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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This is a king . He has come to ask for a wife . The king has already taken one of
my daughters as a wife - Hlungwana [ Little Raven ) from the house down below .
Now he wants a righthand wife . He says that he has seen this young woman ...
We arrived at the royal residence , and the king was there . " “ Who was the king
at that time ? " “ It was Sarhili . " 5 It happened that the name of the king at that
time was Sarhili , a prince of a man . These men had now returned , and they
... they died . They died while completing their assignments , killing the birds .
They did it on their own . No one pushed them into it ; they pushed themselves .
We ' re thankful that this child of the king has returned , that he was saved , so that