Njoki McElroy

African Folktales


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Details: Details: Audio Cassette, Produced and Recorded by Alan Govenar

Since the earliest years of the slave trade Africans and African Americans have struggled to recognize and preserve the great contributions of Africa to world civilization. Storytelling and the oral tradition have provided the basis for dynamic artistic expression and the transmission of knowledge about Africa. This tape was designed to introduce and reinforce the integral importance of the oral tradition in helping to understand African culture. These are tales of wit and subtle humor: tricksters who try but do not triumph, evil-hearted characters like the crocodile, the clever monkey, and others who come alive in spirited and dramatic performance. Each of the stories was carefully selected from different areas of Africa, including Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, to illustrate the traditional use of folktales as teaching tools. Through storytelling, Africans have taught young people rules of behavior, morals, and values. In addition, African folktales have also been utilized to explain complex human experiences and superhuman phenomena. The verbal and artistic skills of the African people are revealed in the acquisition, structure, and retelling of the tales. This audiocassette tape was produced by Alan Govenar and, funded by Documentary Arts, Inc.