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Folk Tales Globally & by Theme > African Folklore

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message 1: by Manybooks (last edited Mar 11, 2018 11:02AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7672 comments Mod
Please post titles of African folklore in this folder. Titles can be both picture books and longer collections. It would be nice if you could also add a bit about the featured tome, but not absolutely necessary (and as according to group rules, absolutely NO self promotion by authors or publishers).

Both traditional folklore and composed, original tales are acceptable (however, I do want to avoid pure fantasy, and thus, if you are posting an original, a composed fairy tale title, it should at least be based on traditional elements).


message 2: by Manybooks (last edited Mar 11, 2018 10:43AM) (new)

Manybooks | 7672 comments Mod
I am going to make a start with John Steptoe's Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale. It has both a lovely text and brilliant illustrations, basically a combination of the Cinderella thematic, sibling quest and perhaps even the concept of the animal bridegroom (considering that the king turns into a snake as part of the test, which the vain sister fails and the sweet and modest one of course passes).


message 3: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1806 comments The only one I am familiar with is Anansi the Spider and this one falls under the Americas as well. According to Wikipedia Anansi is an Akan folktale character. He often takes the shape of a spider and is considered to be the spirit of all knowledge of stories. He is also one of the most important characters of West African and Caribbean folklore.

He is also known as Ananse, Kwaku Ananse, and Anancy. In the New World he is known as Nancy, Aunt Nancy and Sis' Nancy.[1] He is a spider, but often acts and appears as a man.

The Anansi tales originated from the Akan people of present-day Ghana. The word Ananse is Akan and means "spider". They later spread to West Indies, Suriname, Sierra Leone (where they were introduced by Jamaican Maroons) and the Netherlands Antilles. On Curaçao, Aruba, and Bonaire, he is known as Kompa Nanzi, and his wife as Shi Maria.

Anansi is depicted in many different ways. Sometimes he looks like an ordinary spider, sometimes he is a spider wearing clothes or with a human face and sometimes he looks much more like a human with spider elements, such as eight legs.<./i>



message 4: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Mar 11, 2018 08:53PM) (new)


message 5: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2474 comments Mod
Only One Cowry: A Dahomean Tale by Phillis Gershator

From the African country that used to be called Dahomey (now Benin), comes this tale of an enterprising young man who takes the one cowry offered by the King as a dowry, and keeps trading up until he has a suitable dowry to offer on behalf of the king. The mixed-media collages add cultural and other details to the story.


message 6: by Elspeth (last edited Sep 15, 2018 02:04PM) (new)

Elspeth Hall (elspeth_grace) | 141 comments Outa Karel's Stories South African Folk-Lore Tales

Ikom Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria

Zanzibar Tales: Told by Natives of the East Coast of Africa

Of course all of these are old books I do not know how easily available they are in US. The Tinga Tinga series Why Monkeys Swing in the Trees takes some of these old creation tales and condenses them for picture books - not a bad rendition either.


message 7: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Feb 22, 2021 10:58AM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2474 comments Mod
Ashley Bryan's African Tales, Uh-Huh
The fourteen stories in this collection are some of his favorites, previously published in The Ox of the Wonderful Horns and Other African Folktales; Beat the Story-Drum, Pum-Pum (Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration); and The Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Tales (Coretta Scott King Honor Book).
Includes beautiful black and white and color woodcuts.


message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 189 comments Thanks for this list. One of the most famous tales from Africa is the Sundiata, and there is an excellent picture book on it. Sundiata: Lion King of Mali

According to a youtube channel I sometimes watch, HomeTeam History, the two African tales that should be taught are the Sundiata and Gassire's Lute. There is a good children's version of Gassire's Lute in Famous Myths and Legends of Africa and a good version for adult reference in World Mythology: An Anthology of Great Myths and Epics.


Cheryl has hopes her life will calm down soonish (cherylllr) | 6441 comments Mod
The Cow-Tail Switch and Other West African Stories is an older Newbery book that still reads well. It seems respectful and authentic to me.


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