A Soothsayer Tested – Somali Folktales

ISBN 978-3-89645-345-7

A Soothsayer Tested – Somali Folktales

Faaliyihii la bilkeyday – Sheekaxariirooyin Soomaaliyeed

Translated by: Georgi L. Kapchits. Edited by: Georgi L. Kapchits. With contributions by: Alexander Zholkovsky.

220 pp.
Text language(s): English, Somali
Format: 145 x 218 mm
310 g
€ 34.80

The present book consists of 115 folktales chosen from some 400 texts from the author’s collection, representing perhaps the best of Somali narrative folklore. Among them can be singled out, for their well-deserved popularity and renown, such tales as A Soothsayer Tested, The Human Trial, A Tragedy, The knocked-out Eye of the Hyena and many others.

The introduction offers detailed information about Somali culture and about the various genres of the folk prose contained in this volume. Examples can be found of mythodological and related etiological tales originating from myths, and these make up the first part of each of the two sections (Somali and English) of the book. The second part contains animal tales, the third part classical and heroic legends and the fourth part novelistic tales. The book consists of two sections, the first containing the folktales in Somali, the second in English translation. The sequence order of the texts in both sections is identical. The Somali part ends in References, followed by The Source of Folktales.

The English part is concluded by an appendix with the theoretical article The Somali Tale 'A Soothsayer Tested' written by Alexander Zholkovsky – after his emigration from Russia in 1979 – now Professor of Russian Literature at the University of Southern California. This article has been published in English for the first time. The publication of this collection is meant for ordinary readers, both children and adults, and for professional folklorists and everyone who is interested in Somali Language and Literature.

For learning Somali, we published a comprehensive textbook in German, a grammatical sketch of Standard Somali and a grammar of Tunni, a Somali dialect, see the following links:


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