There's no Zeus with his thunderbolt or Thor with his hammer; but in Harold Scheub's A Dictionary of African Mythology
, there is Kibuka, who shoots arrows from clouds, and Tanit, mother of the universe, with her spear. From over 10 years of living in Africa, Harold Scheub has combed oral and recorded traditions to deliver a treasury of African mythology. Scheub focuses on the art of the storyteller, presenting stories that animate the peoples that tell them. You'll find the full range of archetypal figures here and see how mythic scenarios can vary from region to region. There are the rain-stones from God; the crocodile women; and Wuni, the god who destined men to always have to chase women. Scheub ties the stories together by locating common themes and provides an immense bibliography, along with cross-referencing by culture and country. Africa is not often on our mythology radar, but Scheub demonstrates that the continent's traditions are every bit as colorful and transformative as the myths of other world cultures. --Brian Bruya
From Library Journal
African myths are stories--most of them ancient--passed along from generation to generation by oral narrative. They are inexorably linked to religious traditions, tribal customs, and enduring proverbs couched in the continuum of belief systems. Collectively, the 400 stories presented here--revamped by Scheub, who has devoted his professional career to researching and teaching in Africa and has published numerous monographs, e.g., the celebrated The Tongue Is Fire--reveal the unique sweep and diversity of African mythology. Selections from every country, arranged alphabetically by nation, survey the entire continent, including North Africa and Sub-Saharan cultures. Based on careful research, this book includes a geographic index and a valuable guide to sources (French, German, English, etc.). Engaging yet scholarly in presentation, this work is vital to upper-level and professional studies and should be considered for all collections of African research.-Richard K. Burns, MSLS, Hatboro, PA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.