NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ891490
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Telling Stories: Past and Present Heroes
Smith, Colin Bridges
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v14 p29-40 Mar 2007
Among the Xhosa tribe in South Africa storytelling is a magnificent art. But these stories are more than mere entertainment. Xhosa scholar Harold Scheub says story-telling for the Xhosa people is "not only a primary means of entertainment and artistic expression in the society, it is also the major educational device." Beyond education, the stories' most important role is to allow expression. With the recent demise of apartheid and some of its effects lingering on, the need for expression about past sorrows through stories is greater than ever before. Upon investigation, these stories yield profound insights into the Xhosa's racial identity and perception of self. For both the individual and the culture generally these stories and their heroes demonstrate their own significant roles in providing reconciliation and healing for the youth of South Africa. In this article, the author shares how telling stories has the power to bring people together that would otherwise remain separate, as it did for the commissioners assigned to investigate the atrocities of the apartheid regime. His experience as a teacher in South Africa taught him that what once seemed impossible to overcome falls down at their feet once they talk about it. He realizes that South Africa taught him that people are all healers.
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Africa