Myths and Legends of the Bantu

In todays book – feature is ‘Myths and Legends of the Bantu’ by Alice Werner. Published in 1933 by George G. Harrap & Co. LTD in London. The book includes thirty-two Illustrations from photographs.

Alice Werner (1859-1935) was an all – around writer, poet and teacher of the Bantu language. She lived in New Zealand, Mexico, America and throughout Europe. The Bantu people are the 300–600 ethnically and linguistically related ethnic groups in Africa who speak Bantu languages. Bantu is itself a major branch of the Niger-Congo language family spoken by most populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today the Bantus inhabit a geographical area in Sub-Equatorial Africa (also called: Bantu Africa) stretching east and southward from Central Africa to the African Great Lakes and Southern Africa.

The book contains legends and myths from the Bantu culture concerning the gods, the origin of mankind, the afterlife, the heroes and demigods, various creatures, real and mythical, as well as some of the great Bantu epics.

Within these pages you will find 20 chapters filled with around 200 stories selected from across Southern Africa – of prophets, doctors, witches, chameleons, the legend of Ngeketo, baboons, the Zulu Tokoloshe, Sikulokobuzuka, the road and the climb to heaven, the daughter of the Sun and the Moon, half-men, avengers of blood, the African Brer rabbit, frogs, war and death, lightning birds, cannibals, jackals, ogres, how the leopard got his spots, were-wolves, tortoises and lions and the practical jokes they played on each other; and many, many more for keeping a young audience captivated for hours.

8 7