Oscar Ribas (August 17, 1909 - June 19, 2004)
Born: 17th August, 1909
Died: 19th June, 2004
Region: Luanda, Angola, Lisbon, Portugal
Notable works: "Uanga-feitico"

Oscar Ribas Facts

Biography

Oscar Ribas, in full Oscar Bento Ribas, (born August 17, 1909, Luanda, Angola--died June 19, 2004, Lisbon, Portugal), Angolan folklorist and novelist, who recorded in Portuguese the oral tradition of the Mbundu people of Angola.

The son of a Portuguese father and an Angolan mother, Ribas gradually went blind during his early 20s but remained an indefatigable researcher and writer. He began his literary career as a writer of romantic tales. The publication of Uanga-feitico (1951; "The Evil Spell") and Ecos da minha terra (1952; "Echoes of My Land") marked a new African direction in his writing. The novel Uanga-feitico follows the marriage of an African man and woman and presents a wealth of Mbundu fables, songs, and folk sayings. Ribas published an expanded version of the novel in 1969. Ecos da minha terra is a collection of stories based on legends and folktales.

Ribas's study of Mbundu culture and religion, Ilundo: divindades e ritos angolanos (1958; "Ilundo: Angolan Divinations and Rites"), appeared after 18 years of research. It was followed by Missosso: literatura tradicional angolana, 3 vol. (1961-64; "Missosso: Traditional Angolan Literature"), a linguistic work containing a vernacular dictionary and Portuguese versions of Angolan tales (missosso), laments, and proverbs. Ribas's autobiography, Tudo isto aconteceu (1975; "All of This Happened"), confirms Ribas's attachment to an Angola in which blacks and whites live fraternally.

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