Keita Sunjata

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sunjata, Keita


(also Sundiata, Soundiata). Died 1250 or 1255. Ruler of the medieval state of Mali from about 1230 to 1250 or 1255.

Sunjata conquered vast territories along the upper reaches of the Niger and Senegal rivers. He founded the city of Niani, which he made his capital. During his rule, large estates were granted to military commanders, and the conquered population became dependent peasants, which hastened the formation of an early feudal society.


Sund’iata: Mandingskii epos. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963. (Translated from French.)
Levtzion, N. Ancient Ghana and Mali. London, 1973.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.