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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It stopped on the cliff where Mbulukazi had been gathering firewood . It stopped
there , bellowing , looking down below . When the men peered over : “ Here she
is ! " She had been scattered down below . She had been like that for some time ...
Those who are sitting there watching say , “ Really , they ought to be stopped . " “
But neither of them will give in ! " “ They continue hitting each other ! " “ That ' s
because they ' re so hard - headed ! " Finally , they are stopped . Someone says ...
Then she stopped . She was about to throw the head instead . But she stopped
and was going to throw the body and leave the head . She could not decide . In
the end , she threw the body and kept the head . The thing ate the body of her
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The Start Is a Man and a Man Takes a Wife
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