Saturday, September 29, 2007


In my previous post I had written of how I went through my childhood the 'kunta-kinte' ways and kinds. Not many of children today have the previledge to encounter the tragedies and the pleasanteries we had had . Not any . Even the orang asli community today . At least have one or two modern technologies in hand. They are taken care-of . Those days that sort of caring was never heard of . The rural were left to live by themselves . Only when after the second world war was there a new aspiration and inspiration grew among the people. We needed togetherness to pursue the independence .

Kunta-kinte was filmed . Kunta-kinte was written . The book was named ' The Roots '.

Kunta Kinte is the central figure in Alex Haley's 1976 book Roots. According to Haley's research, Kinte was 17 when he was captured and taken to America as a slave aboard the ship Lord Ligonier in 1767. Roots traces the lives of Kinte and his descendants down to Haley himself, Kinte's great great great great-grandson. The book became a popular TV miniseries in 1977, starring LeVar Burton as young Kinte and John Amos as the older Kinte.

Anybody has a copy of the film ? Please contact :

As kunta-kinte was captured and taken to America , I too was captured by my former headteacher of Malay School Sik , Pak Nor . Still young,aged 10 , I was taken out of the rural Sik to an English school in Sungai Petani . I knew nothing , not even a word of english . Sometimes I cannot picture out how that could happen without the help from the Al-mighty . SUBHANALLAH

The story OF KUNTA-KINTE starts from Juffure, a small peaceful village in West Africa in 1750, and ends in Gambia, in the same village, after several generations. However, Haley did not claim that it is possible to return to some Paradise, but depicted realistically his ancestors' life and how the villagers suffered occasionally from shortage of food. "But Kunta and the others, being yet little children, paid less attention to the hunger pangs in their bellies than to playing in the mud, wrestling each other and sliding on their naked bottoms. Yet in their longing to see the sun again, they would wave up at the slate-colored sky and shout - as they had seen their parents do - 'Shine, sun, and I will kill you a goat!'"

The action begins with the birth of Kunta Kinte in 1750 to a Mandinka tribesman in the village of Juffure, The Gambia. The author liberally uses many African words to describe the everyday life of this Muslim community, which sees young boys like Kunta being groomed to manhood with lessons of hunting, protecting their families, and subscribing to codes of honor under the strict supervision of village elders.
Several years later, Kunta hears vague talk about "toubob" (white people) who have been spotted in the jungles nearby. Tribesmen are disappearing from other villages, never to be seen again. At the age of 17, while Kunta is on sentry duty and looking for wood with which to fashion a drum, he is ambushed by four slave catchers. Although he fights back, he is no match for them, and is chained and hauled off to a ship for the beginning of a horrifying sea voyage.
Chained to each other and to their beds in the dark, dank hold, the slaves lie in their own excrement and become violently ill. Once or twice a week, the whites bring them up to the deck in chains in order to clean the hold. On one such occasion, the slaves, who have managed to communicate with each other despite the many different languages they speak, conspire to overthrow the whites. The revolt is quashed by the white sailors, but an outbreak of vomiting, fever, and diarrhea wipes out one third of the Black captives and half of the whites. This attrition rate was typical for slave ships of the time.
At a slave auction, Kunta is bought for $850 by John Waller .

Luckily I was not sold . What a nostalgic piece of literature .


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