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In the Time of Cannibals : Word Music of South Africa's Basotho Migrants - David Coplan

In the Time of Cannibals

Word Music of South Africa's Basotho Migrants

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Published: 1st January 1994
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The workers who migrate from Lesotho to the mines and cities of neighboring South Africa have developed a rich genre of sung oral poetry--word music--that focuses on the experiences of migrant life. This music provides a culturally reflexive and consciously artistic account of what it is to be a migrant or part of a migrant's life. It reveals the relationship between these Basotho workers and the local and South African powers that be, the "cannibals" who live off of the workers' labor. David Coplan presents a moving collection of material that for the first time reveals the expressive genius of these tenacious but disenfranchised people.
Coplan discusses every aspect of the Basotho musical literature, taking into account historical conditions, political dynamics, and social forces as well as the styles, artistry, and occasions of performance. He engages the postmodern challenge to decolonize our representation of the ethnographic subject and demonstrates how performance formulates local knowledge and communicates its shared understandings.
Complete with transcriptions of full male and female performances, this book develops a theoretical and methodological framework crucial to anyone seeking to understand the relationship between orality and literacy in the context of performance. This work is an important contribution to South African studies, to ethnomusicology and anthropology, and to performance studies in general.

Acknowledgments
Preface
Orthographic Note
"Hyenas Do Not Sleep Together": The Interpretation of Basotho Migrants' Auriture
"The Mouth of a Commoner Is Not Listened To": Power, Performance, and History
"Greetings, Child of God!": Generations of Travelers and Their Songs
"An Initiation Secret Is Not Told at Home": The Making of a Country Traveler
"These Mine Compounds, I Have Long Worked Them": Auriture and Migrants' Labors
"I'd Rather Die in the Whiteman's Land": The Traveling Women of Eloquence
"My Heart Fights with My Understanding": Bar Women's Auriture and Basotho Popular Culture
"Eloquence Is Not Stuck on Like a Feather": Sesotho Aural Composition and Aesthetics
"Laughter Is Greater than Death": Migrants' Songs and the Meaning of Sesotho
References
Index
Notes
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226115740
ISBN-10: 0226115747
Series: Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology
Audience: Professional
Format: Not Supplied By Publisher
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 1st January 1994
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.3  x 1.85
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 2