The World and the Word: Tales and Observations from the Xhosa Oral Tradition
A master storyteller of the Xhosa people of South Africa, Nongenile Masithathu Zenani gives us an unprecedented view of an oral society from within. Twenty-four of her complex and beautiful tales about birth, puberty, marriage, and work, as told to the renowned collector of African oral tradition, Harold Scheub, are gathered here. Accompanying the stories are Zenani’s detailed commentaries and analyses and Scheub’s striking photographs of her in performance. The combination of these historical and cultural observations with a richly symbolic collection of tales from a single traditional storyteller make The World and the Word a remarkable document.
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At midday , he took the cattle to drink , and when he returned he went to his child .
He nursed her . He nursed the child , then he wrapped her up again and nestled
her into the hole . He turned the cattle around , and went home . Time passed ...
The boy cried and cried , " My child ! Perhaps something ' s eaten her ! " He cried
, he cried and cried . He went into the valley , he came out of the valley ,
searching for his child . He wandered about until daybreak , going up and down ,
Well , the child did that . She took the reeds and departed with them . She got
home ; she arrived and put the reeds in the doorway . She crossed the reeds ,
one over the other , in that doorway . She said , “ Mother ! Come and take the pail
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The Start Is a Man and a Man Takes a Wife
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