Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro: African Storytellers of the Karamoja Plateau and the Plains of Turkana

Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro: African Storytellers of the Karamoja Plateau and the Plains of Turkana

by Mustafa Kemal Mirzeler

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Overview

The Jie people of northern Uganda and the Turkana of northern Kenya have a genesis myth about Nayeche, a Jie woman who followed the footprints of a gray bull across the waterless plateau and who founded a “cradle land” in the plains of Turkana. In Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro, Mustafa Kemal Mirzeler shows how the poetic journey of Nayeche and the gray bull Engiro and their metaphorical return during the Jie harvest rituals gives rise to stories, imagery, and the articulation of ethnic and individual identities.

Since the 1990s, Mirzeler has travelled to East Africa to apprentice with storytellers. Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro is both an account of his experience listening to these storytellers and of how oral tradition continues to evolve in the modern world. Mirzeler’s work contributes significantly to the anthropology of storytelling, the study of myth and memory, and the use of oral tradition in historical studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442617445
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 04/30/2014
Series: Anthropological Horizons
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 392
Sales rank: 1,106,509
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Mustafa Kemal Mirzeler is an associate professor in the Department of English at Western Michigan University.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

Preface and Acknowledgements

Maps

A Note: On Personal Names and on the Transcription of Jie Words

Personal Names and Places and Some Common Words

Introduction

Part I

Chapter One: Jie Past and Present: Ecology, Economy, Guns, and State

Chapter Two: Ethnography of Storytelling

Part II

Chapter Three Patterns and Images of Historical Tradition

Chapter Four: The Jie Landscaper, Memory, and Historical Tradition

Chapter Five: Historical Tradition and Poetic Persuasion of Pastness

Part III

Chapter Six: The Return of Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro

Chapter Seven: The Significance of Nayeche and the Grey Bull Engiro Oral Tradition in a Jie Storyteller’s Autobiography

Conclusion

Part IV

The Stories

Bibliography

Notes

What People are Saying About This

Richard Waller

“Mirzeler brings together different elements and aspects of oral literature – traditions of origins, autobiography, invocations of landscape, dreamscape, and folk tales – to show how their interweaving in performance evokes the past in the present and continuously creates both self and community. The material presented here is very rich, and it is informed by an intuitive understanding of Jie story-tellers and their world. Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro is a very convincing discussion of the ‘uses’ of tradition and of how the Jie construct and understand their past.”

Jonathan Skinner

Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro is a detailed and sophisticated ethnography of storytelling amongst the Jie and Turkana in Uganda. Mirzeler’s book is interesting and engaging, well written and based upon strong ethnographic experiences.”

Sandra Gray

Remembering Nayeche and the Gray Bull Engiro is a moving and masterful integration of ethnography and oral tradition that illuminates relationships between past and present not only in Jie society but among all of the pastoralist groups on the Karamoja Plateau. Mirzeler captures with striking eloquence the essence of ‘being Jie.’ In their stories he finds the poetry of life in this harshest of desert places – poetry molded out of hunger, scarcity, and above all, opportunism and creativity. This book thus will immediately assume a place of importance in the bibliography of the Karamoja Plateau.”

Customer Reviews