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Showing 81 entries for category: african

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Alice Werner

The Were-Wolf Husband

There was a girl who, after attaining maturity, rejected all the suitors that came for her hand in marriage. This girl’s wish was to have a perfect husband. This decision of hers was supported by her parents who did not want to have a commoner for a son-in-law. One day, a sword dance was organized in the girl’s village and young men came from far and near to take part in the dance. Amongst them was a tall and handsome young man who was the centre of attraction to every young girl. He(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Kiazpora Book Series

A Messob Gift to Lula’s Friend

Lula decides to offer a messob* to her friend as a gift in honor of their friendship. She asks her mother if it is a good idea and her mother agrees. She looks at the messob basket made by her mother and is very excited. Lula knows how to bake and also how to make traditional baskets and she takes some weaving tools from her mother’s kit box for that. The next day Lula looks for palms and straw to weave the traditional basket and her mother permits her to use some of the straw she had kept(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United States of America


Werewere Liking

A New Earth. African Ritual Theatre [Une Nouvelle Terre. Théâtre-Rituel]

The entry is based on the English translation of the play by Siga Asanga, Jeanne N. Dingome, Innocent Futcha and Nalova P. Lyonga under the title: African Ritual Theatre. The Power of Um and A New Earth. San Francisco: International Scholars Publication, 1996, 61-89. This play is a sequel to the 1979 version of the same title, reviewed in this database.It is a play written in three movements. The first movement opens in an imaginary village with a man, Nguimbus, arguing with his wife, Soo, (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Ivory Coast


Ngwa J. Neba

A Royal Turmoil

The novel begins with the Fon* startled by the noise that has awakened him from sleep: lightning, thunder and then a storm; things that are unusual in the dry season. Before this happens, he had a dream in which three of his wives (queens) left his presence and excrete on the path leading up to their houses. In the same dream, he saw the sacred tree of the village in flames and a voice from nowhere telling him to “cleanse the village”. All these led the Fon to the conclusion that all(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about a Giant, and the Cause of Thunder

A long time ago, there lived a man and his wife. He called himself “A-Man–among-Men” (henceforth referred to here as “the pretender”) and was very confident of his strength. One day, his wife went out to draw water from a well but returned with an empty pot because the well was too deep. On her way back, she met a strange woman and her son, who were also on their way to the well. They happened to be family members of the real “A-Man-among-Men” (hencefort(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about a Giant, and the Cause of Thunder

United Kingdom

african Other Traditions


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about a Maiden and the Pumpkin

There was once a rich man called Alabarma, whose wife Watapansa gave birth to a girl called Furaira, whom the man did not wish to raise his hand on. One day Watapansa took Furaira to the bush to relieve herself. There, the child saw a pumpkin and asked her mother to harvest it for her to play with. Her mother refused because it was the lone pumpkin on the plant  so she did not want to harm it. This made Furaira cry, as they returned home. At home, their father asked the cause of her sadness(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about a Maiden and the Pumpkin

United Kingdom

african Other Traditions


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about an Orphan Which Was the Origin of the Saying “The Orphan with a Coat of Skin is Hated, but When It Is a Metal One He Is Honoured”

There was a man who died and left two sons and their mothers, his wives. Time passed and one of the mothers fell sick. No matter the quantity and quality of medicine that she took, there was no amelioration. Realizing that she would die, she swore in the name of God and told the other woman that she was leaving her son for her to take care of. The other woman (i.e. co-wife*) accepted this deal. One day, she died and when the funeral was over, her son started rearing fowls with his half-brother, (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

A Story about Three Youths All Skilled in Certain Things, and How They Used That Skill to Circumvent a Difficulty

Some young men (known as the king of wrestlers, the king of prayer and the king of archers) went to a neighbouring village, which had young girls. On their way, they came across a stream, where the water was so shallow that it barely reached their ankles. They crossed with ease, arrived where the girls were, greeted them and carried off one each. On their way back, they found that the waters of the stream had risen, and it had become so deep that they could not get into it. Since none of them co(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Dapo Adeleke

Adamu and His Horse

Adamu and His Horse is a Children’s fiction, didactic and with thematic thrusts yarned from oral tradition. Adamu is a young and ambitious young man. His parents migrated to Garinlafiya long time ago from their ancestral village where they were relatively wealthy but had to leave because of famine. His father had a retinue of slaves but trusted one. On the night of their departure from Garinlafiya, he tied most of his property and money which were too heavy to carry on the back of his many(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Dapo Adeleke

Adamu and His Horse

Nigeria 2004

african Other Traditions


Izechukwu John Ekeh

Akwugo, the Gods of Our Land

Lebechi was a beautiful girl with many unfortunate experiences, one of which was childlessness. These misfortunes continued even when she became pregnant with her husband, Ajulu. One day, Ugele, Lebechi’s closest friend visited her and just when she was about to take her leave, Lebechi started labour. With the help of Ugele, Lebechi delivered a baby boy. Unfortunately, Lebechi collapsed. Shortly afterwards, Ugele met Ajulu and told him the news about his wife’s putting to birth but A(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Kemonde Wangmonde

