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Oral Traditional Literature of Gabon

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  • Don Bailey
    As long as I m posting tonight I thought I would mention that I m taking a class at the local University, African Oral Traditional Literature. I have to
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 31, 2008
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      As long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would mention that I'm
      taking a class at the local University, "African Oral Traditional
      Literature." I have to write a paper and will certainly write about
      the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.

      Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps de guard?" Or can
      someone relate a personal experience of hearing the Mvet recited? I'd
      like some information about how the audience interacts with the story
      teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling go? Just any
      personal experiences would liven up the paper and I'll attribute your
      contribution in the citations.

      While researching my paper I've already uncovered some interesting
      websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com (??!??!) and one to
      celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/ Visit and enjoy!

      Don
    • Katherine Vaast
      Don, Somewhere in my books I think I have a book in French of comptes from Gabon or Central Africa. We just bought a house and are moving stuff around, I will
      Message 2 of 9 , Feb 1, 2008
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        Don,
        Somewhere in my books I think I have a book in French
        of comptes from Gabon or Central Africa. We just
        bought a house and are moving stuff around, I will
        search for you. There are some excellent small
        publishers in France, you could probably find material
        looking on French websites. Try fnac.com it is like
        Amazon or even yahoo.fr...
        I am definately tempted by the fete. Philippe will
        already be in India, but I've got to hang out in the
        States until September...an island getaway might be
        just the ticket.
        Kate

        --- Don Bailey <donstx@...> wrote:

        > As long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would
        > mention that I'm
        > taking a class at the local University, "African
        > Oral Traditional
        > Literature." I have to write a paper and will
        > certainly write about
        > the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.
        >
        > Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps
        > de guard?" Or can
        > someone relate a personal experience of hearing the
        > Mvet recited? I'd
        > like some information about how the audience
        > interacts with the story
        > teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling
        > go? Just any
        > personal experiences would liven up the paper and
        > I'll attribute your
        > contribution in the citations.
        >
        > While researching my paper I've already uncovered
        > some interesting
        > websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com
        > (??!??!) and one to
        > celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/
        > Visit and enjoy!
        >
        > Don
        >
        >
      • roiadende
        Hello - I have done over 100 interviews in Gabon as part of my research on the country s colonial history, and my friend and former PCV John Cinnamon is over
        Message 3 of 9 , Feb 1, 2008
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          Hello -

          I have done over 100 interviews in Gabon as part of my research on
          the country's colonial history, and my friend and former PCV John
          Cinnamon is over there now doing research on the madamoiselle spirit
          cults of the 1950s and 1960s. It would be hard for me to generalize,
          but I can pass on John's email and give a few ideas if you contacted
          me individually. There's a few books on the mvet in French, and an
          older 1972 work on Fang songs that include lyrics. James Fernandez,
          Andre Mary, Joseph Tonda, and Julien Bonhomme are anthropologists
          who has done a lot of work on oral research. The lit on Gabonese
          history and culture is far less than it should be, but there's a lot
          you could look at.

          Best, Jeremy

          --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, Katherine Vaast
          <ktvaast@...> wrote:
          >
          > Don,
          > Somewhere in my books I think I have a book in French
          > of comptes from Gabon or Central Africa. We just
          > bought a house and are moving stuff around, I will
          > search for you. There are some excellent small
          > publishers in France, you could probably find material
          > looking on French websites. Try fnac.com it is like
          > Amazon or even yahoo.fr...
          > I am definately tempted by the fete. Philippe will
          > already be in India, but I've got to hang out in the
          > States until September...an island getaway might be
          > just the ticket.
          > Kate
          >
          > --- Don Bailey <donstx@...> wrote:
          >
          > > As long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would
          > > mention that I'm
          > > taking a class at the local University, "African
          > > Oral Traditional
          > > Literature." I have to write a paper and will
          > > certainly write about
          > > the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.
          > >
          > > Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps
          > > de guard?" Or can
          > > someone relate a personal experience of hearing the
          > > Mvet recited? I'd
          > > like some information about how the audience
          > > interacts with the story
          > > teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling
          > > go? Just any
          > > personal experiences would liven up the paper and
          > > I'll attribute your
          > > contribution in the citations.
          > >
          > > While researching my paper I've already uncovered
          > > some interesting
          > > websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com
          > > (??!??!) and one to
          > > celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/
          > > Visit and enjoy!
          > >
          > > Don
          > >
          > >
          >
        • Brad Hodges
          Don, I have a copy of Contes gabonais (en français, bien sûr), a collection of short stories from throughout Gabon. (I was particulary intrigued by the
          Message 4 of 9 , Feb 1, 2008
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            Don,

            I have a copy of "Contes gabonais" (en français, bien sûr), a collection of short stories from throughout Gabon. (I was particulary intrigued by the story of the fairy of the chutes de Tsamba-Magotsi in Fougamou.) What's more, I gave a presentation in an African literature class recently that another professor is teaching at the University of Alabama, where I also teach. I could put you in contact with him if you like. Finally, I might also point you to my mother-in-law, who recently published some oral stories in French and Myènè through UNESCO. Her name is Olga Lays Rogombhe. I'm attaching that publication, which includes her story and others.

