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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But this became a habitual thing with her father : he would be sitting with the child
; he would look at her , he would look at her and cry . Time passed , and the
father ' s conduct caused the child great anxietyhis staring at her , his tears .
The circumcised youth will be told , “ You must not look back and see the lodge
burning ! " If an initiate should look back and see the smoke , he will have broken
a taboo . 4 The initiates will therefore move on without looking back , journeying ...
His child said , “ Mama ! Mama ! Just look at Father ! He has no clothes ! He ' s
naked ! " His mother said , “ What ' s the matter with him now ? " “ Just look at him
! " His mother appeared in the doorway . " Well , what ' s the matter with this man