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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Imbongi and Griot: Toward a Comparative Analysis of Oral Poetics in Southern and West Africa
Author:Kaschula, Russell H.
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic terms:West Africa
South Africa
oral poetry
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Education and Oral Traditions
Architecture and the Arts
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13696819908717840
Abstract:This article analyses the differences and similarities between the performances of griots in West Africa and Xhosa 'iimbongi' (oral poets) in South Africa. A distinction is made between the more traditional performers such as Thiam Anchou and D.L.P. Yali-Manisi, and the more modern performers, such as M'Bana Diop, Bongani Sitole and Zolani Mkiva. The rich use of history and genealogy in the more traditional performances is highlighted. A comparison of the work of contemporary urban poets such as M'Bana Diop of Senegal and Zolani Mkiva from South Africa reveals similarities in sociopolitical context, thematic aspects and stylistic techniques.The article explores the continuity between the past and the present of oral poetry in relation to how performers gain recognition, their continued survival, their relationship with politics and religion, and the orality-literacy debate. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.