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African Books > African Folktales, African Myths/Legends, & The Orphan Girl

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message 1: by Baiyina (new)

Baiyina Muhammad | 9 comments In the african folktale book, I think its quite interesting how the stories can incorporate good morals into completely ridiculous stories. In some of the stories, I read there were lots of animals talking to each other and having human personalitys. In All these stories they have a moral. One story i read had the plot of giant men who preyed on women so that the giants would eat there wifes because in the book giants ate humans. The moral of the story is that women should never run off with a man that their parents haven't approved off. I mean I think that it so crazy that some one would make a story like that to remind women to seek men that their parents approve. Of course the story is not true, but the story really does have a good moral tho!!! Like if i was a child and I read that story I would have taken it seriously and never got interested in any man that my mom didnt like. What do you think? Do you think its alright for people to write stories that have falsness in them in order to teach a lesson? Have some of the fables and folklore given you a new prospective of any thing that might have confused you before you read the stories?


message 2: by Amandla (last edited Apr 27, 2010 06:11PM) (new)

Amandla Adams | 18 comments Baiyina wrote: "What do you think? Do you think its alright for people to write stories that have falsness in them in order to teach a lesson? Have some of the fables and folklore given you a new prospective of any thing that might have confused you before you read the stories?"

I feel the same way about these books I mean they even try to explain other things like why do monkey's hang around in trees? Why do hawks eat chicken's? In these stories the animals would talk and would have great intelligence to pull of tricks and schemes. It is really interesting to read and keeps the reader going. I think it's okay for people to write stories that have falseness in them in order to teach a lesson even for kids because in the end, it will help discipline the child and when they get older, they would eventually realize that it's not true. By the time they realize that, the child will still have it in their minds of what they should or should not do. Folklore and fables have not given me a new perspective on anything since they are all false.


message 3: by Hayelom (new)

Hayelom Gebre | 13 comments In "African Myths and Legends" I've noticed from reading most of the stories that they are all doing mainly one thing and that is giving or teaching a lesson through a creative African story with a ton of personification. In almost every story, there is talking animals or a talking sun ect. For example, in a recent story i read called "Snake Magic" a woman was kicked out of her house by her husband for refusing to do her womanly duties, all he gave her was a pot and a couple beans so that she wouldn't starve. For many days she wondered the forest hungry and scared until one day a snake was fleaing from a predator and asked the woman to hide under pot for protection, the woman agreed. When the magic snake came out and was safe he showed his sincere graditude to the woman by making her extremely wealthy, tens times wealthier than her husband. See, there was personification and a lesson being taught to the reader which was be nice and nice things will happen to you in return.


message 4: by Hayelom (new)

Hayelom Gebre | 13 comments Baiyina wrote: "Do you think its alright for people to write stories that have falsness in them in order to teach a lesson? Have some of the fables and folklore given you a new prospective of any thing that might have confused you before you read the stories?"

I feel as though there is nothing wrong with an author using a false story to teach a lesson. Although the story may be false, the lessons and inspireings it teaches is as real as you and me.
In many cases these false stories teaches me the lesson better than a true one. So far from reading many of the folktales in my book, I have learned many lessons and motives that inspires me to be a stronger person.



message 5: by Blake (new)

Blake | 4 comments Do you think that "AFRICAN Myths and Legends" by Kathleen Arnott teaches you about values? Do you think that the book teaches you about how to recongnize what a value is and tell you the difference between a value and what people tend to think is a value? After reading the book do you feel that you have true values at heart.


message 6: by Blake (new)

Blake | 4 comments Baiyina wrote: "What do you think? Do you think its alright for people to write stories that have falsness in them in order to teach a lesson? Have some of the fables and folklore given you a new prospective of any thing that might have confused you before you read the stories?"


