Harvard African Language Program's Africa's Sources of Knowledge Digital Library

About the Researcher

Lowell Brower Field Research

Lowell Brower’s socially-engaged ethnographic research explores East and Central African communal storytelling, and has contributed to the preservation and celebration of thousands of Kiswahili and Kinyarwanda oral narratives, including folktales, myths, legends, praise poems, songs, proverbs, and histories.  His fieldwork has resulted in a massive folkloric archive which will be made available to the public through the Harvard African Language Program’s Africa’s Sources of Knowledge Digital Library.  This unprecedented African-language digital resource will offer storytellers, scholars, and language-learners access to audio, video, and photographic documentation of over three thousand oral performances recorded between 2004 and 2014 in over one hundred communities throughout coastal Tanzania and rural Rwanda. Lowell has also partnered with storytellers in several villages and refugee camps to publish small compendiums of local folktales whose profits will benefit projects determined by “storyteller cooperatives.”