Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Long Journey

Sunjata had become a target for the Queen mother. She knew for her son to truly be king, Sunjata must die. Sogolon decided that she must take her family on a long journey to protect them from harm. Upon leaving the prince told his king-brother "I will return!" The journey into exile was a difficult one for the family. Sogolon's hump was growing and her health was declining. They traveled from villiage to villiage seeking sanctuary. Many kings turned them away, others took them in until pressure from Mali caused them to turn them away into night. In time they traveled to the city of Mena. It was in Mena the exiled family found a home. Djata (the Lion) as he was called became like a son to the King who had no heir. Djata's reputation and authority grew. Many winters had passed and the young lion cub was now a man. The soothsayers of Mena said he would be the successor to Alexander the Great, and he would be even greater. Sogolon called her 18 year old son to her side and told him "Do not deceive yourself. Your destiny lies not here but in Mali. But be patient my son. Everything in its own time."  It was not long before these words came true.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Nine Witches of Mali

Frustrated by the young prince's strength and popularity, The first wife of King Maghan consulted nine powerful witches of Mali to kill him. The old women set a trap for him in his mother's vegetable garden. To kill Sunjata they need his anger kindled.  After Elephant hunting, Sunjata stopped to check on his mother's garden. There in the garden he saw the witches stealing gnougou leaves. The old hags put on quite a scene as they tried to runaway like thieves. Sunjata asked the women to stop. He told them not to run, the garden belonged to all.  He began to fill their gourds with leaves and onions and spices. He told the ladies to come back as when they need more.  "Your kindess has spared your life. We have no need for these items, the mother of the King asked us to kill you, but your kindness has disarmed us. From this point on we will look after you" the witches proclaimed. The old women dissappeared into the night. Sogolon listened to her son tell the story of the old hags, and pondered what she should do.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Lion Awakens

After the death of the King, his first wife made sure her son became king. After the Queen mother insulted Sogolon because her seven year old son still could not walk and bring her baobab leaves, Sogolon had an emotional breakdown.  Her son told her that today he would walk. He got a iron rod and with a mighty heave he stood up. He walked to a small baobab tree and pulled it up from the roots and carried it his mother. He declared to her now all the women must come to her door to get baobab leaves.  His Griot announced to all the the village "Beware the Lion had awaken!" From that day on all the boys in the village became his friend and wanted to play and hunt with him.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Lion Child

The King married Sogolon, and she quickly conceived and bore a son. This angered the King's first wife, who's son was supposed to be heir to the throne. The child of the lion and the buffalo had a difficult childhood. The child was three years old and could not walk. He barely spoke. The King's first wife, would often mock Sologon by saying, "I would rather have a son who walks on two legs to a lion who crawls on the ground". Worried the King consulted a blind "seer" who told him  "When the seed germinates growth is not always easy; great trees grow slowy but they plunge their roots deep into the ground". The King understood. When his son was seven he gave him his own griot to teach him the ways of a king. Even though he still could not walk this father believed in him. He told his son that every prince had his own griot, and that his griot was the son of the King's griot. It was the King's wish that this lion child would become king.  King Maghan died soon after he spoke with his son.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Vistor

Maghan Kon Fatta, was king of Mali. He was known to be handsome and strong. One day a hunter appears bringing the King some of his kill, because this was the custom. As they visited he poured about a bag of cowrie shells to tell the King his future. The hunter told him that he would have a son, who would be a great king. He would rule over a vast and great empire. He told him the son had not yet been born, nor had he met his wife. The Hunter told him that the mother of this child would be hideous in appearance. with a disfiguring hump on her back. The hunter closed his bag and left. The King and his Griot never forgot his prophetic words. Several years passed and as the King held court two hunters appeared with a veiled maiden behind them. The men were carrying shining silver bows on their back. The hunters bowed before the King. They were sons of Traore' and belonged to Mali. They offered the veiled maiden as a gift to Maghan, deeming her worthy to be his wife. Even though she was veiled they saw she had strong arms and legs, and them they noticed the hump on her back. Maghan turned to his griot and stared for a long time.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sunjata Epic: The Buffalo Woman From Do

A buffalo was terrorizing the land of Do. Two brothers decided to hunt the buffalo. As they traveled they offered kindness to an old woman in need of food and drink. She told them she was the buffalo that they seeked. She told them where to meet the buffalo and the secret needed to kill her. She told them that the chief would offer them a beautiful young maiden for a wife as a reward.  She told them that they must choose an ugly maiden with a hump on her back. Because this girl carried her buffalo spirit.They agreed and found the buffalo exactly where the old woman said. After killing the buffalo the village of Do held a huge celebration for the hunters, because the buffalo had killed over 100 hunters and wounded 70 more. The town was shocked when the men picked Sogolon, the ugliest maiden with the hump on her back as their reward. The two hunters continued their journey with Sogolon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spread Your Fingers Before You Eat

