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Re: Oral Traditional Literature of Gabon

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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