Stars and Keys

Stars and Keys

Folktales and Creolization in the Indian Ocean
Lee Haring
With translations by Claudie Ricaud and Dawood Auleear
Distribution: World
Publication date: 6/26/2007
ISBN: 978-0-253-00000-2
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In Stars and Keys: Folktales and Creolization in the Southwest Indian Ocean, Lee Haring introduces readers to the rich folklore traditions of the islands of the southwest Indian Ocean. The culture of Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Réunion, and the Comoros is a unique blend of traditions that have been brought from Africa, South Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The folktales from these islands reflect the diversity of this culture and provide a rare opportunity to observe the fluidity of traditions and the process of creolization. Haring presents the tales in a uniquely innovative style: he interrupts the text as if he were reading aloud and directly addresses the reader. His words and those of the storytellers are clearly distinguished, making this folktale collection useful to a wide range of readers and scholars.

Author Bio

Lee Haring is Professor Emeritus of English at Brooklyn College of The City University of New York. He is author of Verbal Arts in Madagascar: Performance in Historical Perspective; Ibonia: Epic of Madagascar; and several other books.


"Offering a rich collection of folktales—and their interpretations—from Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Réunion, and the Comoros, Haring (emer., English, Brooklyn College, CUNY) presents the reader with a tapestry that displays both the culture of these islands of the southwest Indian Ocean and a history of oppression and resistance. . . . Recommended." —Choice

". . . represents a precious and irreplaceable record of the indigenous folk cultures of these islands . . . and as such it provides a valuable companion to literary, cultural, or political studies of the islands." —Peter Hawkins, University of Bristol, RESEARCH IN AFRICAN LITERATURES , Vol. 40.3 August 2009

"Haring's ability to weave scholarship into his own and his storytellers' narratives makes this book outstanding in the realm of folktale research." —
Western Folklore , Fall 2009, Vol. 68.4

Stars and Keys is a valuable addition to research on the five islands concerned, to folklore studies, and to theories of culture. It will be of interest to folklorists, historians, anthropologists, and sociologists." —Journal of American Folklore

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Table of Contents

Chronology of the Southwest Indian Ocean
1. Land of the Man-Eating Tree
1. Origin of the Earth, Living and Inanimate Beings, according to the Tales of the Ancestors
2. The Man-Eating Tree
3. Origin of Social Classes
4. Origin of Human Beings; Expulsion from Paradise
5. The Seven Deadly Sins
6. Rasoanor
7. Origin of Mountains, Valleys, and Stones
8. Earth's Battle with Sky
9. The Birds Choose a King
10. God Appoints the Cock
11. Origin of the Ox
12. Origin of Cattle
13. Two for the Husband, One for the Wives
14. The Fall
15. Ranoro
16. The Origin of Wood Sculpture
17. Origin of Human Beings; The First Sculptor
18. Sun God Marries Earth
19. God Makes a Statue
20. Repairing an Egg
21. The Three Brothers
22. The Guinea-Fowl
23. Four Brothers: Bunku, Mladje, Sumbui, and Laul
24. Origin of the Animals, Creation of Various Species
25. Mr. Sun and Mrs. Earth
26. The Bat
27. Origin of the Fly
28. Crocodile, Chameleon, and Sitry
29. Ox and Crocodile
30. Master of the Earth
31. Self-Created
32. The Ungrateful Beast
33. The Girl Entrusted to a Servant
34. Tinaimbuati and God
35. Looking for Trouble
36. Ibonia
37. Half a Man
38. Why Vazaha Are Superior to Malagasy
39. The Boyhood of Radama II
40. Ngano
41. The Clever Peasant Girl
2. Diaspora
42. The Cat and the Fosa
43. Cock and Hare
44. Soungoula, Zako, and Mama Tig
45. The Deceptive Tug-of-War
46. Hare at the Animals' Well, 1
47. The Old Lady at the Bus Station
48. Hare Rides Tortoise A-courting
49. Mauritius's Bomb
50. The Cat and the Water-Rat
51. Hare at the Animals' Well, 2
52. Elephant, Hare, Lion
53. Soungoula at the Animals' Well
54. Soungoula's Tug-of-War
55. The Loose Handle
56. Bunuaswi the Wise
57. Bwanawasi
58. Making True Friendship
59. Slick and Slippery
60. They Trick the King
61. They Sell Pseudo-Magic Objects
62. Deceptive Agreement to Kill Mothers
63. How Mahaka Got Cattle for His Mother's Funeral Meal
64. Kotofetsy and Mahaka Trick an Old Man
65. The Insect That Turned into an Ox
66. The Man Who Thought He Was Cleverer than Kotofetsy and Mahaka
67. Ti Zan of the Red Rag
68. The Queen of the Sea
69. Prince Lulu and the Defiant Girl
70. Defiant Girl, TV Version
71. The Defiant Girl in Madagascar
72. The Defiant Girl in Mayotte
3. Stars
73. Autard de Bragard
74. Little Pyang-Pyang
75. Lasirenge, the Magic Bird
76. Ti Zan the Ladykiller
77. The Siren-Girl
78. Ramkalawar
79. The King and His Clever Minister
80. The Two Brothers
81. Origin of Kingship and the Days of the Week
82. "Killed Seven, Wounded Fourteen"
83. The Hedgehog Hunter and the Magic Woman
84. Ti Zan's Bet
85. Ti Zan and His Red Rag
86. The Thief "Put Down Five, Pick Up Six"
87. Four Rose Blossoms
88. Cardplayer (The Smith Outwits the Devil)
4. Keys
89. Cinderella 1: The Three Princesses and Andriamohamona
90. Cinderella 2: The Story of Donkey-Skin
91. Cinderella 3: Sandriyone 1
92. Cinderella 4: Sandriyone 2
93. The Children and the Ogre
94. Falling into the Jinn's Power
95. The Mysterious Woman
96. Magic Plate, Cudgel, North Wind, Poverty
97. Alimtru and the Buzzard
98. The Rarest Thing in the World
99. The Three Stolen Princesses
100. King, Makamouk Tree, Hare, and Tortoise at the Well
101. Ti Zan and His Uncle
102. Ti Zan the Master Thief
103. Polin and Polinn (The Maiden without Hands)
104. Two Brothers Become Rich
105. Swaburi n'Swali
106. Say It in French
107. Dadi
108. Clever Dealing 1: The Corpse; or, The Dead Man on the Ass
109. Clever Dealing 2: The Priest
110. Clever Dealing 3: The Planter
111. Clever Dealing 4: The Boss
112. A Curious Adventure at Albatros
113. The Wrong Bed
114. The Shipwreck
5. Postcolonial Seychelles
115. Cat and Rat
116. Mister François Poncé
117. A Hundred and One Thieves
118. Sililinn
119. The Language of Animals
120. Soungoula and Tortoise's Swimming Contest
121. Letandir

Works Cited