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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All that remained of her was bones . The dogs gnawed the bones but did not
break them . A dog took one of her breasts and ate it . It wrenched the breast
whole from her body ! It took one buttock and went to eat it over there . Another
dog took ...
But Sikhuluma spoke : “ Grandfather , all of those with whom I traveled have
remained behind because of Sitshalotshalwana . Because of Sitshalotshalwana
alone . He has remained behind also ; he brought himself into the thick of it . 14
He found work , and , while he was working in that distant place , his wife
remained at home . She was also happy . Time passed . Time passed for that
wife . After her husband had been gone a long time , she became more and more