Go to AfricaBib home

Go to AfricaBib home Africana Periodical Literature Go to database home

bibliographic database
Previous page New search

The free AfricaBib App for Android is available here

Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The changing functions of traditional dance in Zulu society: 1830-present
Author:Firenzi, TaraISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies (ISSN 0361-7882)
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:Even though dance has been a central feature of most African societies, there are few historical studies addressing the forms and functions of dance practices. Dance practices can lend a valuable insight into the interactions between African and non-African societies. For instance, the permutations in Zulu dance traditions during the last century and a half can be used to analyze the experience and effects of colonial rule. One of the most useful analytical approaches to investigating dance practices in precolonial, colonial and postcolonial contexts is to look at the role of tradition. This concept is further examined in this paper. It explores in detail the progression of the changing functions of a sampling of these dance traditions from the early 19th century to the 1990s in South Africa, in particular how Zulu dance practices have contributed to the maintenance of social and political order and identity by the State. Moreover, it investigates how ever-changing concepts of tradition have influenced these functions from the earliest African/European encounters in South Africa to the present. Examples used are dance as a metaphor for spiritual sanctuary in the ceremonies of the amaNazarites, new dance forms that arose in the South African mines in the colonial era, and the Royal Reed Dance in postcolonial South Africa. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]