Gathering a wide range of traditional African myths, this compelling new collection offers tales of heroes battling mighty serpents and monstrous birds, brutal family conflict and vengeance, and desperate migrations across vast and alien lands. From accounts of the inventive wiles of animal-creators and a community forced to flee a giant crocodile to the heroic story of the cripple Sunjata who rose to found an empire, all the narratives here concern origins. They offer a kaleidoscopic picture representative of the rich cultures and societies of the African continent: the ways of life, the peoples—from small hunting bands to great empires—and the states that have taken shape over many generations and environments.
- First time in Penguin Classics
- Stories span the centuries and range across the entire continent, from ancient Egypt and Ethiopia through the Sahara to Zimbabwe
- Includes individual prefaces to each section, putting the stories in their geographical and social context; maps; suggestions for further reading, and an index of people, places, and themes