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"Historically and literarily important... an excellent teaching tool in courses on African history, literature, oral tradition, and folklore." —Jan Jansen, University of Leiden(Jan Jansen, University of Leiden)
'The story of Kelefaa is told in thousands of different versions.' So writes Camara (Truman State Univ.) late in this book. This version is splendid and long, nearly six times the length of either of the English versions Gordon Innes presents in Kelefa Saane: His Career Recounted by Two Mandinka Bards (1978). And this is an almost wholly different version. Of no historical importance, Kelefaa Saane was simply a heroic warrior, a mid-19th century figure of Kaabu, a confederation of Mandinka states in modern Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, and Gambia. Kelefaa Saane died through treachery while aiding another warrior. Yet his is one of the most popular story-songs of a region rich in epics. A patron of Senegambian music recorded Sirifo Camara's version in Dakar in 1987; accompanied by kora, this version was sold in tapes on the street. Sana Camara acquired a cassette, and it became the basis for this version, which he presents exactly as performed in the original Mandinka language with the English translation on facing pages. Despite the difficult jump from oral to written text, this English version makes for exciting reading. The editor provides annotations and ample notes about the performer, the historic setting, and analysis of the text. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --ChoiceD. Westley, Boston University, December 2010(D. Westley, Boston University 2010-01-00)
"[T]his English version makes for exciting reading. The editor provides annotations and ample notes about the performer, the historic setting, and analysis of the text.... Recommended." —Choice(Choice)
"This volume provides a very valuable transcription of a classic African oral text.... [T]he work reads very well." —Ralph A. Austen, Research in African Literatures, Volume 42, Issue 2 Summer 2011(Ralph A. Austen Research in African Literatures 2011-01-00)
"... a valuable work for understanding African poetry traditions..." —Journal of Folklore Research, June 30, 2011(Journal of Folklore Research 2011-01-00)
Sana Camara is Associate Professor of French at Truman State University. He is editor of Wolof Lexicon and Grammar and editor of Sëriñ Muusaa Ka: Melokaani Roytéef [Sëriñ Muusaa Ka: the example of a role model], a compilation of six Wolof poems about the life of the spiritual guide of the Muridiyya brotherhood.