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Title:In memory of a great singer: the Dogon 'baja ni' as a cultural-historical performance
Author:Beek, Walter E.A. vanISNI
Book title:Mande mansa: essays in honor of David C. Conrad
Geographic term:Mali
Abstract:In honour of David C. Conrad on the occasion of his retirement as president of the Mande Studies Association, this chapter engages in a prepublication of a less well-known Dogon song performance that could be compared to the Sunjata epic. Although the Dogon are on the margins of the Mande area proper, they share quite a few features of Mande culture. After a survey of the categories of Dogon oral texts, the author focuses on the 'baja ni' song, paying attention to its context, the so-called first funeral, the story of Abirč, the consummate mythical singer in Dogon lore, which is sung in the 'baja ni' performance, and the song itself, which consists of small episodes which follow some semblance of order but do not complement each other. Examples of these episodes are presented in English. The chapter concludes with an impression of a 'baja ni' performance in January 2005. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]