by V. Gorog-Karady, pp. 1-19. ), pp. Contents. But, as we have seen that the freedonz to criticize can also be understood as an obligatiorz to do so, a similar ambiguity is possible for ritual licence. -. Cambridge, Mass. South Africa: new writing, photographs, art (special issue of TriQiiarterly 69), pp. Zulu Transformations: a study of the dyr~amics of social change. Brown 1996). In ritual, rebellion is only metaphorically enacted, symbolizing the principle of the people's rule. Selected publications. These are most apparent in the izibongo of rulers whose dynamic regulative and critical functions will be analysed below.8. 1-28. The prevalent religious function of izibongolies in establishing contact with the ancestral spirits of the dead who are regularly on called for assistance in the everyday life of their descendants. The physical presence of imbongi and audience is always part of izibongo's 'taking place,' and it could be argued that through a kind of magical power of poetical words12 in the act of 'speaking-out the past' a socially meaningful metaphorical presence of history is created, just as is done for the ancestors whose names are recited in order to make them present. Here, the imbongi can be related to another central figure of social mediation, the isangoma,or diviner (Cope 1968: 21). In order to do this, he should not only 'know everything that the king and all his ancestors ever did or ever had done' (Bryant 1949: 486, cf. In izibonqo, descriptive and normative local knowledge is publicly presented to all within the framework of aesthetic enjoyment, and an appeal for the evaluation of the truth-claims on both levels seems implied. Berglund, A.-I. In Aspects of South African Literature, ed. 1996. Bar~tu Studies. Paris: Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de 1'Homme & Oxford: Antluopological Society of Oxford. These lyrical switches of class are legitimate within the realm of poetic speech. l2 'Magical' here marks the shift of meaning that poetical language is able to effect, through the sensitive choice of apposite terms employed to reconstruct life, which, when successful, creates the impression of presence. Zulu Africa, african music, Battlefields, ... Video: Izibongo Zenkosi uSenzangakhona kaJama {Senzangakhona praise poem} Video: Izibongo zeSilo uShaka kaSenzangakhona {King Shaka’s praise poem} How does virginity testing, the annual Royal Reed Dance benefit our girls…why do we continue to raise our boys differently? turning potential into specific meaning, can never be precluded from the outset. criticism. Thus, a hardly determinable quantity and quality of freedom in art distinguishes a potentially 'moral' sphere from a 'mechanical' one, and a 'regulative' discourse from a 'regulated' one, art from ritual -at least as far as the examples discussed here are concerned. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968. The conception and development of poetry in Zulu. Fardon 1983: 16). In general, and definitely in the context of this paper, it points to the minimal discursive presuppositions for something like 'peaceful' social life in a specific cultural context. Brown, D. 1996. defined by a set of predetermined actions (Bloch 1989; Turner 1977: 183). extensive phrases or appositions, linked to a praise name, mostly at the end of a group of praises, a stanza, or the whole poem.6 The acoustic impact on the audience of the language used is just as important for an appreciation of izibongo as the structural play with layers of meaning. Killie Campbell Africana Library publications; no. 'This truth in the poetical statement interlinks various realms of society, and is directly related to the personal standpoint and artistic capacities of the 'philosopher-poet'; it is by definition never the only truth (Kunene 1982;esf1. Hountondji, P.J. the appearance, in 1968, of Cope's book on Zulu oral poetry (izibongo), for example, Douglas Mzolo9 has contributed significantly to our knowledge of Zulu 7 G . social commitment in public poetry. This can be done either in ritual action or in serious political action. B. Ngcobo. Oxford: Blackwell. Vilakazi, A. by G. Furniss and E. Gunner, pp. Custom and Conflict in Africa. performance and as such, an adequate 'map' of social experience. Assonances (arising from the noun-classes common to Bantu languages) dominate, and a mark of literary quality is diverse forms of 'linking,', i.e. This of course makes the poetical genre of izibongo inseparable from the political domain, while it also links an important part of public political discourse to poetical language. Traditional authority, like the concept of tradition itself, is never per se static, fixed, or irrational, even in a ruler-centred society like the Zulu. : 32), in which verbal art and social discourse are inextricably interlinked. Post navigation . -. As an encouragement for social discourse to reflect upon these questions in connection