on 18 June 2004
I have been looking for an English-language collection of tales from the Amazon for some time. I was delighted when I found this listed.HOWEVER it is not primarily a collection of folktales.It is, rather, an anthropological study of the importance of folktale(or myth) in the lives of various indigenous peoples living in the Amazonia region of Brazil.As such, it is interesting. Nigel Smith has spent many years in this area, observing the day-to-day lives of the inhabitants and interviewing them. His concerns were originally of a zoological and botanical nature-which animals were of primary importance ? which plants were most prized ? etc. Gradually, his interest shifted to the BELIEFS of the people he interviewed. He discovered a world in which spirits, ghosts and monsters, both malevolent and benign, are still very much alive.He details some of them in this book. The book also contains black-and-white photographs, and a chart which gives the indigenous and zoological names and English-language translation(if there is one) of some of the creatures, "real" and "imaginary", that share the peasants' world.
As I said, interesting. But it is not a collection of stories.