Essay An Analysis of Segu by Maryse Conde

Words: 1952
Pages: 8

Madeline Sayre
Black Studies 49A- MIESCHER
Wednesday 12 pm

In the novel Segu, Maryse Conde beautifully constructs personal and in depth images of African history through the use of four main characters that depict the struggles and importance of family in what is now present day Mali. These four characters and also brothers, by the names of Tiekoro, Siga, Naba, and Malobali are faced with a world changing around their beloved city of Bambara with new customs of the Islamic religion and the developing ideas of European commerce and slave trade. These new expansions in Africa become stepping stones for the Troare brothers to face head on and they have brought both victory and heartache for them and their family. These four
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Siga had done well for himself in trade and hadn’t a chance to prove himself to his father who dies from so much despair from losing his sons. Since Tiekoro had left to go to Timbuktu to go to Islamic school, his younger brother Naba had been distraught with sadness. He had no place to turn but to his half-brother Tiefolo who is a great hunter but also in over his head at times. After disobeying the elders and going out with his brother and a group of boys for a hunt, Naba was captured and held captive until being sold into slavery. At this time, the capturing of young teens and children had been all too common for they were both young and in their prime to do labor for the slave hungry buyers of Europe and other African countries. “They had merely weighed [Naba’s] flesh, counted his teeth, measured his penis and tested his biceps. He no longer counted as a human being” (Conde 77). The awful fate of Naba had been tragic to say the least as he was not just an ordinary boy, but he was of noble descent. The slave trade had become so demanding that Africans throughout the country were not safe to be out at night, and if captured were forced to obey or would be tortured or put to death. As Naba had been in good condition he was bought at a high price and ended up on the Goree Island which was a slave port where many slaves would be dropped off and shipped out. Since Naba was in good condition he was baptized which meant he was