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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Transmission of tradition through song, recitation and prayer in Lemba communities
Author:Le Roux, Magdel
Periodical:Exchange: Bulletin of Third World Christian Literature
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
South Africa
songs (form)
Abstract:The Lemba live mainly in the southern parts of Zimbabwe and the Soutpansberg area and Sekhukhuneland in South Africa. Their uniqueness lies in the fact that they regard themselves as 'children of Abraham', who centuries ago came to Africa as traders. Basing herself on a field study conducted in 1995 and 1997, the author discusses Lemba songs, recitations and prayers, which are not specifically Church or Christian songs or prayers, but are rather their ancient cultural or ceremonial songs. She pays attention to Lemba songs and sayings reflecting their trading skills; songs, prayers and sayings reflecting their dietary laws; praises and praise songs related to masters of magic art and medicine men; songs, chants, prayers and horn blowing during rituals of passage; and sayings and recitations on the 'ngoma lungundu' ('the drum that thunders'). The author concludes that through their songs, recitations and prayers there is a conscious transferral and reinforcement of Lemba cultural identity, and that influence from the Jewish or Israelite religion found the strongest expression in Lemba culture, probably through their historical connection with Jewry or Israelites, and even through Christianity. Notes, ref.