Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 02 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Despite the high complexity of oral art in Africa, some of its features are shared by almost all narrative cultures. The most prominent criterion appears to be the truth aspect—whether a storyteller considers his narration as rendering facts or fictional matters. To the category of telling facts belong historical reports (chronicles) and ethno-texts, i.e. descriptions of special handicrafts, economic activities, and legal concepts. The main genres falling under the category of fiction are fables, animal tales, and fairy tales. According to the basic definition of truth and fiction at least three borderline genres emerge: anecdotes, legends, and epics. Modern scholarly interests are mainly directed towards the comparison of narrative types and motifs, the performance aspect, and the exploitation of oral narrations as sources for the reconstruction of precolonial history.

Keywords: anecdote, chronicle, narration, fable, fairy tale, fiction, motif, oral narration, storyteller

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.