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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Songs of Chiweshe and Songs of Zimbabwe
Author:Bessant, LeslieISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:social integration
nation building
communal lands
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/723166
Abstract:Many women and men in the Chiweshe Communal Area 70 kilometres north of Harare, Zimbabwe, experienced the same problem of reconciling their village, chiefdom, and national 'locations' during the years between 1950 and 1980. New ideas, such as Christianity and nationalist politics, and new problems, such as land shortage and chronic hunger, were difficult to understand when looked at from the vantage point of a village location, and so people established new locations for understanding these problems. Singing was an important part of the process of locating oneself. Through singing, Chiweshe people could reaffirm the basic contours of their world, while debating the finer points of their social maps. When they sang, women and men, boys and girls, were taking part in a discourse, or a rule-structured way of questioning and knowing, about their ideal social and supernatural map. This discourse of songs underwent a 'transformation' of both its object - the social world to be mapped became bigger, and its rules - new types of songs were allowed in order to describe and explain that new world. This paper offers explanations of why those transformations occurred, and what they have done to this discourse. It distinguishes three periods: 1930-1957, 1956-1980, and 1980-1989. Notes, ref.