It seems incredible that heretofore there has not been an introductory anthology of African epics presented in English. Western culture traces its literary heritage to such well-known epics as the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" and "Gilgamesh". But is only recently that scholars have turned their attention toward capturing the rich oral tradition that is still alive in Africa today. The twenty-five excerpts in this volume have been selected and introduced in order to offer English-speaking readers a broad sample of the extensive epic traditions in Africa. The introduction to the volume, and the introduction to each epic will enable students to understand the context of each epic and also develop leads for further inquiry. The book is divided geographically with nineteen epics representing West Africa, two from North Africa, and four from Central Africa. There are bibliographies for each section and epic
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