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Bushman Folktales

A Collection of G ana Myths and Fables

Jiro Tanaka

ISBN: 9784814004683

pub. date: 01/23

Written Language: English

Publisher: Kyoto University Press & Trans Pacific Press

  • Price : JPY 3,400 (with tax: JPY 3,740)
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In the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa, tales tell of animals who talk to each other, deceive each other and easily transform themselves into human beings. The author, who has followed the lives of the Bushmen of the Kalahari for more than half a century, has recorded their folktales and transcribed them as they were told. The twenty-nine stories presented here tell of the antics of creation god Piisi-luagu, capture the characteristics of the flora and fauna that are central to the hunter-gatherers' way of life and feature the terrifying and deadly deeds of macabre monsters and marauders. Prepare yourself for a fascinating journey into the cosmos of the Bushmen.


Jiro Tanaka is Professor Emeritus at Kyoto University.
He specializes in anthropology and African area studies.


List of Figures
List of Photographs
Acknowledgements to the English Edition
Preface to the English Edition
Notes on G ana Transcription

Part I: Myths Piisi- uagu, the Creation God in Action
1 How Piisi- uagu Stole Fire
2 Wise Drongo
3 Piisi- uagu Turns Himself into an Acacia Tree
4 Piisi- uagu and Xuu- uagu, the Warthog
5 Uan-te Was a Son of Piisi- uagu
6 Piisi- uagu Turns Himself into a Baby
7 Eland and Honey
8 Lion, Eland and Tortoise
9 Piisi- uagu and Gunu- uagu

Part II: Fables Animals and Plants
10 Tortoise and Lycaon
11 Jackal and Dog
12 Qain qain- uagu and Gu’oni- uagu
13 Hyena and Drongo
14 Uu uu- uagu and Xua- uagu
15 Hare and Lion
16 Para- uagu and Dzooba- uagu
17 Nui- uagu, the Fabulous Child of Fat
18 Goo- uagu, the Aardvark Wife
19 The Aan-root Woman and Her Son
20 A Son Saves His Mother

Part III: Macabre Stories Monsters, Maneaters and Murderers
21 ’Autsi, the Monster with a Mouth at the Back of Its Neck
22 Tobolali, the Maneater with the ’Autsi Mouth
23 Kuukutsuru and the Maneaters
24 A Double Murder, or the Case of a Double Levirate and Sororate Marriage
25 Cibele, the Village of Marauding Killers
26 Xani- uagu and Aa- uagu

Part IV: Modern Stories and a Tale Borrowed from Neighboring Peoples
27 Jackal and Hyena
28 Cock and Jackal
29 Hare and Spider

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