I think it is ok to make folktales about false stories because a folktale is made to teach someone a lesson and help make that person become stronger as a person. I think its ok because some people have to hear as a story to believe or catch what the reader is saying because some people think if it happened to this one person it was just that one person's fault. I have picked up a few new ideals like in a few of the folktales there's a character being bullied and as a kid most parents tell you if your being bullied to walk away, but in this book it basically is teaching how to get even without doing anywrong as well as being a good person about the situation.


message 7: by Hayelom (last edited Apr 29, 2010 04:56AM) (new)

Hayelom Gebre | 13 comments while reading I've noticed many distinctly African cultures that actually makes the misconception of Africa stronger because in the stories people are naked savages who talk to and eat live animals and live in tiny huts in the forest. Do you think the person who wrote your book share the same misconception of Africa as the media and the rest of the world?


message 8: by Faheema (new)

Faheema | 11 comments I think, folktales are very interesting because of the way they teach us different lessons in a creative way. In the book, ''Orphan Girl'' page 126, it says "God created afflictions to humble man, and death to control afflictions and with it man". what do you think about this quote? How is it teaching us a lesson and Why is it important?


message 9: by Faheema (new)

Faheema | 11 comments Baiyina wrote: Do you think its alright for people to write stories that have falsness in them in order to teach a lesson?

I think, the author of the folktales are using the animal characters to catch the readers attention. This way the readers gain the concept of the lesson in a creative way. So i think it's alright for people to write stories that have falseness in them in order to teach a lesson.


message 10: by Amandla (new)

Amandla Adams | 18 comments One of the stories in my book explained that the reason why rabbits or hares have fluffy tails, is because of one greedy rabbit that stole honey from a lion. The lion got mad and tore his naked tail bone off, causing the skin to turn into a fluffy end. The lion was going to come back for revenge, so the greedy rabbit made the other rabbits do the same to confuse the lion and it worked. If you were an African folktale author, how would you explain why rabbits have fluffy tails?


message 11: by Rafael (new)

Rafael G | 5 comments Hayelom wrote: "In "African Myths and Legends" I've noticed from reading most of the stories that they are all doing mainly one thing and that is giving or teaching a lesson through a creative African story with a..."


I agree completely with Hayelom one of my favorite stories was one titled "Superman". In this story A regular village husband and wife were just going about doing regular villager things. The womans' Husband though that he was the strongets man in the world, because he could lift trees and bring home 10x more wood then the rest of the men he fancied himself way to much giving himslef the title of "Superman". Anyways long story short he finds a man way stronger than he was about 100x times stronger and he learns not be so cocky about things. I found this story to be very enjoyable and descriptive.


message 12: by Hayelom (new)

Hayelom Gebre | 13 comments Ever since I began reading my book, I have always wondered where these ideas came from. Most of the authors of these African folktales are not generally African and this is what really confuses me. Where do you think these stories came from? From the author? Or from anceint times? I mysef highly doubt it was the author unless they have foreign parents that told them these stories or actually went to Africa for themselves.


message 13: by Xavier (new)

Xavier | 1 comments Ok, the book "African myths and legends" was a very interesting book for me it taught me alot about lessons and goals that we have to learn about. it's also a book that im only interested in. It's hard to write a poem in because it contains many stories instead just one whole topic.


message 14: by Dorian (new)

Dorian | 6 comments Baiyina wrote: "In the african folktale book, I think its quite interesting how the stories can incorporate good morals into completely ridiculous stories. In some of the stories, I read there were lots of animals..."

Baiyina, I for the most part I agree with you completely. The stories in this book do tend to be a little crazy and at times very difficult to understand. However in that lies my disagreement. While a few of these stories do have morals, most of them are so absurd and ridiculous that in my opinion they cant be considered morals at all. Most of the stories dont teach you anything useful or wise.
I mean what do you get out of a story about a talking, flying, lion that chases around a bullfrog because he took away his ability to fly? Nothing. Its just an interesting story that serves only to entertain, much like the rest of the tales in this book.


message 15: by Dorian (last edited May 03, 2010 01:26PM) (new)

Dorian | 6 comments Hayelom wrote: "Ever since I began reading my book, I have always wondered where these ideas came from. Most of the authors of these African folktales are not generally African and this is what really confuses me...."

