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vii Translator’s Preface The stories in this collection were not originally written, but spoken. The author, Alain Sissao, first listened to the tales before transcribing them into Moore and then into French. In my English translation I have therefore made an attempt to retain the oral quality of the language which I found in Mr. Sissao’s French version. I have kept the simplicity of the language, the frequent repetitions and colloquialisms, and have tried to resist making the stories sound more ‘‘scholarly.’’ My hope is that the reader will listen to, as well as read the tales. Why publish these stories in English? The current translation will help to introduce the English-speaking world to the very rich culture of the Moose people of Burkina Faso. The book should appeal to both general readers interested in African folktales and folklore, as well as to students at the secondary or university level. Anthropology or African Studies departments might find the collection valuable for their undergraduate programs. And, with its proverbs, jokes and songs, the book enriches our understanding of oral literature and should contribute to the growing interest in that field. I wish to thank my colleagues at Santa Clara University for their help and for their kind endorsements. Special thanks go to Alain Sissao and Michael Kevane both of whose knowledge of Burkina Faso I depended on, and through whom I learned that translation is as much about culture as it is about language. Nina Tanti Santa Clara University April 20, 2010 ...


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