Oral Literature in Africa
This book is based only on the more obvious sources and is intended as an introduction, not as a comprehensive account. Only some examples are given from a huge field and experts in particular areas will be able to point to exceptions and omissions. Some of the conclusions too may turn out to be controversial; indeed the author hopes to stimulate further publications and study. On each chapter and each section more research could take the subject much further. But in spite of these limitations, the general purpose of the book will be fulfilled to show that African oral literature is a subject worthy of study and interest, and to provoke further research in this fascinating but too often neglected field.
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The perception of African oral literature
The social linguistic and literary background
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actual African Akan animal appear areas aspect associated audience Bantu called characteristic characters chief chorus clear collections comes common considered context culture dance described detailed dirges discussion divination drum effect elaborate element example expression fact figurative finally formal frequent functions further give given Hausa Herskovits idea important individual instance interest involved kind king language least less Limba linguistic literary marked means mentioned mother names narratives narrator nature Nketia occasions occur oral literature original particular performance play poems poetry poets political praise present prose proverbs question recited recorded references religious riddles seems sense significance similar singing social society sometimes songs Sotho Southern speak speech stories style sung texts thing tion told tone traditional usually various verbal verse West whole written Yoruba Zulu