Monday, June 10, 2019

Classics and morals (Following folktales around the world 110. - Guinea-Bissau)

Today I continue the blog series titled Following folktales around the world! If you would like to know what the series is all about, you can find the introduction post here. You can find all posts here, or you can follow the series on Facebook!

Sadly, Guinea-Bissau is another one of those countries that I could not find a story book from, so I delved into the Internet, and used my knowledge of Spanish and Latin (and some Google Translate) to find as many folktales as I could.

The hyena, the hare, and the holly (From this book)

A classic tar baby tale. Hare keeps stealing fish from Hyena's fish trap, replacing them with toads. Eventually, hyena becomes suspicious, and creates a stick figure covered in sticky holly (?) syrup - and Hare, like every other trickster ever, falls for the trick.

I was born in the fire (From this book)

Hare keeps stealing from Hyena's peanut plantation, until Hyena manages to construct a trap that catches him. However, when Hyena wants to throw Hare into the fire, the thief insists that he is fireproof, because he was born in it (showing his red eyes as proof). He begs the Hyena not to throw him in the tall grass instead, and Hyena falls for the deception.

The legend of African drums (Bijago tale, from here)

The spot-nosed monkeys decide that they want to go to the moon. They stand on each other's shoulders, until the smallest monkey reaches the moon. However, the pile topples, and the little monkey gets stuck up there. Moon gives him a drum to keep him entertained, but eventually he becomes homesick, and wants to return to earth. Moon lets him down on a rope, telling him to strike the drum when he's arrived. The bored monkey begins drumming halfway down, Moon lets go of the rope, and monkey falls, landing among some humans. He hands the drum to the humans - and we have had drums ever since.

The hunter and the crocodile (From here)

Classic tale about a hunter that rescues a crocodile, and it wants to eat him in return. They go to various animals for justice, and they all side with crocodile - except for Hare, who tricks the beast into going back into the trap, and saves the hunter's life.

The race between monkey and tortoise (From here)

Another classic, an animal race tale: here, tortoise leaves bananas along the road, and monkey keeps getting distracted.

Vulture and falcon (From here)

Falcon makes fun of vulture because he doesn't hunt. Later on, however, falcon flies into a tree, and is suddenly grateful that vulture doesn't eat live animals. Once he is dead, vulture eats him, getting the last laugh.

Tedungal Djamanu (From here)

A very honest young man sets out to find a wife. He is starving along the road, so he eventually steals a mango - then he feels so bad about it that he finds the owner of the tree, and offers compensation. The owner demands that the young man marry his deaf, mute, blind, leper daughter. The young man agrees to keep his promise - and it all turns out to be a test.

The curious bird (From here)

The owl forces a bird to serve him by threatening it with his "horns" (feathers). One day, he gets drunk and passes out, and the curious bird finds out the truth.

Two borthers (From here)

An Ali Baba type tale, with a clever and a stupid brother.

The shoemaker king (From here)

A kingdom selects its ruled based on exactly how tall the candidates are. A poor shoemaker fits the height perfectly.

A promise kept (From here)

A man sets tasks for the suitors of his daughter. They have to cross a river without getting wet. All three suitors solve the problem in miraculous ways - and since the father can't decide between them, he creates three daughters out of one, so that they each win a wife.

Nafa Munharé (From here)

A king has two beautiful but mean wives, and he is told that he will only have children when he marries an ugly woman. The three sons eventually grow up and set out to seek their fortune, but the two older ones torture the youngest until he is left alone to die. Listening in on the conversations of vultures, he learns important secrets, becomes rich, and lives happily ever after.

Mam Tamba and the buffalo (From here)

Mam Tamba, the hunter, kills a buffalo. The calf of the buffalo sets out to avenge his mother, turns into a human, and moves into the hunter's home as a guest. As he watches the hunter and his children, slowly he takes a liking to them, forgives them, and before returning home, reveals his secret to Mam Tamba.

The two rivals (From here)

Kind and unkind girls, with a snake.

I also found some criole anecdotes.

Where to next?

No comments:

Post a Comment