with the specific content of what has been performed, such an appeal seems implied in the concept of poetic licertce. By showing this from within the aesthetics of izibonqo, this work may help to re-instate the concept of tradition in its original sense of 'movement, a process of transmitting which points back to an original and essential process of social creation of values,' as called for by Hountondji, who makes a point of this understanding being valid for the African context as well as anywhere else (1 983b: 139). The 'political' is itself part of the aesthetics of izibongo. (oxford Library of African Literature). Standards of what social knowledge within society encompasses (truth) and how social action should proceed (justice) are implied in this kind of poetry as they are in society as a whole.15 Mapping social experience thus leads to a kind of 'topography of society' in praise poetry -to adapt Appadurai's phrase of 'topographies of the self' and apply it to a level of communal representation (cf. The Social System of the Zulu. With the general licence for poetical reconstruction and commentary of social reality a plurality of political views is admitted in principle. Ferocious one who devoured the cattle of the traders, And ate up those that were with Mandeku at Mlambo, He destroyed the wild little people belonging to the Mbengi, He who slaughtered a cow before the cattle went out to graze, Anyone who liked could come to him at home. This seems also to reflect the understandable appreciation of the izimbonyi in society, on which comments highlighting the bards are based. The praises centred on the leader of the clan. l8 These cyclically recurring 'rituals of rebellion' in South-Eastern Africa emerged. Thereby, some rulers of the 'homelands' created by the doctrine of apartheid attempted to totalize their specific political outlook and suppress controversial political utterances -which would again be presented in izibongo. Later, much material was published on praise-poetry of the Tswana, Zulu, Sotho, and Shona (Shapera 1965, Cope 1968. The recital of the izibongo of a deceased, which are the individual praises that a person has earned or been given during lifetime, is a necessary condition -next to the sacrifice of an animal -for propitiating the ancestor (Cope 1968: 19). Introduction to The Ancestors and the Sacred Mountain. They required the principles of social order to be 'unquestioned and indubitable' (Gluckman 1959: 134) and their exercise indicated social stability. In Anthropolog)~ of Art and Aestlzetics, ed. English in Africa 4 (2): 43-59. This is directly related to the standards of 'reasonable rulership' wlzich are socially dejined and publicly depicted and reforntulated in izibongo. Truth and justice as socially defined and embedded principles, necessary for the regulation of social life, are thus also taken to be ultimate criteria for artistic creation, which consequently remains linked to a common conception of reality as well as to a common good. In this way, the eminent socio-regulative contribution of art, which has the potential to interrelate all different aspects of society, becomes once more obvious. Pp. The art of praising the king or the political ruler, giving a socially valid portrait of him, due to the historically central position of the ruler (Krige 1936: 218), also means giving an illustration of the current state of society. Izibongo: Zulu Praise-Poems, collected by James Stuart, translated by Daniel Malcolm. -. 25-56. Althusser 1971). Poetic skill and the ability to fight are distinct traits of the male-centred, patrilineal Zulu society.9 Both mark important aspects of education and realms in which social recognition or even admiration can be earned. It might sound odd, but -if the descriptions I have relied upon are adequate -in a sense a basic political principle of the famously authoritarian and ruler-centred Zulu society can plausibly be presented as being rooted in a kind of sovereignity of the people. 2.3Social functions (i): mal~ping experience, sl~eakit~g sense. Thus, each performer is licensed by and in the act of performing, it is never the social status of the performer as such which sanctions the critical content of action, it is the medium. Gunner 1976: 73). Thirty years later it can be said that izibongohave retained their status of mediating political power in form of praise and criticism. The 'ear-rhymes' so created are acoustic counterparts to the repetitions on the level of the contents. 