Abstract

African oratures consist of a significant corpus of trickster stories. This article investigates indigenous frameworks of reading texts by exploring the philosophical stance of Mmutle, the trickster of Southern Africa, by analyzing eight stories. The analysis of the Mmutle trickster discourse highlights four postures of reading for liberation. First, the vulnerable and oppressed should keep a permanent vigil toward the powerful and always watch out for their interests without fail. Second, the vulnerable and oppressed should be willing to be in solidarity with other vulnerable and oppressed members of the society and to use teamwork. Third, sharp and transgressive thinking skills are vital weapons of resistance, survival, and liberation. Fourth, the Mmutle trickster philosophical framework demands skills of rewriting and redirecting a story toward new and unexpected ends in the service of resistance, survival, and liberation.

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