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South-African Folk-Tales by James A. Honey

Others have been translated from the Dutch


TORTOISE HUNTING OSTRICHES 117

THE JUDGMENT OF BABOON 118

LION AND BABOON 121

THE ZEBRA STALLION 122

WHEN LION COULD FLY 124

LION WHO THOUGHT HIMSELF WISER THAN HIS MOTHER 126

LION WHO TOOK A WOMAN'S SHAPE 129

WHY HAS JACKAL A LONG BLACK STRIPE ON HIS BACK? 137

HORSE CURSED BY SUN 138

LION'S DEFEAT 139

THE ORIGIN OF DEATH 141

ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE 143

A THIRD VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE 144

A FOURTH VERSION OF THE SAME FABLE 146

A ZULU VERSION OF THE LEGEND OF THE "ORIGIN OF DEATH" 147

LITERATURE ON SOUTH-AFRICAN FOLK-LORE 148

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SOUTH-AFRICAN FOLK-TALES

INTRODUCTION

In presenting these stories, which are of deep interest and value to South Africans, I hope they may prove of some value to those Americans who have either an interest in animals or who appreciate the folklore of other countries.

Many of these tales have appeared among English collections previous to 1880, others have been translated from the Dutch, and a few have been written from childhood remembrance. Consequently they do not pretend to be original or unique. Care has been taken not to spoil the ethnological value for the sake of form or structure; and in all cases they are as nearly like the original as a translation from one tongue to another will allow. They are all South-African folklore tales and mainly from the Bushmen. Some are perverted types from what were originally Bushmen tales, but have been taken over by Hottentots or Zulus; a few are from the Dutch. Most of these last named will show a European influence, especially French.

Some of the animal stories have appeared in American magazines under the author's name, but this is the first time that a complete collection has appeared since Dr. Bleek published his stories in 1864. The object has been to keep the stories apart from those which have a mythological or religious significance, and especially to keep it an animal collection free from those in which man appears to take a part.

There will be found several versions of the same story, and as far as possible these will be put in the order of their importance in relation to the original. The author does not pretend to be an authority on South-African folklore, but has only a South-African-born interest in what springs from that country of sunshine. It is a difficult task to attempt to trace the origin of these stories, as there is no country where there have been so many distinct and primitive races dwelling together.


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