African Tales and Myths

Some thoughts to consider:

The present volume is a work of compilation.  For this reason I consider it a duty to indicate exactly in the bibliography the date and place of publication of the works upon which I have drawn. I have given these tales just as the missionaries and explorers brought them to Europe, and just as they are published.  They are not always the most original versions nor the most faithful translations.  It is much to be regretted that literary exactitude was not the only legitimate preoccupation of these distant travellers.  In brief, the study of the language and literature of primitive races is one of the sciences most indispensable to the history of the human mind.

from Blaise Cendrars, forward to original 1920 edition of The African Saga.
 
 

In this anthology we have not only a record of the wit and wisdom of Africa but the soul of a people, which may be judged by the criteria of pure letters.  In this translation, which has attempted throughout to capture the spirit of Cendrar's book rather than to present an erudite rendition of original sources, English readers have their first opportunity to appraise Africa's contribution to the literature of the world.

from Arthur Spingarn, introduction to 1927 translated edition of The African Saga.