An Orphan’s Tears

The novel opens when Ngeh* is walking along the road in Bay City and stubs his toe. An old man, almost the age of his father, appears from nowhere and tells him that in the African traditional belief, hitting one’s toe is a sign of bad luck. Ngeh gives a deaf ear to this old man because he takes him for a swindler, but the old man tells him he will understand someday. Later in a taxi, Ngeh contemplates about their low standard of living and his father’s incapability to pay his school(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Kemonde Wangmonde

An Orphan’s Tears

Cameroon

african Other Traditions


Chinua Achebe

Arrow of God

Arrow of God is a classic tragedy which depicts the fall of a tragic hero caused by both his hubris and outside forces beyond his understanding. The title comes from an Igbo proverb in which a person or event is said to represent the Will of GodEzeulu, the chief priest of the Umuaru clan, wields enormous power over the six federated villages that make up the clan. Part of his role is to store up twelve healthy yams in his barn which he roasts and eats without salt or palm oil immediately he sees(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1964


Ogbeh Peter Ogbeh

Awele and the Stranger

A long time ago, there lived a very powerful lady named Awele. She was an excellent hunter. In one of her hunting expeditions she stumbled across a path which led her to the kingdom of Anye. Upon arrival she came across Prince Azuka who was being attacked by a group of warriors. Awele immediately intervened and helped fight off the prince’s assailants. Prince Azuka was grateful and brought Awele to the palace. King Ezewanyi of Anye immediately offered a part of his kingdom to Awele as a si(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Tchidi Chikere, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji

Blood Sisters

Work in progress(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Tchidi Chikere, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Genevieve Nnaji

Blood Sisters

Nigeria

african Other Traditions


Efua Theodora Sutherland

Edufa

In her three-act play, Efua Sutherland, depicts the life of a traditional and influential Ghanaian man, Edufa, whose pride and stubbornness results to the death of his wife, Ampoma. Set in a little Ghanaian community, the story begins with a prologue that introduces characters and the dramatic events that will ensue. In the prologue, Edufa’s sister, Abena, patiently sits in the courtyard, gathering dew in a black pot. As the prologue reveals, the dew she collects, along the water that she (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1967

COUNTRY: Ghana United Kingdom


Efua Theodora Sutherland

Edufa

Ghana United Kingdom 1967

african Other Traditions


Daniel Orowole Olorunfemi Fagunwa

Forest of a Thousand Daemons: A Hunter’ Saga [Ògbójú Ọdẹ nínú Igbó Irúnmalẹ̀]

The novel opens with the narrator’s encounter with Akara-ogun, the great hunter of the village. Worried that he may die at any moment and that the world might forget him, the hunter asks the narrator to pick up his pen and write down his hunting story. He opens up by talking about his immediate family and his name, Akara-ogun (Compound-of-Spells). Because he has wronged God by getting married to a witch, a spirit is sent to kill him but it spares him and asks him to kill his witch wife. No(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1938

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Emmanuel Matateyou, Elias Mbome

How Dogs Came to Live as Domestic Animals

The original published version of this myth appears in the book: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 58-62) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the written authorization of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to summarize this particular myth because the original version is too long. We are therefor(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

How the Whip and the “Maara” Spoon (a Broken Bit of Calabash) Came to the Haunts of Men

A man had two wives: one of whom had children and the other who did not but stayed with an adopted child. The man despised the wife with children. Whenever there was hunger, he went to the bush and brought food for the childless wife. One day he went to the bush and brought twenty guinea-fowl’s eggs and gave the largest to the wife with children. She boiled it and gave it to her children. Another day arrived and the woman with children went to the bush and brought corn, which she stirred i(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Egbe Ifie

Iseregwe

This myth is found in: Marriage with Gods and Goddesses (in Classical and African Myths) by Egbe Ifie, published in Ibadan by End-Time Publishing House in 1999 (pp.1-4), ISBN: 978-2163-01-5. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.The myth of Iseregwe is about a couple who lives in a distant village and has two beautiful daughters: Omokatifi and Iseregwe. The older one, in spite of her pompous and unpleasant be(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Nneka Bennett, Robin Bernard

Juma and the Honey Guide: An African Story

The story begins with Bakari telling his son Juma that the honey-guide bird is calling for him and he will follow him to bring home a treat. Juma opts to follow his father and his father accepts, promising to teach him how to get honey. Both father and son then follow the singing bird out of the village into the forest and walk past a number of different kinds of wildlife: giraffes, ostriches, zebras and a family of warthogs. Finally, they come to a group of yellow acacia trees beside a waterhol(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United States of America


