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1001 Stories Collection

The Blind Man and the Hunter

Added on 25th June 2020

Oral tradition African folktale

A touching tale to show how we should never underestimate a person who is different to us.


A blind man is frequently asked how he is so wise. He smiles and replies, “because I see with my ears.” His sister marries a hunter who mocks the man for his blindness. The blind man asks the hunter to take him hunting. Eventually the hunter agrees and finds that the blind man can see more than he thought.

Why we chose it

The Blind Man was one of the stories in our original audio story collection.

Where it came from

Like many folk stories passed down through an oral tradition, this has many possible sources. It has been attributed to West Africa and as a Ndebele story from Zimbabwe.

Where it went next

Hugh Lupton includes a version in Tales of Wisdom and Wonder. Alexander McCall Smith includes it in his collection The Girl Who Married A Lion and Other Tales from Africa.

Associated stories

Stories where blind people have abilities which people with sight don’t have are common in many cultures. Zatoichi is a blind blademaster in one of Japan’s longest running series of films and television series, a little like James Bond. Other blind characters with incredible skill and wisdom are Toph Bei Fong in the cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008) and the Marvel superhero Daredevil who appears in comics and his own TV show (Daredevil, 2015-2018).

Added on 25th June 2020

Oral tradition African folktale