Women in Taarab : the performing art in East Africa

  • This study aims primarily at exploring the images of Swahili women as depicted in taarab songs in Zanzibar and factors that shape these images at different epochs or points in time. The corpus used in this study was collected in Zanzibar from Sep- tember to November 1999. A secondary concern of the present study is to highlight the history of taarab songs in Zanzibar and to identify the relationship between this art of songs and the Egyptian song. The study has adopted a holistic approach with more concentration on sung lyrics. The analysis is des- criptive and utilizes perspectives of literary theories of orature as well as insights from gender, cultural, structural and functional theories. The present study argues that Swahili taarab songs belong to the realm of oral literature, though in this case not in the sense of “classical oral literature”which excludes the notion of literacy. In taarab, the songs combine together features of both oral and written literature. They reflect comprehensively the Swahili culture and are thus con- sidered by the Swahili themselves as an indigenous genre of music despite its Arabian and other foreign roots. The study highlights the cultural milieu of taarab songs in Zanzibar and explores metaphors, symbols referring to women, and the sources of imagery used in these songs. Taarab songs have stylistically developed through their history. The study identifies two categories of classical taarab songs each of which has its own distinctive characteristics. The first category concerns those songs sung for the first time before 1945, and the second one those sung afterwards. Taarab lyrics have distinctive features, which they have acquired over time through efforts of the Swahili creative artists. They adhere strictly to the conditions and conventions of Swahili traditio nal poetic structure. The lyrics have enriched the Swahili language with a lot of expressions, which came in use firstly through taarab lyrics. The various facets of the taarab com- plex, including prominent features of taarab performance- and the salient linguistic aspects of taarab lyrics, have also been discussed.

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Author:Mohamed El-Mohammady RizkGND
Place of publication:Frankfurt am Main
Referee:Rainer VoßenGND, Said A. M. KhamisGND
Advisor:Rainer Voßen
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of Publication (online):2007/08/30
Year of first Publication:2004
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Granting Institution:Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
Date of final exam:2004/05/14
Release Date:2007/08/30
GND Keyword:Sansibar; Swahili <Volk>; Taarab; Frauenbild
Page Number:223
First Page:1
Last Page:223
Diese Dissertation steht leider (aus urheberrechtlichen Gründen) nicht im Volltext im WWW zur Verfügung, die CD-ROM kann (auch über Fernleihe) bei der UB Frankfurt am Main ausgeliehen werden.
Institutes:Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaften / Kulturwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 39 Bräuche, Etikette, Folklore / 390 Bräuche, Etikette, Folklore
Licence (German):License LogoArchivex. zur Lesesaalplatznutzung § 52b UrhG