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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The roles of Oromo-speaking children in the storytelling tradition in Ethiopia
Authors:Jirata, Tadesse JaletaISNI
Simonsen, Jan Ketil
Year:2014
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Volume:45
Issue:2
Pages:135-149
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:Oromo language
Guji
storytelling
folk tales
oral traditions
children
values
learning
Link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v045/45.2.jirata.pdf
Abstract:This article analyses the roles of children in storytelling events, using ethnographic field research among the Oromo-speaking Guji people of Southern Ethiopia. The emphasis is on 'duri duri' folktales. These are tales that communicate an ethics of virtue, referred to by the Guji as 'saffu', and regarded as essential to inter-human relationships. Far from being passive knowledge receivers, the Guji children are attentive listeners and engaged narrators. They express their sentiments and opinions in gestures and words, pose questions to clarify points, make meta-communicative comments on the proper ways of narrating stories, and pass judgments on the moral messages. This article argues for a more child-centred perspective in the study of oral traditions in African societies, which recognizes the children's agency in the intergenerational transfer and change of storytelling traditions as well as of the cultural notions, values, and norms transpiring through them. In the past, the study of storytelling practices in African societies focused mostly on adults and elders, in particular men, neglecting the roles of women and children. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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