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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The king went on , “ Each of you must cut off his daughter ' s head . Each person ,
each father must do that himself . " “ All right . " They went , then , to the initiation
house . When they got there , the door was barricaded . When he found the door
Again , the head went around to the front and said , “ Krwebede ! " No progress
was being made because it was only a very short distance that she could walk
before she was again intercepted , before she was again aware that the head
The head ate the leg , and the mother traveled on for a brief time . Again , it cut
across in front of her and said , “ I said , Krwebede , Nomanaso ! Krwebede , My
child ! " The young mother saw that there was nothing more that could be done .