The Calf of the Wild: Sound, Embodiment, and Oral Poetry among Cattle Herders in Southwestern Angola
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How to Cite

Dettmann, C. (2020). The Calf of the Wild: Sound, Embodiment, and Oral Poetry among Cattle Herders in Southwestern Angola. MUSICultures, 46(2), 33 - 61. Retrieved from https://journals.lib.unb.ca/index.php/MC/article/view/30489

Abstract

By employing an ecomusicologically inspired approach, this paper explores cultural expressions of Muhumbi cattle herders in the Angolan province of Cunene. The focus on the relationship between herder and herd animals reveals to what extent these practices display a vast body of experience informed by cattle herding alongside wildlife, among other things. Male-dominated genres of playing the mouthbow onkhondji and combat games such as khandeka, khakula, and engolo are a means of imitating and enacting the animals through movement and song. Moreover, these practices act as a means of sustaining herding and the continuous transmission of knowledge. To complete the picture, this paper sketches out the role of women in these agropastoral communities and the current preoccupations (2010/2011) of the herders in communicating their traditions.

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