Nneka Bennett, Robin Bernard

Juma and the Honey Guide: An African Story

United States of America

african Other Traditions


Mfone Nde-Zama

Just Another Woman: A Play with an Introduction by Peter Suh Tangie

Just Another Woman is a play about children's rights – a topic which frightens most traditional parents in Cameroon/Africa who think that the modern child is stubborn, bad and rotten with no hope for redemption. The fears of such parents (and they are many of them in the traditional communities in Cameroon) stem from the fact that they think old customs and traditions that they hold dear and see as the best way of life are threatened. The author challenges this old-fashion mentality be(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Clyde W. Ford

Kimanaueze

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 61-67), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.The hero, Kimanaueze tells his father he would marry no one else but the daughter of King Sun and Queen Moon. So, he writes a letter to King Sun and Queen Moon. He gives it(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Angola


Clyde W. Ford

Kintu

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, p. 60), ISBN 0-553-10544-2.  This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.Kintu, the super-hero arrives on earth with a cow as his only source of food. Later, Nmabi, daughter of the sky god Gulu visits the earth and immediately falls for Kintu.(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Uganda


Verna Aardema, Joe Cepeda

Koi and the Kola Nuts: A Tale from Liberia

Koi the youngest son of Chief Ogumefu does not have any share of the royal possessions when the old Wise Man shares them after the chief dies. Being a hunter, Koi arrives from the forest and finds his three older brothers hurrying off with their inherited animals and ivory. Koi asks the old Wise Man for his own share, but the old man just stares at him. Then the old man finds a little kola nut* tree and hands it over to Koi. Koi feels cheated but after a while he realises that he can make someth(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United States of America


Verna Aardema, Joe Cepeda

Koi and the Kola Nuts: A Tale from Liberia

United States of America

african Other Traditions


Egbe Ifie

Kruku

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Ifie's Marriage with Gods and Goddesses: In Classical and African Myths published by End-time Publishing House Ltd, Ibadan, 1999: pp 30-34. This is a summary of the myth. The full text can be read in the book cited above.A long time ago, in the region of Aka, in the Delta State of Nigeria, a young man named Kruku embarked on a journey to the land of immortals or Erivwin after the sacrificial death of his parents. Overwhelmed by the (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Clyde W. Ford

Kwasi Benefo

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 21-27.), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.Kwasi Benefo, a young Asante man in Ghana, by dint of hard work has acquired a lot of wealth but is unable to find a wife and have children. Finally, after a long search a(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon Ghana


Alice Werner

Kwege and Bahati

Long time ago a man got married to Mulamuwingu of the Uwingu* clan. Mulamuwingu’s new home was a two-day journey away from her brother’s (Muwingu) home. The man and Mulamuwingu had a son and named him Kwege. When the man died, the Mulamuwingu inherited slave called Bahati. The society was taboo ridden. One of the taboos was that Mulamuwingu should never allow rain water to touch her, because she was an off-spring of the sky God. If it did touch her, she would die immediately. One day(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

Kwege and Bahati

United Kingdom

african Other Traditions


Alice Werner

Liongo Fumo

The myth of Liongo Fumo* is about a Swahili poet, warrior, hero, who braved diverse barriers till his death. He was a tall and brave man, whose younger brother, Shah Daudi Mringwari, the Sultan of Pate, hated him. Their polygamous father, Shaka Mashah, favoured the later because the former’s mother was more miserable. However, Liongo’s extraordinary stature and fighting and poetic skills gained the attention of many. His brother’s jealousy led him to plot to get rid of him, in (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Clyde W. Ford

Lituolone

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 36-37), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.A huge shapeless monster, called Kammapa has swallowed all the inhabitants of the land except one – a pregnant woman. She escapes into hiding and gives birth without (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Angola


Onyeka Opara

Lost in the African Forest of Zuki

Young Amira and her family live in the village of Zuki. She does all her house chores and equally assists her mother in the kitchen. She loves and is being loved by all in the house. She becomes a good friend of stubborn Bozo, when she challenges her. Bozo is so stubborn and hard-headed that no form of punishment from her parents can restrain her. Amira's parents do not like their daughter making friends with the disrespectful and hard-headed Bozo. But Amira admires Bozo for her adventurousn(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United States of America


Ruby Yayra Goka, Edmund Opare

Mama’s Amazing Cover Cloth

Mama uses her cover cloth (a piece of cloth that remains after the seamstress has sewn the kaba*) for multiple purposes. These uses include: tying the cloth around her waist or head, protecting a newborn baby from the scorching sun, strapping the baby on her back, serving as a support to carry heavy objects as well as a bank where she saves money, and a mat on which the baby is laid to sleep. Most importantly, it is used by both men, women and children to perform different types of dances and as(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Ghana


Clyde W. Ford

Miseke and Thunder Man

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp.55-59), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.Among the Chaga people, a man called Kwisaba, goes to a distant war and leaves his pregnant wife alone at home. She falls so seriously ill that she cannot even make a fire t(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Tanzania