175- 195. But the recitals cannot per se be described as rituals, especially the performance of izibongo of rulers with its functions of public criticism and mediation of power. I have been careful to draw specifically from statements made from within society; from there, the complex web of izibongo of course appears more alive, and can, in a self-conscioius way, be presented in its various shades, as artistic, political, religious, historical and also 'philosophical' (Dhlomo 1977, M. Kunene 1976). Thus, the freedom to take certain exceptional actions here is linked to the obligation of taking part in a more or less strictly prescribed performance of such actions. Songs of innocence and experience: women as composers and performers of izibongo, Zulu praise poetry. However, within the political discourse of the Zulu and other South African communities, the genre of izibongocontinued to be of central value; in contrast to the rituals of rebellion it did not vanish but was reapplied to the altered political field. rituals (ncwala) still occuring in the Swazi kingdom. In fact, quite the opposite is the case: since a prescribed inverse action is required of the subjects, the ritually enacted protest is actually a symbolic statement of consent to the current ruler as well as to the principle of good rulership. -. Barber, K. and P.F. 1982. Additionally, they reconcile ruler and ruled, under the principle of reasonable rulership (which I shall discuss further below), for a desirable balance of social life. They are, however, always situated within public ceremonies -also called 'secular rituals' (Falk-Moore & Myerhoff 1977: 21) and take place in ritual context. As such it represents social identity and can be used for 'tracing kinship relationship and genealogy. Sole, K. 1987. Tltis principle, in combination with the poet's obligation (a)to paint a full and true picture of the praised and the social life involved, arzd. Both interlink and together create meaning in performance, emphasizing significance by their continual repetition. New York: Heinemann. 1977. Turner, V. 1977. x + 229. by J.L. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press. What I call socio-regulative commitment refers to the basic normative principle irlvolved in the aesthetic formation: 'a language with the authority to transcend the particular in the interests of justice or truth' is. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. The irnbongi is at the same time a sort of special advisor or counsellor to the king, whom he traditionally had to stay and live near (ibid. p. 105. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Art is essentially 'free' in a way that ritual is not. In this way, it often leads to a dramatic representation of a current social incident which it publicly marks as noteworthy, and comments on it. 1979. 1971. shaka zulu. 1984. Izibongo. Therefore, a central task of this paper is to evolve a model of the political discourse in a society from within art, namely the specific form of art that izibongoconstitute. For Zulu society and izibongo it is then true to say, as Gel1 does for art in general, that 'aesthetics is a branch of moral discourse' (1992: 41). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Praise poetry is 'a highly political art form' (Gunner 1989: 49) in a highly poetical society. To summarize: the concept of rebellion indirectly marks a basic principle of Zulu politics which I would like to call good or rather reasorzable rulersl7ip. Thus, the izibongo of rulers have a special status and constitute aesthetically the most highly appreciated sub-genre. sought 'through poetic expression' (White 1989: 38). Evolving out of Zulu ethnographical context, Gluckman's differentiation between ceremonial and ritual action is linked to 'mystical notions,' able to influence the outcome of events, which distinguish ritual action only. Birmingham: Centre for West African Studies. 19-45. Izibongo: Zulu praise-poems. Msimude: Another of Mphande’s praise names. Posted on September 26, 2014 September 26, 2014 by White Zulu in izinkumbulo / memories 3. London: Longmans, Green. 1967. Everybody is given praise-names as markers of identity (already as a child), and anyone may compose such names and recite them.4 Izibongo are composed even for animals, and in particular the highly valued cattle, as well as, recently, for political organizations or football teams (Gunner & Gwala 1991: 8). Edited with introduction and annotations by Trevor Cope. Opland (1984), Mafeje (1967), and Kashula, (1991, 1993) give exan~ples of Xhosa bards being harassed by the authorities for their. de Moraes Farias (eds.). The principle thus is found on the normative side of social knowledge, and is 'reasonable' in the way that Gluckman has argued in regard to law- processes (1963: 178ff): formal as such, it is contextually embedded in the present and thus determinable in each situation of social life, in which it is constantly debated and redefined. In New Writing from South Africa, ed. 303-312. My aim here can be no more than pointing to the historically transmitted existence of such criticism, which is remarkable in itself. Research in African Literatures 24: 21 1-215. The 'local-level politics of language' (Parkin 1984: 347), as far as they are concerned with local-level politics in language, are mirrored