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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Refusal to Eat and Drink: A Metaphor for 'Safe Sex' in Tsonga Folktales
Author:Bill, Mary C.
Periodical:African Languages and Cultures
Geographic terms:Mozambique
South Africa
folk tales
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:Through a comparative reading of tales containing the same enduring nucleus, or motif, one is able to decode the 'message' of the tales within the culture of a group of language speakers. This article decodes the message in a corpus of Tsonga tales from Mozambique and South Africa with the enduring nucleas 'refusal to eat and drink'. Using the ethnolinguistic methodology of francophone Africanists such as G. Calame-Griaule (1987), the author subjected 28 Tsonga tales to an initial or surface reading and a second, contextual reading. She shows that the meaning of the nucleus 'refusal to eat and drink' is of significance in understanding the cultural institution of marriage. 'Refusal to eat and drink' is a metaphor for 'refusal to have sexual relationships'. In this context, 'safe sex' is to be understood as those sexual relationships which are nonthreatening to the establishment or continuation of marriage. App. (plot synopses of the tales), bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.