Download African Oral Epic Poetry: Praising the Deeds of a Mythic by Fritz H. Pointer PDF

By Fritz H. Pointer

A big severe version and English translation of this significant African epic fable.

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Additional info for African Oral Epic Poetry: Praising the Deeds of a Mythic Hero

Example text

Even today, astonishingly, in modem Western Christian, Middle Eastern Muslim and Jewish cultures, there is an insistence on the absolute veracity and infallibility ofthe myths of each, with all others being "ambivalently or marginally recognized within popular culture and absolutely dismissed in scientific discourse" (80). Such myths, Christian, Muslim and Jewish, are sacred, I suppose, because the texts themselves say they are, or various authors say they are. Dr. Salaam offers this explanation of myth provided by W.

He told them of the creation of the earth in six 14 days, and of the fall of our first parents by eating an apple. My people were courteous, and listened attentively and after thanking the missionary, one man related in his own tum a very ancient tradition concerning the origin of the maize. " (128) So, Native Americans' beliefs, like Africans' are condemned by Catholic, Protestant, and I dare say Islamic believers who teach Biblical and Koranic miracles as literal fact We must, as Ohiyesa suggests, "either deny all miracles or none, and our American Indian myths and hero stories are no less credible than those ofthe Hebrews of old" (128).

Kunene 1971) The human being, woman and man, is the center oftraditional African literature. Though either might act in mystical, bordering on supernatural ways, sometime, in ways inconsistent with an ordinary, reasonable and prudent human beings. So, in most instances, we will find that man does not ascend to heaven to have intercourse with the gods; the gods descend to earth (Radin 1952). C. Jordan suggests that any ''fantastic" world is as germane to the artist's sense of concrete presence as the thicket or cave in the backyard.

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