in izibongo,Zulu praise-poetry. In reciting, the artist shouts out the praises at the top of his voice as fast as he can; metaphorically speaking, he tries to cast a spell on the audience with a sort of magical shower of words. Journal of Local Administration Overseas 2: 88-. -. The outstanding status of izibongo in Zulu literature and social life is most categorically stated by H.I.E. London: Heinemann. The use of traditional oral forms in black South African literature. by L. White and T. Couzens, pp. Cope (1968: 38-50), following M. Kunene; for a more detailed survey of the linguistic foundations of the poetical figures see Doke (1948). In terms of the internal framework of Zulu social knowledge, the existence of rituals of rebellion could indicate a healthy state of affairs. There are two levels on which criticism can be uttered: indirectly, as 'absence of praise,' and directly, as 'presence of criticism' in the performance (Cope 1968: 31); in between, gradual sub-differentiations are possible. Praise song African literature Britannica com. Sundkler, B. But, as can already be seen, this appreciation does not operate in the sense of a purely aesthetic gaze, consuming this art form as l'arr pour l'art, it arises from the fact that a relevant 'map of experience' (Vail & White 1991 : 40ff) of society has been created, publicly performed, and has thereby reaffirmed communal identity. After the peak of military expansion a more lyrical tone re-emerged (ibid. 1991. Extremely remarkable in this sense is a passage of outright criticism of even the quasi-almighty Shaka for having committed a massacre against the Langeni clan as a revenge for bad treatment there during his childhood days: Ngobawadly ~BhebheumntakaNcumela ngakwonyokolume. xiii-. See also Cope (1968: 24); Rycroft (1974: 56). The ruler, the king, or the political leader, who is traditionally conceived as the centre and 'symbol of the unity' of the community (Krige 1936: 224; cf. 4.3. Reply Delete. Izibongo: Zulu Praise-poems James Stuart, Anthony Trevor Cope Snippet view - 1968. In their task of achieving an adequate depiction of society, apart from truth and justice, izibongo also transmit the powerful and the reasonable as defined by current social discourse. expressed will of the people formulated by the imbongi. Shaka Zulu Quotes 20 quotes by. 55s. Consequently, from an analysis and discussion of izibongoas a flexible tradition of formalized, poetical speech linked to reasonable principles, it follows that 'traditional authority' itself should not, as has been argued, be understood per se as static and fixed (cf. As it was still eating others it destroyed some more; Still eatitlg sotne it destroyed others, As it was still eatitlg others it destroyed some more; Still eatitlg sonle it destroyed others, As it was still eating others it destroyed sotne more. 'Reasonable Rulership' In conclusion, I will outline a model of reaso~~able, rulership, following the nomenclature of the ethnographic sources ('chieftainship,' 'kingship,' 'ideal kingship,' 'good rule,' 'leadership,' 'ruler~hi~').~~. The regulative function of izibongo is to reconcile the personal leadership of the ruler with the people's will, and thereby 'the main function of the ... bard is to interpret public opinion and to organize it' (Mafeje 1967: 195). London: James Currey. There, as I want to stress, the art of praising is the art of criticizing, particularly in regard to the ruler, and this has important political implications. Thus, an observation made twenty years ago, that there is 'no necessary break in the continuity between traditional political poetry and modem politics,' still seems to fit neatly for part of the current political discourse in South Africa: '[Izibongo] have proved remarkably adaptable to the circumstances of the twentieth century' (Emmett 1979: 75). African Philosophy. Cambridge: University Press. Ideally, the imbongi must be especially sensitive in realizing, as well as considerate in reformulating and making 'what is going on' publicly known to ruler and subjects, while still giving a valid account of the ruler's. King, you are wrong because you do not discriminate. Mafeje 1967, Opland 1984, Kashula 1991). &$ace and basis -pe~for~nanceand political tnodcl. Thus izibongo as a poetical genre evolved as a specific art of praising. As may be seen, izibongoare more multi-referential and thus 'more purely' artistic in times of social balance. Reasonable rulership is thus the reverse side of the constantly redefined notion of a principal corzsensus on the basic rules of Zulu society, marking social norms as social norms and the common good as 'common' and 'good. The central contention of this thesis is that Zulu izibongo, that are performed and recorded at the urban-rural interface, articulate responses to the multiple discourses and structures of political and social constraint. Power can only sustain itself in the long run with major support from within society, and thus attempts to make use of existing cultural means such as art to root and legitimize itself. This seems to hint at the essential difference between the performance of art and of ritual, and between art and ritual as such. Thus, rebellion displays the ultimate supremacy of the will of the people over the ruler, the dependency of the king on public opinion (cf. The Praises of Dingana (Izibonqo zika Dinqana). Towards an African literature VII: poetry and the new order. the feminist theory (chapter 2), portrayal of Zulu women in folktales (chapter3), in proverbs (chapter 4) and praise-poetry (chapter 5). -. Zulu Folk Poetry. 