The epic an be used as a window into the social structure and clashes of power that are common to all civilizations. When it comes to the Epic of Sundials there is no doubt that women play many pivotal roles throughout the narration. One of the first women we meet is the “Buffalo Woman”. This woman was In a position of Power for the kingdom of Do, but was cheated of her Inheritance. We see here that women In the Mall Empire could be of prominent roles. We also see shortly after the use of women as prizes.
When the two hunters present Solon to Meghan, they describe how they went about earning her y slaying the buffalo that was terrorizing the kingdom of Do. This aspect of the story portrays women as holding a lesser standard than men in society. I make the argument that like many other cultures the social status of women heavily determined how they were seen by the community. There were powerful women rulers that existed like Assume, but also women of the lower working class who were objectified and marginalia like Solon.
We see that before the wedding, Assume, who is angered by the idea of another queen easily persuades the public tit the rumors she tells them. Assume displays control over the “mob mentality’ of the people, exercising political prowess. However, the Idea of a man having multiple wives Is not a socially accepted practice In modern era. Polygamy today Is viewed to belittle the role of the wife, though In the 13th century, and for many different cultures this was not the case. One could argue that Meghan taking two wives is a display of women’s decreased social status, but I do not believe this was the intention of polygamous practices.
Arguably Solon is elevated to a greater social status by marrying Meghan and bearing his desired successor. In this way great importance is put on women as bearing the lineage of the royal family. This concept is frequent across many cultures. Additionally there is an interesting aspect to the idea of a women who is so hideous being chosen by destiny to bear the greater ruler for Mali. It seems to convey the idea that women need not be beautiful physically to be Important or good mothers. Solon, although ugly, displays great dedication and compassion to her son.
She Is portrayed as the misunderstood, Cinderella-queue female role who continually finds herself at the mercy of Assume, while Assume herself echoes suppressed fear and envy for Sundials. As we see though the marriage is not long lasting and Solon is replaced by a woman who is seen as Dealing Tar more Delightful. I Nils again resonates ten Idea Tanat women are subservient to men in certain regards, that King Meghan can simply replace one with another. Ultimately, the epic of Sundials illustrates a very elaborate and complicated social structure for ancient Mali.
Women are both skilled (although cruel) leaders and orderlies slaves at different times throughout the story. Though overall the people of Mali are seemingly accustomed to having powerful women in their community as queen regents or powerful witches much like the oracles of Greek mythology. Sundials portrays women both as kind and cruel but with a common feature, loyalty to their families and culture. Both Assume and Solon will do whatever it takes to promote the best interest of their sons. For Solon this is simply keeping Sundials out of harms way, and for Assume this is ensuring her son the throne.