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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The dance for younger boys is separate and has another name ; it is a dance of
boys who are still quite young . ... a procession that meets with other groups , and
they all go to a homestead where they have obtained a house for the dance .
Now they are young men ; they have graduated to the status of being able to go
to a “ raw ” young men ' s dance . ... They go to the young men ' s dance with the
women friends they used to take to boys ' dances when they were younger .
They are going to discuss the usual things - the dance , the clothes worn ,
decorations , and so on . They joke and make critical comments about the
dancing of others , about garments and adornments . They discuss the quality of
the ox .
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The Start Is a Man and a Man Takes a Wife
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