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Folktales serve a descriptive, as well as prescriptive role, by consistently depicting societal and cultural norms. Sexist portrayals sanction the marginality of Bukusu women, particularly when these reflect prevailing gender roles and expectations. However, contests over identity and representation are as ancient as (unwritten) history. The analysis of tales From Our Mothers’ Hearths: Bukusu Folktales and Proverbs, offers a wide range of role models for women; some of which depict female agency in exacting circumstances (Florence, N., 2005. From our Mothers’ Hearths: Bukusu Folktales and Proverbs. NJ: Africa World Pres/The Red Sea Press). Further, females as narrators, protagonists, and the primary audience act as both curator and creators of culture.


This article was originally published in Cogent Education, available at

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