By Philip M. Peek, Kwesi Yankah
Written by way of a world group of specialists, the three hundred entries offer perception into many elements of African tradition and folklore.
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Additional info for African Folklore: An Encyclopedia
Tuareg The Tuareg are a nomadic people who raise camels, which they trade throughout the eastern Saharan desert ranging from the Niger River all the way to Algeria. Given the necessary mobility of their lives, they live in tents. They use two types: one consists of a large piece of cloth, roughly 15 by 20 feet, that is stretched over a set of poles; the second is fixed frame tent employing a dome-shaped armature draped with mats or pieces of cloth. Seeming to be nothing more than minimal, temporary shelters, these tents actually demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of materials.
Folk tales, which allow a greater commitment of the storyteller, are more open to the evolution of the dialects, even if archaisms and formulas are normally scrupulously preserved. More fixed genres, like proverbs or ritual songs (of which the language can be very mixed), are less exposed to variation; more exactly, the variants observed in them often show evidence of sequences having been replaced because they were no longer intelligible. , )—even in late-twentieth-century pieces (as betrayed by words referring to modern objects or concepts, or by French borrowings), or very classicizing works (as in many songs in praise of the Prophet).
The new constitution officially recognizes those of Arab and of Berber identity, the latter being the original inhabitants of the country. The Berber language is also officially African folklore 2 recognized, although Arabic continues as the general language, and French is used in business and government. The current population is approximately 31 million. Islam is the major religion, with 98 percent of the population being Sunni Muslims. There are over a dozen institutions of higher learning, and an adult literacy rate of over 62 percent.