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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Well , we have come from the other side of the Mbashe River , and we ' re going
to cross the Nciba River ( also called the Great Kei River ) . But we have a child
with us who is limping , and we ' re asking for a place in which to spend the night .
He went down to the river . The same thing happened throughout the day : he
arrived at a place and , while he was dipping , he saw a frog , so he spilled the
water out . Then he found that the cask leaked , and he tried to patch it . He dug
When they were far off , they saw a large river . They went to ... They passed
beyond that river , traveling again for a long time . ... Little rivers were crossed ,
rivers having small pools that did not seem to contain the creature they were