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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Now she was called " a dog " by her husband ; she was called “ a thing that
doesn ' t give birth . ” As she considered her plight , the woman wept there by the
side of the kraal . She cried , and the sun set . When the sun had set , she went
It He said , “ I can give you some corn . " The first bird said , “ Do you think that we
have throats large enough to swallow corn ? " The second bird said , “ Vukuthu
vukuthu ! It is said , “ Do you think that we have throats large enough to swallow ...
person told me to give him some roots . I said that I had none , but he kept
begging me . I asked him who he was . And he told me to approach so that I
could see that he was really a person . I went to him , and while I was digging , he