Aloy Nnamdi Obika (PhD), Chinyere Ojiakor (PhD)


Among many aboriginal people, there exist trickster tales. The protagonists of such tales are mainly diminutive animals whose stock in trade is lying, cheating, stealing and so on. Such tricksters due to their size and limited strength make use of their cranial power so as to defeat their more powerful adversaries. But when these tales are looked into, one wonders if the children will not learn the negative behaviour of the tricksters in spite of the etiological summaries appended at the ends of the stories and the warnings from adult raconteurs. However, by looking at past happenings where people were forced to put the teachings of the tales into practice, also by looking at the sayings of the Igbo people whose tales are used in this study, it has been discovered that the ancestors who created these tales intended them to be put into use whenever somebody has been forced into a tight corner. But then, the manifestation of the negative aspect of the trickster’s behaviour in many people may be as a result of the problems facing them because they have been taught to wriggle out of their problems using all available means.


Trickster tales, Tortoise, Cheating, Lying, Ethics

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