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Malawicultures

Bird Boy's Song, The


Release date : Tuesday 01 january 2002
Genre : Novel

Book ISBN number : 9990848076

Year : 2002
Column : Literature

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This is a modern rendition in written form, of the popular Malawian folktale,'The Orphan and the Slave', passed down through oral tradition. The traditional version, included alongside this modern work of fiction, tells of a boy who is orphaned, and returns to his village, taking his slave with him. The slave tricks the boy into giving him his possessions, and assumes his master's identity. The boy must henceforth do the slave's work: scaring away the birds from the crops. But the songs the boy sings as he works reveal his true identity. When his family realise the truth, the deceptive and worthless slave is punished as he is torn into pieces and thrown into the river. In the modern setting, an orphaned boy, Dzunzo, returns to his village with his slave, who similarly assumes the orphan's identity. Dzunzo loves his slave, who has taught him much about the natural world; the slave suffers from epilepsy, and so is considered bewitched by the villagers. When the relatives find out the true identities of the boys, they are very angry, tie up the slave in a granary and threaten to kill him. In the modern story however, the orphan recognises the slave's good character and decides to free him. The author, Steve Chimombo, is a popular Malawian writer of fiction and poetry, well known for retelling traditional folk stories in modern literary forms, and as literary critic.

13,95$ / 7,95£
format : 216 x 140 mm

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