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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There is no story like it : a thing that turned out to be a fire , a forest , a cliff , that
suddenly appeared behind me . I had made a mistake . My wife had told me that I
should travel by the lower road , but I forgot and traveled on the upper one .
They turned their mantles inside out , they turned them inside out ; they turned
them so that the fur was on the inside , the fur of the mantles was next to their skin
- they did not wear them with the fur on the outside . “ Never have we seen such a
He knew that there was nothing that the skin of a mouse could do to this dog . He
turned his mantle so that the fur was on the outside . He was lying at the extreme
end of the house , the others were on the upper side . The dog barked , “ Nhu !