Traditional Testimonies in Sierra Leone: What Role for Librarians?


Tales are as previous as language, as outdated as the earliest societies. A handful of of the earliest stories even survive: these advised in pictorial form on partitions of cave in Lascaux, in France or in the Mpongweni Mountains in Lesotho. And others have come down to us in the world’s myths and folklore to which we now have obtain on the printed age. Storytelling is older than printing, more mature than producing, and the first stories to be established down on paper, papyrus or parchment had been not the work of these authors but documents of the oral traditions of past hundreds of years. In Sierra Leone as it is in most African nations storytelling is an integral element of the country’s life although oral traditions have really mainly yielded to the prepared phrase.

قصص اطفال understand as we reside whilst we are kids, youthful folks and grown ups. Studying is not confined to the classroom on your own: it can consider area anyplace. Ethical values and social norms, beliefs and codes have to be transmitted from generation to the following, regardless of whether modified or not. Informal learning settings are relevant and may be dominant even right now when more formalized and specific institutions have partly taken more than.

While Sierra Leoneans guard them selves from their earlier each educationists and librarians see a whole lot in storytelling that could be employed as foundation to orient and produce the young in the faculty method. There are several indications that an huge richness of conventional pedagogy in regard to the concepts, contents, strategies and institutional preparations existed and even now exist in Sierra Leone. Tale tellers, their tales and tracks, proverbs and riddles are still critical property and topics for indigenous studying and education and learning. Oral traditions do not only go the mores and specifications of a culture. They established out to explain the entire world and behaviour of the people in it. Oral traditions supply accounts of how the world commenced and these generation myths are part also of the Holy Publications of all the world’s lengthy-established religions this sort of as Christianity and Islam. Also explained in allegorical phrases is all human conduct in which great does not constantly triumph over evil.

Stories which do not count on literature in turn do not rely on literacy. They can achieve all of the neighborhood and their interactive quality is itself electricity, for it facilitates the features of stories in social instruction, what Leeson (1985) named “passing on the country’s shared wisdom and values to the up coming era.” Unfortunately there is a lacking url in Sierra Leone as college likely youngsters are well acquainted with the tales of Wonderful Britain, the United States of The us, Canada and Italy to cite a few examples but know extremely small about their classic tales.


Sierra Leone comprises sixteen (sixteen) ethnic teams. The largest of these is the Mende identified in the Southern and Eastern Provinces. Following to them in number is the Temne in the North. The 3rd biggest team is the Limba, also in the Northern Province, followed by the Kono in the Eastern Province. There’s also the Koranko in the North as properly as the Yalunka, Loko, Soso, Madingo and Fula. On the coastline, North and South are the Bullom and Sherbro adopted by the significantly scaled-down groups of Krim, Vai and Gola, with the Kissi even more inland in the Eastern Province. The Western Spot, such as Freetown, is far more blended in populace, but is essentially the house of the Creole group. In all these ethnic groups storytelling is common as element of their tradition.

Ogutu and Roscoe (1974) experienced this to say about storytelling in Africa: “The continent has its very own fiction traditions it has the tradition of storytelling, narrated orally… the medium via which Africa down the generations has bared its soul, taught its men and women and entertained alone” (pp. 43-forty four).

Classic tales in Sierra Leone are perceived as embodiment of the beliefs, customs, rituals and buildings of society that need to have to be taken care of. Stories function inside culture to insure conformity to the recognized cultural norms of continuity from generation to era through their role in training and the extent to which they mirror tradition. Most conventional storytellers declare to derive their art through dreams, spirits, and apprenticeship to professional storytellers other people assert to acquire the artwork right from God whilst some say they paid out to acquire it. Storytellers possess the pursuing attributes:

• Fluency in the local language and mastery of a vast assortment of vocabulary for all amounts of audiences
• Creativity and capability to build rapport with their audiences
• Knowledge of their audiences and their requirements
• Familiarity with and capacity to refer to their culture and surroundings to enliven their tales and make them charm to their audience
• Great memory of precise retention and narration of a massive corpus of materials and
• Candour.

The contents of traditional stories can be grouped into:

• Myths-stories tinted with religion, superstition and classic beliefs specifically about the origins of mankind and phenomena
• Legends-tales about historic occasions and memorable individuals these kinds of as war heroes, exceptional drugs gentlemen and migration
• Fiction-imaginary tales categorized into allegory, fables, fantasy and parables.

These can be even more categorized by social perform or institution namely:

• Political stories-tales about leadership and the relationship between leaders and their topics
• Tribe stories-these expose the constructions, family members and communities i.e. relationship and genealogies
• Religion and deities-stories about development and phenomena this sort of as loss of life and rain
• Moral virtues-tales meant to deride this sort of vices as delight, greed, thievery, murder, dishonesty, foolishness and absence of insight
• Economics-stories that offer with operate, borrowing and lending, industriousness and laziness.

Figures in normal standard Sierra Leonean tales selection from individuals to animals, stones, trees, plants, deities, spirits and birds. These people are symbolic: Bra rabbit- trickery tortoise-knowledge elephant-nobility vulture-persistence lion-bravery and strength sparrow, parrot and crow-intelligence dove-great fortune spider-cunning. Stories are told purely for evening entertainments. Sometimes storytelling sessions could be any time of the day with audiences in private verandahs, ‘court barries’ or other general public areas. However, the classic environment in which twenty to forty folks sit together close to a kerosene lamp or hearth at night time following a day’s perform is completed and food has been cooked and eaten. Storytellers are also invited to cultural social features this sort of as weddings, burials, key society celebrations and crowning ceremonies. Tobacco is usually offered for without smoking cigarettes storytelling suggestions will not flow.

Stories go collectively with tunes a music starts off a tale an crucial line in a tale can make up a new tale a proverb finishes a tale a song in the middle of a story is used to wake up listeners or to put together for the coming climax. Extremely frequently tunes do invite participation, and listeners turn into active supporters of a refrain, clapping their fingers, achieving to lies and jokes of the tale teller, who in switch solutions the feedback often with an additional tale. Music are backed by the beating of conventional musical devices like ‘kaylain’, ‘sira’ ‘seigureh’ and ‘sangba’ (neighborhood drum) to include rhythm. Story telling audience is typically energetic. It catalyses the narratives by spontaneous exclamations, questions to the narrator, echoing of the narrator’s voice, and becoming a member of in the singing of choruses. For all these to get area self-control is managed. The viewers is manufactured to chortle and exclaim but without jeopardizing the continuation of the narration.


Leave a Reply