This detailed study of the stories told among the Limba rice farmers of northern Sierra Leone, collected and translated by Ruth Finnegan, emphasizes the importance of the multisensory perfomance arts of these orally developed tales, the part played by the story-teller, and the changing forms arising from the originality of individual narrators.
Ruth Finnegan’s first monograph, this book was the start of her international reputation, especially in North America and Scandinavia, then the main centres of folklore and perforna studies, coming as it did at, and itself contributng to, the emergence of performance theory and orality studies.
The manuscript transcripts and translations of the stories, made in the field, are deposited in the archive of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. The audio recordings can be heard (now digitised) at oralliterature.org
Oxford University Press, 1967