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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A man who had been standing by the door ran . He stopped at the upper side of
the house . He seized a spear . He said , " Never have I seen such a big frog !
Wife , come here with the stirrer . Let ' s beat this frog ! " As the fellow raised his
The fellow said , “ No , really , why is it that they seem to come after each other in
birth ? Why does it seem as if they were borne by this woman ? " The man said , “
No , they were not both borne by this woman . It ' s because they look alike .
The fellow observed the child as she took it with both hands . 1 Her father said , “
Well ! Don ' t give it to that person ! Leave that to someone else ! " The stranger
said , “ No , let her take it . " The child took it then . She thanked him , having bent