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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Tebra' of Moorish women from Mauritania: the limits (or essence) of the poetic act
Author:Voisset, Georges M.ISNI
Year:1993
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Volume:24
Issue:2
Pages:79-88
Language:English
Geographic term:Mauritania
Subjects:women
oral poetry
songs
literature
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3819887
Abstract:One of the most appealing and creative aspects of Hassaniyya oral literature is its lyrical tradition. The highly codified poems that used to circulate in the nomad camps can be heard with increasing frequency today at parties, on the radio, and on casette tapes, keeping alive a collective memory that stretches at least as far back as the eighteenth century. The existence of a women's poetry in Mauritania has gone largely unnoticed to date. Nevertheless, a specific female voice does exist. It is called 'tebra'' (fem. sing. 'tebri'a'). The 'tebra'' is a short utterance unified by a rhyme and by an implicit thematic context. It is set to music, sung and accompanied by the 'tiggiwit' (female griot) to whom the female poet has entrusted it. The performance, assumed to take place in secret, is not supposed to go beyond the circles in which the 'tebra'' has been produced. In order to determine whether this genre really belongs to what is recognized by the Moorish institution as poetry ('ghna'), the author analyses some 'tebra''. Bibliogr.
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