Environmental and cultural reflections in Kanuri hunters' songs

  • Our dichotomy of ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ is expressed in the Kanuri language with the terms al@ga for ‘creation’ and ‘creature’ which embraces trees, mammals, birds, insects, humans, in short the whole of the natural environment, and ada for ‘custom, habit, way of behaviour, family tradition’ for culture as a whole. There is no genre of oral literature, which would describe al@ga as such, but aspects of it can always be expressed in proverbs, riddles, toponymic praise phrases and songs, of which those performed by the hunters figure most prominently in reflecting upon al@ga. Yet, in these songs (and partly in other genres) ideas about al@ga are not purely descriptive in naturalists’ terms. They are much rather expressions, which centrally combine notions of the social and natural environment.

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Author:Thomas Geider, Raimund Vogels
Parent Title (German):Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268
Series (Serial Number):Berichte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 268 (08, 077)
Publisher:SFB 268
Place of publication:Frankfurt, M.
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2006/12/18
Year of first Publication:1996
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2006/12/18
Page Number:7
First Page:77
Last Page:83
Institutes:Zentrale Einrichtung / SFB 268
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 39 Bräuche, Etikette, Folklore / 390 Bräuche, Etikette, Folklore
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht