“Signifying Monkey” –The Guardian of African Tradition


  • Nataša Vajić Juos “Radoje Domanović“ Osječani - Doboj, Bosnia and Herzegovina




African and African American literature, oral tradition, griots, African proverbs, signifying monkey


African oral tradition is much more than just a story. It is the history of one nation. It is a code of laws under which people live and die. However, the oral tradition is also a rich area of wordplays and high philosophy, which represent the foundation of today's African and African-American literature. Proverbs, ritual songs, epics, all of this is the foundation of an advanced society. In reality, the keepers of the culture are griots - storytellers. In fiction, these are trickster gods in the shape of sacred animals. Only one of them is a cunning monkey, thanks to which a whole genre of double-thinking has emerged. The monkey is a shadow in the proverbs and inspiration for storytellers. The double-thinker and the representative of reason and justice through stunning wordplays. Two-voiced messages which are a feature of the highly advanced philosophical nation that possessed cultural richness even in the era of oral tradition. The tradition that still exists.




How to Cite

Juos, N. V. (2018). “Signifying Monkey” –The Guardian of African Tradition. European Journal of Language and Literature, 4(2), 31–35. https://doi.org/10.26417/ejls.v4i3.p31-35