances.