Power, Marginality and African Oral Literature

Power, Marginality and African Oral Literature

by Graham Furniss, Liz Gunner
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521087945

ISBN-13: 9780521087940

Pub. Date: 12/11/2008

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

African oral literature, like other forms of popular culture, is not merely folksy, domestic entertainment but a domain in which individuals in a variety of social roles are free to comment on power relations in society. It can also be a significant agent of change capable of directing, provoking, preventing, overturning and recasting perceptions of social reality.…  See more details below

Overview

African oral literature, like other forms of popular culture, is not merely folksy, domestic entertainment but a domain in which individuals in a variety of social roles are free to comment on power relations in society. It can also be a significant agent of change capable of directing, provoking, preventing, overturning and recasting perceptions of social reality. This collection examines the way in which oral texts both reflect and affect contemporary social and political life in Africa. It addresses questions of power, gender, the dynamics of language use, the representation of social structures and the relation between culture and the state. The contributors are linguists, anthropologists, folklorists, ethnomusicologists and historians, who present fresh material and ideas to paint a lively picture of current real life situations.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521087940
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
12/11/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
300
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of contributors
Preface
Note on transcription
1Introduction: power, marginality and oral literature1
2Oral art and contemporary cultural nationalism23
3The letter and the law: the politics of orality and literacy in the chiefdoms of the northern Transvaal35
4A king is not above insult: the politics of good governance in Nzema avudwene festival songs47
5Igbo enwe eze: monarchical power versus democratic values in Igbo oral narratives65
6Tales and ideology: the revolt of sons in Bambara-Malinke tales83
7Images of the powerful in Lyela folktales92
8Power, marginality and Somali oral poetry: case studies in the dynamics of tradition111
9The function of oral art in the regulation of social power in Dyula society122
10The power of words and the relation between Hausa genres130
11Sexuality and socialisation in Shona praises and lyrics147
12Nontsizi Mgqwetho: stranger in town162
13Clashes of interest: gender, status and power in Zulu praise poetry185
14Jelimusow: the superwomen of Malian music197
15Power and the circuit of formal talk211
16Praise splits the subject of speech: constructions of kingship in the Manden and Borgu225
17Beyond the communal warmth: the poet as loner in Ewe oral tradition244
Bibliography260
Index277

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