The Transmission of Kapsiki-Higi Folktales over Two Generations

Tales That Come, Tales That Go

  • Walter E.A.┬ávan Beek

Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Walter E. A. van Beek
    Pages 1-21
  3. Walter E. A. van Beek
    Pages 23-41
  4. Walter E. A. van Beek
    Pages 43-103
  5. Walter E. A. van Beek
    Pages 105-119
  6. Walter E. A. van Beek
    Pages 121-148
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 149-170

About this book


This study on Kapsiki-Higi tales compares two corpuses of stories collected over two generations. In this oral setting, folktales appear much more dynamic than usually assumed, depending on genre, performance and the memory characteristics of the tales themselves. In northeastern Nigeria the author collected these tales twice with a time gap of two generations, in order to assess the dynamics of this oral transmission. The comparison between the two corpuses shows that folktales are a much more dynamic cultural system than is usually thought. These dynamics affect some types of tales more than others, reflect social change and intergroup contact, but also depend on characteristics of the tales themselves. Cognitive approaches of memory shed light on these varieties of transmission, as do performance aspects in tale telling, in particular ideophones.


folktale Kapsiki/Higi Cameroon ideophone orality narratology

Authors and affiliations

  • Walter E.A.┬ávan Beek
    • 1
  1. 1.African Studies CentreLeiden UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-94927-4
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-59485-3
  • Buy this book on publisher's site