Blog Entry 10: Write a reflection either on the lecture by Dr. Alles or Dr. Ochieng’ and show how the myths and legends of the Ādivāsīs in India or the Kenyan folktales are similar or different from those have read and discussed so far. How did you like his lecture and presentation? How did this enrich your knowledge of folk and fairy tales? Be reflective and elaborate on what you write. Blog is due by Sunday, April 28
Dr. Ochieng’s lecture on Kenyan folktales was vastly different from the majority of the tales we looked at throughout our class. First of all while European folktales are generally told to sooth fears such as marriage, “Beauty and the Beast,” Kenyan folk tales are used to show origin or aspects of the community. The tale that he told that explained the origins of jealousy is an example of this. Otiono is trying to get rich, leading him to the animal kingdom where he is given a gift. This gift allows him to become so rich he can take a second wife. This second wife is very jealous, when she dies she is cremated and who ever the ashes touches feel jealous. This is the origin of jealousy. In a n European tale there is no talk of why things happen or where they come from, they are just tales meant to help children explore their inner psyche. In “Beauty and the Beast,” nothing of origin is ever discussed instead the tales purpose is to sooth young girl’s fears on marriage, by showing them their husband to be is not really a beast.
In the Kenyan tale additionally wit is valued this is a similarity to the European tales. When the monkey tricks the shark into taking him back to the tree, the monkey’s wit is valued. He is seen as the hero of the story because he is able to out smart the shark and save his own skin. This is similar to some of the Bluebeard tales where the girls are able to use their wits to either sew their sisters back together and save them or hold of the villain long enough to out wit him and escape. In both cases the hero is able to out smart their enemy and is rewarded for their actions.