1984. In both cases, past life is re-presented as 'being there.' Footnotes. London: Oxford University Press. In Culture, Tlzought, arzd Social Action: an Anthropological Perspective, idem, pp. London: Clarendon Press. Introduction and notes to Emperor Shaka the Great: a Zulu Epic, pp. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. The respective currently valid social norms then, can be seen as permanently reformulated and publicly expressed in a potentially pluralistic discourse in which, due to the principle of 'poetic licence,' all members of society can engage. Consequently, the role of the imbongi is the same over history. Common features point at an interdependence of power between the ruler and the people, between whiclz the poet (and praise-poetq~ on the whole) mediates, reconciling their interests for the common good of society. Thus, the characteristic trait of izibongo,affirming identity in a multifarious verbal 'picture,' is underlined and enforced from various angles: social reality in this picture encompasses truth, justice, ideology and reasonability. This fits well for a poetic topography of society. Consequently, the potential influence of the izibongo -and the irnbongi who composes and performs them -on the political dynamics of society can hardly be overestimated; in izibongothey are reflected and re-initiated. Shapera, I. Les traductions de Daniel Malcolm, de l'Université du Natal, furent reprises, après sa mort survenue en 1962, par son collègue de la même université, Trevor Cope, qui présente ici, avec les textes originaux et la traduction en regard, un choix de vingt-six éloges (sur les deux cent cinquante- huit de la collection Stuart). and A.B. Thus, 'ritual licence' can be claimed to be no licence for the individual's liberation at all, but an illusion of it -in the same way as the ritual of rebellion can be read as a deluding symbol of the people's will. 1992. The much appreciated harmony in sound-features is easily achieved since it involves the relatively simple act of 'personalizing' things or actions by changing the prefix of the word to the noun-class of the subject of the sentence. C'est aussi à Trevor Cope qu'on doit les deux chapitres introductifs consacrés respectivement à l'histoire des Zoulou et à l'étude du genre poétique, les commentaires historiques et littéraires très précis placés en tête de chaque groupe de deux ou trois poèmes d'une même période, et les notes abondantes en cours de texte. Kemnitzer and D.M. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Monographs in Social Anthropology 58). Les poèmes de ce recueil furent notés en zoulou au début du siècle par un magistrat, James Stuart. 24 Both foci of power, 'chief' and 'party leader' have often been present in personal union (e.g. by. On ceremonial occasions, whether marriage, funeral, sacrifice, calling on the ancestral spirits, formal reception of an honoured guest, festivals of the whole community, the recitation of praise poetry is a constitutive element of the event itself. Gunner, E. and M. Gwala. 1963. Journal of African Languages 6: 193-223. Even a distinct form of syncretic pe~formance emerged with elements of fighting, poetry and dance: the ukugiya (Rycroft 6i. A performative approach to ritual. Bloch, M. 1975. Jordan (1959: 101). Izibongo. 55s. 3. Orality and literacy: dialogue and silence. Looking back, however, it is striking to see that this has not always been adequately acknowledged by anthropology. The most famous example of such a figure is part of the izibongo of Shaka, where his insatiable devouring of 'others,' rulers, competitors, enemies and subjects, is depicted in the multiple repetition of the phrase 'while he devoured some others he devoured some more' (Cope 1968: 96-97) which could be shortened or infinitely extended at the imbongi's will. Zulu praise poems. 1958. 1948. Taking the phrase 'maps of experience' as leitmotif, the historical is not to be seen as just one sub-function of the izibongoamong others, but as intrinsically central to the aesthetics of the genre -like the poetical form, which cannot be isolated from its social meanings. While it is often considered to be poetry of praise, Jeff Opland and others consider the term "praise" (for "bonga") to be too limiting, since it can contain criticism also.. Subject matter. 