A song for carrying water and other stories from somalia

Source – Library

This book is published by Gatehouse a specialist in literacy books this book is designed for people from Somalia to learn English and was written by Somalia refugees living in Manchester .The stories are folk tales the women heard as Kids ,so their oral tradition is written for future generations .

These stories are short and on the opposite page is the Somalia translation ,the stories cover a lot of what happens in village life ,such as how to tender animals ,like advice about Hyenas ,folksy tales like the lion ,the fox and the rabbit a tale about a fox and rabbit ,that are asked by a Lion to watch some animals but end up eating one and the fox gets away as he blames the rabbit wonderful tale for Kids about morals .The main Tale is six stories about Igal Shedad  a coward .

Another time Igal Shedad ,

fell asleep under a tree .

a leaf fell on his moustache.

he shouted and screamed

and ran home to his wife .

he thought a lizard had landed on him .

One of the Igal Shedad tales about a leaf .

These are stories show what part men play in Somalia society these stories are ultra short the book is only 105 pages long so the tales are 50 pages in length but are accompanied by great illustrations to the tales ,also at the end is touching thumbnail sketches of the women that wrote this stories and the journeys ,how long it took them to get here the struggles they had . and how they struggled at times .This book touched me simple tales but evocative of being sat round a fire or at a bar listening to elders tell them over and over again ,to capture these is great so often these folk tales disappear before people have chance to write them down and remember them .

Do you like folk tales ?

June 2023


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