Why Snails Have Shells: Minority and Han Folktales from China

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The twenty stories that comprise this collection reflect some of the ethnic diversity of China. Through a cast of familiar animals we get a glimpse of the cultures from which the stories emanate, and we see that the world is interconnected and the planet quite small. The tales show that our similarities are much greater than our differences. Besides their literary value, these tales convey moral instruction. The second part of the book gives background information about the nationalities from which the tales have...
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1994-02-01 Hardcover Good University of Hawaii Press [Published date: 1993]. First printing, with full number line. Hard cover, 73 pp. Good / no dust jacket. Illustrated paper ... over boards have light bumping to edges and corners and a thin long scratch across the front cover running from the spine to the middle of the front cover. Light overall scuffing to covers as well. Binding tight. Pages clean and unmarked NOT Ex-Library. No remainder marks Charming illustrations by Li Ji. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The twenty stories that comprise this collection reflect some of the ethnic diversity of China. Through a cast of familiar animals we get a glimpse of the cultures from which the stories emanate, and we see that the world is interconnected and the planet quite small. The tales show that our similarities are much greater than our differences. Besides their literary value, these tales convey moral instruction. The second part of the book gives background information about the nationalities from which the tales have been selected. Carolyn Han describes the geographical area each group occupies and its social life and customs. Each tale is enhanced with an illustration by Li Ji, an artist and lecturer at Yunnan Art Institute of Kunming, China. He brings to this volume his first-hand knowledge of minority peoples and a deep understanding and love for animals and the environment.

Twenty traditional tales from such ethnic groups in China as Mongol, Tibetan, Yao, Han, and Miao.

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Editorial Reviews

Janice Del Negro
Twenty stories reflecting the ethnic diversity of China are presented here, accompanied by colorful paintings and concluding source notes on the originating culture. As an American teaching English in China, Han became intrigued by the cultural plurality represented in her classes and began collecting folktales from her students. Many of the tales will strike a familiar chord. "The Flying Frog," about a frog unable to keep its mouth shut, is a Mongolian variant of a tale found in many cultures; the Tibetan "Rabbit Judge" tells of a wolf who breaks his promise not to eat the goat that rescues him from a pit, only to be outsmarted by a wily rabbit. Unusual as well as useful, the collection will be a handy resource for those looking for short stories to read or to tell, and the concluding notes lend insight into both the geography and the social customs of the countries represented.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780824815059
  • Publisher: University of Hawaii Press, The
  • Publication date: 2/28/1994
  • Series: Kolowalu Bks.
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 8.31 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Why Snails Have Shells: Zhuang Tale 1
The Ant and the Anteater: Yao Tale 4
The Magpie as Teacher: Yao Tale 7
The Flying Frog: Mongol Tale 10
A Fox and a Rabbit: Mongol Tale 13
The Rooster and the Nine Suns: Hani Tale 16
The Wolf, the Fox, and the Rabbit: Sala (Salar) Tale 19
A Vain Raven: Tibetan Tale 23
Two Quarrelsome Cats: Tibetan Tale 26
The Rabbit Judge: Tibetan Tale 29
The Monkey's Experience: Han Tale 32
A Tiger and His Master: Han Tale 35
The Corn-Picking Monkey: Han Tale 38
The Dove Who Tried to Eat the Sun: Tu Tale 40
The Tiger and the Bull: Dai Tale 44
The Ant and the Magpie: Miao Tale 47
Why Snakes Bite Frogs: Miao Tale 50
The Dove and the Rooster: Yi Tale 53
The Tiger and the Frog: Bouyei Tale 55
Wild Geese: Hui Tale 58
Minority People of China 61
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