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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Twarab ya shingazidja: a first approach
Author:Graebner, WernerISNI
Periodical:Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere: Schriftenreihe des Kölner Instituts für Afrikanistik
Geographic terms:East Africa
Swahili language
Abstract:Historically the culture of the Comoro Islands shows a strong relationship to the Swahili culture of the East African coast. Archaeology, written and oral history have impressively documented these bonds dating back more than a thousand years. The appearance of so-called 'twarab' (songs) in the first decades of the 20th century once more demonstrates the closeness of this cultural imaginary that links the Comoros to the Swahili world and beyond to include the predominantly Islamic cultures of the Western Indian Ocean. This paper describes the history of 'twarab' on one Comoro Island, Ngazidja, until the mid-1960s. It also addresses the question of language use, especially the relationship between East Coast and Comorian varieties of Swahili, and the influence of the Swahili poetic canon on the practice of Ngazidjan poets and singers. Bibliogr., discogr., notes, ref.