By Stephen Belcher
Accumulating quite a lot of conventional African myths, this compelling new assortment bargains stories of heroes fighting strong serpents and great birds, brutal kin clash and vengeance, and determined migrations throughout immense and alien lands. From debts of the creative wiles of animal-creators and a group compelled to escape an enormous crocodile to the heroic tale of the cripple Sunjata who rose to discovered an empire, all of the narratives right here drawback origins. they provide a kaleidoscopic photograph consultant of the wealthy cultures and societies of the African continent: the methods of lifestyles, the peoples—from small searching bands to nice empires—and the states that experience taken form over many generations and environments.
* First time in Penguin Classics
* tales span the centuries and diversity around the whole continent, from old Egypt and Ethiopia during the Sahara to Zimbabwe
* comprises person prefaces to every part, placing the tales of their geographical and social context; maps; feedback for additional interpreting, and an index of individuals, areas, and issues
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Extra info for African Myths of Origin
Two of these describe Valhöll in connection with the arrival there of the king the poet wishes to praise. One, the anonymous Eiríksmál, was allegedly commissioned by Gunnhild, the widow of King Eirík Haraldsson Bloodax, who died in 954. The other, attributed to Eyvind Finnsson skáldaspillir (Spoiler-or-debaser-of-poets), praises Hákon the Good, who died in 961. Úlf Uggason was an Icelandic skald who lived around the tumultuous period of the conversion. Around 985, according to the chronology of Laxdœla saga, Úlf composed a drápa celebrating the building of an ornate hall by Óláf pái (Peacock), an important chieftain in western Iceland.
These are Baldr’s funeral, Thor’s fishing up of the Midgard serpent, and Loki’s fight with Heimdall. Another skald who lived during this period was Eilíf Godrúnarson, about whom nothing is known—not even his nationality—other than that he was patronized by Hákon Sigurdarson, jarl of Hladir, a notorious pagan. Eilíf composed Thórsdrápa, a complex and difficult account of Thor’s journey to Geirröd. Besides these poems treating mythological subjects, there are numerous other relevant texts and fragments.
A number of the aspects of this ceremony agree with what scholars think they know about cult and ritual of the Germanic peoples. Tacitus says elsewhere—and other sources, including place-names, agree—that worship occurs in a sacred grove. The killing of the slaves might also be regarded as a form of sacrifice, a subject to which I will return shortly. Other aspects of the worship of Nerthus find striking agreement with texts recorded much later that are associated specifically with the vanir. Freyja’s cart is pulled by cats, and according to Ögmundar tháttr dytts, admittedly a late text, (an idol of) Frey is pulled about in a cart accompanied by an attendant, female in this case.
African Myths of Origin by Stephen Belcher