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Speak, Bird, Speak AgainPalestinian Arab Folktales$
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Ibrahim Muhawi and Sharif Kanaana

Print publication date: 1989

Print ISBN-13: 9780520062924

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520062924.001.0001

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Society

Society

Chapter:
(p.251) Group III Society (p.252)
Source:
Speak, Bird, Speak Again
Author(s):

Ibrahim Muhawi

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520062924.003.0010

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

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