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Saturday, December 19, 2015

REAL Information About South African Ingoma & Indlamu, Part I

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part II in a four part series on the South African dance forms Indlamu and Ingoma.

Part I provides excerpts about Indlamu from Vusabantu Ngema's 2007 University of Zululand Masters of Arts dissertation "Symbolism and Implications in the Zulu dance forms: Notions of composition, performance and appreciation of dance among the Zulu".

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/12/real-information-about-south-african.html for Part II of this series. Part II provides excerpts about the traditional and the contemporary meanings of Ingoma in South Africa from Vusabantu Ngema's 2007 University of Zululand Masters of Arts dissertation "Symbolism and Implications in the Zulu dance forms: Notions of composition, performance and appreciation of dance among the Zulu". Particular attention in these excerpts is given to description of indlamu dances and, in particular to the dance style called "Isizingili".

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/12/escerpt-about-ingoma-from-1929-1930.html for Part III of this series. Part III provides an excerpt of a research article by Veit Erlmann on Zulu dancing.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2015/12/five-videos-of-south-african-indlamu.html for Part IV of this series. Part IV provides videos of Indlamu dancing.

The content of this post is presented for folkloric, historical, cultural, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Vusabantu Ngema for the information about Zulu culture that is shared online in his [?] dissertation/book.

In 2012 that dissertation was published in book form. Click http://www.amazon.com/Symbolism-implications-Zulu-dance-forms/dp/384732988X for information about purchasing it. Here's a summary of Vusabantu Ngema's book from that site:
"This book discusses the developments of the Zulu dance tradition from ancient times into the present. The book explores the notions of composition, performance and appreciation of dance among the Zulus. Furthermore, the book also highlights the issues of form and content through various categories under which dancing within the Zulu culture and Africa as whole are performed. The dances discussed range from ritual-ceremonial dances; recreational dances; communal dances; (modern) theatrical dances; as well as children game dances. Whilst the emphasis is on the notions of composition, performance, and appreciation; issues of how the dances are taught, rehearsed and mastered are touch upon. As such, traces of history, culture, customs and traditions are discussed as means to contextualized the dance forms discussed."

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EDITOR'S COMMENT
Disclaimer:
This series on Indlamu and Ingoma are not meant to present comprehensive information about these South African dance forms.
I'm merely quoting excerpts from that above mentioned online source. I'm very interested in learning about these dances from anyone else directly familiar with them. Your comments and links will be greatly appreciated.

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EXCERPTS ABOUT INGOMA FROM VUSABANTU NGEMA'S DISSERTATION/BOOK
Note: These excerpts are quoted as they are given in that pdf that is cited below along with page numbers.
From http://uzspace.uzulu.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10530/71/Symbolism+&+Implications+in+the+Zulu+Dance+Forms+-+V+Ngema.pdf;jsessionid=28025874320FA7591F6FE1EF49FEBFED?sequence=1
"It [dance] is a body of history that embodies an explanation and a justification of the existence of the Zulu people and a process through which Zulu people have preserved, evolved, and transformed themselves. [page 2]

...[page 16]
The third focal point shall be on those dances that are popular and recreational. These are the dances that are mainly for recreation and show of[f] of artistry and strength. They are dynamic and spectacular with an aim to out-shine (other competitors). They are often a reflection of some individual flare. These are the dances that are sometimes used at sporting events by young Zulu men and women. They are [p. 17] characterized by strong display of physical strength and character of an individual. They are an important avenue for release of energy.

Definition of Terms
1.7.2 Dance (Ukusina) [pages 18 - 19]
...“In Africa or among Africans dance is not just about steps and their execution instead, it is the expression that goes beyond steps, music, and song. It is the way of life, worship, and training. But AmaZulu refer to Ukusina as that kind of dancing that involves lifting the feet.

1.7.3. Ukudiga
It refers to the kind of dancing that involves the feet in pounding the ground. Ukudiga is commonly used by Izangoma.

1.7.4 Ingoma
The original term for the Zulu anthem was ingoma which referred to the royal dance song that was preferred at that first fruit festival (Umkhosi) every fruit.

...the term ingoma is now used to classify the broad category of Zulu recreational dance.
(Levine; 2005:49)

...1.7.9 Ukugiya
Ukugiya is a wild solo dance of improvisational nature. It is an improvised combination of quick stamps, strides, leaps, and jumps. [page 20]

...The movement which is almost common to all Zulu dances is Ukusina (stamping). Ukusina is central to most forms of Zulu dances that fall under the terms Indlamu and Ingoma. Another common feature of Zulu dancing is Ukugida (pounding).[page 30]

....The movement which is almost common to all Zulu dances is Ukusina (stamping). Ukusina is central to most forms of Zulu dances that fall under the terms Indlamu and Ingoma. Another common feature of Zulu dancing is Ukugida (pounding). [page 30]

Team dances

Team dances that do not require drum accompaniment are recently being referred to as Ingoma. Although the term Ingoma has always been regarded as a general term for dancing among the Zulu people, it has emerged as term now used (particular) in competitions in order to categorize dancing activities in a much more manageable manner.*

Team dances that now fall into the category of Ingoma are dances such as Isishameni, Ukhwaxa/Ubhaca of (Nomgoma and Hlabisa), Ukhwaxa/Isibhaca of (Umzimkhulu) and Isikhomazi from Umkhomazi region. The same principle of naming a dance according to a place, a people, and sometimes a basic movement is also applied on the Ingoma category. Isishameni is named after the river stream called Ushameni at KwaMiya district at Umsinga reserve (J Clegg). Isikhomazi is also named after the area around the river Umkhomazi. Ukhwaxa is named after the sound which comes as a result of the movement whereby a dancer hit the armpit with the knee before stamping the ground. [page 37]

There are other team dances that don't fall under the Indlamu and Indoma categories, for instance Isicathulo/Gumboot dance, Isikapulane/Makwaya, and Isicathamiya... [page 38]

Most of the Isicathamiya and Ingoma groups often call themselves after the name of the firm they work for (Dunlap morning birds) or the hostel they stayed in (Dalton evening stars) and the place they come from (Biyela home tigers). P. 44

The second kind (of the form of solo dancing) is found in team dancing such as Indlamu and Ingoma....”[page 49]

-snip-
*I added italics to this sentence to highlight it.

I haven't read Vusabantu Ngema's complete dissertation/book yet. However, it appears from my reading thus far that Indlamu and Ingoma dances aren't restricted by gender. I reached what I now believe is that erroneous conclusion by reading http://www.eshowe.com/article/articlestatic/74/1/13/. Here are three sentences from that rather widely quoted article:
"Ingoma (isishameni) [is] a harmonising performance with boys and girls together but dancing separately. The boys clap while the girls dance and vice-versa.

Indlamu [is] the traditional dance most often associated with Zulu culture. It is performed with drums and full traditional attire and is derived from the war dances of the warriors....

Both indlamu and ingoma are performed at weddings. Women perform ingoma and men indlamu."
-snip-
I highlighted that eshowe.com article in a 2012 pancocojams post on traditional Zulu dancing. However, after reading Vusabantu Ngema's material, I deleted that post because I now believe that I had reached the erroneous conclusion that Indlamu was just one dance and Ingoma another dance (instead of -using the contemporary meaning of "Ingoma") being categories of dances. Also, various youTube videos of Indlama dances in particular document that those dances are currently performed by females and males (albeit with the genders taking turns in the same set). Both Indlamu and Ingoma may have originated as male only dances, but I'm not at all certain of that.

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This concludes Part I of this series.

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