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Folktales from the Moose of Burkina Faso

by Alain-Joseph Sissao edited by Nina Tanti

The Moogo, the region of the Moose - known as "Mossi" in ancient literature-occupies the entire central zone of Burkina Faso. It is divided into several kingdoms, the principal one comprising today's capital of Ouagadougou. Along with the singing griots, the evening storytellers pass on the ancestral word during the evening gatherings where they provide the group with models to follow. The folktale is the most appropriate form for teaching young children to express themselves, to structure their thoughts, and to reason. The tales portraying familiar animals will be reserved for the group of youngest children. The legendary gluttony and foolishness of Mba-Katre, the hyena, in contrast with the cunning and finesse of Mba-Soamba, the hare, will interest above all children from 10 - 12 years of age. The stories describing the origin of things, the reason for various social taboos, the legitimacy of social functions and structures, as well character flaws that need correcting, are reserved as a priority for adolescents.

ISBN 9789956616558 | 136 pages | 203 x 127 mm | 2010 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback



“In reading these folktales, recorded and transcribed by Alain Sissao and masterfully translated by Nina Tanti, we savor a rich and varied selection of the oral cultural heritage of the Moose of Burkina Faso. Embedded in these entertaining folktales are the values, attitudes, philosophy of life and world view of the Moose community. They are aesthetic expressions of an oral wisdom that is intimate, informal and universal.”

Francisco Jiménez, Author

“While this collection of tales will certainly instruct and entertain young people, it will also interest adults who will find the stories uplifting, and an antidote for stress.  A real treat that encourages the promotion of our oral literature.”

Dr. Oger KABORE, Ethno-musicologist

“Nina Tanti's clear translation of these African folktales enables English speakers to appreciate the charm, wit and wisdom of the Moose people.  My favorite story is ‘The Orphan Girl’; very relevant in this time of HIV/AIDS.”

Michael Kevane, Chair, Department of Economics, Santa Clara University



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