T. Geider: Die Figur des Oger in der traditionellen Literatur und Lebenswelt der Pokomo in Ost-Kenya [PDF]


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Verbal Art and Documentary Literature in African Languages vol. 1

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XVI, together 773 pp.
2 volumes: 1. Analytical part, XVI, 414 pp., 2. Documentary part, 359 pp., 37 tables, 17 b/w photos, 2 maps, index

Text language: German

The ogre (man-eater) is one of the most prominent figures in African narrative culture. Despite the meaning of this character, so far systematic analyses and interpretations were lacking. With the present monograph on the narrative culture of the Pokomo of Kenya, the author has filled this gap for the first time with the present monograph.

The basis of this study is a corpus of 25 folk tales which have been recorded on audio tape during a fieldwork of several months along the Tana River in Kenya. In the book these texts are given in the source language Pokomo together with a German translation, the latter also containing information regarding the speech itself, like intonation, speech rate and expressiveness.

A grammatical sketch introducing the documentary part (the second part) describes the basic structure of this under-researched Bantu language. The study focusses on the symbol analysis of the ogre in the context of Pokomo culture. An ethnographic introduction of the Pokomo is given before the actual analyses.

Despite the emphasis on the man-eating figures, human beings, which are their antagonists and the “real heroes” of the stories, are part of the analysis as well. The relevant emic information of the native informants is strictly separated from the etic statements of the researcher. Detailed methodological discussions, including a report on the exact situation in the field, integrate the figure analysis into the africanistic and anthropological research context.

This monograph includes a stylistic-rhetorical analysis of the oral means of presentation (performance). However, despite its monographic orientation, it is very suitable for comparative studies.

Under these links you will find further books authored or (co)edited by Thomas Geider in our grogramme:

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