In the Time of Cannibals: Word Music of South Africa's Basotho Migrants (Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology)
By: David Coplan (author)
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The workers who migrate from Lesotho to the mines and cities of neighbouring 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 the workers' labour. 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. 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.
David B. Coplan is associate professor of social anthropology at the University of Cape Town. He is the author of In Township Tonight: South Africa's Black City Music and Theatre.
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- ID: 9780226115740
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