Mambwe Folk-Tales Table of Contents show

THE HARE AND ITS FRIENDS

The Hare is the Strongest Person
Here is a story: In a certain village there were many people. But soon the village became very empty because the Lion killed all of the people, all of the…
A Large Crowd of Animals
Here is a story: There once was a large group of animals in the bush living together. When they went hunting, they left one of each animal behind, always saying:…
The Antelope Duiker and the Jackal
Here is a story: There once was a hunter who employed traps to help him catch animals. When he went to see what he had caught, he found a Jackal…
The Hare and the Jackal
Here is a story: There once was a Hare and a Jackal. These animals became friends and went everywhere together but their eating habits were very much different, each one…
The Monkey and the Hare
Here is a story: There once were a Monkey and a Hare and they were very good friends who always did everything together. One day the Hare went to the…
The Hare that Tricked the Elephant
Here is a story: There once was a grand village where many animals lived together. One day an Elephant and a Hare both went to find themselves wives. The Elephant…
How the Hare Tricked the Elephant
Here is a story: There once was a Hare and his wife who wanted to be wealthy. This is how they got rich. The two of them lived together in…
The Man, the Lion and the Hare
Here is a story: There was a hunter who would go to the bush daily and would hunt animals everyday out of habit. On a regular day, he killed a…
The Hyena and the Lion
Here is a story: The Hyena became friends with the Lion. One day, the hyena bought a female goat. The Lion bought a male goat. After some time living together,…
The Hare’s Survival
Here is a story: The animals said: Let’s go and build a well because the water in the river has dried up. They all went off to build the well…
How the Hare Died Because of his Cheating
Here is a story: The Hare befriended the Bushbuck and they began to live together. During the time they were staying together, a famine came. The food which the Hare…


DIFFERENT ANIMALS

The Frog and Kantyondyo (Small Mouse)
Here is a story: There was a small Mouse and a Frog; both wanted to find a wife. When they got engaged, the future parents-in-law told them to bring all…
The Monkey: The Wife of ‘God’
Here is a story: There was a great village and in this village there lived a rich king. The Monkeys noticed the famine in the land was getting worse and…
The Monkey and the Tortoise
Here is a story: The Monkey and the Tortoise became friends. They would often have great fun playing together. One day, the Monkey sent the Tortoise a letter which said:…
The Tortoise that doesn’t Forget
Here is a story: There was an Elephant, a Hare, a Duiker and a Tortoise. The Elephant was their king. One day the Elephant became alarmingly sick and the animals…
The Rooster that Saved the Cow
Here is a story: A Cow befriended a Lioness. Sometimes they would play together and sometimes they would stay by themselves. After some time, the Cow and Lioness became pregnant.…
The Lion and the Sheep
Here is a story: There was a Lion and a Sheep who became very good friends. The Lion lived in the bush while the Sheep lived in the village. The…
How the Jackal Tricked the Goat
Here is a story: One day, the Jackal was hunting in the meadow for flying termites and as he ran he fell into a very deep well. He tried to…


THE PEOPLE AND THEIR PROBLEMS

The Rooster that Saved the Cow
Here is a story: A Cow befriended a Lioness. Sometimes they would play together and sometimes they would stay by themselves. After some time, the Cow and Lioness became pregnant.…
Hunter With the Dogs
Here is a story: There was a man who had many dogs. He was a hunter and enjoyed hunting as often as possible. One day, he said: I’m going hunting!…
The Child that Loved Poverty
Here is a story: There once was a village and in that village there lived a chief. The chief had one child, a daughter. He was a very rich man…
There Once Was A King
Here is a story: There once was a village and in this village all the people belonged to one family. These people lived very well and always helped each other…
The Girl that was Filled with Respect
Here is a story: There was a big village where many people lived but it was plagued with great famine. One day, three girls went into the bush in search…
A Mother and her Child
Here is a story: There was a woman who lived in polygamy with other women. The first wife had two children while the second wife had only one child. A…
Jealousy of the Village Headman
Here is a story: There was a very big village where were many people lived. In that village, there was a young man who enjoyed hunting in the bush more…
Three Young Men in Search of Brides
Here is a story: There was once a big village where a large group of young people lived together. The young men went off in search of a bride. One…
The Man and the Little Animal
Here is a story: There once was a man who got friendly with a little Animal. One day, some people came with their dogs to hunt in the bush. They…
The King’s Commands and Reward
Here is a story: There was a king who lived in a tremendous palace. This king cared for his people very well. He had his own hunters who hunted animals…
The Obedient Child that Broke the Tree
Here is a story: There was once a king named Kalafye. This king had a child, a beautiful daughter. When the girl grew up and attained the age of marriage,…
The Old Lumbi and the Young Lumbi
Here is a story: There once was a man who had two wives and with these two wives he had two children, one with each wife. He had one child…
How the Marriage Collapsed
Here is a story: There was a man and a woman who lived together in marriage for many days. One day, the woman prepared a vegetable relish with a sauce…
How People Can Hate Each Other
Here is a story: In a village named Munsimbwe there once lived two girls, one named Rosemary and the other named Agnes. These girls loved each other very much and…
The King and His Child
Here is a story: There once was a large village which was ruled by a king who had a very beautiful daughter. The king said: Whoever wants to marry my…
Nalunyi and Silunyi
Here is a story: There was a couple named Nalunyi and Silunyi who lived in a big village. These people often prayed, and the man’s wife belonged to a group…
Head Downsizing (Planing)
Here is a story: There was a man who had a wife and three children. He would say to them: When the rooster calls for the first time, I want…
Tasting Honey with Two Fingers
Here is a story: There once was a great village which was plagued by a famine. One small child from the village discovered a place where he could collect honey…
The Cruel Man who Wanted to Kill the Days
Here is a story: There was a man whose name was Cruel. There was nothing good about the man named Cruel because whenever someone did something bad, even a small…
The Man, the Girl and the Viper
Here is a story: There once was a woman who had a son named Joseph. Once he had grown up, his mother told him: You must find yourself a fiancée.…
A Woman and a Key
Here is a story: There was a man who married a woman. When they were married, he took his wife to a town where there was a mine. He bestowed…
The Two Women: the Good and the Bad One
Here is a story: There was once a man that married two women. The first wife gave birth to a daughter named Pungu. The second wife had a daughter which…
A Girl named Daylight
Here is a story: There once was a great village where a young man named Kateule lived. One day, the young man was sauntering around when he came across a…
Something About Love
Here is a story: They were once many people in a big village and in this village there was a king. This king loved his people very much. Whenever he…


