In a world where new technologies are being developed at a dizzying pace, how can we best approach oral genres that represent heritage? Taking an innovative and interdisciplinary approach, this volume explores the idea of sharing as a model to construct and disseminate the knowledge of literary heritage with the people who are represented by and in it.
This book offers an English translation of Ibonia, a spellbinding tale of old Madagascar. Recorded when the Malagasy people were first experiencing European contact, Ibonia proclaims the power of the ancestors against the foreigner. Its fairytale elements link it with European folktales, but the story is nonetheless very much a product of Madagascar. Inflating the folktale form to epic proportions, it combines African-style praise poetry with Indonesian-style riddles and poems. Through Ibonia, Lee Haring expertly helps readers to understand the very nature of folktales, connecting this exotic narrative with fundamental questions not only of anthropology but also of literary criticism.
A collection and analysis of the oral narrative traditions of northern Zambia, this innovative book integrates audio and video recordings into the text. Robert Cancel’s critical interpretation, meanwhile, makes his work a much-needed addition to the slender corpus of African folklore studies dealing with storytelling performance. Cancel threads his way between the complex demands of African fieldwork studies, folklore theory, narrative modes, reflexive description and documentation, and brings to the reader a vivid, varied and instructive array of performances. His study tells us not only about storytelling but sheds light on the study of oral literatures throughout Africa and beyond.
Thanks to ever-greater digital connectivity, interest in oral traditions has grown beyond that of researcher and research subject to include a widening pool of global users. This book explores the political repercussions of studying marginalised languages; the role of online tools in ensuring responsible access to sensitive cultural materials; and ways of ensuring that when digital documents are created, they are not fossilized as a consequence of being archived. This book is an essential guide and handbook for ethnographers, field linguists, community activists, curators, archivists, librarians, and all who connect with indigenous communities to document and preserve oral traditions.
Ruth Finnegan’s Oral Literature in Africa was first published in 1970, and since then has been widely praised as one of the most important books in its field. Based on years of fieldwork, the study traces the history of storytelling across the continent of Africa. This revised edition makes Finnegan’s ground-breaking research available to the next generation of scholars. It includes a new introduction, additional images and an updated bibliography, as well as its original chapters on poetry, prose, ‘drum language’ and drama, and an overview of the social, linguistic and historical background of oral literature in Africa.