Ibrahim Muhawi

in Speak, Bird, Speak Again

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 1989 | ISBN: 9780520062924
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520908734 | DOI:

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This chapter presents a Palestinian folktale that adds a new dimension to our understanding of the brother/sister relationship. With the father, as usual, under the control of a new wife, the brother and sister are left on their own. The tale thus juxtaposes two sets of relationships. Obviously, the second relationship—that between brother and sister—is superior to the first, for there a power struggle, which seems inescapable when a man marries a stranger, is nonexistent. By presenting the sister as crying over the brother's bones, bringing him back to life through her love, and then living with him, the tale idealizes their relationship, bringing them almost, but not quite, to the point of marriage.

Keywords: Palestinian folktale; brother; sister

Chapter.  11258 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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