INKISHU by Kioi wa Mbugua


Myths and Legends of the Maasai
adapted by & illustrated by &
Age Range: 9 & up
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 Inkishu (cattle), which are the measure of wealth for traditional Maasai, figure prominently in this collection of poetry, stories, and art from a publisher based in Nairobi. Four folktales collected from a Maasai elder illuminate relationships between his people and the world around them: how God (Enkai) first gave them cattle and forced them to stop their wars; how ``Enaiminie Enkiyio,'' the Forest of the Lost Child, earned its melancholy name; how Ole Partukei, a savage, greedy giant, broke a promise to leave his neighbors' herds alone and so died. The language is formal but not stiff. Each story is illustrated by a different Kenyan artist working in a free-flowing modern style and a variety of media and is prefaced by a color photo, an explanatory ``Preamble,'' and one or two short poems. Ideas old and new mix revealingly in this handsomely produced glimpse into the heart of a living traditional culture. Biographical sketches; glossary. (Folklore. 9+)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
ISBN: 9966-884-97-1
Page count: 73pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1994