African myths & legends

Illustrated in magnificent colour, African Myths & Legends collects oral traditions, fantasic stories and magical events of Southern Africa, and is also informative and educational.
Stewart, Dianne; Heale, Jay; McBride, Angus; Daniel, Gina
In stock
€13.80 *

Title: African myths & legends
Authors: Dianne Stewart; Jay Heale
Illustrators: Gina Daniel; Angus McBride;
Genre: Fairy tales, myths, legends of Southern Africa
Publisher: Random House Struik
Imprint: Lifestyle
Cape Town, South Africa 2014
ISBN 9781432303501 / ISBN 978-1-4323-0350-1
Softcover, 17 x 22 cm, 96 pages, 90 full-colour illustrations


African folktales were originally not written down, but were passed on from one generation to another by word of mouth. They were performed live and although the same folktales were told many, many times, they were never exactly the same. In this book, African myths & legends, you will find myths that are a bit like the fairy tales of old Africa. They contain magic and imagination. Sometimes they try to explain why the world is as it is, and sometimes they just entertain. Here, too, are time-worn legends that started with a true happening and then the story took on a life of its own. Now no-one can be sure what is truth and what is invented. In traditional societies in southern Africa there is a taboo against telling folktales during the day, for fear that the storyteller would grow horns. But if the daily tasks were completed and grandmother or aunt could be persuaded to tell a story before the sun had set, both the storyteller and the audience would put a piece of wood in their hair just above the forehead to prevent horns from growing.

Some of the stories in this book represent, in some way, the many different people who make up our country: the Bushmen (San), Khoi (Hottentot), the Xhosa- and Zulu-speaking people, and some half-remembered moments in our shadowy history. Some of the stories are also connected with places such as Table Mountain, the Wild Coast, the Castle in Cape Town and Mpumalanga. It is said that men were expert tellers of animal tales, because they knew the wildlife so well. In these tales, the animals keep their own appearance and identity, but they behave and speak as humans do. The greedy Hyena, for example, is easily fooled. Although Elephant is slow, he is reliable and thinks things over carefully. Tortoise is also very slow, but he is very wise and is the only animal who is able to outwit Hare, the trickster. So here, in this book are myths that never happened, alongside legends that just might be true. It's up to you to decide.

Description: African myths & legends

The sun and moon of the San people
The hungry jackal
The milk bird
Frog's first croak
The cattle herder's song
Hen and Hawk's lost friendship
The hunters and the honeyguide
The test of fire
Daughter of the moonlight
The two sisters of the Maluti Mountains
Jackal and the trusting lion
The hole in the wall
Van Hunks and the devil
Seven magic birds
The wagtail's necklace
The rain bull
Renier and the thundertops
The killers of Prinsloo's Kloof
The Flying Dutchman
The lost Kruger millions
The ghosts of the Castle
The wreck of the Grosvenor