Tales from elsewhere

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Oral tradition is one of the fundamental bases of African culture. In the villages, huts surround the House of the Word, a noted space where the elderly and honourable people sit down to discuss the questions concerning the town and where some of the religious ceremonies and rituals are held. In the past, the chief of the village was a kind of justice of the peace, an arbitrator who mediated in between all arguments making use of an empty cane, made of vegetal fibre that was called "Word".

Inside the cane there were stones or seeds. Much like an hourglass, when the chief put it face down, the seeds felt to the other but making noise. Whereas there was some noise, each litigant could use his turn to explain himself. Afterwards, the chief turned to put the cane face the other side round and give the word to the other litigant and so on.

African people love stories and tales. They are their favourite way of expression, the one used to transmit their experiences, their knowledge, their examples and training from one generation to the following one.

This series of short stories wants to be a humble homage to the African life, to the pain, the shortage and the obstacles which carve their modest lifes, frutifully rooted in the millenary land that daily collects their sweat, their tears and spreads their scream's echo.


All the illustrations have been painted by the author.

School of MorrumbalaSistersMarta

Copyright 2013 © Ana Muñoz Muñoz
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