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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Engendering homeland: migration, diaspora and feminism in Ethiopian music
Author:Webster-Kogen, IlanaISNI
Year:2013
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1369-6815)
Volume:25
Issue:2
Pages:183-196
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:diasporas
music
gender
women artists
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13696815.2013.793160
Abstract:For decades, the Ethiopian song most widely recorded and performed abroad was 'Tezeta', the so-called 'Song of Longing' that evokes love-sickness and nostalgia for a bygone time. Thanks to the Amharic lyrical technique of 'Wax and Gold', a singer could connote multiple meanings such that the pining of a lovelorn person could double as nostalgia for a place or time. Today, the many Ethiopians who live abroad and who produce and consume Ethiopian culture over the internet may develop a similar but virtual yearning for the 'homeland'. This is particularly evident in a recent series of songs by female performers in the Ethiopian diaspora that revolve around the theme of 'home'. These songs, embedded in repertoires centred on domestic relationships and family life, bear the lyrical and musical characteristics of the receiving country while containing strong lyrical allusions to a physical or metaphorical return to Ethiopia from diaspora. In this article, the author analyses two of the three recent songs that share the title 'Home': Wayna Wondwossen's and Cabra Casay's. In the broad concept of 'home' that is the crux of these songs, the emotion-laced meanings of 'Tezeta' coalesce with the condition of the woman in the diaspora enmeshed in the bonds of family, 'ethnie' and nation.The author shows that this creative fusion of the national nostalgic mode with the domestic starkly illustrates the fertile convergence of issues many more cautious scholars like to separate methodologically, if not analytically: the 'personal' or 'private' issues of gender and family with the 'political' or 'public' issues posed by national belonging and migration. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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