Sigrid Schmidt: The Forgotten Bride — International Tale Types in Namibia – Texts and Discussions [PDF]


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535 pp.
appendix: analyses of tales, motif index, subject index

Text language: English

Namibia is a treasure house of folklore traditions. Until recently Nama and Damara grandmothers told a great variety of folktales. Most people will be surprised to learn that besides ancient African trickster tales, tales of magic and animal tales, the Namibian grandmothers tell many tales like Cinderella and Snow White. What is most exciting: the grandmothers did not read them in books but learned them from their grandmothers, who, in turn, had learned them from their grandmothers.

The author, who has published nine volumes of various Namibian traditions in this series, devotes this volume to the amazingly great group of tales which came orally from Europe or Asia. In part I she offers 62 stories, mainly collected by herself between 1960 and 1999, which have not been published before.

Part II gives the background information on the narrators, part III a study of the history and character of 48 individual tale types and a general discussion of the fate of the originally European and Asian tales in Southern Africa.

Most of these tales were brought to South Africa in the 17th and 18th centuries, were adopted and adapted by the Khoekhoe already at that early time and, mainly in the 19th century, wandered with them to Namibia. During this long period the originally European and Asian tales turned into Nama and Damara tales.

Part IV adds the tools for a closer study: analysis of all existing variants of this group of tales (ATU 300-999), motif index according to Stith Thompson, subject index and a survey of the Afrikaans tales of magic.