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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In time , when his playmates started talking , it became clear that this child did not
know how to speak . He spoke with his hands : whenever he referred to
something , he would point to it . He spoke with his hands : he did not hear with
his ears ...
It was on that day that they first heard this boy speak - the one who did not know
how to speak . In his first speech , Sikhuluma said , “ No , Sitshalotshalwana , my
little brother ! Don ' t take the children to that homestead because no one sleeps ...
But Sikhuluma sat there , refusing to eat . He would remain there , he would not
go into the house . He did not speak again : he would speak just one thing , then
he would not speak again . He would speak again on the day that he next spoke .
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The Start Is a Man and a Man Takes a Wife
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