David Rycroft South Africa Collection

KwaPhindangene composition musical sources: explanation of folktale song.

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  • Subjects

    Zulu folksongs and dance , folktales-Africa (Zulu) , izinganekwane (singular inganekwane)

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    KwaPhindangene, Mahlabathini, South Africa

  • Performers

    Magogo, Constance, Princess, 1900-1984 (female)

  • Recordist

    Rycroft, David, 1924-1997

  • Speakers

    Rycroft, David, 1924-1997 (male)

  • Description

    Rycroft explains that the third item is a song from a Zulu folktale told to Rycroft by Princess Magogo. In the brass suite he introduces it 'straight', and then in canon with itself and later as a subject of a Fugato. This folktale tells of a certain Princess Buhlaluze who lost her girdle while bathing in a river. In fact her companions had spitefully tossed it into the water and it was swept away. She walked for days along the river bank in search of her girdle. She searched and searched singing this song until a cannibal seized her and put her into his bag. He carried this bag from homestead to homestead. He prodded the bag to make her sing. People were amazed by this musical bag and rewarded him with food and drink. Eventually he arrived at the Princess's homestead where her people recognized her voice. They tricked the cannibal by sending him to the river to fetch water in a sieve. While he was away they removed the Princess from the bag and filled it with a swarm of angry bees before sending the cannibal on his way and Buhlaluze's companions were duly punished. Princess Magogo tells the story in Zulu and sings Princess Buhlaluze's song. This song is featured in Rycroft's brass suite.

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