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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Each one plucked an ear of corn from her own plot; each of the girls plucked an
ear of corn from her plot, and the corn was roasted. When the corn had been
roasted, it was eaten. When they had finished eating the corn, some of the
No, my girl. Really, I want to say something to you. I want you to be my wife. I don'
t appreciate your fear of being left behind by the others. I'm in love with you, so
you shouldn't be afraid to be seen with me. When they ask you at your home why
He left the girl alone then and departed. The contest was at an end. The people
dispersed. The girl went home. She cooked the food. She had taken off the
clothes and put on her own ragged things. She had also turned the cattle of this
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Time Passes the Baby Grows
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