Defiant Maids and Stubborn Farmers: Tradition and Invention by Donald J. Cosentino

By Donald J. Cosentino

The domei is a well-liked narrative paintings shape one of the Mende humans of Sierra Leone. even though it is a conventional shape, the narratives will not be remembered or retold, yet on every one party the performers recreate out of a standard inventory of characters and plots domeisia, that are singular and infrequently outstanding expressions of a novel, and infrequently superb, tradition. during this booklet Donald Cosentino provides a wide choice of those narratives, as he accrued them in dramatic functionality at the verandahs and round the cooking fires of a Mende village. The domei is instructed to thrill, and Dr Cosentino info many of the components that represent the excitement of an oral functionality. yet underneath the skin glitter of those ironic, scary, bawdy and haunting narrative performances, there's an highbrow hardness of argument and debate which shines throughout the domeisia integrated right here. Dominating those performances, and emblematic of the full creative culture, are the 'everywoman' determine of the Defiant Maid, Yombo, and the 'everyman' obdurate Farmer, Kpana.

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Additional info for Defiant Maids and Stubborn Farmers: Tradition and Invention in Mende Story Performance

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One is indifference. Subscription to either of the world religions accounted for very little in the lives of most Mattru people, who continued to shape their activities around the sanctions and graces of traditional Mende religion as it expressed itself through the secret societies, especially Poro and Sande. 22 The other and more decisive factor in Mattru's attitude is a general cultural tolerance which goes beyond mere tolerance to proclaim the balance of contradictory forces as the chief structural principle of Mende political, social, cultural, and aesthetic organization.

An impersonation of the devil, the 8. Little, The Mende of Sierra Leone, p. 241. , was announced. 9 This myth is re-enacted every dry season as the spirits of Poro carry on in the sacred initiation rites the primal deception which is the central secret of Poro. ', to which they are instructed to answer 'Yes'. They are then further instructed to offer a show of resistance, after which they are dragged into the bush. An artifice of reality, concocted from questions which are contradictions, and actions which are fabrications, thus constitutes Poro's inaugural lesson, a lesson which will be repeated throughout the initiation school curriculum, and then maintained throughout the adult life of the society member.

These non-verbal aspects of image production may grow very elaborate, and may even communicate at a deeper level than the words of a performance. These non-verbal devices shall be described as the elements of performance, and under that title they will be more fully analyzed in the following chapter. The principles derived from Mama Yewa's domei validly describe the liberties and the limitations inherent in the material from which Mende performers construct their domsisia, but they are not exhaustive.

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