New children’s book celebrates traditional African storytelling

Written by admin   // November 5, 2010   // 0 Comments

BALTIMORE (MMD Newswire) — African Moonlight Stories by Ayodapo Ayansiji Oyelana and Akinyemi Muyiwa Dahunsi offers a collection of anecdotes intended to invoke the African tradition of storytelling on moonlit nights.

According to Oyelana and Dahunsi, storytelling is one of the intrinsic components of many African cultures. The pair contends that folktales have been shared for countless generations not only for fun and amusement, but also to educate and impart values and morals.

Oyelana and Dahunsi explain that among the Yoruba people of West Africa, many of the stories feature a wide and cunning tortoise. The tortoise character is featured in each of the stories found in the book, interacting with other animals and playing a part in the narrative. In each story, various animals are tricked or misled by the cunning turtle and must find some means to escape his plans.

“For hundreds of years in many villages, stories have been told in the night when everybody returns from working on the farm,” Dahunsi says.

“When it is clear and there is good moonlight, the storytelling sessions may be prolonged and last well into the early hours of morning.” While growing up, Oyelana experienced singing, drumming, dancing and pure entertainment, and remarks that they are all part of the central

focus points of storytelling art in Africa.

Designed to educate and entertain, the book features numerous companion folksongs that accompany the stories. Audio recordings of the folksongs are available for download at www.iyailu.com. The book also includes original illustrations by Tolulope Akingbile that feature major characters and portray important plot points.

African Moonlight Stories is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.


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