            Glad to see an anglophone taking on such noble work!

            Bon courage,

            Brad Hodges

            Don Bailey <donstx@...> a écrit : As long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would mention that I'm
            taking a class at the local University, "African Oral Traditional
            Literature." I have to write a paper and will certainly write about
            the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.

            Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps de guard?" Or can
            someone relate a personal experience of hearing the Mvet recited? I'd
            like some information about how the audience interacts with the story
            teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling go? Just any
            personal experiences would liven up the paper and I'll attribute your
            contribution in the citations.

            While researching my paper I've already uncovered some interesting
            websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com (??!??!) and one to
            celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/ Visit and enjoy!

            Don






            ---------------------------------
            Ne gardez plus qu'une seule adresse mail ! Copiez vos mails vers Yahoo! Mail

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Darcy Meijer
            Hello Brad, I d love to print one of those stories in the April newsletter: the fairy of the chutes or one of your mother s oral stories. Would that be
            Message 5 of 9 , Feb 2, 2008
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              Hello Brad,


              I'd love to print one of those stories in the April newsletter: the fairy of the chutes or one of your mother's oral stories.
              Would that be possible? I've been looking for Gabonese stories for a few years.
              (I didn't receive the attachment.)


              Thanks,
              Darcy Meijer


              -----Original Message-----
              From: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Brad Hodges
              Sent: Fri 2/1/2008 10:45 PM
              To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE : [Gabon Discussion] Oral Traditional Literature of Gabon

              Don,

              I have a copy of "Contes gabonais" (en français, bien sûr), a collection of short stories from throughout Gabon. (I was particulary intrigued by the story of the fairy of the chutes de Tsamba-Magotsi in Fougamou.) What's more, I gave a presentation in an African literature class recently that another professor is teaching at the University of Alabama, where I also teach. I could put you in contact with him if you like. Finally, I might also point you to my mother-in-law, who recently published some oral stories in French and Myènè through UNESCO. Her name is Olga Lays Rogombhe. I'm attaching that publication, which includes her story and others.

              Glad to see an anglophone taking on such noble work!

              Bon courage,

              Brad Hodges

              Don Bailey <donstx@...> a écrit : As long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would mention that I'm
              taking a class at the local University, "African Oral Traditional
              Literature." I have to write a paper and will certainly write about
              the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.

              Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps de guard?" Or can
              someone relate a personal experience of hearing the Mvet recited? I'd
              like some information about how the audience interacts with the story
              teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling go? Just any
              personal experiences would liven up the paper and I'll attribute your
              contribution in the citations.

              While researching my paper I've already uncovered some interesting
              websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com (??!??!) and one to
              celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/ Visit and enjoy!

              Don






              ---------------------------------
              Ne gardez plus qu'une seule adresse mail ! Copiez vos mails vers Yahoo! Mail

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Brad Hodges
              Darcy et batu botsi , I ve uploaded the UNESCO-funded publication to the Yahoo discussion group s files. The book Contes gabonais - as well as many other
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 3, 2008
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                Darcy et "batu botsi",

                I've uploaded the UNESCO-funded publication to the Yahoo discussion group's files. The book Contes gabonais - as well as many other collections I remember seeing at bookstores in LBV a couple of years ago - should be easy enough to order online. There's only one publishing house that I'm aware of in LBV. (I remember because it printed my wedding invitations). It has published a few historical accounts and dictionaries of local languages. Most of those books are published en France.

                Brad

                Darcy Meijer <darcy.meijer@...> a écrit : Hello Brad,

                I'd love to print one of those stories in the April newsletter: the fairy of the chutes or one of your mother's oral stories.
                Would that be possible? I've been looking for Gabonese stories for a few years.
                (I didn't receive the attachment.)

                Thanks,
                Darcy Meijer

                -----Original Message-----
                From: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Brad Hodges
                Sent: Fri 2/1/2008 10:45 PM
                To: gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE : [Gabon Discussion] Oral Traditional Literature of Gabon

                Don,

                I have a copy of "Contes gabonais" (en français, bien sûr), a collection of short stories from throughout Gabon. (I was particulary intrigued by the story of the fairy of the chutes de Tsamba-Magotsi in Fougamou.) What's more, I gave a presentation in an African literature class recently that another professor is teaching at the University of Alabama, where I also teach. I could put you in contact with him if you like. Finally, I might also point you to my mother-in-law, who recently published some oral stories in French and Myènè through UNESCO. Her name is Olga Lays Rogombhe. I'm attaching that publication, which includes her story and others.

