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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Performance, Self-Definition, and Social Experience in the Oral Poetry of Sotho Migrant Mineworkers
Author:Coplan, David B.
Year:1986
Periodical:African Studies Review
Volume:29
Issue:1
Period:March
Pages:29-40
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:Sotho
labour migration
oral poetry
Education and Oral Traditions
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/524105
Abstract:Analytical concepts and methods used in the study of African popular culture are reviewed and subsequently elucidated by considering a specific form or genre of popular performance from southern Africa, the extemporaneous melodic poetry of Basotho migrant mineworkers. Sotho sefela is a form of popular culture created from traditional resources (lithoko or praise poetry) in the crucible of adaptation to migrant labour in southern Africa. It is an example of how shared interpretations of experience as well as specific conditions of labour define a social sector through a system of values and collective representations. As a means of psychic resistance and social consciousness, the performance and images of sefela serve a vital and positive social and self-imaging function. Bibliogr.
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