'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. 1990. Hountondji 1983a, 1983b), in regard to the historical reconstruction of philosophical traditions as well as in respect to political philosophy, a discussion of basic aesthetic principles in social life, the 'ethical discourse' in artistic language and possibly other topics. Selected publications. But izibongo performance enforces an overall process of reaffirmation of social identity as we11;22 and this social foundation of izibongo aesthetics is reaffirmed in each recitation -'symbolization.' 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. Schneider, pp. 85-128. I zibongo in politicial discourse to the present Today, in the post-apartheid era, the poetic task of izibongo, to strive for the correct and morally appreciable depiction of society in relation to its leading figures, continues and seems to be as central to public political discourse in South Africa as ever (cf. Since social structure is focused towards the central office, and the authoritative ruler is regarded as representing society as a whole, in times of crisis a licertce to rebel, to overthrow and replace a ruler, seems implicitly granted, because social malaise of any kind can always be linked to the 'bad rulership' of the person in power. Research in African Literatures 10 (2): 239-267. Only by 'praising what is worthy and decrying what is unworthy' can a full picture of social life be given, only then will the imbongi be acknowledged as someone, l1 This is how izibongo have been used in schools. -. Zulu Popular Praises, ed. Forgotten men: Zulu bards and praising at the time of the Zulu kings. Tout cela donne un ouvrage particulièrement satisfaisant car il est rare qu'un genre oral, et surtout un genre poétique difficile, puisse être aussi bien éclairé. using verbal artistry to ironize etc.) Mbelebele brigade: Mbelebelebeni was one of Shaka’s military barracks. London: Clarendon Press. However, they share with the izibongo of rulers the general aspects of mediation between history, religion and politics within their performance. GUY; Izibongo: Zulu praise poems, African Affairs, Volume 68, Issue 272, 1 July 1969, Pages 276–277, https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.afraf.a095909 Oxford: Clarendon Press. 'Anything can be taken into a praise name by the simple process of nominalising' (Gunner & Gwala 1991: 31; cf. Hodza, A.C. and G. Fortune. 1989. -. London: Academic Press. Shaka Zulu chief Britannica com. Gluckman, M. 1940. Les poèmes de ce recueil furent notés en zoulou au début du siècle par un magistrat, James Stuart. actions alliteration amongst army attacked battle beast became Boers branch British brother cadence cattle caused Cetshwayo chief clan conclusion consisting construction couplets cross death defeat described destroyed devoured died Dingane Dingiswayo Durban eaten … Rituals of rebellion remind the ruler of his possible loss of authority, and they remind the people of their power. 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. It is within a distinct form of expression that public social action 'against authority' is sanctioned, and an extraordinary liberty of expression granted to the person using it. In regard to the complex tasks involved in interpreting and organizing public opinion, izibongohave to include criticism of the ruler when appropriate. 40-63. Musho! Praise-Poertw of Ts~~atia. The discussion of licence in both cases has led to insight into some regulative ideas in Zulu social life underlying public performance of izibongo and structurally related social action in ritual: 'truth,' 'justice,' 'good governance,' 'reasonable rulership.' This fits well for a poetic topography of society. Introduction to Pou~er and Knowledge: Anthropological and Sociological Approaches, ed. English in Africa 6 (1): 72-8 1. ABSTRACT This paper presents Zulu praise-poetry, izibongo, as a genre of fundamental political and socio-regulative relevance, an interpretation which within Zulu society seems to have been continually valid until today. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 19-45. Brown, D. 1996. Izibongo Zulu praise poems James Stuart Anthony Trevor. (159 p.) [Zulu praise poems, with Zulu commentary.] Thus, power is granted to the ruler, and rule accepted by the people only when responsibility and accountability of the ruler are assured; according to the perspective on Zulu political theory which has been followed here, the executive authority of the ruler is subject to the constitutive power of public consenus. In terms of verbal art, it is thus by the skill and complexity of the language used to mark the social significance of historical invocations involved -through references to earlier kings, royal ancestors, whose praises are often quoted or referred to in praises of the current ruler -that a differentiation between izibongo of the common people and those of kings, rulers and leaders reflects their difference in social life. 26 How 'egalitarian' these principles really are (or even Zulu society on the whole is), is not to be decided here; but it is surely important that they are presented as such from within society itself, and gaining a perspective from which this claim is understandable is of interest here. 