                Glad to see an anglophone taking on such noble work!

                Bon courage,

                Brad Hodges

                Don Bailey <donstx@...> a écrit : As long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would mention that I'm
                taking a class at the local University, "African Oral Traditional
                Literature." I have to write a paper and will certainly write about
                the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.

                Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps de guard?" Or can
                someone relate a personal experience of hearing the Mvet recited? I'd
                like some information about how the audience interacts with the story
                teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling go? Just any
                personal experiences would liven up the paper and I'll attribute your
                contribution in the citations.

                While researching my paper I've already uncovered some interesting
                websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com (??!??!) and one to
                celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/ Visit and enjoy!

                Don





                ---------------------------------
                Ne gardez plus qu'une seule adresse mail ! Copiez vos mails vers Yahoo! Mail

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






                ---------------------------------
                Ne gardez plus qu'une seule adresse mail ! Copiez vos mails vers Yahoo! Mail

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Don Bailey
                Thanks for the reply. If you have a favorite conte maybe you can scan and email it? The class covers how the story is told so If you ever experienced a conte
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 5, 2008
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                  Thanks for the reply. If you have a favorite conte maybe you can scan
                  and email it? The class covers how the story is told so If you ever
                  experienced a conte in a corps de guard perhaps you can relate the
                  experience. I have some books too and am brushing up on my French to
                  read them.

                  In my library I have:

                  Rite et croyances des peuples du Gabon, A. Raponda-Waalker
                  Anthologie de la litterature Gabonaise, Le Ministre de l'education
                  nationale, ed.
                  Le Mvett (vol 1 & 2) T. Ndong Ndoutoume
                  Gabon Today, Mylene Remy.

                  Thanks for the ideas.

                  Don



                  --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, Katherine Vaast <ktvaast@...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > Don,
                  > Somewhere in my books I think I have a book in French
                  > of comptes from Gabon or Central Africa. We just
                  > bought a house and are moving stuff around, I will
                  > search for you. There are some excellent small
                  > publishers in France, you could probably find material
                  > looking on French websites. Try fnac.com it is like
                  > Amazon or even yahoo.fr...
                  > I am definately tempted by the fete. Philippe will
                  > already be in India, but I've got to hang out in the
                  > States until September...an island getaway might be
                  > just the ticket.
                  > Kate
                  >
                  > --- Don Bailey <donstx@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > As long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would
                  > > mention that I'm
                  > > taking a class at the local University, "African
                  > > Oral Traditional
                  > > Literature." I have to write a paper and will
                  > > certainly write about
                  > > the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.
                  > >
                  > > Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps
                  > > de guard?" Or can
                  > > someone relate a personal experience of hearing the
                  > > Mvet recited? I'd
                  > > like some information about how the audience
                  > > interacts with the story
                  > > teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling
                  > > go? Just any
                  > > personal experiences would liven up the paper and
                  > > I'll attribute your
                  > > contribution in the citations.
                  > >
                  > > While researching my paper I've already uncovered
                  > > some interesting
                  > > websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com
                  > > (??!??!) and one to
                  > > celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/
                  > > Visit and enjoy!
                  > >
                  > > Don
                  > >
                  > >
                  >
                • Don Bailey
                  Thanks for pointing me to these resources. I ll follow up on them as best I can. The Virgin Islands has an oral lit tradition descended from the West African
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 5, 2008
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                    Thanks for pointing me to these resources. I'll follow up on them as
                    best I can. The Virgin Islands has an oral lit tradition descended
                    from the West African tradition via the slaves. The Big-belly,
                    Big-head, Thin-leg personalities show up frequently.

                    I hope to include some oral story telling at the St. Croix fete this
                    summer, as well as including the African drumming group that we have
                    here. That evening should be rock'n!