Emmanuel Matateyou, Andiensa Yuh

Mitofchuofoyn – Wiser than the King

The original published version of this myth appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 108-116) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the written authorization of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to summarize this particular myth because the original version is too long. We are therefore (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Andiensa Yuh

Mitofchuofoyn – Wiser than the King

Cameroon

african Other Traditions


Yaël Farber

Molora

Klytemnestra appears before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and admits murdering her husband. She considers the murder as an act of bravery, and her husband’s destiny. Her daughter, Elektra, then takes the floor and expresses her displeasure and indignation at her mother’s deeds. Both mother and daughter are now committed to the process of unearthing the past. They take us to a period when Elektra was seven years old. The murder is re-enacted. Because of the brutal kill(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2008

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Amos Tutuola

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Just like his first novel, The Palm-wine Drinkard, Amos Tutuola’s second novel, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts has its roots in the folkloric oral tradition of the Yoruba tribe of the Southwest of Nigeria. The author uses the first person narrative technique to tell his story set in the jungle inhabited by goblins and other weird and fantastic monsters acting in the spiritual realm. As common in folklores, the basic themes of the novel are focussed around didactic instructions to (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1954


Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon, Patricia C. McKissack

Never Forgotten

The story opens with a griot’s warning that white folks will invade Africa, capture blacks, and sell them as goods. He recounts the story of Dinga, a well-respected blacksmith who, after losing his beloved wife, decides to raise his newborn baby boy all by himself. Although elderly women in the village advise him to remarry or give out his son as requires their culture and tradition, Dinga rather dedicates his son to the Mother Elements (the goddess of the earth, the goddess of the wind, t(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United States of America


Diane Dillon, Leo Dillon, Patricia C. McKissack

Never Forgotten

United States of America

african Other Traditions


Clyde W. Ford

Obatala

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 148-155), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.In the beginning, a single god-head called Orisa-nla goes downhill when it is smashed into pieces with a rolling stone pushed down by his servant, Atunda. The pieces of t(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon Nigeria


Thierry Ntamack

On the Road of an Angel [Sur la route d’un ange]

On the Road of an Angel is a very popular Cameroonian movie which confirms the well-known assertion that ‘God walks straight on crooked lines’. The movie opens with Mrs Beaufia, the CEO of a company, reciting a Christian prayer (Holy Mary) in the native language, Ewondo*. In front of her are a series of candle lights. She is praying to God for the peaceful ascent of her late daughters’ soul in heaven. In the next scene, we are introduced to Tony, the main protagonist in the sto(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Adebayo Tijani

Osun Sengese

Osun was a very beautiful Yoruba girl who was loved and admired by many people in her village. She was also an excellent hairdresser and most women flocked to her to get their hair done. Osun fell in love with Oluodemi, whom she finally married. Long after their marriage Osun could not conceive but her husband was patient in waiting for the gods to bless their marriage with the fruit of the womb. One day, Osun was on her way to the stream when she started querying the gods for not blessing her w(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


John Pepper Clark

Ozidi

In Ozidi, J. P. Clark depicts a series of crises in the state of Orua. The play begins with the Story-Teller, who reminiscences the death of six kings in four years in the state of Orua. The Story-Teller also relates the need for a new king on the vacant throne. The council of elders of the land (Ofe, The Short, Azezabife, The Skeleton, Agbogidi, The Nude and Oguaran, The Giant) do not listen to the elders’ plea that time be taken to select a new king. On their own decision, they proceed w(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1966

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


John Pepper Clark

Ozidi

United Kingdom 1966

african Other Traditions


Gabriel Okey Okonkwo, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Sacrifice of Hope: Part I and II

The movie Sacrifice of Hope is a sequel of the Nigerian movie Sacrifice of Tears. This sequel of the movie Sacrifice of Tears begins with Ifeoma’s father (Mazi Uche) crying and cursing at Amadioha, the god of Buchi for afflicting strange illnesses and happenings on the land and especially on his wife Ebele (Ifeoma’s mother). He cries in confusion and decides to seek answers from a renowned chief priest Agogho in Omabra village, a faraway land. His daughter Ifeoma cries and tries(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Gabriel Okey Okonkwo, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Sacrifice of Hope: Part I and II

Nigeria

african Other Traditions


Gabriel Okey Okonkwo, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Sacrifice of Tears: Part I and II

This movie is a prequel of the movie Sacrifice of Hope I & II. Part I starts with tears in Buchi as Mazi Uche shouts at his wife Ebele for not being able to bear him a child after so many years of marriage like his fellow elders. He then threatens to introduce another wife to the family. Ebele, goes and prays to Amadioha, the god of Buchi and hopes he listens to her this time as she attempts to avoid the inclusion of another wife.The next scene opens in the Okuoha village where the Igwe just(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Gabriel Okey Okonkwo, Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Sacrifice of Tears: Part I and II

