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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We were told to take the cotton skirt , Miose . Yo ! Help us , Child of our father . Yo
! Help us , Child of our father , we love you . " He said , “ No ! It doesn ' t matter
that the doves have come ! Just give them this cotton skirt . I ' ll buy you another .
We were told to take the apron , Miose . Yo ! Help us , Child of our father . Yo !
Help us , Child of our father , we love you . " Silence . In that house there was
wonderment . No one conversed . They were utterly astonished , aware now that
Have you told them ? " She said , “ Yes , they ' ve been told . The man of this
homestead knows what we ' re doing . If he hasn ' t told the other men , then he ' s
the one who has failed . I have told the women . " “ Oh , well then , Big sister , let '