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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Wearing the imbulu skin , she is forced to the fringes of human society and must
struggle against what the imbulu represents as it moves about masquerading as
a human . The imbulu skin thus becomes associated with a kind of swallowing ...
Vel ' ekhaya agreed to this . He became the master of ceremonies . He went to
negotiate on behalf of his mother . Because he was the negotiator , when the first
ox of the wedding ceremony was slaughtered , it was said that the skin should be
The bride wore a skin mantle . It was said , “ Today , they ' ve put on the skin
mantles for the dance , " to confirm that this woman had truly married into this
home : she was a woman of the marriage dance . That bride had a skin mantle on