Nigeria

african Other Traditions


Nonso Ekene Okonkwo

Scorpion God & Ikenga (the Greatest Warrior) Part 1 & 2

Ikenga was the most powerful and greatest warrior in the entire Igbo Kingdom. He was immensely favoured by Amadioha (The god of gods) to whom Ikenga owed his greatness and reputation. In battle, Ikenga fought mortals and immortals alike, challenged gods, and feared no deity. It was common knowledge that Ikenga’s back had never touched the earth, in any fight. His name and praises were on every lip and his wrestling titles were countless. Ikenga was equally an amiable family man who provide(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Verna Aardema, Nancy L. Clouse

Sebgugugu the Glutton: A Bantu Tale from Rwanda

Sebgugugu is a poor man who lives in a hut with his wife, Unanana, and their two sons, Zitu and Zabala. All they own is one cow named Gitale, on whose milk the sons feed. One fateful day Unanana leaves to tend her garden in the forest. A bird comes around their hut and Sebgugugu is convinced that its chirping is a message from Imana, the God of Rwanda. He tells his wife that if he kills the cow, they will have a hundred more. But she is not convinced and warns him not to do anything foolish. He (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United States of America


Verna Aardema, Nancy L. Clouse

Sebgugugu the Glutton: A Bantu Tale from Rwanda

United States of America

african Other Traditions


Tololwa Marti Mollel, Linda Saport

Subira Subira

A few months after the death of their mother, Tatu’s father makes her understand that she must take on the responsibility of caring for Maulidi, her younger sibling, before and after school, while he is at work. Maulidi, naughty and unruly as he is, disobeys and fights Tatu at every turn: he refuses to walk to school with Tatu and refuses to do the chores at home after school. Tatu complains to their father who gives her a sound scolding, but this does not help as Maulidi’s fights wi(...)

african

COUNTRY: United States of America


Tololwa Marti Mollel, Linda Saport

Subira Subira

United States of America

african


Clyde W. Ford

Sudika-Mbambi: The Hero Child Who Saved His Tribe

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 41-45), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.A certain Ambundu man, Kimanaueze goes to Luwanda to find work leaving behind his old father and young wife. While he is away, warriors from an enemy tribe, Makishi invade (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Angola


Wole Soyinka

The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite

Attention:+18 yearsSoyinka’s Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite, an adaptation of Euripides’ Bacchae, hovers around the tragic demise of the proud king of Thebes (presented as a colonial society, marked by slavery in the text), King Pentheus, an oppressive tyrant, who, because of his pride, objects to the god of wine, Dionysus (presented as a revolutionary leader). As a result, he is punished by the god. Soyinka’s play commences with Dionysus, also called Bacchus, who clear(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1974

COUNTRY: United States of America


Elechi Amadi

The Concubine

Attention:+18 yearsThe story takes place in Omokachi, a small Nigerian village comprising eleven family groups, each family group occupies a cluster of compounds and every compound has a path bursting into the main road running across the village. Emenike lives at Omokachi and is married to Ihuoma, a beautiful woman from another village, known as Omigwe, who is admired by the entire community because of her exemplary character. They have three children. Emenike has a disagreement with anoth(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1966

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Kester Onuigbo

The Deity of Umudike Kingdom

The story is about the King of Umudike, a man who preferred female children and was destined to attract evil visitors to his land. One evening, the King was musing over the fate of his kingdom when his son, the Prince, entered and offered him palm wine. That same night, many different sources, including the Deity (Merima), would prophesize the visit of evil strangers to the village who intended to destroy the King and the villagers. When the villagers learned about this, they were gripped with f(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Baba Aoudou Hervé

The Faces of Gold [Les visages de l'or]

The novel opens with a question contained in the first chapter. This question is: what is gold? Ndinga, the main character, is a peasant farmer of forty years, who ended his studies at Primary School. One morning, he took game he had killed for sale at the Sub Divisional Officer's residence. Ndinga has never set foot in the Sub Divisional Officer's house, which has the reputation as the most beautiful place in the village. The Sub Divisional Officer buys his hedgehog at 3,000 franc CFA ((...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2015

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Ben Okri

The Famished Road

The Famished Road is about the life of an abiku (spirit child), Azaro, in the ghetto of an unnamed city. At the beginning of the novel, Azaro is a spirit child who lives in the spirit world also called the land of the beginning. It is a land of happiness and joy, where all unborn spirits live before they are incarnated into human bodies. In this land, exists a group called the spirit companions (Abikus), who, in order to enjoy the privileges of the spirit world forever, make a pact never to live(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1991

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Ben Okri

The Famished Road

United Kingdom 1991

african Other Traditions


Robert Sutherland Rattray, Maalam Shaihu

The Gaawoo-tree and the Maiden, and the First Person Who Ever Went Mad

A man named Umaru possessed two wives: Mowa and Baura. Both had girl children. Mowa always swept the compound and gave her daughter the dirt to throw away and she always threw the dirt where the gawo-tree was located. The tree had a part that looked like a human’s navel. This part stimulated the girl’s curiosity every time she threw dirt there and she would always stand there and say "The gawo-tree with the navel." One day, she struck a mark on the tree, and it started foll(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

