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Indian Ocean Folktales: Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles

Lee Haring (Author)
Synopsis What happened to the inherited traditions of African, Indian, Chinese, and European peoples after they settled in this region? What attitudes did slaves, indentured labourers, and colonists develop towards past traditions? How much verbal art was retained and transmitted from Africa, India, China and Europe? Which tales, riddles, proverbs, or songs were unconsciously discarded? Part of the answer lies in the history of language. The Creole languages invented and developed in these early days gave labourers a code for verbal play (though they certainly didn’t have to invent double meanings and sexual innuendoes, as historian Paul Ottino has pointed out). The rest of the answer is given by Yves Blandenet: each of the ethnic groups attempted to reconstitute a mental universe by integrating its older models into the new socio-cultural environment. Assembling diasporic populations on island territories caused cultures to mix. Mixing caused people to be more keenly aware of their heritage. It also enabled them to borrow from one another’s traditions. Folktales in the Southwest Indian Ocean show this history.
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About the author

Lee Haring

Lee Haring is Professor Emeritus of English at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, and a sometime instructor in the Graduate Program in Folklore and Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania. He is vice-president of the Fellows of the American Folklore Society, and honorary body. He edited two American folk music records and two alums of folksong arrangements. He has resided in Kenya, France, Hungary, Madagascar, and Mauritius. Since taking up the study of Indian Ocean folklore in 1967, he has become the world authority on the oral literature folklore research in Mauritius. As a participant in international folklore conferences, he regulary produces scholarly papers on Indian Ocean folklore.

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Bibliographic information

Title Indian Ocean Folktales: Madagascar, Comoros, Mauritius, Reunion, Seychelles
Author Lee Haring
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8190148109
length vi+146p., Maps.