Iraqw Texts

Iraqw Texts

ISBN 978-3-927620-34-6

Iraqw Texts

Compiled by: Paul Berger †. Translated by: Roland Kießling. Edited by: Roland Kießling. Series edited by: Gudrun Miehe, Hilke Meyer-Bahlburg.

Series: Archiv afrikanistischer Manuskripte Volume 4

10 pp. Roman, 337 pp.
99 b/w photos, 2 tables, 3 figures, 2 facsimile reproductions
Text language(s): English
Format: 160 x 240 mm
750 g
€ 29.80

The present study contains the ethnographic works of Paul Berger. It deals with a multitude of genres which are of great interest for the analysis of Iraqw oral literature, like oral histories, trickster and animal stories, songs, riddles and description of games. Each text is followed by its translation into English.

Paul Berger recorded the texts between May of 1935 and February of 1936 in Mbulu and Dongobesh (Tanzania), where he stayed after he separated from the German East Africa expedition under Ludwig Kohl-Larsen (1934–1936) that he accompanied as a linguistic adviser.

During an expedition in Mbulu in July and August of 1993, Roland Kiessling checked through the content of the recorded texts and completed some gaps in the translations and in the grammatical theories. In addition, he collected further lexical material for the present study.

In addition to this text collection, an Iraqw-English Dictionary has been published by us, see the following link, as well as further works by Roland Kießling:

Accompanying material:



Iraqw Texts is a very rich collection of original material in Iraqw, a Southern Cushitic language of Northern Tanzania. The bulk of the book contains stories and their translations. In addition there are songs, some riddles and proverbs and a number of oral histories and descriptions of cultural elements, including the description of games. [...] The material is also extremely interesting for any linguist interested in Iraqw. [...] Historians will find very interesting material in the form of oral history of the Iraqw, but especially about the various peoples that were in contact with the Iraqw. [...] For the anthropologists the book offers detailed descriptions of marriage customs, purification rituals, the practice of seclusion, names and their meaning, games including the rules of the Iraqw version of a mankala game, bao in Swahili. [...] In sum, this book is an exemplary contribution to the Archiv afrikanistischer Manuskripte series.

Maarten Mous in Tribus, 49/2000, pp. 213-214

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