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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He traveled and traveled. Night pushed on, it also traveled. Malejese journeyed a
long time, and he continued to look behind because he was very anxious about
this thing. Finally, when he looked back, he saw it— he saw that it was a fire ...
He traveled, he traveled, and after a time, when the night was separating itself
from the day (because night too was pushing on), he suddenly saw it again. He
again saw the flame. The creature approached; it came to him. And again it
They had been traveling for a short time when one of the boys died. He lay stark
... They journeyed on; they continued their traveling. After a short time, another
boy died. They traveled on, and another boy died a short time later. Four of the ...
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Time Passes the Baby Grows
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