Xhosa oral poetry has defied the threats to its integrity over two centuries, to take its place in a free South Africa. This volume establishes the background to this poetic re-emergence, preserving and transmitting the voice of the Xhosa poet.
This book chronicles the life, times and poetry of extraordinary Xhosa praise poet, the late David Yali-Manisi, and his growing friendship and fruitful working relationship with author Jeff Opland. Opland is a renowned scholar who is recognized world-wide as a foremost authority on Xhosa izibongo or praises. His perceptive account gives insight not only into Manisi himself, but the complex art form of praise poetryâ??a spontaneous performance art of extraordinary subtlety and sophistication that, as Opland notes, embodies in itself the ancestral culture, history and politics of the Xhosa nation. What is unique about this book is the personal dimension that Opland brings to the subject, fusing impeccable scholarship with self-reflective autobiographical narrative. The book incorporates a variety of styles, from autobiographical to verbatim interview, and its shift of voice reflect the author's own internal journey as his deepening friendship with Manisi works its humanizing alchemy. The book is a celebration of the supreme talent of a gifted African poet, and the interaction of a black and a white South African reaching out to each other.
Xhosa Literature consists of fourteen essays addressing Xhosa literature in three media-the spoken word, newspapers, and books. Literary critics tend to focus on Xhosa literature published in books with some attention paid to Xhosa oral poetry and tales, but by and large the contribution of newspapers to the development of Xhosa literature has been overlooked. This book explores aspects of Xhosa literature in all three media, and their interconnections. Six of the essays treat historical narratives (amabali) and praise poetry (izibongo), setting out the social and ritual function of poetry and the poet (imbongi), mapping changes in the izibongo of three poets as South Africa moved towards de...
‘In The Bones of The Ancestors Are Shaking, Russell Kaschula provides an ample introduction to the subject of oral poetry, both drawing on earlier accounts and presenting his own material, much of which has hitherto been unavailable in book form. Kaschula presents rich texts and translations of the Xhosa praise poetry for which southern Africa has long been famous, not only in the context of studies of African oral literature, but also among comparative scholars of world literature. The texts and translations in this book are a valuable and attractive addition to the record, ranging as they do from nineteenth-century examples to late twentieth-century praises for Joe Slovo, F.W. de Klerk, the South African soccer squad or Nelson Mandela, the latter being a special focus of the volume.’ — Professor Ruth Finnegan, The Open University, UK
"At a strategic time in South Africa's history, the Christian history which is absolutely basic to all developments, is presented in a comprehensive and objective way. Too little attention is given to the influence of religion in socio-political accounts. This is a creative and much-needed contribution to scholarship and general knowledge. . . . An outstanding work."--Dean S. Gilliland, Fuller Theological Seminary
In the years between the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and the Soweto Uprising of 1976—a period that was both the height of the apartheid system in South Africa and, in retrospect, the beginning of its end—Harold Scheub went to Africa to collect stories. With tape-recorder and camera in hand, Scheub registered the testaments of Swati, Xhosa, Ndebele, and Zulu storytellers, farming people who lived in the remote reaches of rural South Africa. While young people fought in the streets of Soweto and South African writers made the world aware of apartheid’s evils, the rural storytellers resisted apartheid in their own way, using myth and metaphor to preserve their traditions and confront the...
This unique book uses innovative computerized oral-formulaic analysis of the Arabic text of the Qur’an to demonstrate that much of the Qur’an was composed live in oral performance. It explores the rich oral culture that both predated and preceded the Qur’an’s formative period, and shows that only by viewing the Qur’an through an oral lens can one begin to properly understand the process by which it first coalesced.