That's a good point Hayelom. I'd never really paid attention to whether or not the author of genuine african books are genuinely african. However i dont feel that you have to necessarily be african in order to write about africa. If you've ever been there or done research on africa and you know your stuff then whether or not you are african becomes irelevant. As for the stories, i think they get passed down to people by word of mouth until they reach the ears of an author who decides to write them down or incorporate them into a book.


message 16: by Baiyina (last edited May 03, 2010 03:39PM) (new)

Baiyina Muhammad | 9 comments Dorian wrote: " Baiyina, I for the most part I agree with you completely. The stories in this book do tend to be a little crazy ....cant be considered morals at all. Most of the stories dont teach you anything useful or wise. "
Your so right. Some of the stories don't have direct morals to them. Some of them are just explanations to some of the real world confusions. I have a disagreement too. Each one of the stories in the book has a moral. Weather you can see it easily or difficultly. I think each story has a moral and weather you spot it or not depends on how hard your willing to think about the story.In that story you read, the moral might have been to be aware of your actions because they might affect the peers around them. I do not remember reading that story so don't quote me on my random thought up moral based off of the information given. So in order to spot the moral you have to think about the situation of the story and what is accomplished in the end and how the accomplishment came to be.


message 17: by Amandla (last edited May 04, 2010 05:20PM) (new)

Amandla Adams | 18 comments Xavier wrote: "It's hard to write a poem from it because it contains many stories instead just one whole topic."

Ha ha your talking about Ms.Miller's poetry assignment? She said that it was okay for you to do one of the stories. In my book, they would usually have an introduction before they get to the story so I based my poem off of an introduction about Hyenas in the story called Clowns Without Faces. The author made hyenas seem like the most disgusting animals ever. According to the story, hyenas are ugly because a long time ago a hawk was going to direct the hyenas where food was located by letting all of them hang on her tail, but the hyenas left a very ugly and crippled hyena behind for they thought that it would hinder their journey. So as the hawk went high up the sky, she made all of them drop to the grown and they all died, leaving the ugly crippled one to populate Africa and create many other ugly hyenas.


message 18: by Faheema (new)

Faheema | 11 comments In one of my story, there was a farmer's son Lango who always wanted to get married. But his father says, when he'll have enough money he can have his wife. The son couldnt wait anymore and prayed to god for a wife. The god listened to his prayer and gave him a beautiful wife while Lango's father was gone. When his father came back from vacation, he saw Lango and his beautiful wife. His father immidiately fell in love with his son's wife. He told Lango that he can not enter the house untill he have any mone; in that time Lango's father was making love with his son's wife. when this news reached to the king, he punished Lango's father, and fell in love with Lango's wife. Then there's another king name Fabama heard about Lango's wife's beauty. He killed the king and took Lango's wife with him to his kingdom and punished Lango so that he doesnt create any trouble between them. When other chiefs or more powerful king saw Fabama's wife, they made war with Fabama and took him.The book says, this cycle continues till today. For as long there are Langos of any kind in this world, there will continue to be wars. I think, the story is telling us that the war in the world will never stop. What do you think the lesson is for this story?


message 19: by Rafael (new)

Rafael G | 5 comments So far I have not yet found a story or part in my book that bores me. In African Myths and Legends each character and individual is so unique that its hard not be sucked into the book. One of my favorite Characters in the book was in the earlier stories; the title was the "tortoise and the lizard". He was such a warm, hard working, calm, and undeceiving turtle, the connection the book made feel towards the turtle made me feel like he was my friend. When the lizard lied about stealing from the turtle and got away with it probably, made me angry than the turtle in the book. Thus bringing me into the book all the more the story ended well with the turtle rightfully getting what he deserved. I would like too know what character or story made u feel what the characters were feeling in the story.


message 20: by Amandla (new)

Amandla Adams | 18 comments Hayelom wrote: "while reading I've noticed many distinctly African cultures that actually makes the misconception of Africa stronger because in the stories people are naked savages who talk to and eat live animals and live in tiny huts in the forest. Do you think the person who wrote your book share the same misconception of Africa as the media and the rest of the world?
."


