Thursday, September 30, 2010
Excerpt from 'Songs of The Ngoni People'.
There are certain features in these praise songs to which it is worth calling attention in order to make comparisons with the similar group of songs in the south. In the first place, the phrasing and the words of the praise songs of the line of Paramount Chiefs vary in different districts. In Mwambera's country for example, one "pattern" of praise song is heard in Ekwendeni, another in Elangeni, in each the pattern being standardised unless a very brilliant umbongi or praiser added a phrase from his own isifua. In the second place sarcastic or even insulting remarks are sometimes found in praise songs. I am told they were permitted because no one could possibly believe them, "that is, it was, a form of high praise to say ludicrous things about a chief which could not be true. In the third place, some of the praise songs were " telescoped," praises of an earlier chief being included in those of a later one. As however this is the first time any of these praises have been recorded in writing, this " telescoping " may be a fault of the recorder.
You who cut the trees and who cut the mouths,
You who originated with the people of Mzilikazi.
You who originated with the people of Ndwandwa.
Wena owadla muntu lapha kuboNgala.
Obej' amehlo wabej' imiyumo
Owel' UZembezi ngezinyawo
Ohlangane ngengwe emahlabeyeni
Nango, nango, umbonaphi?
1.uNgwana was leader of the Maseko group of Ngoni when they left the South. He is the great-great grandfather of the present Paramount Gomani.
2. The meaning of this phrase is very obscure and is just a guess.
3. Na is the honorific prefix for important women in Gomani's country, taken from Chewa.
4. This is obscure too but the meaning is said to be " grazing,"
5. Probably imiyonzo yempi = advance guard of the army.
6. Armlets of cattle would involve taking cattle, someone's property, and would cause dispute. Wild animals no one can lay claim to.
7. Ubende is really cooked blood, but I am told that it is used here poetically for uncooked blood igazi.
8. I am not sure whether ukudabuka is used here in its meaning of " to originate " or " to break away." Either is common usage.
9. This was the father of the present Paramount Gomani.
10. In dividing a cowskin for making shields a more honoured person receives the- right hand side. Hence disputes arose when chiefs gave skins for shields A goat skin is not divided
11. Leader of the Jere group when leaving the south. Great grandfather of the present Paramount Mwambera.
12. He was said to have blazing eyes like a man who smokes hemp.
13. Refers to his way of getting rid of rivals and those suspected of witchcraft.
14 The vulnerable side.
15. A possible reference to Basa who killed Zwangendaba's wives.
20. Was father of Zwangendaba
21. He was known to have been a dwarf.
22. A reference to his alleged impotence.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sources: Songs of the Ngoni People
There are no real mourning songs of the Ngoni as singing and dancing were not part of the burial rites except at the death of a chief, though at subsequent funeral rites, some months later, it is customary to dance ingoma. The first one is sung to the igubu and is obviously a woman's mourning for her husband. The second I heard a woman sing at tl:e burial of her grandmother, and she said her grandmother had taught it to her. Many other igubu songs are in reality mourning songs.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Source: The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol.39 (Jan. - Jun., 1909), pp. 35-43
Published by: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland
THE chief tribes in the neighbourhood are:-(a) Angoni, (b) Achewa, (c) Achipeta, (d) Achikunda, (e) Asenga; and more distant:-(f) Akunda, (g) Awemba, (h) Awisa, (i) Swahili, (j) Ayao, (k) Atonga.
There is one Swahili village, the chief being an ex-Askari,2 and some Swahili among the Askari from the lake shore at Kota Kota. Since the arrival of the Angoni and the consequent wars, the tribes have become rather mixed. The section of Angoni who settled here under Mpeseni have occupied chiefly Asenga and Achipeta country. For instance, Mponda, an Achewa chief, used to have his village under the west side of Mchenje, and held out in a fortified village against the Angonii for some time, but was finally worsted and had to run away. When things had quieted he built his village near the Rusa, about fifteen miles to the east of Mchenje.
Katungwe, another Chipeta chief, used to have his village near where the White Fathers now are.A tree, in the gap between Chilembbwi and Kalulu Hills, is called Kuvakutira by the Angoni (from Kuvakuta-Bellows), as, when attacked, Katungwe at that place made the points of his arrows red hot with a lnative skin bellows before shooting them. He afterwards built his village twenty-five miles to the east. When the Angoni began to beat everybody the Achipeta concentrated in several places, many joined Mwasi, the Achewa chief, at Kasungu to the north, whilst others collected near Dowa. When peace was restored the Achipeta who had been with Mwasi had got mixed with Achewa, and there are many who still don't know whether they were Achewa or Chipeta originally. The Angoni raided and made slaves in every direction, marrying the women captured, and keeping the men to help them fight. There are numbers of Asenga, Achewa, Achikunda and Chipeta among the Angoni, who now call themselves Angoni, also a few Atambuka, but the latter are chiefly the slaves of the Mombera sectioni of Angoni to the north. There are also Akunda among the Angoni.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Source: The Geographical Journal, Vol. 10, No. 2 (Aug., 1897), pp. 146-172 Published by: Blackwell Publishing on behalf of The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)
Sunday, September 19, 2010
|William Koyi 1846-1886|
Saturday, September 18, 2010
For example : there is on the top of Mount Soche, three miles from Blantyre, the grave of an old Mang'anja chief called Kankomba. He was the chief of the country when the Yaos came into it in Livingstone's time and drove out the original Mang'anja owners. He died in his old village and was buried on the top of the hill where he lived. The incoming Yaos worshipped his spirit as the previous chief of the district. This they did till their own chief Kapeni died, when his successor left off making offerings to the old Kankomba and paid his worship to the recently dead Kapeni. This he will continue to do till he himself dies and becomes to his successor the next object of worship.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Note: Except for the map all images and photos are from the moderator of the blog.