Du symbolisme des couleurs dans les contes

Ugochukwu, Francoise (2007). Du symbolisme des couleurs dans les contes. La Revue Africaine(2) pp. 57–73.



This study, mainly based on five separate published collections by Joisten and the author, compares French and Nigerian folktales, focusing mainly on French Dauphiné and Nigerian Igboland, to consider the role colour plays in encounters with supernatural characters from diverse colour backgrounds. A study in black and white, red and green, it compares the naming of colours in the two languages and shows its building of correspondences as a tool to communicate colour-coded values. The countries' history, religious beliefs and language development offers additional clues to what first seems like fundamental differences in the cultural approach. Attempting to trace the roots of this colour-coding, the study also considers the impact of colonisation on oral literature and traditional art forms, with black and white coded in a similar way in the two countries, with a hidden ambivalence. It also highlights the use of masks, disguising and animal features as part of the show.

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