SPIRITS AND MONSTERS

The Father and his Children
Here is a story: There once was a man who had four children. The oldest one went looking for work in a town called Mpiwe. In that town he earned…
The Ghost on Earth
Here is a story: There was a Ghost that came into the world, and this Ghost began to devour animals. He would eat everything that came into sight. In the…
The Evil Spirit and the Small Child
Here is a story: There once was a great village and in this village there lived a man and his child. This village was plagued by an uncommonly bad famine…
The Woman and the Evil Spirit
Here is a story: One day, a pregnant woman went to gather some firewood and when she found the firewood, she made a big bundle of it and couldn’t lift…
Lozi and Simwenya, the Evil Spirit
Here is a story: There once was a king who built a great village and in that village there was a river where the king’s children washed themselves. One day…
The Evil Spirit at the Man’s Field
Here is a story: There once was a man who cut trees for his field and when he finished his wife would come and carry the branches. When she finished…
The Two Evil Spirits that Eat Children
Here is a story: There once was a man that married a woman and this woman gave birth to children that all died soon after birth. This troubled him a…
The Mbilingwa Monster and the Lion
Here is a story: There was once a monster named Mbilingwa who lived together with a Lion. This monster was a strange creation of God because it had one eye,…
The Two Drums
Here is a story: There once was a group of people who lived together in a village and they made two drums that were named: injelunje and inkuluwende. Both of…


MAGIC TALES

The Man and the Woman of the River
Here is a story: Once upon a time there lived a young man in a village, and this young man and his wife lived well together. But, one day the…
A Man that Stipulated with the Bird
Here is a story: There once was a great village that was inhabited by people. And then Famine struck the village and people began to die off. In that village…
The Fool that Marries the Girl
Here is a story: There once was a woman who gave birth to a boy, and this boy turned out to be a fool. One day, when he was grown…
The Old Woman and the Evil Spirit
Here is a story: In the great land of Zambia there once lived many people. The Evil Spirit, who also lived there, engulfed all of the people of the land…
Egoism is not a Good Thing
Here is a story: There once was a village engulfed by famine. There was a man in this village who was named Caitemwa and he lived with his wife named…
The Girl that Got Engaged to Five Men
Here is a story: There once was a king named Kasanda who ruled a village and in this village there lived many people. Among the people, there lived a woman…
The Young Man and his Younger Sister
Here is a story: The only people left on earth from a certain family were a young man and his younger sister because the parents of the two had died.…
The Woman and the Mirror
Here is a story: There once was a very wealthy woman who hired hunters to kill animals for her. She had no children so she went to see the witch-doctor…
The Woman and the Stupid Boy
Here is a story: There once were some people who lived in a great village and this village had many young boys. One day, the young boys said: Let’s rest…
The Three Young Men who Went to Kenya
Here is a story: There once were a mother and a father who had three sons, and the oldest one went for a walk in the bush telling his brothers:…


AETIOLOGICAL TALES

The First Wedding
Here is a story: There once was a village where men lived all alone and there was nobody to do the cooking for them. As it was a vast village,…
The Warthog that Befriended the Cassava
Here is a story: A Warthog once befriended a Cassava which didn’t move and he came to visit the Cassava on a daily basis. One day, the Cassava fell sick…


VARIANTS

The Royal Call
Here is a story: There once was a king who ruled over a great number of people and was a very proficient hunter, killing small and big game. One day,…
The Tortoise that Befriends the Monkey
Here is a story: There once was a Tortoise and a Monkey that became good friends and understood each other really well. One day, the Tortoise said to his friend,…
How the Lemurs Bulged their Eyes
Here is a story: Mutende and Mundetelele lived together in the same hollow in a tree by the road. One day, three women walked by on their way to harvest…
The Hare and the Mucakaili Tree
Here is a story: There once was a huge village where a great king lived and ruled over all of the animals. Then famine gripped all of the animals of…
The Frog and Lozi
Here is a story: There once was a big village. In this village there lived a girl named Lozi who was very beautiful. At this time, a Ghost was looking…
The Lion and the Cow
Here is a story: There once was a Lion and a Cow, both of them had sons that were good friends and liked to play together. The Lion would often…
No Mercy: The Viper and the Man
Here is a story: There once was a great village where a man lived. One day, as he was walking in the bush, he came across a Viper that was…