Singing in the Bush

Singing in the Bush

ISBN 978-3-89645-355-6

Singing in the Bush

MPLA Songs during the War for Independence in South-East Angola (1966–1975)

Edited by: Inge Brinkman. Series edited by: Michael Bollig, Wilhelm J.G. Möhlig.

Series: History, Cultural Traditions and Innovations in Southern Africa Volume 16

110 pp.
5 b/w photos, 1 table
Text language(s): English
Format: 160 x 240 mm
220 g
€ 19.80

This edition is based on political songs that were composed and performed during the war for independence in south-east Angola. The songs published in the book stem from fieldwork among Angolans residing in Namibia. Thirty song texts are rendered in their original language (Ngangela or Portuguese), with an English translation and extensive notes on the context in which they were sung.

The importance of these songs can hardly be overestimated. During the war political song was used by the MPLA Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola both in terms of nationalist mobilisation and as a means for civilians to bolster their position vis-à-vis the guerrillas. The importance of the subject prompts the editor to advocate a place for this literary genre in African historiography.

The introduction of the book focuses on the historical dimensions of the MPLA political songs and their relationship with local song/dance traditions in south-east Angola. The book discusses new alleys of research and poses theoretical questions about memory, popular literature and legitimacy.

The author has been a member of the interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Centre Arid Climate, Adaptation and Cultural Innovation in Africa (SFB 389) at the University of Cologne, Germany. Her study of political song builds on research done on historical narratives from the same area, the results of which were edited with Axel Fleisch under the title Grandmother’s Footsteps, see the follwing links, where you will find further studies about the Angolan war of independence and its history:

Accompanying material:

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