Watermelon Lullaby

28 October, 10:00 am

2 hoursPWYD

Workshop, Discussion | Black History Month, Identity, Language, Literature & Poetry

Watermelon Lullaby

Oxfordshire County Library, Queen Street, Westgate, OX1 1DJ

Rootical Folklore is an exploration of African and Caribbean Folklore through plants from storyteller Natty Mark Samuels. Rootical means the generation of an idea, and emphasises the spiritual significance of plants, rather than them simply being sources of food and medicine.

Watermelon Lullaby is an interactive workshop using tales, chants, dialogues, poetry and monologues.

You may be familiar with folk tales featuring animals such as Anansi the spider, Mbe the tortoise and Sungura the hare. Now discover the plants of Africa and the Caribbean, including fig, coconut, aloe vera, spinach, kola nut and pumpkin and how they feature in traditional stories of respect, revenge, karma, protection and rational thinking.

Suitable for teenagers and adults, with an example poem inspired by Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera Chant

Aloe Vera,
I beg you come nearer,
Let me place you above the door.
Don’t need no skin care,
Or the medicinal,
I require a talisman.
Let me place you above the door.

Natty Mark Samuels has delivered workshops revealing different aspects of African and Caribbean heritage and art in partnership with IF Oxford since 2018. He set up the African School in 2009 to bring African and Caribbean folklore, art and culture to the public.

The Encyclopedia of Rootical Folklore: Plant Tales of Africa and the Diaspora, by Natty Mark Samuels, will be published March 2024, by Scorched Earth Press.

IF Oxford uses Pay What You Decide (PWYD) ticketing so you can choose to pay whatever you want or can afford. You can make your donation during booking or after the event and the amount you pay is up to you. A suggested donation of £5 per person for each event enjoyed will help secure the future of the Festival. IF Oxford is run by The Oxfordshire Science Festival (charity #1151361) and your donation may be eligible for Gift Aid, where a charity can claim back an extra 25% of your donation at no cost to you.

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The Festival reserves the right to modify event formats and manage the audience in accordance with the Festival’s Attendance Policy: https://if-oxford.com/about/policies/attendance-policy/


Oxfordshire County Library, OX1 1DJ