The legends and fairy stories in this book belong to the Yoruba country of Southem Nigeria. They relate the adventures of men and animals, and try to explain the mysteries of nature - why women have long hair, how the leopard got his spots, and so forth. Most of them include very old songs, but these cannot here be given in full.
We must not think that the stories are scientifically true; they grew out of the imagination of the people, and for actual, proven facts we must look in our text-books. We listen to these folktales for their quaintness and humour, for their sympathy with nature, and because we find in them the ideas and ideals, not just of one man, but of the race.