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 opening pattern of the story has to do with the father ' s incestuous advances
toward his daughter . His approaches become more and more urgent , but she
regularly refuses him . This pattern leads to the separation phase of the girl ' s ...
The opening pattern , she suggested , establishes an ominous linkage between
the twelve girls and the splendid gardens . The girls find these gardens , not
coincidentally twelve of them , in a forbidden forest . They are led there by a
This is what moves this tale : two parallel positive patterns are paired against a
negative pattern . The most obvious repetition , the first pattern , connects Mityi to
her dead mother ; the stick given to her by her mother becomes her fantastic tie to
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The Start Is a Man and a Man Takes a Wife
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