The Girl Who Married a Lion

Werner narrates the union between a were-lion (sisimwe) and a human. The lion, who appeared as a man, arrived in the village and married a young girl. After some time, they had a child and the husband proposed that they go and see his parents. The girl’s brother accompanied them. As they journeyed the first day, the man used thorn-bush to build a kraal (mutanda) for them to rest. After the building, he told them he was going fishing. In his absence, the bride’s brother mocked the gro(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Alice Werner

The Girls Who Wanted New Teeth

This myth narrates the life of a girl whose mother died and left her to be catered for by her stepmother. However, she went through mistreatments from this stepmother. It was an illusion for her to measure up to her friends who had the freedom to go out and get new teeth*. Envious of her friends who returned with their sparkling new teeth, she decided to go for hers. She completed her house chores, and without anyone noticing her, left. On her way, she met a hyena and a lion that so much admired(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Ola Rotimi

The Gods Are Not to Blame

A first baby, male, is born to king Adetusa and Queen Ojuola of Kutuje. As tradition demands, they take him to the shrine of Ogun for blessings and for the divination of his future. Baba Fakunle, a purblind great seer who is called in for the divination pronounces: “This boy, he will kill his father and then marry his mother”. To avoid these evil events in the land, and with the consent of the parents, the priest of Ogun ties the boy’s legs with a string of cowries and hands hi(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Athol Lannigan Fugard, John Kani, Winston Ntshona

The Island

The play begins with two prisoners, John and Winston, prisoners in a cell on an Island. They undergo torture and mutilation every day, while in chains. However, they resolve to practice camaraderie as a source of relief. John caters for Winston, while the latter takes care of the former’s wounds. As they languish in misery within the confines of the cell, they take a trip down memory lane to their blissful boyish days; the time they spent at the beach, and their early incineration days in (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1974

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Athol Lannigan Fugard, John Kani, Winston Ntshona

The Island

United Kingdom 1974

african Other Traditions


Elphinstone Dayrell

The King and the Ju Ju Tree

King Udo Ubok Udom, a very popular king, lived in the land of Itam and ruled over an inland town that had no river. He was a very committed husband and father to his wife and daughter, the latter of whom was now a full-grown and a pleasant-looking girl. King Udo was so fond of her that he considered her the apple of his eye. Having been away for two years, the king realized that the spring behind his house where he usually had his bath had been occupied by a gigantic tree. Consequently, he no lo(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Elphinstone Dayrell

The King and the Ju Ju Tree

United Kingdom

african Other Traditions


Baba Wagué Diakité

The Magic Gourd

The story begins with Brother Rabbit, who wanders around the parched country in search of food to feed his family who were starving because of a drought. While on his journey, he runs into a chameleon that is stuck in a thorny bush. The chameleon calls out for his help and promises to reward him well if he comes to its rescue. Rabbit rescues Chameleon and in return, Chameleon rewards his kindness with a magic gourd that fills up with anything that its owner desires and requests.Overwhelmed by th(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United States of America


Baba Wagué Diakité

The Magic Gourd

United States of America

african Other Traditions


Efua Theodora Sutherland

The Marriage of Anansewa

The Marriage of Anansewa, a reworking of Ghanaian folk-theatre presented through story-telling, brings into limelight the story of Anansewa, a beautiful Akan girl, whose father, Kwaku Ananse, intends to give her away to different suitors for his personal gain. Set in Ananse’s house, the four-act play begins with Ananse who writes letters to his daughter’s suitors. These letters are addressed to Chief Sapaase, Chief Akata (Togbe Klu IV), Chief of the Mines and Chief-who-is-chief. The (...)

african

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Efua Theodora Sutherland

The Marriage of Anansewa

United Kingdom

african


Clyde W. Ford

The Miracle Worker

The full text of this myth is found in: The Hero with an African Face: Mythic Wisdom of Traditional Africa by Clyde W. Ford, in the United States and Canada by Bantam Books, 1999, pp. 96-101.), ISBN 0-553-10544-2. This is only a brief summary of the story. The full text of the myth and others can be read in the book cited above.A young man fails to find any damsel beautiful enough to be his wife in his village. So, he travels to a distant village in search of a wife against the counsel of his el(...)

african Other Traditions


Olajire Olanlokun

The Missing Calabash

Barely after the coronation of Adekambi, the new and promising king of Opela, the village experiences panic as a result of the absence of one the symbols of royalty, the calabash. Chief Koya, one of the elders of Idofin Council, out of greed and bad faith, steals the calabash. With the disappearance of the calabash, the new king can no longer rule effectively and the whole royal family is depressed. While the calabash is in the custody of Chief Koya, he finds neither peace nor sleep as it consta(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Olajire Olanlokun

