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 .
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?