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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When it came near , she put a loaf of bread down on the ground ; then she ran on
again . The water monster stopped , chewed the bread , and swallowed it . Then
it pursued her once more . But it did not run , it just walked . Finally , she was a ...
The child beat the stick on the ground and said , " All that I deserve , let it come
out ! " When the child had said that , a table came out , a bathtub came out , and
all the foods proper for the table came out . The bathtub came out , containing ...
Then she gathered some women together , saying , “ The grain must be ground
so that the people can be assembled . " When the women had come together ,
they said to her , “ Ee , Friend ! Big sister ! " “ Big sister ! " She said , “ Hnn ? " “ Ee