The Missing Calabash

Nigeria

african Other Traditions


Egbe Ifie

The Myth of Aziza

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Ifie's Marriage with Gods and Goddesses: in Classical and African Myths published by End-time Publishing House Ltd, Ibadan, 1999: pp 35-37. This is a summary of the myth. The full text can be read in the book cited above.Aziza was born with physical grace. His handsomeness was praised in songs and hymns all over the countryside. This made him grow up with the certitude that he had extraordinary assets. He became proud and lazy. When he got ma(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Egbe Ifie

The Myth of Etarunyarha

The original version of this myth appears in Egbe Ifie’s Marriage with Gods and Goddesses: in Classical and African Myths published by End-time Publishing House Ltd, Ibadan, 1999: pp 34 and 35. This is a summary of the myth. The full text can be read in the book cited above.Etarunyarha and his wife virtually subsisted on good men’s charity. One day, as Etarunyarha was strolling on the sandy bank of the river, thinking of how to bring his family out of poverty, he came across a lady w(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Richard Whitaker

The Odyssey of Homer: A Southern African Translation

The epic begins with the growth of Telemakhos, the epic hero, Odysseus’ son. Two issues occupy the hero’s son: the readiness to welcome his father’s return from adventurous journeys and his preparedness to fight intruding enemies. Assisted by the goddess Athene, the young hero’s development into manhood is secured. Aware of the backup, Telemakhos defies his enemies at home and goes out for his own adventures in Sparta, with one goal: to look for his father. The epic shift(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2017

COUNTRY: Republic of South Africa


Emmanuel Matateyou, Elias Mbome

The Origin of the Dry and Rainy Seasons

This is a reprint, with slight syntax changes, of the story as it appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 46-48) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. We have the permission of the publisher and the author to publish up to 10 myths in this collection in the context of our project on “Our Mythical Childhood…”. We are therefore thankful to The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd and Professor Mataeyou for granting us this (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Amos Tutuola

The Palm-Wine Drinkard

The narrator, Drinkard, whose only food is palm-wine which he drinks from morning till night in the company of his many friends, does no other job except palm-wine drinking. Because of his addiction to palm-wine drinking, his father employs a professional tapster whose only job is to provide palm-wine for Drinkard. Drinkard explains that he started drinking palm-wine at the age ten. Drinkard’s father soon dies and six months after, the tapper too dies having fallen from a palm-tree in the (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1952

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Werewere Liking

The Power of Um [La Puissance de Um]

Ntep Iliga dies in the presence of his wife, Ngond Libii Ntep Iliga (which means slave woman of Ntep Iliga). She sets the stage for mourning while singing funeral songs and addressing a calabash of wine whose contents she likens to her own life: “[s]tatic, but coiled up, ready to overflow from the calabash like you… boiling with rage, enclosed in a much too small container” (28). She calls in her eldest son Ntep Ntep, informs him that his father is dead at last, and asks him t(...)

african

COUNTRY: Ivory Coast


Pepetela [Pen-name of Artur Carlos Maurício Pestana dos Santos]

The Return of the Water Spirit

The Return of the Water Spirit presents a city called Luanda, Angola wherein the population has been witnessing a series of buildings collapsing one after another. The very first building collapse happens at Kinaxixi square, after the wedding of Joao Evangelista, son of Mateus Evangelista and grandson of Rosario Evangelista, a surname that defines their religious background. Unlike his predecessors who were pastors in an Evangelical church at Huambo, Joao desired to be an engineer, but since he (...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2002

COUNTRY: Angola


Pepetela [Pen-name of Artur Carlos Maurício Pestana dos Santos]

The Return of the Water Spirit

Angola 2002

african Other Traditions


Kalu Anya

The Stubborn Generals

The Stubborn Generals is a modern Nigerian movie based on the story of a poor and naïve young woman, who gives birth to identical female triplets by name Diana, Agatha, and Cassandra. Since having children out of wedlock is considered a taboo in this society, the triplets are taken from her and sent to three different places where they grow up, having the same physical features but different character traits. However, they all share an imposing and commanding trait—courageous and dari(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Kalu Anya

The Stubborn Generals

Nigeria 2013

african Other Traditions


Jean Paul Tueche

The Succession of Wabo Defo [La succession de Wabo Defo]

The succession of Wabo Defo has been presented many times on CRTV (Cameroon Radio and Television), and it is also available online on YouTube. It is also a household film in Cameroon because the issues it raises are common practices across Cameroon.The succession of Wabo Defo is a film made to warn those who try to buy traditional titles in traditional Cameroonian villages in a bid to have both wealth and honor. The film is all about the necessity to understand that a child who is prosperous and(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1990

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Alice Werner

The Swallowing Monster

The summary refers to the legend Khodumodumo, or Kammapa, a version of the Swallowing Monster myth according to the Basuto people (pp. 208-209)*.The swallowing monster is a South African myth which tells the story of a huge amorphous monster called Khodumodumo or Kammapa**, that swallows a whole village and is killed by a little heroic boy. According to the myth, the monster appeared in numerous villages and swallowed everything and people that stood on its way: cattle, goats, fowls and humans. (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Margaret I. Ogumefu (Baumann) [Marguerite Lees]

