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izibongo zulu praise poems pdf

South African oral performance poetry of the 1980s: Mzwakhe Mbuli and Alfred Qabula. Thirty years later it can be said that izibongohave retained their status of mediating political power in form of praise and criticism. by Chr. King, you are wrong because you do not discriminate. 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. Discourse and its Disguises. The use of art by power for an internal social ideology entails a transformation of the appropriated form which, in terms of cultural tradition, is simultaneously maintained and changed -that is, the structure is used for the transmission of a new meaning. 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. term' (Vilakazi 1938: 106). Zulu praise-poems.Collected by James Stuart. 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. The rather mundane, technical abilities of the artist reconcile individual and society into an 'imagined,' poetically constructed, community. : 22), during which the subjected peoples were integrated into the emerging 'Zulu nation,' implied the need for the construction of a larger identity. Derive, J. Zulu Popular Praises. Yath'isadl 'ezinye yadl 'ezinye; Ith ' isadl ' ezinye yadl ' ezinye, Yath'isadl 'ezinye yadl 'ezinye; Ith isadl 'ezinye yadl 'ezinye, Yath'isadl 'ezinye yadl 'ezinye. The scope of the various types of izibongo is wide, but united in 'naming, identifying, and therefore giving significance to the named person or object,' in a specific, aesthetically acknowledged way (Gunner & Gwala 1991: 2). Journal of Contemporary African Studies 10 (2): 24-43. As observed, ruler and ruled have power claims over one another, both linked to the idea of a common social identity and an obligation to the common good. Dlungwana: a praise-name meaning ‘the One who Rages’. The former contains mostly traditional praise poems of kings, chiefs, headmen, and two promiment women: Mnkabayi kalama and Nandi kaMbengi; the latter consists of izibongo of political figures and of anyone who was deemed praise-worthy. London: Academic Press. criticism. including the destruction of society's political model) became possible then, while with the advent of political change the chance for izibongo to be a force for affirming a national South African identity evolved. GUY; Izibongo: Zulu praise poems, African Affairs, Volume 68, Issue 272, 1 July 1969, Pages 276–277, Only in the case of social crisis is a 'real' licence to action against the ruler granted, since due to his failure the sanctity of rulership is lost and has to be restored. 5th printing. If society itself is constituted by 'a discourse within which speech both liberates and enslaves' (Parkin 1984: 348), izibongo are an adequate art form to both depict and intensify such a discourse. One should bear in mind the two levels of meaning of licence to rebel. by R.H. Kaschula, pp. : 31). 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~. Criticizing, as well as praising, is always linked to specific currently valid criteria which are rooted in social knowledge, marking what is laudable and what should be condemned. To sum up, one might say that while izibongo as a form of social discourse has first been seen as 'speaking sense' and 'mediating power,' the last section showed that it is also 'speaking power' and 'mediating sense.' Appiah, K.A. 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. 4.2. ABSTRACT This paper presents Zulu praise-poetry, izibongo,as a genre of fundanzental political and socio-regulative relevance, an interpretation whiclz within Zulu society seems to have been continually valid until today. Finnegan, R. 1970. -. 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. 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. Brown, D. 1996. The Praises of Dingana (Izibonqo zika Dinqana). Introduction to Pou~er and Knowledge: Anthropological and Sociological Approaches, ed. 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. by J. Coote and A. Shelton, pp. Nowadays, the well-known military metaphors of Zulu kings are applied to new political or even religious leaders (Gunner & Gwala 1991 ; Gunner 1983), as for example in the izibongo of Albert Luthuli which start off with some well known praise-names of Shaka himself: Fe-e-erocious One, royal descendant of Ndaba, until dawn the news spread through the large villages. This rule, that the understanding of social functions must evolve from an analysis of the observable forms, will in principle be followed here, but a strictly consecutive line of exploration is impossible: the verbal art of izibongo, like most material art in Africa (cf. Parkin, D. 1984. Mafeje seems to point at something like this when he emphasizes the 'general standard of social behaviour' to which the imbongi appeals publicly, which acts as the guideline for whether he primarily praises or criticizes (Mafeje 1967: 221). The ever-competing discourses of power and reason are inherent in this multi-layered topograplzy of society created by poetry. The basis of Bantu literature. 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. Appadurai, A. 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. 3-24. 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. This fits well for a poetic topography of society. In this sense, one could speak of an additional mediating function of izibongo:between the living and the dead whose influence on the well-being of current social life in Zulu belief remains crucial. Consequently, the contextual discussion of the structure of ritual action in relation to the performance of izibongo is essential, as far as work on the political significance of both is concerned. 