Download African American Folktales: Stories from Black Traditions in by Roger Abrahams PDF

By Roger Abrahams

From the canefileds of the ante-bellum South, the villages of the Caribbean islands, and the streets of up to date internal towns, listed below are multiple hundred stories from an "incredibly wealthy and affirmative storytelling tradition" (Choice).

Full of lifestyles, knowledge, and humor, those stories diversity from the earthy comedy of tricksters to tales explaining how the realm was once created and received to be how it is, to ethical fables that inform of encounters among masters and slaves. They contains tales set down in travelers' stories and plantation journals from the early 19th century, stories collected through creditors akin to Joel Chandler Harris and Zora Neale Hurston, and narratives tape-recorded through Roger Abrahams himself in the course of vast expeditions during the American South and the Caribbean.

Part of the Pantheon Fairy story and Folkore Library

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Extra info for African American Folktales: Stories from Black Traditions in the New World

Example text

There is a myth from the Congo that involves stealing the Sun. The hero was Mokele, whose own unusual birth involved theft. He was apparently born from an egg, like a bird. This egg had been taken or stolen from one of Wai’s wives by an old woman, who could not have children. When he entered the world by breaking open the eggshell, there was darkness everywhere. Mokele decided to steal the Sun to bring some light. He did manage this and brought it to his community. He married Bolumbu and together they produced a son called Lonkundo.

For inhabitants of the east of India, it is a black griffin, whereas the Persians believed that the heavenly body had been eaten by a dragon. The ancient Egyptians believed that the serpent Apep swallowed the Sun god, Ra, who traversed across the sky in his boat during an eclipse. According to superstition, the Sun is supposed to shine brighter on the virtuous but will hide its lovely shining face from us, such as during an eclipse, if something disastrous is going to happen. The people of Peru believed that an eclipse was a bad omen that forewarned of the Spanish annihilation of the Incan Empire.

She noticed that people, when they looked up at the Moon, smiled with admiration and awe. However, when they looked up at her, they could only squint, as her rays shone so intensely. The Sun felt full of envy and resentment and burned with even more ferocious heat. The people could not cope with this extreme heat and started to die. To fight back, survivors made the merciless decision to murder the Sun, intending to ensnare her when she called at the home of her daughter at midday. The first few attempts were not successful, resulting in an unfortunate man being transformed into a snake with toxic blood.

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