The University of Arizona

“I Want to Tell You about My Story” The New Oral Tradition of the Himba

Michael Weingartner


The purpose of this study was to collect and interpret a series of stories and oral histories through interviews from members of the Himba communities near Epupa Falls, Namibia, with special attention taken to record the stories and interviews of the youngest generation. The results of this study reveal a series of changes, both gradual and radical, in the oral tradition of the younger generation as a result of changes in the Himba society at large due to globalization and the intro- duction of new technology. An exploration of two distinct oral traditions, formal and informal, is also made with regards to the role of gender in the oral tradition. Finally, a collection of stories is used to compared and contrasted with more Western storytelling with regards to content and form, including the responses of Himba youth to a number of pieces of Western literature.

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