                    Don



                    --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, Brad Hodges <niakurondi@...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > Don,
                    >
                    > I have a copy of "Contes gabonais" (en français, bien sûr), a
                    collection of short stories from throughout Gabon. (I was particulary
                    intrigued by the story of the fairy of the chutes de Tsamba-Magotsi in
                    Fougamou.) What's more, I gave a presentation in an African literature
                    class recently that another professor is teaching at the University of
                    Alabama, where I also teach. I could put you in contact with him if
                    you like. Finally, I might also point you to my mother-in-law, who
                    recently published some oral stories in French and Myènè through
                    UNESCO. Her name is Olga Lays Rogombhe. I'm attaching that
                    publication, which includes her story and others.
                    >
                    > Glad to see an anglophone taking on such noble work!
                    >
                    > Bon courage,
                    >
                    > Brad Hodges
                    >
                    > Don Bailey <donstx@...> a écrit : As
                    long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would mention that I'm
                    > taking a class at the local University, "African Oral Traditional
                    > Literature." I have to write a paper and will certainly write about
                    > the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.
                    >
                    > Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps de guard?" Or can
                    > someone relate a personal experience of hearing the Mvet recited? I'd
                    > like some information about how the audience interacts with the story
                    > teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling go? Just any
                    > personal experiences would liven up the paper and I'll attribute your
                    > contribution in the citations.
                    >
                    > While researching my paper I've already uncovered some interesting
                    > websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com (??!??!) and one to
                    > celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/ Visit and enjoy!
                    >
                    > Don
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > ---------------------------------
                    > Ne gardez plus qu'une seule adresse mail ! Copiez vos mails vers
                    Yahoo! Mail
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                  • Don Bailey
                    I ll Google those names and see what I can come up with. If they have scholarly abstracts/articles then they will probably pop up in the searches and my
                    Message 9 of 9 , Feb 5, 2008
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                      I'll Google those names and see what I can come up with. If they have
                      scholarly abstracts/articles then they will probably pop up in the
                      searches and my library can request reprints.

                      John Cinnamon was a volunteer when I was there, 80-83. He has made a
                      profession of anthropology and I have continued mine in fish culture.
                      I looked up his email and intended to contact him once I came up with
                      a topic for my paper.

                      I'm thinking about making an Mvet to demonstrate to the class. A
                      question I've already had is "Are the strings tuned to the same tonal
                      scale as a piano?"

                      One nice thing about living in tropical St. Croix is the readily
                      available calabashes. I have a tree in my yard that bears small ones
                      (<4" dia.) and know a lady who collects and sells larger ones. I'll
                      see her at the Agriculture Fair in 2 weekends and get a few nice sized
                      calabashes to tie to the raffia bow.

                      I saw a video on the net of a man playing the Mvet. I don't have the
                      link here to send now. However, besides the tune of the Mvet you can
                      hear the tapping of the Rebab bottle and shaking of the "maracas." I
                      have both in my collection of souvenirs so I can at lease make lots of
                      noise.

                      Thanks for the help.

                      Don



                      --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, "roiadende" <roiadende@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Hello -
                      >
                      > I have done over 100 interviews in Gabon as part of my research on
                      > the country's colonial history, and my friend and former PCV John
                      > Cinnamon is over there now doing research on the madamoiselle spirit
                      > cults of the 1950s and 1960s. It would be hard for me to generalize,
                      > but I can pass on John's email and give a few ideas if you contacted
                      > me individually. There's a few books on the mvet in French, and an
                      > older 1972 work on Fang songs that include lyrics. James Fernandez,
                      > Andre Mary, Joseph Tonda, and Julien Bonhomme are anthropologists
                      > who has done a lot of work on oral research. The lit on Gabonese
                      > history and culture is far less than it should be, but there's a lot
                      > you could look at.
                      >
                      > Best, Jeremy
                      >
                      > --- In gabondiscussion@yahoogroups.com, Katherine Vaast
                      > <ktvaast@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Don,
                      > > Somewhere in my books I think I have a book in French
                      > > of comptes from Gabon or Central Africa. We just
                      > > bought a house and are moving stuff around, I will
                      > > search for you. There are some excellent small
                      > > publishers in France, you could probably find material
                      > > looking on French websites. Try fnac.com it is like
                      > > Amazon or even yahoo.fr...
                      > > I am definately tempted by the fete. Philippe will
                      > > already be in India, but I've got to hang out in the
                      > > States until September...an island getaway might be
                      > > just the ticket.
                      > > Kate
                      > >
                      > > --- Don Bailey <donstx@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > As long as I'm posting tonight I thought I would
                      > > > mention that I'm
                      > > > taking a class at the local University, "African
                      > > > Oral Traditional
                      > > > Literature." I have to write a paper and will
                      > > > certainly write about
                      > > > the Mvet and/or other stories of Gabon.
                      > > >
                      > > > Does anyone remember any stories told in the "corps
                      > > > de guard?" Or can
                      > > > someone relate a personal experience of hearing the
                      > > > Mvet recited? I'd
                      > > > like some information about how the audience
                      > > > interacts with the story
                      > > > teller? Interactive? Passive? How did the telling
                      > > > go? Just any
                      > > > personal experiences would liven up the paper and
                      > > > I'll attribute your
                      > > > contribution in the citations.
                      > > >
                      > > > While researching my paper I've already uncovered
                      > > > some interesting
                      > > > websites. One for Konoville http://konoville.com
                      > > > (??!??!) and one to
                      > > > celebrate the Fang culture http://monefang.com/
                      > > > Visit and enjoy!
                      > > >
                      > > > Don
                      > > >
                      > > >
                      > >
                      >
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