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ISSN: 2397-9607 Issue 16 (Electronic)

In issue 16 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the San Bushman tale of THE GIRL FROM THE EARLY RACE WHO MADE THE STARS. This story has echos of the Zulu story “The Stars and the Road of Stars” book 1 in the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories which tells of a maiden who created the stars and the Milky Way. That two races, separated by over 1,600 miles/2,700 km of African bush developed such similar folklore in a time when the only way of travel was by foot and communication by the spoken word, never ceases to amaze us.

It is believed that folklore and tales are believed to have originated in India and made their way overland along the Silk and Spice routes and through Central Asia before arriving in Europe. However, no-one as yet has developed such a comprehensive theory for the rich tapestry that is African folklore.

This book also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.

Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.

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In far bygone days, there was a widow who had three daughters. The girls lived in a tiny house in the forest.

 

A tiger was also in the forest and watched out for the girls, hoping to hunt them down.

 

One day, the mother said to the girls, Ill go out to look for food. Dont go out and dont let anyone in. Then she set off.

 

The tiger saw the mother leave. An hour later, the tiger went to the house and knocked on the door. One of the girls, Ma Gyi, went to the door and asked,
Who is it?
This is me, your mother, replied the tiger.
May I see your eyes? Why are your eyes so red? enquired Ma Gyi.
I was worried about you and cried on the way home, answered the tiger.
May I see your hands? Why are your hands so big and dirty?
The tiger replied, I helped with planting on a farm and so my hands became dirty.

 

The girls unwisely opened the door and then ran away and climbed a tree while the tiger chased them.

 

The tiger asked, How can I climb up?
Ma Gyi gave a tricky response, Pour oil onto the tree.

 

The tiger went back to the house, brought some oil and poured it onto the tree. However, it could not climb up the tree as it was so slippery.

 

Then Ma Gyis sister, Ma Nge shouted, Chop the tree down with an axe.

 

The tiger got an axe and started to chop the tree down. The girls were very fearful and cried out to the Lord of the Sky to save them.

 

The Lord of the Sky sent down a basket and a rope and the girls went up into the sky. The tiger made the same request and climbed into another basket going up into the sky. However, the rope was old and finally broke and the tiger fell to the ground and died.

 

The girls became as fairies of the Sun, Moon and Stars.

—–

From FOLKLORE and FAIRY TALES from BURMA – 21 folk and fairy tales from ancient Myanmar

ISBN 9781909302856

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/burmese

 

55% of the net profit from the sale of this book will be donated to the Phaung Daw Oo Monastic Education High School, Mandalay to assist with teaching materials.

Folklore and Fairy Tales from Burma

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