sought 'through poetic expression' (White 1989: 38). Regulative issues in society are dealt with by power or by reason. Myth and Reality. Izibongo: Zulu Praise-poems. Izibongo. Other editions - View all. -this is why the imbongi is 'a chronicler' as well as a poet (Jordan 1959: 74). The performance of izibongo is embedded in social life, and never takes place in isolation; it expresses publicly, and thereby reaffirms, social identity. Hodza, A.C. and G. Fortune. by L. White and T. Couzens, pp. 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. In New Writing from South Africa, ed. This essay, while not focusing, centrally on the concept of consensus, can be seen as working in such a direction. 92-1 12. The Praises of Dingana (Izibonqo zika Dinqana). but is also enjorced by the principle of, 'poetic licence' ~vlziclt applies to most south-east African societies, granting freedom of expression to public statements made in the form of praise poetry (cfi Vail & White 1991). On the other hand, due to this direct relationship to power, izibongo have also been used as ideological instruments of those 'black' South Africans in coalition with 'white power.' But in reminding them, the ritual dramatization may actually be deluding the people that they are 'in charge' while the ruler is in fact as powerful and dominant as ever. The Mashobas: the name of the village where Shaka first became prominent. the feminist theory (chapter 2), portrayal of Zulu women in folktales (chapter3), in proverbs (chapter 4) and praise-poetry (chapter 5). For a hurnorous and illuminating exarnple of this, see A. Vilakazi (1962: ix). 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.' 1958. Africa, ed. What is African art? In other words, consensus here states that social discourse is responsible for itself: from an internal point of view, the reasonability -either of reasoning or of power-orientated strategies can be viewed, contested and reformulated. '3 Izibongo, meaning 'praise names' or 'praise poem' (a collection of praise names), is a pluralis tantutn built from isibongo.Vilakazi (ibid.) 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. My aim here can be no more than pointing to the historically transmitted existence of such criticism, which is remarkable in itself. 2. Izibonqo incorporate a meta-discourse that of a self-reflexive society on itself -into the poetical depiction of the ruler. 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. In Anthropolog)~ of Art and Aestlzetics, ed. The Social System of the Zulu. As such it represents social identity and can be used for 'tracing kinship relationship and genealogy. 1967. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press. Mafeje, A. 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. Common terms and phrases. Apart. Doke, C.M. Sole, K. 1987. 55s. The expression of art reflects, transmits and so yields to prevailing power relations while it can also subvert, influence and strive to control these relations. 1962. In Foundations in Southern. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. They constitute a dynamic tradition of reasonable discourse which has grown historically and evolved specifically within its cultural and social dynamics. UDlungwana woMbelebele, Odlung’ emanxulumeni, Kwaze kwas’ amanxulum esibikelana. -. Gunner 1976: 73). Nyembezi himself published a. selection of izibongo for this purpose (1958). African Philosophy. In this way, a culturally distinct social use of nzetaphors (cf. 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. B. Ngcobo. xi-xxiii. Selected publications. While in art, the framework of possible 'formalizations' (stylistic, expressive means) is predetermined, it seems significant that the actual meaningful acts of expression, i.e. 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. Looking at Zulu society, 'where poetry is almost as common as ordinary speech' (D.P. Bloch, M. 1975. The 'people's will,' which (although it might be manipulable) is, in principle, described as the ultimate authority in matters of social conduct, transmits concrete meaning and utmost practical relevance to these ideas by defining them contextually (not necessarily explicitly) as binding principles for each member of society. Brief History of the Zulu Kingdom; Izibongo zeNkosi eNkulu u Shaka kaSenzangakhona kaJama, uZULU!!! In recent years political leaders have become … Africa 18: 284-301. Praise-Poems ofTswana Chiefs (Oxford Clarendo Press 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 basic structure of izibongo is a succession of praise names. The expansive phase of military conquest under 'the Zulu Napoleon, Shaka' (ibid. E. Ch. Gluckman, M. 1940. In Aspects of South African Literature, ed. Althusser 1971). Evans-Pritchard and M. Fortes, pp. A performative approach to ritual. In this, I have relied on the published and accessible texts in English (listed below). Gell, A. Sapir & Crocker 1977) acts as a kind of reflective echo of society. Izibongo: Zulu Praise-poems James Stuart, Anthony Trevor Cope No preview available - 1968. Trevor Cope, éd., Izibongo. 24 Both foci of power, 'chief' and 'party leader' have often been present in personal union (e.g. Durban: Killie Campbell Africana Library & Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal Press. Oxford, Clarendon P., 1968 (OCoLC)608953837: Document Type: Book: All Authors / Contributors: James Stuart; A T Cope. In both cases, reasorlable rulership is referred to as the regulative principle for orientation, for the ideological discourse also links itself to the commonly accepted norms. This can be done either in ritual action or in serious political action. 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. 122- 130. Isithopho, personal praise names for children, and isithakazelo, sets of clan, praises constitute categories which are very near to izibongo (Rycroft & Ngcobo. by Chr. Oxford: Clarendon Press. This fits well for a poetic topography of society. 34-38. Ngcobo 1988: 21-24). Dhlomo, who called them 'the essence of our being, the meaning of our name,' and claimed that 'they can only live through us, and we through them' (1 977: 59). 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. Les poèmes de ce recueil furent notés en zoulou au début du siècle par un magistrat, James Stuart. Mafeje, commenting on the social situation, expressed worries that izibongo, too, as a politically mediating art-form, might face a. Zulu Tlzought Patterns and Sytnbolistn. 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. Opland, J. GUY; Izibongo: Zulu praise poems, African Affairs, Volume 68, Issue 272, 1 July 1969, Pages 276–277, 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. Opland (1984), Mafeje (1967), and Kashula, (1991, 1993) give exan~ples of Xhosa bards being harassed by the authorities for their. Appiah, K.A. Anything can be praised, and anyone can be the praiser, imbongi although there is a category of specialists to which this term specifically applies. 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. Zulu praise-poems.Collected by James Stuart. 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. Both interlink and together create meaning in performance, emphasizing significance by their continual repetition. 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. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1968. London: Heinemann. The pauses he needs to take breath (after a praise-name, but varying according to imbongi) create the basic units of verses and stanzas. The principle of rulership invokes responsiblity of the ruler who is accountable for the well-being of society. Izibongo constitute a flexible tradition of interlinking art and politics in social life, based on a tradition of reason which is in itself flexible. Izibongo: Zulu Praise-Poems, collected by James Stuart, translated by Daniel Malcolm. For if taken seriously, it grants everyone the opportunity to speak up and present a personal version of approval or criticism of the affairs in the community. This, l6 In practice, it could probably prevent a violation of these principles as little as any, valid social principle of justice can. 1983b. African Oral Literature, ed. As a reconciliation, one could argue that in the act of performing izibongo and for the duration of the performance any person with the right to criticism attains the status of a councillor. Zulu Transformations: a study of the dyr~amics of social change. 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. 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. The clan name is called an isibongo,and is mostly identical with the name of the founder of a clan. 19-45. 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). -. Forgotten men: Zulu bards and praising at the time of the Zulu kings. He who is as big as his country, enormous one. 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