1976. Freedom of perforntance? 55s. King Shaka’s Reign; AMABUTHO; Battle of Isandlwana – 22 January 1879 (Anglo-Zulu War) Buthelezi Tribe; Ndondakusuka; Ulundi; INDEX OF PEOPLE; Healing. 49-56. A certain transsubstantive effect is possible since each performance follows a perpetuative motion of social 'self-assertion' -like the 'Amen' in Althusser's description of Christian ideology (1971: 169). 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. Paris: Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de 1'Homme & Oxford: Antluopological Society of Oxford. This meant, for instance, that at festive occasions only some loyal and pre-selected izimbongi were allowed to perform their praises of the ruler. Edited with introduction and annotations by Trevor Cope. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. African Studies 8: 1 10-125; 157- 174. Izibongo is a genre of oral literature among various Bantu peoples of Southern Africa, including the Zulu and the Xhosa. Kunene, M. 1976. Appadurai 1990). 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). This essay, while not focusing, centrally on the concept of consensus, can be seen as working in such a direction. In times of crisis, the ideological bias will predominate and mirror the fight for power in society. PRAISE-POEMS, by T. Cope and MUSHO! Gunner 1976: 73). The basic structure of izibongo is a succession of praise names. Lutz & L.Abu-Lughod, pp. Wiredu, K. 1997. 2. The magical power of words in izibongo derives from the art of poetry.23. Grant, E.W. Mafeje, A. Thus, while it seems perfectly sound to emphasize that poetic licerrce grants the right of public criticism to everyone, and thus each mernber of society is i~z poterltial a 'conscience of the nation' (Mafeje 1967), it seems nevertheless right to treat those who do use the fonn and in this way become involved in political action as in reality more relevant persottificutiot~s of such a conscience than those who do not. -. 1991. The clan name is called an isibongo,and is mostly identical with the name of the founder of a clan. Turner, V. 1977. The performance of izibongo is embedded in social life, and never takes place in isolation; it expresses publicly, and thereby reaffirms, social identity. This is a delicate issue, and one can see why the imbongi has to be 'knowledgeable' in regard to all the different aspects of society, their current state and interaction, and their present significance for the relationship between ruler and ruled (Vail & White 1991: 77). 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. I have a name… Shaka Xhosa an incredible South African poet. Mafeje, commenting on the social situation, expressed worries that izibongo, too, as a politically mediating art-form, might face a. The existing power relations are re-affirmed and the prevailing ideology is enforced. Nairobi: Bookwise. Izibonqo incorporate a meta-discourse that of a self-reflexive society on itself -into the poetical depiction of the ruler. -. Oxford: Blackwell. Inyon' edl' ezinye. Jordan 1959: 74). 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. 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. Izibongo: Zulu Praise-poems James Stuart, Anthony Trevor Cope No preview available - 1968. by L. White and T. Couzens, pp. 1989. 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. London: Longmans, Green. 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. Dhlomo'.) Bloch, M. 1975. Oxford: Clarendon Press. The poetical reconstruction of social reality includes a metaphorical account of the basis for the reference-point of this reconstruction, a social critique. Vail, L. and L.White. What people are saying - Write a review. turning potential into specific meaning, can never be precluded from the outset. Tambiah 1985).This is confirmed in that the main principle of poetic licence, that 'it is not the performer that is licensed but the performance' (White 1989: 36; Vail & White 1991: 57), can also be applied to the conception of licence in ritual. Les poèmes de ce recueil furent notés en zoulou au début du siècle par un magistrat, James Stuart. To stress that the licence originates in the form is indeed important, but one has to concede that people making especially extensive use of this form naturally and rightfully become associated with the licence involved. x+230. 1-20. The isolation of the Xhosa oral poet. This notion is presented as the conceptual normative centre of a historically jlexible tradition of reasonable socio-regulative discourse, in which potentially every member of society participates. praises of kings and those of ordinary people' as the overall genre of izibongo (ibid. 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). 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. Poetics and performance as critical perspectives on language and social life. 1995. 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.' This is directly related to the standards of 'reasonable rulership' wlzich are socially dejined and publicly depicted and reforntulated in izibongo. : Harvard University Press. Pp. Trevor cope Izibongo: Zulu praise-poems collected by James stuart, translated by Daniel Malcolm. p. 105. Annual Review of Arlthropo1og)l 19: 59-88. 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. London: James Currey . : 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. 