The Construction of the ‘Other’ through Oral Narrative Performance: A Case of the Bukusu Folktale

Joseph Juma Musungu

Department of English, Literature, Journalism and Mass Communication, Kibabii University, Kenya.


Keywords: Strangers, Performance, Construction, Other, Bukusus, Perception, Folktale.


Kenya as a country has different communities. Over time, there have been cases of animosity and even fighting among different communities. Such differences obviously undermine the spirit of coexistence in a given society. Communities often live under fear and tension, raising the question why people shouldn’t coexist peacefully. This necessitates a concerted effort to unearth why such animosity exists. One possible avenue of establishing the kind of relationship that exists between the people is by listening to what they say about each other through their literary performances. This paper takes interest in the Bukusu people who have also been affected by such communal hostilities. The paper specifically focuses on the Bukusu perception of “strangers.” It examines the references in Bukusu narratives with regard to strangers in order to examine how such references are likely to create or diffuse the tensions between the Bukusu and their neighbours.


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