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Da Monzon and the Enemy's Wife


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(Bambara/Mali)

Monzon and his son, Da Monzon, were rulers of Segu (1787–1827).

Insulted because the son of one of his bards decides to remain with Duga, king of Kore, Monzon, a mythic king, sends his son, Tiefolo, to war on Duga. When Tiefolo refuses, he is killed. Monzon's other son, Da, agrees to carry out the king's wishes, and he and his army move to Kore. Duga invites Da to a party. That night, Duga's first wife joins Da when he returns to his army. Da promises to marry her if she will assist him in defeating Duga. She is aware of the secrets of her husband, and she reveals all of this to Da. Duga is defeated. He transforms himself into an eagle and a lion, and, prophesying that Da's father is about to die, he kills himself. Because his father's advisers are opposed to Da's marriage to Duga's wife, they kill her. Then Monzon dies, and Da becomes king. Thiema, the ruler of a province of the kingdom of Segu of which Da is king, revolts, though warned not to do so. He insults Da Monzon, and war is the result. Thiema's army is worsted, until Thiema himself moves into the struggle. Because his body has been washed with magical concoctions, he is invulnerable, and he is successful in his battles with Da Monzon's army, including the great Fulani leader, Hambodedio Pate. Hambodedio is the stronger of the two; Thiema is captured, his province destroyed. Hambodedio becomes Da Monzon's son-in-law. See also: Silamaka.

Subjects: Religion.


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