African Folktales Essay

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In the actual Nigeria tribe African folktales, form a very important part of the African culture. There are different ways in how those folktales affect the African culture in general; one of this ways is that it’s used as a way of communicating. There is a rich, fertile legacy of folklore from Africa. On this vast continent, folk tales and myths serve as a means of handing down traditions and customs from one generation to the next. The storytelling tradition has thrived for generations because of the absence of printed material. Folk tales prepare young people for life, as there are many lessons to be learned from the tales from the history of this large continent, this includes the forceful transplanting of the people into slavery on other continents.

In addition to the folk tales, there are myths, legends, many proverbs, tongue twisters, and riddles. In the African folk tales, the stories reflect the culture where animals abound; consequently, the monkey, elephant, giraffe, lion, zebra, crocodile, and rhinoceros appear frequently along with a wide variety of birds such as the ostrich, the secretary bird, and the eagle. The animals and birds take on human characteristics of greed, jealousy, honesty, loneliness, etc. Through their behavior, many valuable lessons are learned. Also, the surroundings in which the tales take place reveal the vastness of the land and educate the reader about the climate, such as the dry season when it hasn’t rained for several years, or the rainy season when the hills are slick with mud.

The acacia trees swaying in a gentle breeze, muddy streams that are home to fish, hippos and crocodiles, moss covered rocks, and giant ant hills that serve as a “back scratcher” for huge elephants, give the reader a sense of the variety of life in this parched or lush land in this part of the world. There is wealth of folktales in the African culture of different kinds some examples of them are: Uncle Remus Tales, Tortoise and the Hare, Crocodile Tales, The voice of the Drums, The Kind of Lion, String Tales, The Sacred Vulture, Anansi, and Dilemma Tales.

Those kinds of tales above are just some examples of the huge African folktales repertory, and the subcategories which take a major role in the African and Nigerian culture and society, reflecting the animals that abound there. In conclusion, I can say that folktales plays an important role in the African Society, even more than books or other kind of source, this is because in Africa are very few resources of written history, so they know more about their history via these folktales; without folktales, African history may be inexistent

Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. New York: Random house, Inc., 1995