Standard Experiences in Sierra Leone: What Position for Librarians?


Stories are as aged as language, as outdated as the earliest societies. حكايات of of the earliest tales even survive: individuals informed in pictorial kind on walls of cave in Lascaux, in France or in the Mpongweni Mountains in Lesotho. And others have come down to us in the world’s myths and folklore to which we now have obtain on the printed age. Storytelling is more mature than printing, more mature than writing, and the first stories to be established down on paper, papyrus or parchment were not the operate of people authors but records of the oral traditions of previous hundreds of years. In Sierra Leone as it is in most African international locations storytelling is an integral part of the country’s lifestyle though oral traditions have really largely yielded to the created term.

We find out as we dwell although we are young children, young individuals and grownups. Learning is not confined to the classroom by yourself: it can get place anyplace. Moral values and social norms, beliefs and codes have to be transmitted from generation to the following, regardless of whether modified or not. Casual studying configurations are pertinent and may possibly be dominant even today when far more formalized and distinct establishments have partly taken more than.

Even though Sierra Leoneans guard by themselves from their earlier the two educationists and librarians see a lot in storytelling that could be utilised as foundation to orient and develop the young in the school technique. There are numerous indications that an immense richness of standard pedagogy in regard to the concepts, contents, approaches and institutional preparations existed and nonetheless exist in Sierra Leone. Tale tellers, their stories and music, proverbs and riddles are still crucial property and subjects for indigenous understanding and schooling. Oral traditions do not only go the mores and standards of a modern society. They established out to make clear the entire world and conduct of the individuals in it. Oral traditions offer accounts of how the globe began and these development myths are portion also of the Holy Books of all the world’s extended-established religions these kinds of as Christianity and Islam. Also defined in allegorical terms is all human conduct in which great does not always triumph over evil.

Stories which do not depend on literature in change do not count on literacy. They can attain all of the group and their interactive high quality is alone electricity, for it facilitates the functions of tales in social instruction, what Leeson (1985) called “passing on the country’s shared knowledge and values to the up coming generation.” Regrettably there is a lacking link in Sierra Leone as university likely children are properly acquainted with the tales of Great Britain, the United States of The united states, Canada and Italy to cite a handful of illustrations but know very small about their traditional tales.


Sierra Leone includes sixteen (sixteen) ethnic groups. The premier of these is the Mende discovered in the Southern and Eastern Provinces. Subsequent to them in quantity is the Temne in the North. The 3rd premier group is the Limba, also in the Northern Province, followed by the Kono in the Eastern Province. There is certainly also the Koranko in the North as effectively as the Yalunka, Loko, Soso, Madingo and Fula. On the coastline, North and South are the Bullom and Sherbro followed by the considerably more compact groups of Krim, Vai and Gola, with the Kissi more inland in the Jap Province. The Western Region, such as Freetown, is a lot more blended in populace, but is generally the house of the Creole team. In all these ethnic groups storytelling is typical as component of their tradition.

Ogutu and Roscoe (1974) experienced this to say about storytelling in Africa: “The continent has its possess fiction traditions it has the tradition of storytelling, narrated orally… the medium by way of which Africa down the generations has bared its soul, taught its folks and entertained by itself” (pp. 43-44).

Standard stories in Sierra Leone are perceived as embodiment of the beliefs, customs, rituals and buildings of culture that require to be preserved. Stories work inside culture to insure conformity to the acknowledged cultural norms of continuity from generation to era through their function in schooling and the extent to which they mirror culture. Most classic storytellers assert to derive their artwork via dreams, spirits, and apprenticeship to skilled storytellers other folks assert to obtain the art immediately from God even though some say they paid to get it. Storytellers possess the pursuing features:

• Fluency in the nearby language and mastery of a vast assortment of vocabulary for all stages of audiences
• Creative imagination and potential to create rapport with their audiences
• Information of their audiences and their wants
• Familiarity with and potential to refer to their culture and setting to enliven their tales and make them appeal to their viewers
• Very good memory of correct retention and narration of a large corpus of materials and
• Candour.

The contents of classic tales can be grouped into:

• Myths-stories tinted with religion, superstition and conventional beliefs particularly about the origins of mankind and phenomena
• Legends-tales about historical activities and memorable men and women such as war heroes, fantastic medication males and migration
• Fiction-imaginary tales categorized into allegory, fables, fantasy and parables.

These can be more categorized by social perform or institution particularly:

• Political stories-tales about management and the romantic relationship among leaders and their topics
• Tribe tales-these expose the structures, households and communities i.e. marriage and genealogies
• Faith and deities-stories about creation and phenomena such as demise and rain
• Moral virtues-stories supposed to deride these kinds of vices as pride, greed, thievery, murder, dishonesty, foolishness and deficiency of perception
• Economics-tales that offer with work, borrowing and lending, industriousness and laziness.

Figures in typical traditional Sierra Leonean stories range from folks to animals, stones, trees, crops, deities, spirits and birds. These figures are symbolic: Bra rabbit- trickery tortoise-wisdom elephant-nobility vulture-persistence lion-bravery and power sparrow, parrot and crow-intelligence dove-excellent fortune spider-cunning. Tales are told purely for evening entertainments. Sometimes storytelling classes could be any time of the day with audiences in personal verandahs, ‘court barries’ or other public places. Nevertheless, the conventional location where twenty to forty individuals sit together all around a kerosene lamp or fire at night soon after a day’s work is completed and foods has been cooked and eaten. Storytellers are also invited to cultural social features this kind of as weddings, burials, mystery society celebrations and crowning ceremonies. Tobacco is typically provided for without smoking storytelling ideas will not circulation.

Stories go jointly with music a track starts off off a story an critical line in a story makes up a new tale a proverb ends a tale a song in the center of a tale is utilized to wake up listeners or to put together for the coming climax. Really frequently music do invite participation, and listeners turn out to be active supporters of a refrain, clapping their fingers, reaching to lies and jokes of the tale teller, who in change solutions the remarks frequently with an additional tale. Tracks are backed by the beating of traditional musical devices like ‘kaylain’, ‘sira’ ‘seigureh’ and ‘sangba’ (neighborhood drum) to include rhythm. Story telling audience is normally lively. It catalyses the narratives by spontaneous exclamations, questions to the narrator, echoing of the narrator’s voice, and signing up for in the singing of choruses. For all these to get place discipline is maintained. The viewers is produced to chortle and exclaim but without having jeopardizing the continuation of the narration.


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