Topics: Mali Empire, West Africa, Sundiata Keita Pages: 2 (618 words) Published: February 26, 2006
The term Polygamy (literally much marriage in Greek) is used in related ways in social anthropology and sociobiology. In social anthropology, polygamy is the practice of marriage to more than one spouse simultaneously (as opposed to monogamy where each person has only one spouse at a time). Like monogamy, the term is often used in a de facto sense, applying regardless of whether the relationships are recognized by the state. In sociobiology, polygamy is used in a broad sense to mean any form of multiple mating. In a narrower sense, used by zoologists, polygamy includes a pair bond, perhaps temporary. In this sense, multiple mating is defined as promiscuous. In the time of Sundiata polygamy was allowed and very much practiced. Sundiata's father had many wives. He also had eleven children. Sundiata couldn't walk for much of his childhood. Because of this, Sundiata's mother was often teased by the other wives. Both Sundiata and his mother were affected by the teasing. Sundiata's mother cried many times when she was ridiculed by the other women about her son. It seemed as if she was almost ashamed of her own son. Until one day with the help of an iron rod Sundiata walked at the age of seven. I believe in the old saying "what does not kill you only makes you stronger" What happed to Sundiata early in his childhood, I believe made a Sundiata a stronger man. A man so dominant he overcame may obstacles and became the king of the great empire of Mali. A man that didn't rule the land he conquered with fear, but with reason. When you have as much authority as Sundiata had, it becomes unproblematic for you to do what is best for yourself and not worry about the people he ruled. The griots of West Africa still tell the 700 year old story of a sickly boy named Sundiata, who grew up to become a great warrior, expelled a brutal warrior, and united the Mandingo people. Samanguru was a tyrant who ruled the small state of Kaniaga, but he managed to conquer a great deal...
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