Sunday, February 04, 2007

Do we have big bad wolves?

Every fairytale lover is only too familiar with the big bad wolf. I had never come across this character in West African folklore though…at least, not until recently when I was told two separate stories by two separate people that involved ‘creatures’ which swallowed people who were later rescued by being cut out of the ‘creatures’ stomach.

Here is the first of those stories – the monster who had fire – and it was unclear in the original telling if this monster was a man with severe deformities and anger management issues or just a monster. In the story, I say he was the only one in the village who had fire but it wasn’t told to me that way. However, the villagers risked their lives to get fire from this man/monster/creature, so it must have been their only option. In which case, killing him must have put the villagers in a bad position…but it’s really fruitless (sometimes) to analyze these folktales.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your site is absolutely amazing but... let me ask smth. For all folk tales sources & ethnics are NOT indicated (either nations or auther ?) I'd be so grateful for indications of such terms. As I understood site's texts are fm Yoruba Culture but understanding of autentity is out of my mind. Plz inform this data althogh personally... Igor, Kyiv, Ukraine

Rodney said...

Great stories, thank you.