Folktales of Nigeria


Nigerian folktales are epic stories that can explain the world around us. These stories and myths have been told within generations. Nigerian folklore include proverbs, myths, “just so” stories, and riddles. “Just so” stories are designed to explain features of an animal, such as their appearance or their habits. Morals are either explicitly stated at the end of Nigerian folktales, or hidden within the text. Animals, especially the tortoise, hold prominence in the tales from Nigeria, and unlike other folk tales from Africa, there aren’t many “trickster” figures like Anasi. Reading some of the stories from Nigeria, you may note that the stories bear similarity to some European folk tales, filled with poor peasant girls, royalty, and magical properties; however, many of the folk tales bear a magic that is all their own, with grand narratives readers have loved for years. The collection of Folktales from Nigeria consists of one book with 40 folktales collected from Southern Nigeria. The stories are full of mentions of strange institutions, as well as of rare adventures. Book includes: The Tortoise with a Pretty Daughter How a Hunter obtained Money from his Friends the Leopard, Goat, Bush Cat, and Cock, and how he got out of repaying them The Woman with Two Skins The King’s Magic Drum Ituen and the King’s Wife Of the Pretty Stranger who Killed the King Why the Bat flies by Night The Disobedient Daughter who Married a Skull The King who Married the Cock’s Daughter The Woman, the Ape, and the Child The Fish and the Leopard’s Wife; or, Why the Fish lives in the Water Why the Bat is Ashamed to be seen in the Daytime Why the Worms live Underneath the Ground The Elephant and the Tortoise; or, Why the Worms are Blind and Why the Elephant has Small Eyes Why a Hawk kills Chickens Why the Sun and the Moon live in the Sky Why the Flies Bother the Cows Why the Cat kills Rats The Story of the Lightning and the Thunder Why the Bush Cow and the Elephant are bad Friends The Cock who caused a Fight between two Towns The Affair of the Hippopotamus and the Tortoise; or, Why the Hippopotamus lives in the Water Why Dead People are Buried Of the Fat Woman who Melted Away Concerning the Leopard, the Squirrel, and the Tortoise Why the Moon Waxes and Wanes The Story of the Leopard, the Tortoise, and the Bush Rat The King and the Ju Ju Tree How the Tortoise overcame the Elephant and the Hippopotamus Of the Pretty Girl and the Seven Jealous Women How the Cannibals drove the People from Insofan Mountain to the Cross River The Lucky Fisherman The Orphan Boy and the Magic Stone The Slave Girl who tried to Kill her Mistress The King and the ‘Nsiat Bird Concerning the Fate of Essido and his Evil Companions Concerning the Hawk and the Owl The Story of the Drummer and the Alligators The ‘Nsasak Bird and the Odudu Bird The Election of the King Bird