Headless Crabs

Change log
Merolla, Daniela 

The Verba Africana series publishes video recording of African verbal arts on CDRom's, DVD’s and the Internet. This series responds to the increasing need for new electronic tools that integrate the written and audio-visual materials for research, teaching and learning of African languages and oral literatures. The video recording of oral genres, such as poems, songs and tales, is integrated into the presentation of relevant aspects (language, form, content, performance, literary, social and historical context). The videos and the accompanying material (short information and full articles) allow researchers and the interested public to approach oral literary productions as ‘total event’.


This aetiological narrative establishes the crab’s origin and its moral significance for the present. Narrated to children, it is a cautionary story that suggests identification — to be averted — between the audience and the ‘young crab’ character that he does not know how to handle correctly when relationship with and feelings for his bosom friend are involved.

Oral Literature, Oral Tradition, Linguistic Anthropology, African, Story, Performance, Storytellers, Song, Interview
Is Part Of
NWO, The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research