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“Folk Legends from Tono,” takes the reader inside a land of superstition and pragmatism, farming and faith. The tales unravel in short vignettes, loosely grouped by myriad topics ranging from “Biology and Human Emotion” to “Survival on the Edge.”

The stories are hard to forget, from the “woman with wild hair” who laughs in the face of a gun, or the young mother who transforms into a serpent, leaving her forlorn child and an awestruck village. Although populated with fantastic creatures, the tales reveal many down-to-earth details about the values and priorities of rural life, and authentically illuminate a culture of the recent-past with simple but eloquent charm.

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