This new edition brings back into print one of the classics in scholarly analysis and translation, written by one of the luminaries of American cultural anthropology. Melville Herskovits and his wife and collaborator Frances spent over twenty years studying the social networks, religion, music, and oral traditions of the peoples of West Africa and their descendants in the New World. Dahomey, the site of their major African work, is in the country now known as Benin.
Published as a companion piece to Northwestern University Press's West African Folktales, Dahomean Narrative provides the basic texts of material collected in the field, and shows how they were collected, analyzed, and theorized in the anthropological and folklore disciplinary traditions of Herskovits's day. The result is a wide-ranging collection, culled from an entire narrative tradition, that remains unique among anthropological publications.