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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... delousing his head , her father suddenly turned over and looked intently at her
; he looked at this child of his . He looked at her and cried . The child asked , “
Father , why are you crying ? " “ No , it ' s nothing , my child 62 Part One : Birth.
She arrived and looked ; she looked and looked , and she found a green one .
She carried that one on her back , while she sought a white one . She wandered
about here in the forest . Then she found the white one , and she picked it .
She looked carefully , going to the places where the man usually herded the
cattle . Then she saw him - and she noted that he was looking around . He was
looking around furtively . He ran then and disappeared in a cave . The woman