Tales from Berry
Arundharti Virmani
RECITS ET CONTES POPULARIES DU BERRY by Genevieve Debais Gallimard, 1981, 189 pp., price not stated.
May-June 1981, volume 5, No 5/6

‘Recosts et Contes Popularies dli Berry’ is a charming collection of popular folk tales, legends, patriotic and sentimental songs and even local dances. Genevieve Debais and Michel Valiere have put on record some of the traditions and cus­toms of a region which is in the heart of central France. Berry is distinct from its surrounding areas in its material culture and speech, and the people jealously guard its eccentricities. Not satisfied with a simple presentation of fairy tales and local legends, the authors have attempted to preserve the original flavour by means of direct narration. The main narrator is Juliette Septiert born on 20th February, 1898, in Brenne, at Saint Nozare, where she spent her childhood looking after pigs and sheep. She then worked as domestic servant for some time in Toulouse, (with some bour­geois) came back to Blanc, working again as a cook, a seamstress and died in 1978.

Continue reading this review