Sabine Dinslage (ed.): Animal Husbands, Magic Horns and Water Spirits – Folktales from Southern Africa [PDF]


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1283 pp.
3 volumes, 1 map, 7 b/w photos, 2 facsimile reproductions

Text language: English

On his ninth expedition to southern Africa from 1928 to 1930, Leo Frobenius collected – besides his ethnographic and prehistoric research – 436 narrations in handwritten documentation. This collection, which is stored in the archives of the Frobenius Institute in Frankfurt/Germany, is the basis of the present study. This three volume work is supposed to offer the scholars concerned with narrative research and African oral literature in particular, as well as the historians interested in the lifework of Leo Frobenius, the opportunity to measure the capacious collection of narrations as a whole and to benefit from it according to the specifications of comparative and narrative research.

By publishing these so far unhandled narrative texts in their original form, as recorded in German by Leo Frobenius, a further access to Frobenius’ oral-literary remains is provided. The English summarization together with capacious analysis and classification data offers a basis for further detailed research within the international comparative field.

Furthermore, the present narrative texts indicate the beginning of anthropological research on Africa in the twenties and offer the members of indigenous ethnics groups of southern Africa, who search for the roots of their cultural assets, the opportunity to get into contact with the narrative property of their ancestors.