Friday, February 01, 2013

Tales from within the Clouds

Retold by - Carolyn Han
Translated by- Jaiho Cheng
Illustrator- Li Ji
Kolowalu Books

The Nakhi ( pronounced na he) script consists of colourful pictorial mnemonics, grouped in rectangles, to tell a story.  This  language has no word for Father !

No word for father? There in began this book, says the author. A matriarchal society of pastoral people, the Nakhi tribe lives on in an isolated section of Yunnan, China.

The line up of folk stories in this collection has animals, insects and plants- all female.  Characters epitomising the strength of women. And delivered in an unassuming, matter of fact way. The legends offer a window into the beliefs, geography and culture of the people.

Surreal and beautiful illustrations bring alive the ten stories which range from a tale of creation, a very interesting story on why it is easier to look at the moon than the sun, what trouble greed/ arrogance bring, why dogs lap water, what makes goat grumble and so on.

Footnotes provide facts about the exotic insects/ animals that are featured in some of the stories.

This collection of stories had the adults at home engrossed and is suitable for a read aloud for younger ones as well. A visual treat, the illustrator will leave you enchanted.

If all that is not enough to excite the reader, it is a compelling show case for feminism that thrived centuries ago.

*Picture from Amazon


sandhya said...

Wow, Art! You have got a gem for us here. It sounds like a lovely book.

Where did you pick this book up from, Art?

Praba Ram said...

Very interesting, Art! Is Kolowalu Books a Hawaiian publisher? Would love to lay my hands on the book!

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