Myths and Legends of the Bantu – 200 folk tales and lore from Delagoa Bay (Maputo) to Benguela in Angola
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Within these 438 pages you will find 20 chapters filled with almost 200 stories selected from across Southern Africa – of prophets, doctors, witches, chameleons, the legend of Ngeketo, baboons, the Zulu Tokoloshe, Sikulokobuzuka, the road and the climb to heaven, the daughter of the Sun and the Moon, half-men, avengers of blood, the African Brer rabbit, frogs, war and death, lightning birds, cannibals, jackals, ogres, how the leopard got his spots, were-wolves, tortoises and lions and the practical jokes they played on each other; and many, many more to keep a young audience captivated for hours.
While this volume contains the, sometimes, quaint, unusual and certainly entertaining myths and legends of the native peoples of Southern Africa, it also contains sufficient sources, referential material and explanatory notes to satisfy serious students and academics alike.
IN the 19th C. BANTU was the generally accepted name for those natives of South Africa (the great majority) who are neither Hottentots nor Bushmen-that is to say, mainly, the Zulus, Xosas, Basuto, and Bechuana -to whom may be added the Thongas (Shangaans) of the Delagoa Bay region and the people of (then Southern Rhodesia, now) Zimbabwe.
Southern Africa consists of 13 sovereign states and covers an area of approximately 9,276 million kilometres². By comparison the USA is 9,826 million kilometres².
Abantu is the Zulu word for ‘the people’ (in Sesuto batho, and in Herero ovandu) which was adopted by Bleek, at the suggestion of Sir George Grey, as the name for the great family of languages now known to cover practically the whole southern half of Africa. But to speak of a ‘Bantu race’ is misleading. The Bantu-speaking peoples vary greatly in physical stature: some of them hardly differ from some of the ‘Sudanic’-speaking Negroes of West Africa, while others show a type which has been accounted for by a probable ‘Hamitic’ invasion from the north. It is needless to say that they come with a plethora of myths and legends. Some adapted and modified from others and some entirely home-grown.
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