Saturday, July 19, 2014

Myth-Folklore Unit: Folktales of Bengal

Overview. These stories all come from Bengal, a region now divided between the Indian state of West Bengal and the neighboring nation of Bangladesh. Lal Behari Day collected these stories from Bengali storytellers in the early years of the 20th century as follows: "An old Brahman told me two stories; an old barber, three; an old servant of mine told me two; and the rest I heard from another old Brahman. None of my authorities knew English; they all told the stories in Bengali, and I translated them into English." There is an astrological tale about the power of the planet Sani (Saturn), a famous Indian folktale about a boy with seven mothers, stories about the origin of opium and about the origin of rubies, plus some marvelous tales about ghosts and other supernatural beings, both friendly and frightening. The illustrations, meanwhile, are by Warwick Goble, and they are beautiful!

Language. These stories are told in modern English, so the language used should not pose any problems.

Story Length. This unit contains mostly multi-page stories, along with a few single-page stories.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on a single page: Bengali Folktales.



READING A:
  1. The Evil Eye of Sani
  2. The Evil Eye of Sani (cont.)
  3. The Evil Eye of Sani (end)
  4. The Boy whom Seven Mothers Suckled
  5. The Boy whom Seven Mothers Suckled (cont.)
  6. The Origin of Opium
  7. The Origin of Opium (cont.)
  8. The Origin of Opium (end)
  9. The Ghost-Brahman
READING B:
  1. A Ghostly Wife
  2. The Story of a Brahmadaitya
  3. The Story of a Brahmadaitya (cont.)
  4. The Story of a Brahmadaitya (end)
  5. The Origin of Rubies
  6. The Origin of Rubies (cont.)
  7. The Ghost who was Afraid of being Bagged
  8. The Bald Wife




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