Epic Traditions of Africa

Epic Traditions of Africa

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Belcher's volume contains a much needed and extremely well-integrated overview and discussion of a vast inter-related West African culture complex that deserves and requires the kind of original, insightful treatment it receives here." -David ConradEpic Traditions of Africa crosses boundaries of language, distance, and time to gather material from diverse African oral epic traditions. Stephen Belcher explores the rich past and poetic force of African epics and places them in historical and social, as well as artistic contexts. Colorful narratives from Central and West African traditions are illuminated along with texts that are more widely available to Western readers-the Mande Sunjata and the Bamana Segou. Belcher also takes up questions about European influences on African epic poetry and the possibility of mutual influence through out the genre. This lively and informative volume will inspire an appreciation for the distinctive qualities of this uniquely African form of verbal art.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 154.4 x 234.7 x 23.1mm | 453.6g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 2 maps
  • 0253212812
  • 9780253212818
  • 1,448,709

About Stephen Belcher

Stephen BelcheR is co-editor (with John William Johnson and Thomas A. Hale) of Oral Epics from Africa: Vibrant Voices from a Vast Continent.show more

Table of contents

PrefaceIntroduction1. Elements of Epic Traditions2. The Epics of Central Africa3. Hunters' Traditions and Epics4. Traditions of the Soninke5. Sunjata and the Traditions of the Manden6. Segou and the Bamana7. Traditions of the Fula8. Emergent Traditions9. ConclusionAppendix: Tables of Epic MaterialNotesGlossary ReferencesIndexshow more

Review quote

" ... original, insightful ... " - David Conradshow more

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