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. New wine in old bottles: imagery in the izibongo of the Zulu Zionist prophet, Isaiah Shembe. Introduction to Secular Ritual, idem (eds. 1962. In an early account, Bryant, while failing to grasp the aesthetic value of izibongo, already noted 'the extravagant freedom of speech' granted to the reciters who during the performance on festival occasions publicly raised problematic issues which 'might otherwise have been difficult to state' (Bryant 1949: 486; cf. Parkin, D. 1984. '3 Izibongo, meaning 'praise names' or 'praise poem' (a collection of praise names), is a pluralis tantutn built from isibongo.Vilakazi (ibid.) What people are saying - Write a review. submitting to power and thereby reaffirming it. Previous post Bulkheads. Pietermaritzburg: Shuter & Shooter, 1978. Art is essentially 'free' in a way that ritual is not. This includes even the ruler who, though he is personally in power, can only secure the long-term duration of his reign by acting in accordance with these socially defined normative concepts. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of London. Anlercian Anthropologist 65: 1254-1 279. Londres, Oxford University Press, 1968, 230 p. (Oxford Library of African Literature). Towards an African literature VII: poetry and the new order. The praises of kings originated in the wars they successfully led, and famous izirnbongi are known to have been outstanding warriors (Gunner 1976: 75; 83). Rebellion is conceived as a positive action, a kind of self-cleansing of society, since it is in the attack on the person of the ruler that the traditionally valid principle of good rulership is reaffirmed. This, l6 In practice, it could probably prevent a violation of these principles as little as any, valid social principle of justice can. 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). 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). Assonances (arising from the noun-classes common to Bantu languages) dominate, and a mark of literary quality is diverse forms of 'linking,', i.e. the feminist theory (chapter 2), portrayal of Zulu women in folktales (chapter3), in proverbs (chapter 4) and praise-poetry (chapter 5). They required the principles of social order to be 'unquestioned and indubitable' (Gluckman 1959: 134) and their exercise indicated social stability. The Social Use of Metaphor. The poetical reconstruction of social reality includes a metaphorical account of the basis for the reference-point of this reconstruction, a social critique. 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. by E.E. lo However, some ethnographers with strong missionary background working on Zulu religion and thought systems (Berglund 1976; Sundkler 1961) do not mention izibongo as a rneans ofcontacting ancestors nor do they deal with them specifically at all. Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press. On the other hand, a commentary on his nilership is mediated back from the people to the ruler, who in his status is traditionally dependent upon public opinion (Krige 1936: 219). Discourse and its Disguises. Izibongo. Africa 18: 284-301. Although Gluckman was aware of the principle we have arrived at, the king's obligation to 'the tradition of good rule' (1940: 42) which is socially defined, he never interpreted it, as it is done from within Zulu society, as representing 'social order' built up by 'egalitarian principles' (M. Kunene 1979: ~xiii).2~. 1992. Turner, V. 1977. -. We are thus concerned with a formal, procedural consensus, as an underlying, historically transmitted and reaffirmed agreement in society that the validity of specifi c social norms is, in the end, the outcome of the discursive processes on which even the ruler is dependent (while also able to influence them). Bloch, M. 1975. In Foundations in Southern. Gunner 1976: 73), but also know all about 'public opinion' (Mafeje 1967: 222). King, you are wrong because you do not discriminate. Gunner 1976: 73). The outstanding status of izibongo in Zulu literature and social life is most categorically stated by H.I.E. Izibongo: Zulu Praise-poems James Stuart, Anthony Trevor Cope No preview available - 1968. The 'ear-rhymes' so created are acoustic counterparts to the repetitions on the level of the contents. Krige, E. 1936. 1-28. Appiah, K.A. Praises of Dingana [Izibongo zikaDingana] Edited by D. K. Rycroft and A. The role of the bard in a contemporary African community. 1-20. 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. Introduction to The Future of Anthropological Knowledge, idem (ed. Scholars of African literature or history, however, leave little doubt in their writings as to their important role in political discourse. (Special issue: 'Literary Theory and Criticism of H.I.E. 1983a. It is, in my opinion, not helpful to call this process mystical, magical, or specifically ritualistic, for in its varying emphasis of meaning, it relies on the poetical force of each specific performance. Trevor Cope, éd., Izibongo. He who is as big as the tree on the ridge of Maqhwakazi. Power and the poet in contemporary Transkei. Lutz & L.Abu-Lughod, pp. In Anthropolog)~ of Art and Aestlzetics, ed. White, L. 1989. A performative approach to ritual. Introduction to Heroic Poetry of the Basotho, idem, pp. The reason given for why izibongo is to be regarded as the highest form of Zulu poetry is that they display the widest range of stylistic devices and encompass various layers of meaning. Then, it could be understood as an active expression of a basic and conscious consent to the principles governing social life. Mandela or Buthelezi). Izibongo: Zulu Praise-poems James Stuart, Anthony Trevor Cope Snippet view - 1968. -. 