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Presentation on theme: "ORAL AND WRITTEN LITERATURE ORAL AND WRITTEN LITERATURE."— Presentation transcript:


2 African Oral And Written Literature  Introduction  Traditional Literature  Fables, Folktales, Myths & Legends  Poetry  The Novel  Conclusion

3 Introduction  Western definition  Imaginative or critical writings whether in the form of prose or verse  To become literature, stories, proverbs, legends, etc. must to recorded  For a long time, there was not written language in most of Africa (literature is Latin for “written”)  Attempts were made by colonists to document oral literature

4 Traditional Or Oral Literature  Used interchangeably to refer to stories that have become the cultural heritage of the community  Most African stories have moral endings, however, many are composed for entertainment  Stories have been revised by the teller and tailored to the audience of a particular place or time

5 Fables  Seen as fiction as designed to teach  Straight out instruction and open ended for interpretation  What is in print is only a small part of the storytelling event and make the lessons memorable  Fables usually use animal characters to educate the reader or listener  Aimed at children to teach them the values of the community  Community knows that the story is fiction, but the message is considered important

6 Myths  Considered sacred stories that deal with origins and explanations of natural phenomenon and human institutions  Original tellers thought the stories to be true and treated them as sacred  Myths are not usually fictitious stories

7 Folktales  Seen as fiction as in fables and also used to teach indirectly, but also to express the individual and communities hopes and fears, to provide entertainment and to create a role model of desirable conduct for the community  Brothers Grimm made the folktale famous  Characters tend to be humans who encounter adventures and problems but can contain animals

8 Legends   Unverified stories, more closely related to history or biography   Reflect peoples ideals as embodied in the actions of heroes   Tell a people’s history as recalled thorough oral tradition and used frequently to create a cultural or political identify for the group   Some legends tell the significance of specific landmarks like mountains and waterfalls

9 Group Assignment  Break into groups  Each person read your example  Select one example  Try to determine if it is a myth, fable, legend or folktale  Determine if there is a moral or lesson involved  Select a team member to read the story to the class and present your findings

10 Poetry  More contemporary than traditional literature  Family rites connected with birth, death, marriage, religious ceremonies were all occasions to recite poetry  Part of every day life  Hunting, harvesting, preparing meals  Poets, like griots can be esteemed or distained based on the culture  The larger the poets repertoire, the more respected they are  Modern poetry is concerned with cultural, social, political or economic life  Themes could deal with spirits, death, oppression

11 The Novel  The African novel in new  Most novels were an outgrowth of the society in which the author lived  Moving from a limited view to a global view of life  Wrote of traditional life, religion and colonial oppression  Novelists have gained worldwide recognition since independence

12 Conclusion Conclusion  Long journey to develop its own written literature and to preserve the oral traditions  Themes must go beyond colonial past and focus on the future and provide a sense of direction


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