The Twin Brothers

King Ajaka, a Yoruba King had twins with his wife and he refused to kill the kids and their mother, though their tradition prohibited the keeping of twins. Rather, he sent one of his nobles to keep them in the forest. The twins grew up in the forest. They were identical in a way that when one started a phrase, the other completed it. Years passed by and their mother grew old. Before she died, she revealed their history to them. This angered the twins and they wished that the laws of their c(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: United Kingdom


Margaret I. Ogumefu (Baumann) [Marguerite Lees]

The Twin Brothers

United Kingdom

african Other Traditions


Theresia Abula, Emmanuel Matateyou

The Unfaithful Wife

The original published version of this myth appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 82-87) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the written authorization of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to modify the syntax of this particular myth and to make it shorter. We are therefore very than(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Theresia Abula, Emmanuel Matateyou

The Unfaithful Wife

Cameroon

african Other Traditions


Tayeb Salih

The Wedding of Zein [عرس الزين (Urs' al-Zayn)]

The story opens with news of Zein’s wedding that comes as a surprise to everyone; the villagers all marvel at how an ugly person like Zein, who has only two remaining teeth, could marry the village belle Ni’ma.Through a flashback, Zein’s childhood is exposed. Immediately after his birth, it is said, the infant Zein did not cry as every child is expected to do at birth, but burst out into laughter, and lost almost all his teeth at the age of six. He had a strange natural charm t(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Lebanon


Alan Paton

Too Late the Phalarope

The story opens with the narrator, Aunt Sophie, who presents to us Pieter Van Vlaanderen, a police officer. He is a strange human being because he has two distinct personalities: he is a great, brave and strong man, and tender and gentle as a girl. The narration moves to Pretorius Street where Pieter catches Dick, a white boy, attempting to woe Stephanie, a black girl – something which is against the Immorality Act, an act which prohibits black and white relationships in South Africa at th(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 1996

COUNTRY: Republic of South Africa United States of America


Alan Paton

Too Late the Phalarope

Republic of South Africa United States of America 1996

african Other Traditions


Joseph Eboa, Emmanuel Matateyou

Why Moon and Sun Live in Sky

The original published version of this myth appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 41-43) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the permission of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to summarize this particular myth. We are therefore very thankful to The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd and Professor M(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Emmanuel Matateyou, Martin Njoya

Why People Die and Do Not Come Back

The original published version of this myth appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 31-33) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. Although we have the written authorization of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”., we have chosen to summarize this particular myth because the original version is too long. We are therefore ve(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joe Tabi Ekema, Emmanuel Matateyou

Why the Thumb is Short

This is a reprint of the story as it appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 49-50) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. We have the permission of the publisher and the author to publish up to 10 myths in this collection in the context of our project on “Our Mythical Childhood…”. We are therefore thankful to The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd and Professor Mataeyou for granting us this permission.Many, many, many y(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Joe Tabi Ekema, Emmanuel Matateyou

Why the Thumb is Short

Cameroon

african Other Traditions


Pa Buweh , Emmanuel Matateyou

Why Tortoise Has a Cracked Shell

This is a slightly modified version of the story as it appears in: An Anthology of Myths, Legends and Folktales from Cameroon by Emmanuel Matateyou, published in 1997 (pp. 63-65) by The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd. We have permission of the publisher and the author to reprint up to 10 myths in the collection for our research on “Our Mythical Childhood…”. We are therefore very thankful to The Edwin Mellen Press Ltd and Professor Matateyou for granting us this permission.Once upon a (...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Cameroon


Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan

Women of Owu

Anlugbua, the progenitor of the Yoruba race, and some two women are lamenting the fall of the great city of Owu Ipole after their city has been ransacked, and their husbands killed, and when the rest of family members are about to be taken away as slaves. The previous night King Oba Akinjobi escaped from the land, along his notables, but without his family. As a result, the allied forces from Ijebu killed all the rest of the men and children back at home and enslaved their wives. Queen Erel(...)

african Other Traditions

YEAR: 2006

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Babafemi Adeyemi Osofisan

Women of Owu

Nigeria 2006

african Other Traditions


Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo

Zoba and his Gang

The story opens with Zoba, the protagonist, standing in front of his family house and watching some group of boys of his age play football. He longs to play with them but he cannot because his mother wants him to sell vegetables to his neighbours and to carry some around from house to house for sale. Zoba, his mother and two sisters live in a village called Koko, his mother is a trader and his father was a fisherman and a painter before he died. Zoba’s suffering began after his father&rsqu(...)

african Other Traditions

COUNTRY: Nigeria


Akachi Adimora Ezeigbo

Zoba and his Gang

Nigeria

african Other Traditions