Good intro stuff from a website, which I lost. Don't give to kids, but can use to plan.
(xenophile historian maybe?)
Like Rama and Heracles, Bakaridjan’s heroic qualities find their roots in his personal characters. Through out the story one will easily find Bakaridjan’s code of behavior. He has self confidence and self respect. In his dialogue with the great king Da Monznon, he shows us that he is also a man of wisdom. “Your tongue has the authority of a king. And yet a great king has wisdom between his ears to match his power” (Rosenberg 533). To live with honor is part of his code. He is a man of pure heart, pure mind and soul, and generous to his people and full of compassion even to his opponents who lost in battles (545). In contrast to Heracles, Bakaridjan Kone presents himself as a hero because he goes into the battlefields for the benefit of the people. He protects them from being invaded by foreign warriors or from other harmful giants. Like Rama and Heracles, Bakaridjan has his weakness too. He loses his heroic figure after he refuses to face Dosoke Zan. In his effort to restore his figure, he goes through unheroic tactic by cheating king Bassi and captures Samaniana’s cattle.
Bakaridjan story was born in the society that marked by conflicts between the Bambara and other tribes in Africa only for the cause of excitement. This story might have awakened their awareness that a real warrior is not fighting for fun and excitement. A warrior has a special code to follow that is to fight for the benefit of people. A warrior is not necessarily a hero if he is not pure of heart, pure of mind and pure of soul.