1977. If this paper has been able to encourage sensitivity towards this interdisciplinary field in which history, literature and anthropology are mutually dependent on one another, or to provide a reliable starting point for further theoretically interested and empirically rooted research, its purpose has been fulfilled. 122- 130. While they give rise to the Zulu language's most complex form of aesthetic experience, they also express more significance in regard to power relations and social structure than the other poetical genres. 1993 [1927]. Le travail des poètes spécialistes, qui ne s'occupent que des grands personnages, consiste surtout à recueillir tous les éloges déjà composés spontanément sur tel ou tel, à les assembler en un poème plus complexe, avec certains raffinements de style, et à les déclamer d'une certaine façon, dans certaines occasions et dans un certain costume. Free in fact in a way that ritual seems essentially 'unfree,' i.e. I am well aware that a full command of Zulu and fieldwork in Zulu society could only have added to my treatment of this topic. London: James Currey . 1989. 183-194. New York: Columbia University Press. Next post TMM. Such 'poetic licence' is not the privilege of a specific social group, such as is constituted by the specialist izimbongi, but is granted to every subject who utters criticism in the prescribed form: 'it is not the poet who is licensed by the literary conventions of society; it is the poem' (Vail & White 1991: 56). Democracy and consensus in traditional African politics: a plea for a non-party polity. -. This role can be highlighted and considered in relation to Gluckman's works and theses, as well as with anthropological interest in political life and local theory. The 'tradition of performance' of what have here been called izibongo of rulers is thus maintained, due to the formal and flexibly adaptable traits characterizing the genre. Common terms and phrases. Thus, for the case of izibongo I have shown in detail that in Zulu society reason and tradition are by no means incompatible concepts, but interlinked. Brief History of the Zulu Kingdom; Izibongo zeNkosi eNkulu u Shaka kaSenzangakhona kaJama, uZULU!!! Unpublished PhD thesis, University of London. This kind of presentation of the praised already contains an ambiguity, central to the further analysis of the social mediative functions of izibongo of rulers: Shaka's strength, power and wilful killing can in this depiction be said to be lauded as well as indirectly criticized. Being crucial to the same society, both social forms have the same structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press. This shift from 'tribe' to 'nation' was reflected in the poetical imagery of the izibongo: bolder methaphors and symbols than before were used in order to create a wider and more powerful image of the growing community -'elephant' and 'lion' instead of birds and antelopes as dominant symbols for the rulers. Even without these advantages, my attempt is, I think, nevertheless, sufficiently informed, focused and specific to contribute to theoretical reflection on izibongo, especially since new directions for their discussion, including from a philosophical perspective, are being established. by E. Ngara, pp. 122-166. Power and the poet in contemporary Transkei. And the order that is affirmed might indeed be called 'traditional authority,' but with inverted meaning: flexible, created by social discourse and, in a way, the power of the people. New York Review of Books 44 (7): 46-48. Forgotten men: Zulu bards and praising at the time of the Zulu kings. They constitute a dynamic tradition of reasonable discourse which has grown historically and evolved specifically within its cultural and social dynamics. E. Ch. Introduction to Secular Ritual, idem (eds. Discourse and its Disguises. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Then, it could be understood as an active expression of a basic and conscious consent to the principles governing social life. 24-41. The most decisive stylistic characteristics of izibongo are various repetitive structures, such as alliterations and diverse forms, of parallelisms. While they deal 'with the happenings in and around the tribe during the reign of a given chief,' they are documenting history: 'rivalries for chieftainship within the tribe: the ordinary social life: alliances and conflicts with neighbouring tribes: military and political triumphs and reverses etc.' Their performance is artistic dramatization and commentary, constructed in reference to concrete social incidents. : 33), would contradict the conception of 'poetic licence' as presented -it would, however, be compatible with the emphasis on the social category of bards as political mediators within society.

izibongo zulu praise poems pdf

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