Title: African Myths & Tales
Author: Flame Tree Studios
Series: Flame Tree Studios
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Mythology
Dates read: 3rd June – 10th October 2019
Publisher: Flame Tree Studios
5th sentence, 74th page: So Mohammed came out from the bathroom and took the leg and hung it up at the top of the house, and went back to wash.
Africa south of the Sahara is a land of wide-ranging traditions and varying cultures. Despite the diversity and the lack of early written records, the continent possesses a rich body of folk tales and legends that have been passed down through the strong custom of storytelling and which often share similar elements, characters and ideas between peoples. So this collection offers a hefty selection of legends and tales – stories of the gods, creation and origins, trickster exploits, animal fables and stories which entertain and edify – from ‘Obatala Creates Mankind’, from the Yoruba people of west Africa, to ‘The Girl Of The Early Race, Who Made Stars’, from the San people of southern Africa, all collected in a gorgeous gold-foiled and embossed hardback to treasure.
I’ve never had the pleasure of reading a collection of African mythos before. And now I’m kind of wondering why it took me so long with my obsessions… after all, I love Africa and I love mythologies. And now I’m kind of disappointed that it’s all over… but I’m sure I can find more to add to my shelves.
I honestly bought this book because the cover is pretty. I wasn’t expecting such a fantastic breakdown of African myths and legends to fill the pages. Some of the stories felt like they were slightly awkward in their breakdown, but the general gist was still there and it was still seriously enjoyable. Generally, the stories which lacked a certain level of flow were incredibly short and segued into the next tale perfectly.
African Myths and Tales is a very easy read. It’s one of those books that you don’t need to read in order, but tend to get a little more out of it if you do. The myths are broken into their themes, but they don’t flow onwards from one another. Definitely a collection that I’m going to pick up again and again… learning something new each and every time.
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