Original Research

The verse-form of Northern Sotho oral poetry

M.J. Mojalefa
Literator | Vol 23, No 1 | a322 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v23i1.322 | © 2002 M.J. Mojalefa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 August 2002 | Published: 06 August 2002

About the author(s)

M.J. Mojalefa, Department of African Languages, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Although examples of certain Northern Sotho traditional oral genres have been collected over years, a study of verse-form in traditional initiation poetry has not yet been undertaken. This article will consider the way in which Northern Sotho traditional initiation poems are structured or arranged in verse-form. It will be attempted to indicate that traditional oral initiation poetry in Northern Sotho is not metrically defined (as in Western poetry) but that Northern Sotho oral poetry is also structured by its performance and by symmetrical boundaries and other techniques. The structure of the oral praise poem in verse-form as discussed in this article will show the way in which poetry material is organised according to Northern Sotho metrical (verse-form) principles.


Northern Sotho Oral Poetry; Oral Performance; Verse-Form


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