This collection of fascinating and revealing tales captures the sprawling diversity of African mythology. Four hundred alphabetically arranged entries touch on virtually every aspect of African religious belief, from Africa's great epic themes (dualistic gods, divine tricksters, creator gods, and heroes) to descriptions of major mythic systems (the Dogon, the Asante, and the San) and beyond.
Scheub covers the entire continent, from the mouth of the Nile to the shores of the Cape of Good Hope, including North African as well as sub-Saharan cultures. His retellings provide information about the respective belief system, the main characters, and related stories or variants. Perhaps most important, Scheub emphasizes the role of mythmaker as storytelleras a performer for an audience. He studies various techniques, from the rhythmic movements of a Zulu mythmaker's hands to the way a storyteller will play on the familiar context of other myths within her cultural context.
An invaluable bridge to the richly diverse oral cultures of Africa, this collection uncovers a place where story and storyteller, tradition and performance, all merge.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Harold Scheub is Professor of African Languages and Literature at the University of WisconsinMadison. He has spent ten years researching and teaching in Africa, and is the author of a number of books, including The Tongue is Fire, Secret Fire, and Story.
Table of Contents
|Notes on the Organization of This Dictionary||xv|
|The Mythmaker as Storyteller||xvi|
|A Dirtionary of African Mythology||1||(280)|
|Appendix One: Country||323||(7)|
|Appendix Two: Linguistic/Cultural||330||(8)|
|Appendix Three: The Grand Myth||338||(15)|