Available on JSTOR at: doi.org/10.2307/3334465
Paul Aj Ayah was 16 years old in 1966 when he completed his manuscript on the Oliti people, who number 15,000 and live in an isolated part of west Cameroon near the Nigerian border. Ayah's manuscript has many unusual qualities, combining a narration of what the Oliti regard as essential in their history with a skill in presentation that recaptures the excitement of tales told in the evening around a fire. Ayah has attempted to recreate original African expressions in English, and in places has incorporated the cadence of the English Bible into his speech. The result is a vivid, valuable document, remarkable for the range of subjects it treats. It is unusual that a 16 year old boy should have both an interest in so many aspects of his people's history, and a storyteller's ability to retell them. Included here are several excerpts from the original manuscript.