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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422


YENDE, Sakhiseni J.  and  NGEMA, Vusabantu. Examining the autonomy of Zulu Ingoma from the 1930s to present: Image or authentic experience?. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2022, vol.78, n.3, pp.1-8. ISSN 2072-8050.

It is prudent to highlight that Ingoma has played an essential role in the transformation of amaZulu. The Ingoma's story is of dramatic socioeconomic changes in Zulu society after the final 'downfall' of the independent kingdom. It is the decade in which amaZulu entered the migrant labour system in greater proportions than ever before. As expected from any African society, the narrative for this decade could well be expressed in music, song, dance and some other forms of performances, which could be collectively called Ingoma. Sentiments arose around this period in the history of Zulu Ingoma, whereby some felt it as negative, while others saw it as positive. As such, this article set out to examine the story of Ingoma during the decade between 1929 and 1939. This article adopted an ethnomethodological approach within an interpretive paradigm to understand the impact of Ingoma musical and/or dance performance tradition. The results of this article reveal that Ingoma musical and/or dance performance traditions of the 1920s and 1930s represented the less continuity of precolonial musical and/or dance performance traditions of amaZulu expressions of power and warfare than the complex interaction of dance traditions, labour migration and missionisation. This article concludes by affirming that people continuously construct their cultures to reflect their identities. These results imply two things: firstly, amaZulu migrants were not just passive recipients of cultural changes at that time, and secondly, they were consciously responsible for the transformation of Ingoma dance songs as they reflected on the socioeconomic changes they found themselves in. CONTRIBUTION: This study contributes by establishing the factual impact of this transformative period on Ingoma musical and/or dance performance tradition and on the broader cultural expression of amaZulu as a society in developing South Africa

Keywords : authenticity; amaZulu; autonomy; culture; Ingoma; domestication; transformation.

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