A great hunter had two wives. He spent many weeks in the bush hunting. He always brought food to each wife. His instructions "Spread your Fingers Before You Eat!". One listened, the other did not. When the Hunter died, the 1st wife received food from all the people with whom she shared her food with. The second wife went hungry. The second wife asked the first why people were so generous to her. The 1st wife asked her if she followed their husband's advice to spend her fingers before she ate.  The Second wife  said yes, she spread her fingers to the wind. The first wife laughed and said your help will come from the wind.  Moral: Give and it shall be given unto you.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jawara's Seed

A Great Chief had no sons to inherit his kingdom. So he decided to give his warriors at test to see who would be his heir. He gave each a seed. He told them to nurture the seed, water and care for it, and after one year they would each show how well their seed  progressed. Jawara took the seed home to his wife, and together they took care of the seed. For weeks the seed would not grow.  The other warriors boasted on how well their plants were growing.  Some seeds were growning into trees, other into blooming flowers. It seemed all the seeds were growing but Jawara's. Finally the day came when the Chief asked all the warriors to bring the results of their seeds to his compound. Jawara was embarrassed to bring the empty pot, but his wife encouraged him to do so. The Chief looked at all the plants and trees and flowers. In the back he saw Jawara and his is empty pot. He called all of the warriors over and anounced that Jawara would be Chief.  He said only Jawara was honest among the warriors. He told the warriors the seeds he had given them were boiled, and they could not grow at all. Only Jawara showed the integrity needed to be Chief. Moral: If you plant honesty you will reap trust.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dance With Papa Bear One More Time

A husband and wife loved to dance. In fact, they were dancing when she went into labor. Each year after her mother dies in child birth, the father and daughter would dance together on her birthday. But as a teenager she runs away from her Papa Bear. Her father always wrote her letters she never read. On her birthday she received at letter at the strip club where she worked, "I know where you are and what you do and I still LOVE you! Come home and dance with me one more time". And she does. Moral: Daddy always forgives his kids!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Liam's Story

A evil fairy witch captures Liam's family.  She threatens to eat them if he does not tell her a story she as never heard before.  He quickly asks Mother Goose for a story, but the witch had heard all of her stories. He asked Father Time for a story, but she had heard all of his stories. He even asked the Sea for a story, but she had heard his stories as well. Finally, Liam goes home and tells the witch of his adventure, and how he could not find a story to tell her that she hadn't heard. After Hearing Liam's story she released his family, because she had never heard such a story in all her life. Moral: We each have a story worth telling!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Woman Who Lives in a Vinegar Bottle

A woman who lives in a house shaped like a vinegar bottle. Having no food in her house she goes in search of food.  At the dock she saves a magical fish.  The fish gives her a wish. She wishes for a new home. Now that she has a new home she asks the fish for new clothes. Now that she has new clothes she tells the fish she needs a new car, but since she can't drive she demands the fish give her a driver. The fish takes away all he has given her and including her new house. She returns to her vinegar bottle home to find food in her cabinets. Moral: Ask only for what you need.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Handsome Bear

A bear happened to be a great dresser. He was the height of fashion. On the way to show off his great fashion sense to the humans at the county fair, a crow tells the bear that fashion has changed. People have stopped wearing clothes, they wear plastic bags, paper bags, frying pans and shoeboxes. Dressed in his new digs the bear is laughed out if the fair.The bear looks up at the crow and says "You lied to me!" The crow tells the bear "I told you many things, never did I say I was telling the truth. Moral: All advice is not good advice

The Perfect Gift

 A farmer grows a perfect apple fit for a king. The farmer walks 3 days to and gives the apple to the King seeking nothing in return. Grateful the King gives the farmer his finest horse. A greedy merchant offers the King his finest horse as a gift. The King gives the merchant the perfect apple, which he rejects. The King jails him. Moral: a gift's true value is in heart of the giver!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Door To The Baobab Tree

A great Baobab tree opened his heart to a hare, a hyena and me. The Hare was received a ruby because he was straight and true. The Hyena tried to steal jewels to his doom. Sensing my heart was true He renamed me "Da" or Door . "The stories of griot I give you... but alway tell true."  The Baobab Tree says. Now you know why I am "Da" Story Weaver!

The Lion and the Goat

While hunting, Lion saw Goat on top of a huge rock chewing. Lion could not figure out what Goat was chewing on. Stalking his prey, he moved closer but still could not see what he was chewing. Finally he spoke to the Goat. "What are you eating?" Without flinching Goat answered, "I am chewing this rock and if you don't leave when I am done I will eat you. Lion leaves. Moral: The bold overcomes, the coward perishes

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bad Habits

Monkey and Rabbit always sat together in the forest. Each had a bad habit that bothered the other. Monkey scratched, Rabbit sniffed and turned his head. They held a contest to see who could stop their habit the longest. After only minutes they both realized that true friends accept the whole person bad habits and all! Moral: Love Unconditionally!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Three Brothers Go Out To Find Death

Three brothers who are angry that Death had taken their parents, go out to find Death and kill Death. Many people along the way try to get them to give up. Finally one old man tells them how to find death. The man introduces them to Greed. The three brothers  found death by each others hands. Beware: Death will find us soon enough... Greed will lead him to you even sooner!