Mangbetu tales of Leopard and Azapane: trickster as resistance hero

Authors:
Date:
2010
Part Of Series:
GIALens, 4(3)
Extent:
14 pages
Abstract:
In analyzing a sub-type of Mangbetu (northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo) tale as expressing vengeful cultural resistance to oppressive foreign authority, the paper is concerned with both storytelling as politics and trickster as a kind of resistance hero. Its three main sections present (1) relevant description of the Mangbetu peoples’ sociopolitical situation from the mid-nineteenth century, (2) an introduction to both Leopard and the trickster-culture hero Azapane in Mangbetu culture and tales, and (3) a summary-analysis of a typical Leopard-and-Azapane tale—viz., it is an African trickster tale in terms of its basic motifemic sequence, but different in that Azapane is not a negative example or anti-hero, but rather a resistance hero for the society’s oppressed subjects. Two appendices present much of the core Leopard-and-Azapane tale data on which the paper’s analysis is based. The conclusion, in part, questions the wisdom of a people continuing to tell vengeful resistance tales of the paper’s Leopard-and-Azapane sort in a context where former victims of oppression might too easily become killers.
Publication Status:
Published
Country:
Congo (Kinshasa)
Subject Languages:
Content Language:
Field:
Work Type:
Subject:
Azapane
Politics
Resistance
Trickster tales
Nature of Work:
Entry Number:
44077