'Poetic licence' and wlzat it irivolves, This principle is apparent in all the various forms of Southern African praise poetry, in such a way that the performance of praise-poetry implies socio- regulative commitment as one major aspect (Vail 6r White 1991). 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. For a hurnorous and illuminating exarnple of this, see A. Vilakazi (1962: ix). This is part of the various intertwining layers relevant to the aesthetics of the genre. Mafeje, commenting on the social situation, expressed worries that izibongo, too, as a politically mediating art-form, might face a. He is still 'praiser, critic, educator, mediator and political commentator' (Kashula 1991: 38/39; cf. African Languages/Langues Africaines 2: 7 1-90. 1977. Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press. The technology of enchantment and the enchantment of technology. If up to now the aspect of izibongo as a form of art has been stressed, this was to emphasize the creative aspect of the poetical construction of reality which is highly appreciated inside the society itself (Gunner 1984: 71f). Therefore the enactment of these formalized actions cannot be seen as part of a process of liberation. It is only when discussion starts out from within the internal dynamics of knowledge that the sensitive issue of power in the representation of social knowledge in other cultures can be analysed (cf. In this conception, the point of history being dramatically re-enacted in each performance of izibongo is stressed. Birmingham: Centre for West African Studies. : 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. Ngicela izithakazelo zakwa zulu. Freedom of perforntance? This seems undisputed. 123-173. 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. E. Ch. p. 105. www.persee.fr/doc/hom_0439-4216_1969_num_9_1_367031. Zulu praise poems. The term izibongois derived from the verb bonga which means mainly 'to praise,' and also 'to thank,' 'to worship' (Grant 1937: 85; Rycroft & Ngcobo 1988: 12), as well as 'to give clan name or kinship. Amsterdam: van Gorcum. London: Heinemann. Jordan (1959: 101). On which lived the Ndandwes and the Nxumalos. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press. 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. London: Hutchinson. Thus the principle that 'the poet is, the conscience of the nation. Zulu praise poems. Introduction and notes to Emperor Shaka the Great: a Zulu Epic, pp. Praise-Poems ofTswana Chiefs (Oxford Clarendo Press 1996. Thus, it is never the aspect of freedom of speech alone which is emphasized in the concept of 'poetic licence'; freedorn of speech and obligation to truth are two sides of the same coin, i.e. In times of crisis, the ideological bias will predominate and mirror the fight for power in society. Kunene, D.P. Shona Praise Poetry. In Froit? by E. Ngara, pp. 2.2 The pegormative art of praise-poetry Izibongo, and specifically the izibongo of rulers, are regarded within Zulu society as 'the highest literary expression' (M. Kunene 1976: 28).5 This literary aspect must be acknowledged, although it cannot be dealt with here in its own right. Ndebele Praise poetry (Izibongo Zamakhosi) is poetry that developed as a way of preserving the history of a clan by narrating how it was founded and what its outstanding achievements were. Linked to the discussion of poetic performance and ritual action above, this means that izibongo may fulfil instrumental functions, but they are never simply 'signs and tools' of power, as has been generally claimed for formalized speech in the political discourse of so-called 'traditional societies' (Bloch 1989: 43). The magical power of words in izibongo derives from the art of poetry.23. Brief History of the Zulu Kingdom; Izibongo zeNkosi eNkulu u Shaka kaSenzangakhona kaJama, uZULU!!! Pp. This 'signalization' happens on the approachable plane of aesthetics. Izibongo. expressed will of the people formulated by the imbongi. The ceritral impact of the key figure of Zulu history, Shaka, on the aesthetics of poetry as well as on other aspects of social life points to the inherent interdependence between power and art in Zulu politics. 23 For a general discussion of the 'magical' power of art, created by the technical. Fardon 1983: 16). 1993. Review of: Musho! The basis of Bantu literature. The most decisive stylistic characteristics of izibongo are various repetitive structures, such as alliterations and diverse forms, of parallelisms. oppressive on Zulu women. performance and as such, an adequate 'map' of social experience. African rituals of conflict. Oral perforrnancc and social struggle in contemporary Black South African literature. In Barber and de Moraes Farias (1989), pp. Series Oxford library of African literature. 20 Current approaches within African political philosophy emphasize the value of this, principle for the attempt to formulate an African alternative to a 'Western' model of, democracy (cf. Cet aspect institutionnel des éloges qui se situent ainsi à la charnière entre le nom et la poésie se retrouve non seulement en Afrique australe (chez les Basuto et chez les Tswana) mais aussi dans certains royaumes de la région des Grands Lacs où l'on voit même les guerriers tenus de composer et de réciter chacun leur propre éloge. 132-139. [Reprinted from Bantu Studies 3: 201-244.1 Gunner, E. 1976. 