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The Village Witch Doctor and Other Stories

de Amos Tutuola

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361558,582 (3.38)18
Yoruba legend and culture were the source of much of Amos Tutuola's writing and the stories collected here are no exception. They feature characters from folklore, archetypal figures from Yoruba society, supernatural or magical happenings, acute human observation and often a moral point. Their very titles - from 'The Duckling Brothers and their Disobedient Sister' to 'Don't Pay Bad for Bad' - are evocative of a unique blend of tradition and imagination, which belongs to the same universal culture as Aesop and the Brothers Grimm.… (mais)
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{Short story collection, stand alone. Nigerian folk tales} (1990)

Tutuola was a Nigerian writer who lived at the end of the last century. This book was his last one, published in 1990; it seems to be based on Yoruba folk tales.

At one story into this short story collection, I’m guessing that this is a collection of folktales set in a Nigerian Village and you do have to read it in that ‘voice’ to get the best out of it.

Just a note on currency: naira is the Nigerian currency and 100 kobos make up 1 naira. Currently (May 2020) 100 naira is about the equivalent of 20p or 26 cents (USD); in 1990 it would have been worth about £8 or USD12.

1- The Village Witch Doctor

About the way the village witch doctor deceives his friend. I’m guessing that the author isn’t a fan of witch doctors.

3.5***

2 - A Short Biography of Tortoise

How the tortoise got his shell by tricking innocent people A long, long time ago, when the eyes of people were dark. But the story continues ...

3***

3 - A Short Biography of Yanribo, Tortoise’s Wife

How Yanribo became the Beetle-lady. Rather unfair on her, I thought.

3***

4 - Ajao and the Active Bone

A cautionary story; don’t take your gifts for granted, especially if they’re magical.

3.5****

5 - Don’t Pay Bad for Bad

What happens if others do unto you as you did to them?

4****

6 - Akanke and the Jealous Pawnbroker

Don’t push your luck too far, especially when it comes to seven-headed goblins.

3.5****

7 - Remember the Day After Tomorrow

Always ask (someone who actually knows), if you don’t understand.

3.5***

8 - Ade, the Traitor

Ade betrays his friend Adisa, who always believes in him. Not sure what the moral of this story is.

3***

9 - Rere, the Disobedient Son

This is why you should listen when your parents tell you not to go into the jungle.

3.5***

10 - The Duckling Brothers and their Disobedient Sister

The rewards for obedience and disobedience.

3***

11 - The Rich Husbandman and his Odd-looking Pawn

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

3.5***

12 - The Greedy Tortoise and the Orisa-Oko

Back to the story of Tortoise and Yanribo. Will he get his comeuppance this time?

3.5****

Averaging 3.375*** ( )
  humouress | May 24, 2020 |
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Yoruba legend and culture were the source of much of Amos Tutuola's writing and the stories collected here are no exception. They feature characters from folklore, archetypal figures from Yoruba society, supernatural or magical happenings, acute human observation and often a moral point. Their very titles - from 'The Duckling Brothers and their Disobedient Sister' to 'Don't Pay Bad for Bad' - are evocative of a unique blend of tradition and imagination, which belongs to the same universal culture as Aesop and the Brothers Grimm.

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