Original Research

The mnemonic oral tradition with special reference to the management and expression of conflict in Zulu-speaking communities

N.S. Turner
Literator | Vol 28, No 2 | a160 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v28i2.160 | © 2007 N.S. Turner | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2007 | Published: 30 July 2007

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N.S. Turner, School of IsiZulu Studies, University of KwaZulu Natal, Durban, South Africa

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Abstract

The identification of features of oral studies and especially the issue of conflict and their terms of reference, have recently become a topic of increasing interest among researchers in Southern Africa. The National Research Foundation is nowadays encouraging academics to focus on the area of indigenous knowledge systems. Included in that focus area is the recommendation that research should be done on the impact that indigenous knowledge has on lifestyles and the ways in which societies operate. The study of ways in which specific societies articulate issues of conflict is inextricably linked with the way in which language is used in particular communities. This study deals with African and specifically Zulu communities, and how the mnemonic oral tradition plays an essential role in the oral strategies used as a means of dealing with issues of conflict. These strategies are based on an age-old mnemonic oral tradition which is socialised and used as an acceptable norm of group behaviour. Furthermore it is an acceptable way of managing and expressing conflict in social situations where direct verbal confrontation is frowned upon and deemed unacceptable.

Keywords

Conflict Articulation; Mnemonic Oral Tradition; Zulu Oral Strategies

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