1958. Appiah 1997), is itself constituted by interrelations with other fields of social communication. The Zulu (see the izibongo of Ndaba) Phunga and Mageba: Other famous Zulu warrirors. Sundkler, B. London: Heinemann. 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. Historically, stanzas, like many of the stylistic traits of this poetry, seem to have been developed in the 'Shakan' period of Zulu literature, in about 1800- 1850 (Cope 1968, following M. Kunene: 50ff) -which already displays a crucial influence of the political on poetical form. -. Killie Campbell Africana Library publications; no. Power and the Praise Poem: Southeri~ African Voices in History. isiZulu izibongo zikaShaka praise poetry translations uShaka kaSenzangakhona. 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. 21 Gluckman for ethnographic details also drew from H. Kuper's description of such. -. Rebellion aims to 'attack the personnel of office and not the offices themselves,' and all protest action following this principle of attacking the ruler for the sake of rulership belongs to this category (1959: 46). ), pp. One should bear in mind the two levels of meaning of licence to rebel. Izibongo: Zulu praise-poems. D.P. Thus, in a kind of aesthetic enactment, ceremonial action is said to 'signalize' a temporary capacity within the community, whereas ritual action 'symbolizes' underlying, ahistorical. 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. Brown 1996). 1948. Izithakazelo zakwaZulu ziningi kakhulu, zingangezihlabathi zolwandle! Msimude: Another of Mphande’s praise names. 25 These terms are almost exclusively used in the regulative sense, as 'norm' (Mafeje 1967:220). Apart from (theoretically) shielding, Is The content and status of the respective, temporarily valid social conceptions of and, discourses on truth and justice in Zulu (or other southern African) societies throughout, history could possibly be explicated in a careful interpretation of various izibongo.A, philosophical dimension concerned with basic regulative concepts of African societies, -currently called for by African philosophers working on this context (Wiredu 1997), and anthropologists concerned with a relational orientation for anthropological, knowledge (Moore 1996) -could be added to the historical dimension opened up by. principles of society while aiming to (re-)secure social solidarity and prosperity (Gluckman 1971 : 253). Izibongo: Zulu praise-poems This edition published in 1968 by Clarendon P. in Oxford. by G. Furniss and E. Gunner, pp. This seems to hint at the essential difference between the performance of art and of ritual, and between art and ritual as such. 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. Othandayoahl' amzel'ekhaya. In Genres, Forms, Meanings: Essays in African Oral Literature, ed. In this sense, rituals of rebellion are really acts of submission. In this, I have relied on the published and accessible texts in English (listed below). 1965. Since it is crucial to develop the argument from within the context of social life and the social form treated, a large part of this paper is concerned with a reconstruction of izibongo as poetry and in its various social interactions. Ngifisa ukuveza ukuthi kunendlu yakwaSabela eseMpangeni okuyiyo futhi unkulu ezindlini zizonke zakwaSabela ebifihliwe ngezizathu ezithile ,zizonke izindlu zakwethu zingaphezulu kweziyisithupha,zonke ziphuma esendeni leNKOSI uKhondlo Qwabe ngo Nomo,sithakazelwa kuthiwe Mpangazitha Mnguni,Malandela … 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. For the role of wornen as composers and performers of izibongo,see Gunner (1979; 1995). Poetic licence: oral poetry and history. Bauman, R. and Ch. We haven't found any reviews in the usual places. 'Ritual' licence to rebel however includes no factual freedom to raise protest or criticism of the ruler. Ngcobo 1988: 21-24). 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. Sapir & Crocker 1977) acts as a kind of reflective echo of society. 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. L. Briggs. The use of the terms 'traditional' and ']nodern' here is, strictly speaking, misleading since there is no necessary opposition between the two. Thus, the authority of tradition can, aside from determinants of pure power relations, also be built up by pragmatic, reasonable and historically flexible calculations. 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. In African Political Systems, ed. Poetics and performance as critical perspectives on language and social life. 1995. : 32), in which verbal art and social discourse are inextricably interlinked. For someone lacking that social knowledge, the tall grass in Shaka's izibongo,for example, could never be understood as the growing danger of a conspiracy (Nyembezi 1948: 121). Zulu Popular Praises. The study is scientifically organised into various chapters dealing with various subjects e.g. 92-1 12. shaka zulu. Later, much material was published on praise-poetry of the Tswana, Zulu, Sotho, and Shona (Shapera 1965, Cope 1968. Zulu praise poems. 5th printing. This paper follows the observation that 'the art of ruling and the art of oratory intertwine' (Furniss & Gunner 1995: 17) in Zulu society. The expansive phase of military conquest under 'the Zulu Napoleon, Shaka' (ibid. Rycroft, D.K. Ideally, this overlaps with the aim of the reasoning discourse: making current rule match the social conceptions of reasonable rulership, for the good of society.
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