Conventional Reports in Sierra Leone: What Function for Librarians?


Stories are as outdated as language, as aged as the earliest societies. A couple of of the earliest tales even survive: these told in pictorial kind on partitions 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 access on the printed age. Storytelling is older than printing, more mature than composing, and the initial stories to be established down on paper, papyrus or parchment had been not the work of individuals authors but records of the oral traditions of earlier hundreds of years. In Sierra Leone as it is in most African nations storytelling is an integral portion of the country’s lifestyle although oral traditions have extremely mostly yielded to the created term.

We find out as we dwell although we are young children, youthful people and adults. Learning is not confined to the classroom on your own: it can just take spot anyplace. Ethical values and social norms, beliefs and codes have to be transmitted from generation to the following, regardless of whether modified or not. Informal learning settings are pertinent and may well be dominant even these days when a lot more formalized and distinct establishments have partly taken more than.

While Sierra Leoneans guard on their own against their previous the two educationists and librarians see a lot in storytelling that could be used as basis to orient and build the youthful in the faculty system. There are many indications that an enormous richness of traditional pedagogy in respect to the ideas, contents, strategies and institutional arrangements existed and nevertheless exist in Sierra Leone. Story tellers, their tales and tracks, proverbs and riddles are nonetheless important property and topics for indigenous finding out and education and learning. Oral traditions do not only move the mores and expectations of a modern society. They established out to describe the world and behaviour of the men and women in it. Oral traditions provide accounts of how the world commenced and these creation myths are portion also of the Holy Publications of all the world’s long-recognized religions such as Christianity and Islam. Also discussed in allegorical phrases is all human behaviour in which very good does not usually triumph over evil.

Tales which do not count on literature in turn do not rely on literacy. They can attain all of the community and their interactive top quality is itself 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 following technology.” Regrettably there is a missing link in Sierra Leone as college likely young children are effectively acquainted with the stories of Wonderful Britain, the United States of The us, Canada and Italy to cite a few illustrations but know very minor about their classic tales.


Sierra Leone contains sixteen (sixteen) ethnic groups. The premier of these is the Mende identified in the Southern and Jap Provinces. Subsequent to them in amount is the Temne in the North. قصص is the Limba, also in the Northern Province, adopted by the Kono in the Eastern Province. There is certainly also the Koranko in the North as nicely as the Yalunka, Loko, Soso, Madingo and Fula. On the coastline, North and South are the Bullom and Sherbro adopted by the much scaled-down teams of Krim, Vai and Gola, with the Kissi even more inland in the Eastern Province. The Western Location, such as Freetown, is far more mixed in populace, but is generally the residence of the Creole team. In all these ethnic groups storytelling is frequent as component of their lifestyle.

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 through which Africa down the hundreds of years has bared its soul, taught its folks and entertained itself” (pp. forty three-44).

Traditional stories in Sierra Leone are perceived as embodiment of the beliefs, customs, rituals and buildings of culture that need to have to be preserved. Tales operate inside society to insure conformity to the recognized cultural norms of continuity from era to generation by means of their function in education and learning and the extent to which they mirror tradition. Most classic storytellers declare to derive their art by way of goals, spirits, and apprenticeship to specialist storytellers other people assert to obtain the art straight from God although some say they paid out to acquire it. Storytellers have the adhering to characteristics:

• Fluency in the regional language and mastery of a extensive range of vocabulary for all stages of audiences
• Creative imagination and capability to establish rapport with their audiences
• Knowledge of their audiences and their wants
• Familiarity with and potential to refer to their tradition and atmosphere to enliven their tales and make them attractiveness to their audience
• Good memory of correct retention and narration of a large corpus of material and
• Candour.

The contents of standard stories can be grouped into:

• Myths-tales tinted with religion, superstition and classic beliefs especially about the origins of mankind and phenomena
• Legends-tales about historical occasions and memorable people such as war heroes, fantastic medication males and migration
• Fiction-imaginary tales categorized into allegory, fables, fantasy and parables.

These can be more classified by social purpose or establishment specifically:

• Political stories-stories about management and the romantic relationship amongst leaders and their subjects
• Tribe stories-these expose the constructions, people and communities i.e. relationship and genealogies
• Faith and deities-tales about generation and phenomena this kind of as dying and rain
• Moral virtues-tales supposed to deride this sort of vices as delight, greed, thievery, murder, dishonesty, foolishness and lack of insight
• Economics-stories that offer with work, borrowing and lending, industriousness and laziness.

People in typical standard Sierra Leonean stories variety from men and women to animals, stones, trees, crops, deities, spirits and birds. These characters are symbolic: Bra rabbit- trickery tortoise-wisdom elephant-nobility vulture-endurance lion-bravery and strength sparrow, parrot and crow-intelligence dove-great fortune spider-crafty. Stories are told purely for evening entertainments. Occasionally storytelling classes could be any time of the day with audiences in private verandahs, ‘court barries’ or other general public spots. Even so, the standard setting exactly where twenty to forty folks sit together close to a kerosene lamp or fire at evening right after a day’s work is carried out and foods has been cooked and eaten. Storytellers are also invited to cultural social features such as weddings, burials, secret culture celebrations and crowning ceremonies. Tobacco is usually supplied for without having using tobacco storytelling concepts will not stream.

Tales go jointly with tunes a song starts off a story an essential line in a story makes up a new story a proverb finishes a tale a track in the middle of a story is utilized to wake up listeners or to get ready for the coming climax. Really usually songs do invite participation, and listeners grow to be lively supporters of a chorus, clapping their arms, achieving to lies and jokes of the tale teller, who in turn solutions the feedback typically with one more story. Songs are backed by the beating of classic musical devices like ‘kaylain’, ‘sira’ ‘seigureh’ and ‘sangba’ (regional drum) to add rhythm. Story telling viewers is normally active. It catalyses the narratives by spontaneous exclamations, queries to the narrator, echoing of the narrator’s voice, and becoming a member of in the singing of choruses. For all these to take area self-control is taken care of. The audience is created to giggle and exclaim but without having jeopardizing the continuation of the narration.

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