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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Conflict Resolution in Tsonga Co-Wifely Jealousy Songs
Author:Johnston, Thomas F.
Periodical:Africana Marburgensia
Geographic terms:South Africa
songs (form)
Architecture and the Arts
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
Abstract:Among the various people of the Northern Transvaal (Venda, Pedi, Lovedu, Tsonga) and Mozambique (Chopi, Ndau, Tsonga and others), the Tsonga are renowned for their remarkable institution known as vukwele - co-wifely jealousy. This consists of a regulated practice of insulting co-wives of the compound and of resolving disputes in the open forum of the courtyard. Associated with this practice is a group of traditional songs, the texts of which are given here and analyzed for cultural references. The words reveal that co-wifely envy revolves around clothing and copper bangles, that quarrelsome junior wives can be forced to leave their hut, that nighttime eavesdropping outside the huts occurs, and that the Great Wife takes exception to having to 'give up the husband' to the younger, sexier new arrival. Bibliogr., pl., French sum.