Dr. Clarissa Vierke

Of plants and women

a working edition of two Swahili plant poems

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Kurzfassung in Englisch

In contrast to the \'classical Islamic tendi\' where the action as well as the setting is commonly detached from the environmental context of the Swahili coast, the Liyongo poems show an abundance of detailed descriptions and enumerative reviews of material items crucial and characteristic of the particular East African shares of Swahili culture. Frequently reference is also made to the natural environment as plants and their fruits play a prominent role as requisits of both the Swahili natural and cultural setting. Apart from being exploited as central requisite and being referred to as material source in the poems, plants are also extensively used for similes. The Liyongo poems are full of culturally metaphors which are context-dependent and sometimes render the text rather obscure.
Without denying that there is, of course, also contemporary poetry employing plants as subject matter or metaphors, in this article I focus on two thematically close poems which we vaguely have to classify as \"old\" while not being able to give exact dates. Although the article suggests to be a thematic view on Swahili poetry, it is primarily a text edition of two poems, the \"Song of the Mjemje\" and the \"Shairi la Mtambuu\", which are both presented together with a critical apparatus.

weitere Metadaten

Erschienen in Swahili-Forum - 14.2007
Swahili, Poesie, Liyongo, Pflanzen
Swahili, poetry, Liyongo, plants
SWD SchlagworteSwahili, Versdichtung, Pflanzen <Motiv>
DDC Klassifikation496
Beteiligte Institution(en) 
HochschuleUniversität Bayreuth
FakultätInstitut für Afrikastudien
HochschuleUniversität Mainz
FakultätInstitut für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien
Erstveröffentlichungjahr der Druckausgabe2007
Veröffentlichungsdatum (online)14.08.2012
persistente URNurn:nbn:de:bsz:15-qucosa-91137
QuelleSwahili Forum 14 (2007), S. 27-80

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