The stories in this collection were told during March 1997 in several sessions, both in the office of the Regional Cultural Bureau, and at the home of Mohammed Ahmed Algani, who was the Bureau Head at that time. Not all can be directly attributed to their narrators. Most were told in the Afar language, and then translated into Amharic by Mohammed Algani. The Amharic was translated into English by Michael Ambatchew of the British Council.
Afar house near Assayita
Some Afar stories were collected in similar versions elsewhere in Ethiopia (eg The Cunning Fox and The Trio). Prominent in the Afar stories is the telling of riddles (eg The Crown Prince). This is typical of many very ancient stories from the Near East (compare the cycle of Samson stories in the Old Testament, and the myth of Oedipus).