Monday, October 14, 2019

Roosters, dogs, tortoises (Following folktales around the world 126. - São Tomé and Príncipe)

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, once again I ran into a country where I could not get a folktale collection from. I searched for stories on the Internet, and came up with a few anyway (it would have been a lot easier if I read Portuguese...):

Why dogs don't talk
A short tale about a dog who helped its owner carry a burden home, but asked him not to tell anyone that the dog could talk. The owner's wife, however, managed to coax the secret out of her husband, and the dog got so offended that it stopped talking for good.
(I found this story in other versions as well)

The clever tortoise
Tortoise won the king's daughter in marriage by winning a bet, proving that chickens are never not hungry.

The singing roosters
Story says that the island of São Tomé used to be inhabited by roosters that crowed happily all day. Some people liked this, some tolerated it, but some were annoyed and eventually threatened the roosters with war if they did not leave. The roosters made the sensible choice, and with the leadership of a black rooster they moved somewhere else.
(This is also a popular tale, I found it on several sites)

I also found a reference to a Tortoise and the Hare tale, noting that Tortoise the resident trickster of the islands.

The tortoise and the dream
Tortoise claims that he can guess anyone's dream, so the Emperor puts him to the test. Tortoise uses colorful feathers to disguise himself as a bird, and spies on the ruler who talks about his dream about a breadfruit. (I have seen this tale with Anansi as well).

The legend of King Amador
Historical legend about the slave revolt in 1595 led by a man named Amador. The Portuguese colonizers beat down the revolt a year later and executed the king, but he became a legendary national hero and a symbol of independence.

Where to next?

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