Gassire’s Lute reflects the Soninke heroic period of 500 BC. Yet the epic, of which this story is a part, comes from a period 1000 years later, (give or take a few centuries) during the growth and height of the Soninke empire of West Ghana .
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As you discuss this story with your classmates you might consider the following questions in developing your posts:
What does this story tell us about Soninke culture?
What values does it prescribe?
What can we learn about how the Soninke view themselves, their history, and cultural development?
What exactly is Wagadu?
What role does Wagadu play in the lives of this story’s characters?
Does her disappearance seem to be a penalty for wrongs committed?
Is there a progression in the disappearances that reflects in the human condition?
What do Wagadu’s children have to do for her to return?
Will the fifth Wagadu ever exist or will it always be a vision of the future?