Study Guide

Grandmother Yaisa in Roots: The Saga of an American Family

By Alex Haley

Grandmother Yaisa

Grandmother Yaisa's Kunta Kinte's grandmother—and we wish she were our grammy. She teaches him many valuable lessons (most notably the crocodile allegory we discuss in the symbolism section). Also, her death is an important moment in Kunta's early life—it's his first encounter with the nasty fact of mortality.