I don't think the authors share the same misconception of Africa as the media because it's not like they are saying all Africans are poor or that all Africans are starving. Remember a misconception is an incomplete story so some parts of the stories are true some parts aren't. I doubt an African would agree that they are naked savages. Maybe a tribe in Africa is like that, but not the whole continent. The reader should actually try to understand the situation going on in Africa instead of paying attention to the misconceptions; thus, they let themselves become mislead and try to confirm it thanks to the many stories of African authors.


message 21: by Amandla (new)

Amandla Adams | 18 comments Rafael wrote: "I would like too know what character or story made u feel what the characters were feeling in the story."

In one of the stories in my book, a very rich old woman asked a rabbit to help her yard bare many crops and in return he'll get honey. The rabbit was lazy and didn't do anything while he deceived the old woman many times as she gave him honey everyday. When the old woman wanted to see her garden, the rabbit showed her someone else's yard and she was so happy at how much vegetables was growing that she came the next day to pick them. The owners saw her taking their crops so they went after and beat her up really badly despite her condition. The village saw this happening and tried to find the rabbit. The rabbit got away but his children, his children's children, and so on were forever hunted and killed for revenge. This made me mad since the rabbit made the old woman get punished for no reason and got away with it. What makes things even worse is that the rabbit caused all of his children to get hunted down and killed even though they were just as innocent as the old woman. Most of the stories regarding rabbits in my book make rabbits seem very greedy, inconsiderate, and clever. Almost all of the rabbit stories have the rabbits being hated by every animal and human being, including me.


message 22: by Amandla (last edited May 05, 2010 07:19PM) (new)

Amandla Adams | 18 comments If I were to add a story in one of the African folktales ,the moral of the story would be on how people shouldn't judge others on their appearances and use their judgement to determine how they'll treat them. I'll probably have a huge ugly blob of nastiness that will end up saving the town despite how bad people would treat it/him/her or whatever it is ha ha. What would you do?


message 23: by Baiyina (new)

Baiyina Muhammad | 9 comments Amandla wrote: "If I were to add a story.....how people shouldn't judge others on their appearances ..."
Wow thats like the best moral. I have seen that moral played out tons of times... most popular is in shrek I love that movie! If I had to add a story to the african folktale, my moral would have to be about following your dreams.Yes, I know its been used a lot, but I think that its a real good moral and it also deals with peoples happiness and physical emotional state... because your dreams may be the only thing your living for.. if I wrote a story on it I might brighten some ones outlook on the future.


message 24: by Faheema (new)

Faheema | 11 comments One of the story is title ''The silk cotton tree'', and of the line from the story is "what kind of mother throws her child away?" What can you infer based on the story's title and the quote?


message 25: by Faheema (new)

Faheema | 11 comments So far I like the book "The Orphan girl and other stories west african folk tales". This is a interesting book; and there's a lot of stories that are explained with animal charaters by authors. My book is full with stories about wisdom, and evilness. Example like, in one of the story there was this king's daughter who was really beautiful and refused every handsome man to marry. One day, one handsome man from other village came to marry the princess and he was so handsome that the princess couldnt wait to get married. The man wasnt rich or neither a prince. He lied to the princess and her father. He wanted to teach a lesson to the princess only. Thats why he told the princess that when they're going to reach his village, he is going to marry the princess. But the man left her in a forest so that she can learn her lesson and cant go back to her village. The princess's father didnt feel right about the situation because the princess said she will confirm him after they get married. Then the king found out and save her daughter. The princess learn her lesson and didnt get married in life. That's why the villagers call her "girl that never wanted to marry".


message 26: by Blake (last edited May 06, 2010 02:00AM) (new)

Blake | 4 comments Miss wrote: "Blake wrote: "there's a character being bullied and as a kid most parents tell you if your being bullied to walk away, but in this book it basically is teaching how to get even without doing anywro..."

