An Investigation Into The Modes Of Performativity Of Indigenous South African Religious Rites And How These Traditions Have Transformed In A Post-Apartheid Context
(2015) An Investigation Into The Modes Of Performativity Of Indigenous South African Religious Rites And How These Traditions Have Transformed In A Post-Apartheid Context, no. 46.
Rituals have been performed within South African communities since the first inhabitants, the Khoisan, came before the Common Era. As the centuries passed and civilisations around the world developed South Africa witnessed the migration of different peoples; the Nguni's and other Bantu cultures from central Africa and the Europeans who would come to colonise much of the African continent over the course of time, from 15th century through to the 20th century. This dissertation looks at the roles these rituals have had in a communal setting and how they have transformed in form and performativity from the 17th century (arrival of Dutch) to present-day South Africa and to question the roles of these rituals for future generations of South Africans. In order to do this various methods will be employed including ethnographic studies, ethnomusicological studies, postcolonial theory and historical texts. In looking at the history of these rituals and their functions in the ever-changing society in which they've been placed it is clear that they are in constant transition relying on the world in which they're situated to define their purpose. South Africa as a young democracy has the long shadow of its history hanging over its people and is deeply spiritually disconnected as a result of this history. For South Africans to recreate their individual identities it is necessary for a reconnection to ancestral rites to take place as a nation and as individuals. As song and dance are important aspects of indigenous rituals it is clear to see their inherent link to the arts as a result of their form and so, in turn, arts might become an avenue for the re-appropriation of ancient rituals for future generations in South Africa.