Standard Stories in Sierra Leone: What Role for Librarians?


Tales are as outdated as language, as outdated as the earliest societies. A handful of of the earliest stories even survive: these told in pictorial sort on walls of cave in Lascaux, in France or in the Mpongweni Mountains in Lesotho. And other folks have appear down to us in the world’s myths and folklore to which we now have access on the printed age. Storytelling is older than printing, older than composing, and the 1st tales to be established down on paper, papyrus or parchment were not the operate of those authors but data of the oral traditions of earlier generations. In Sierra Leone as it is in most African nations storytelling is an integral element of the country’s daily life despite the fact that oral traditions have very largely yielded to the composed word.

We understand as we stay even though we are young children, young individuals and older people. Studying is not confined to the classroom alone: it can consider place anywhere. Ethical values and social norms, beliefs and codes have to be transmitted from generation to the up coming, no matter whether modified or not. Casual understanding configurations are pertinent and may possibly be dominant even these days when more formalized and particular institutions have partly taken in excess of.

Even though Sierra Leoneans guard themselves towards their earlier each educationists and librarians see a great deal in storytelling that could be utilised as foundation to orient and produce the younger in the faculty system. There are many indications that an enormous richness of traditional pedagogy in regard to the rules, contents, approaches and institutional preparations existed and even now exist in Sierra Leone. Story tellers, their tales and tunes, proverbs and riddles are nevertheless crucial assets and subjects for indigenous learning and schooling. Oral traditions do not only move the mores and specifications of a modern society. They set out to make clear the entire world and conduct of the men and women in it. Oral traditions supply accounts of how the globe started and these creation myths are part also of the Holy Publications of all the world’s prolonged-recognized religions such as Christianity and Islam. Also explained in allegorical phrases is all human conduct in which excellent does not usually triumph above evil.

Stories which do not depend on literature in turn do not rely on literacy. They can attain all of the group and their interactive top quality is by itself power, for it facilitates the capabilities of tales in social instruction, what Leeson (1985) referred to as “passing on the country’s shared knowledge and values to the up coming technology.” Regrettably there is a lacking website link in Sierra Leone as university heading young children are properly acquainted with the stories of Wonderful Britain, the United States of America, Canada and Italy to cite a couple of illustrations but know very little about their standard stories.


Sierra Leone contains sixteen (16) ethnic groups. The premier of these is the Mende found in the Southern and Jap Provinces. Up coming to them in variety is the Temne in the North. The 3rd largest group is the Limba, also in the Northern Province, adopted by the Kono in the Eastern Province. You will find also the Koranko in the North as well as the Yalunka, Loko, Soso, Madingo and Fula. On the coast, North and South are the Bullom and Sherbro adopted by the a lot scaled-down teams of Krim, Vai and Gola, with the Kissi additional inland in the Jap Province. The Western Spot, such as Freetown, is far more mixed in inhabitants, but is basically the property of the Creole group. In all these ethnic teams storytelling is frequent as component of their culture.

Ogutu and Roscoe (1974) had this to say about storytelling in Africa: “The continent has its possess fiction traditions it has the tradition of storytelling, narrated orally… the medium by way of which Africa down the hundreds of years has bared its soul, taught its people and entertained by itself” (pp. forty three-forty four).

Classic tales in Sierra Leone are perceived as embodiment of the beliefs, customs, rituals and buildings of modern society that want to be maintained. Tales operate in modern society to insure conformity to the approved cultural norms of continuity from technology to technology by way of their role in education and learning and the extent to which they mirror lifestyle. Most traditional storytellers declare to derive their art by way of goals, spirits, and apprenticeship to specialist storytellers other folks declare to acquire the artwork straight from God while some say they paid to purchase it. Storytellers possess the following functions:

• Fluency in the nearby language and mastery of a vast variety of vocabulary for all amounts of audiences
• Creative imagination and capability to build rapport with their audiences
• Knowledge of their audiences and their needs
• Familiarity with and ability to refer to their culture and atmosphere to enliven their stories and make them appeal to their viewers
• Great memory of accurate retention and narration of a massive corpus of materials and
• Candour.

The contents of standard tales can be grouped into:

• Myths-tales tinted with faith, superstition and classic beliefs especially about the origins of mankind and phenomena
• Legends-tales about historical occasions and unforgettable people such as war heroes, outstanding medication guys and migration
• Fiction-imaginary tales classified into allegory, fables, fantasy and parables.

These can be additional categorized by social perform or institution particularly:

• Political stories-stories about leadership and the connection in between leaders and their subjects
• Tribe tales-these expose the structures, family members and communities i.e. marriage and genealogies
• Religion and deities-stories about creation and phenomena this sort of as death and rain
• Ethical virtues-tales intended to deride this sort of vices as pride, greed, thievery, murder, dishonesty, foolishness and deficiency of perception
• Economics-stories that deal with work, borrowing and lending, industriousness and laziness.

People in standard traditional Sierra Leonean tales range from men and women to animals, stones, trees, plants, deities, spirits and birds. قصص اسلامية are symbolic: Bra rabbit- trickery tortoise-wisdom elephant-nobility vulture-tolerance lion-bravery and toughness sparrow, parrot and crow-intelligence dove-excellent fortune spider-cunning. Stories are told purely for night entertainments. Often storytelling periods could be any time of the day with audiences in non-public verandahs, ‘court barries’ or other community places. Nonetheless, the classic environment where 20 to forty people sit with each other about a kerosene lamp or fireplace at evening soon after a day’s function is completed and foods has been cooked and eaten. Storytellers are also invited to cultural social functions such as weddings, burials, secret culture celebrations and crowning ceremonies. Tobacco is typically provided for without having cigarette smoking storytelling ideas will not flow.

Stories go jointly with songs a song commences off a tale an essential line in a story makes up a new tale a proverb ends a tale a tune in the center of a tale is utilized to wake up listeners or to prepare for the coming climax. Quite typically tracks do invite participation, and listeners become lively supporters of a chorus, clapping their arms, reaching to lies and jokes of the tale teller, who in change responses the remarks often with another tale. Songs are backed by the beating of conventional musical devices like ‘kaylain’, ‘sira’ ‘seigureh’ and ‘sangba’ (local drum) to insert rhythm. Tale telling viewers is usually energetic. It catalyses the narratives by spontaneous exclamations, inquiries to the narrator, echoing of the narrator’s voice, and signing up for in the singing of choruses. For all these to consider spot self-discipline is preserved. The viewers is made to laugh and exclaim but without having jeopardizing the continuation of the narration.

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