Instead of walking away the characters would set the bully up into some kind of trap. In one poem a lion was bullying another animal. The small animal then tricked the lion into tying himself up to a tree. Also in another story a lizard was tricked by the tortoise who was being bullied the whole time and the lizard got cut in half.


message 27: by Faheema (new)

Faheema | 11 comments rafael wrote:I would like too know what character or story made u feel what the characters were feeling in the story.

The characters actually didnt make me feel anything. In every story either they're cheating or doing something wrong then realized about it. And maybe in the book "African myth and legends" there's different kind of stories which might make me feel what the chracters were feeling after I read. But in my book, even though it's a sad story, but the way the author explained the stories is not that touchy. So i kind of found it boring or interesting but not funny.


message 28: by Xavier (new)

Xavier | 2 comments Rafael wrote: "Hayelom wrote: "In "African Myths and Legends" I've noticed from reading most of the stories that they are all doing mainly one thing and that is giving or teaching a lesson through a creative Afri..." Yea this whole myths and legends stuff is confusing me also. But i don't think the authors SUPPOSE to be african mabye they just heard it from other people.


message 29: by Rafael (new)

Rafael G | 5 comments Amandla wrote: "Rafael wrote: "I would like too know what character or story made u feel what the characters were feeling in the story."

In one of the stories in my book, a very rich old woman asked a rabbit to h..."


My story depicts spiders as mischievouse and wretched intead of rabbits like in your story. In my book there was a spider whom was really lazy and hated to do work for himself. All the other animals and insects were tending to their farm and they worked hard to maintain it.Long story short the spider got caught stealing from the chiefs farm and he was banished and had to live in the shadows as they do know.


message 30: by Hayelom (new)

Hayelom Gebre | 13 comments Many of these african folk stories are really cool and creative but ever since I started reading I've always wondered where they came from. Did someone make them up out of the blue or were they inspired by true stories? What do you think?


message 31: by Hayelom (new)

Hayelom Gebre | 13 comments "rafael wrote:I "I would like too know what character or story made u feel what the characters were feeling in the story."

In one story called "Snake Magic" a woman was beaten and thrown out of her house by her husband for not doin her womanly duties. In the story she didn't have a name but I truly felt her pain because of the descriptve and vivid details that were being bringing described. That was the closest i ever felt to feeling an emotion of a character in my book.


message 32: by Faheema (new)

Faheema | 11 comments jealousy creates troubles in each step in our life. The story in the book name "The magic silk cotton tree" describes jealousy. There was a rich man in a village who had two wives. The first wife didnt have any kids, but the second wife had one girl. soon, the second wife become pregnant again and gave birth to a boy. The first wife was jealous of the second wife. The first wife thought her husband is not going to love her anymore since she didnt gave birth of any child. So she took the boy and left him under a cotton tree. Two ducks were swimming and found the baby under the cotton tree and said, "What kind of mother is she that throws her child away?''(Offodile 133). Based on this story what can anyone infer about the lesson of this story?


message 33: by Faheema (new)

Faheema | 11 comments In the road of our life we continue walking, some people run too fast and some slow down. The lessons from my book name "The Orphan girl and other stories of west African folktales" helped me to learn lessons which i didnt know before i read this book. Folktale lessons support us to build a strong road for our lives; also the values of folktale lessons build a stronger person inside of us which encourage us to fight in any situation in our life. So i think, folktale books are good example to learn some new lessons.


message 34: by Rafael (new)

Rafael G | 5 comments African Myths and Legends by Kathleen Arnott was one of the most relaxing books I've read this year. It was something I would look forward to when coming to literature class. It would be like watching a new episode in a tv series. Each story had their own characters and plot, therefore these stories never got boring, because some would start of with a lot of action. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to read something different and interesting.


message 35: by Xavier (new)

Xavier | 2 comments I should say that i really enjoyed the myths and legends book but some of the folktales kinda made more sence on the other end like " the snake cheif" one where the first girl kept ignoring all the strangers, i don't blame her for not talking to strangers. it's to bad in the end she get's killed at the end then the second girl came and did what all the strangers told her to do and she got rewarded, is this suppose to teach the kids to talk to strangers or what?


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