West African Folktales

ISBN 13: 9780810109933

West African Folktales

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9780810109933: West African Folktales
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These 123 tales reflect the rich oral tradition of West African folklore. Playful and sly, they teem with talking animals and shape-shifting tricksters, with pacts and promises made and broken, and with impossible deeds done through chicanery and magic. These tales deal with themes common throughout West Africa and the world. Indeed, American readers will recognize such characters as Brer Rabbit and the "tar baby," which had their roots in the folklore of this region. Because there is no overlay of Western values, however, some of the morals may surprise the unsuspecting reader—murder and polygamy, cannibalism and cunning, witchcraft and revenge spin matter-of-factly throughout the stories.

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These 123 tales reflect the rich oral tradition of West African folklore. This collection is unique in that the translations preserve the simplicity and directness of the original tales. No attempt was made to doctor them for Western sensitivities or to alter or expand them.

From Publishers Weekly:

Covetous of God who was the sole subject of all stories, a clever spider named Anaanu proposed a wager. If he could present God with a swarm of bees, a python and a leopard, he would prove himself worthy of becoming a subject of stories as well. Craftily appealing to each creature's sense of self-importance, Anaanu not only succeeded in his task but became a kind of Prometheus of storytelling. Appropriately, Anaanu, also known as Ananse, emerges as the hero of this volume's 123 tales, collected and translated by the late Berry, a former Northwestern linguistics professor, from the Akan culture of Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. Although many tales involve other characters and range from serving as parables about jealousy to practical guides for polygamists, first and foremost they take great pleasure in the act of storytelling. While Spears ( The Slang and Jargon of Drugs and Drink ) and Berry have admirably avoided Americanizing these tales, many appear to prefigure our own Uncle Remus tales and several--about loquacious newborns--even seem distant precursors to supermaket tabloid tales of the strange but ``true.'' Taken together, these pk West African folktales demonstrate with vast charm how a culture's storytelling both preserves it and transcends it.

Copyright 1991 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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9780810109797: West African Folktales

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ISBN 10:  0810109794 ISBN 13:  9780810109797
Publisher: Northwestern University Press, 1991
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Book Description Northwestern University Press, United States, 1991. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. These 123 tales reflect the rich oral tradition of West African folklore. Playful and sly, they teem with talking animals and shape-shifting tricksters, with pacts and promises made and broken, and with impossible deeds done through chicanery and magic. These tales deal with themes common throughout West Africa and the world. Indeed, American readers will recognize such characters as Brer Rabbit and the "tar baby," which had their roots in the folklore of this region. Because there is no overlay of Western values, however, some of the morals may surprise the unsuspecting reader--murder and polygamy, cannibalism and cunning, witchcraft and revenge spin matter-of-factly throughout the stories. Seller Inventory # FLT9780810109933

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Book Description Northwestern University Press, United States, 1991. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. These 123 tales reflect the rich oral tradition of West African folklore. Playful and sly, they teem with talking animals and shape-shifting tricksters, with pacts and promises made and broken, and with impossible deeds done through chicanery and magic. These tales deal with themes common throughout West Africa and the world. Indeed, American readers will recognize such characters as Brer Rabbit and the tar baby, which had their roots in the folklore of this region. Because there is no overlay of Western values, however, some of the morals may surprise the unsuspecting reader--murder and polygamy, cannibalism and cunning, witchcraft and revenge spin matter-of-factly throughout the stories. Seller Inventory # FLT9780810109933

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Book Description Northwestern University Press, United States, 1991. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. These 123 tales reflect the rich oral tradition of West African folklore. Playful and sly, they teem with talking animals and shape-shifting tricksters, with pacts and promises made and broken, and with impossible deeds done through chicanery and magic. These tales deal with themes common throughout West Africa and the world. Indeed, American readers will recognize such characters as Brer Rabbit and the "tar baby," which had their roots in the folklore of this region. Because there is no overlay of Western values, however, some of the morals may surprise the unsuspecting reader--murder and polygamy, cannibalism and cunning, witchcraft and revenge spin matter-of-factly throughout the stories. Seller Inventory # BTE9780810109933

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