Showing posts with label yobaba ngonile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yobaba ngonile. Show all posts

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Songs Of The Ngoni People (Lullabies, Umsindo and Mthimba songs)

  • Sunday, August 15, 2010
  • Samuel Albert
  • Margaret Read, 1937


    Nearly 120 years ago the Ngoni left their homeland in the South during the upheavals of Chaka's wars. In Nyasaland where the majority of them settled, they began to mix with the local tribes, preserving certain Ngoni institutions which they had brought from the south, to which they clung tenaciously as proof of their political and social superiority over their neighbours.1 Predominant among these exclusive Ngoni institutions were their songs and dances. The musician listening to the phrasing, rhythm and harmonies of Ngoni music knows that here is something of rare and distinctive beauty. The linguist studying the words of songs recognises the old Ngoni language, closely akin to old Zulu and Swazi. The social anthropologist watching the dancing and singing can see an expression of the " national" spirit of the Ngoni, and watch how social distinctions mark off the true aristocrats from the former slaves, the latter being excluded from taking part in the dance.