Bahamian Family Life as Depicted by Wives Tales and Other Old Sayings

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Proverbs, stories, and wives tales have been used to teach, entertain, and impart important cultural information for gen- erations. For this paper, two colleagues and I conducted ethno- graphic interviews with native Bahamians, primarily those residing on the family islands of Eleuthera and Harbour Island. We asked 56 informants, teenagers to octogenarians, to recall old sayings or tales which have been passed on to them over the years. Several hundred such sayings were recorded verbatim on tapes and in fieldnotes. Transcripts were analyzed to learn how Bahamian family life is depicted in wives tales, proverbs, and other old sayings.

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