'Rebels were not seeking to establish a different kind of political society,' but 'to re-establish the kingship in all its ideals' (Gluckman 1959: 43). Cambridge: University Press. 1992. by E. Gunner and M. Gwala. 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). If traditional authority can be conceptualized in such a way as well, good rulership has to be regarded as the decisive principle for a reasonable regulation of social life. In Genres, Forms, Meanings: Essays in African Oral Literature, ed. In regard to the complex tasks involved in interpreting and organizing public opinion, izibongohave to include criticism of the ruler when appropriate. This, as aIready suggested above, may also be due to the fact that they are not conceivable without their social context of naming and identifying, thereby fulfulling a unifying function on various social levels, religious, historical and political (Gunner 1984). 23 For a general discussion of the 'magical' power of art, created by the technical. London: Clarendon Press. Nyembezi has shown how many allusions to contemporary social history in terms of such rivalries, conflicts and triumphs are woven into the izibongoof the Zulu kings, often so subtle and witty that they are impossible to understand without thorough knowledge of the context. Then, it becomes fertile to say that izibongo are 'signs and tools' of a flexible and historically adaptable structure of traditional authority: they signify and support reasonable rulership, for the good of society. The study concludes that the traditional Zulu woman felt depressed by this 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. 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. London: NLB. by E. Ngara, pp. breakdown. Izibongo Zulu praise poems James Stuart Anthony Trevor. -. Such a discursive society can be called pluralistic at least in principle (poetic licence granting practically everyone the right to speak up), thus we may have, in the case of the Zulu, an African example where, under the surface of authoritarian, person-centred rule, a specific form of 'pluralism' (cf. 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. A similar transformation in the use of the izibongo form can be observed in the most recent decades where the focus of reference has to a large extent undergone a shift from the ethnically bound to the national, South African realm. l4 Since in every case in which poetical criticism is performed, poetical licence is to be granted, I do not see, as White does (1989: 36) the emphasis that has been put on the role of the imbongi by some scholars (Jordan, Mafeje, Kashula et al.) The shift of the bards' allegiance that has been noted during these times of uncertain political power, from a 'traditional' allegiance to regional chiefs to the support of 'modern' political organizations and their leaders (Kashula 1993: 74), is in fact not a real shift but rather an indicator of the institutional redirection of political power, away from a culturally definable ruler of a certain social group and towards national figures, both under apartheid and in post-apartheid times.24 With a remarkable flexibility, the genre of izibongo maintains the functional continuity of its inherent regulative model of political mediation. 99-108. Unknown 8/11/17 2:51 PM. 1993. Review of: Musho! Journal of African Languages 6: 193-223. New York: Columbia University Press. Clarendon P., 1968 - English poetry - 230 pages. shaka zulu. In the last years of the nineteenth century and the first two decades of this one, Captain James Stuart, Natal civil servant and Zulu scholar, spent much … 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. In Barber and de Moraes Farias (1989), pp. African Languages/Langues Africaines 2: 7 1-90. Orality and literacy: dialogue and silence. As the clans grew into tribes, it was the leader of the tribe who became prominent and hence his praises were sung. In Postcolonial African Philosoph)~: a Critical Reader, ed. Izibongo: Zulu Praise-poems James Stuart, Anthony Trevor Cope No preview available - 1968. The Zulu (see the izibongo of Ndaba) Phunga and Mageba: Other famous Zulu warrirors. London: Oxford University Press. After the peak of military expansion a more lyrical tone re-emerged (ibid. This clearly supports the position that ritual action follows the ruling ideology. Isithopho, personal praise names for children, and isithakazelo, sets of clan, praises constitute categories which are very near to izibongo (Rycroft & Ngcobo. Contents. 1990. Looking at Zulu society, 'where poetry is almost as common as ordinary speech' (D.P. 1948. Killie Campbell Africana Library publications; no. Cambridge, Mass. He is still 'praiser, critic, educator, mediator and political commentator' (Kashula 1991: 38/39; cf. Kashula, R. 1993. Concrete and flexible as social life itself, internal guidelines are followed while mapping social experience and mediating between power-relationships in the social field. They required the principles of social order to be 'unquestioned and indubitable' (Gluckman 1959: 134) and their exercise indicated social stability. 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. 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. 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. 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? by E.E. 'Anything can be taken into a praise name by the simple process of nominalising' (Gunner & Gwala 1991: 31; cf. 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). We haven't found any reviews in the usual places. 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.

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