Verbal arts in Madagascar: performance in historical perspective
Verbal Arts in Madagascar combines a history of the encounter between Europeans and colonized people with a groundbreaking analysis of four types of Malagasy folklore: riddles, proverbs, hainteny (dialogic exchanges of traditional metaphors), and oratory. In this richly textured study, Lee Haring has collected several hundred witty, imaginative texts and translated them into English for the first time. Verbal Arts in Madagascar contains the first history of the collecting of folklore in Madagascar from 1820 to the present. Haring contends that when European investigators recorded this "native culture" they created a vision of "folklore" which served French domination by trivializing Malagasy reality. Now, through comparison and analysis of texts gathered during a century and a half by foreigners, Haring shows that the four types of folklore examined make use of a pervasive two-sided dialogic structure. Although Haring works from texts transcribed and published at least seventy years ago, his analysis always highlights the performance of folklore in actual social settings. By drawing upon the observations of collectors and upon information presented in chronicles, ethnographies, reports, and other historical documents, Haring successfully reconstructs the performances of the texts and the social context in which the performances took place. Verbal Arts in Madagascar pioneers an integrated approach to past folklore studies into contemporary theory. It will especially interest students and scholars in folklore, history, African studies, and anthropology.
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Question and Answer
Dialogue in Monologue
The Merina Hainteny
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African allusion ancestors Andrianampoinimerina answer Antananarivo Antemoro artistic language audience authoritative Bakhtin Beaujard Betsileo Bloch called Callet cattle collected contest contradiction creolization Dahle Dahle's dead Decary deliverer dialect dialogue discourse Domenichini-Ramiaramanana Dundes European fanorona Ferrand fixed phrases Flavien Ranaivo folklorists folktales formal French funeral gasy genre groom's family hainteny hearer hianao highland Houlder interaction izaho izany izay Jean Paulhan kabary kely king language linguistic literary Madagascar Malagasy culture Malagasy folklore Malagasy language Malagasy proverbs Malagasy Tale Index marriage marriage debate means Merina metaphor missionaries Mondain monologic mpikabary ohabolana olona oral oration oratory Paulhan performance person petitioner player poetic poetry proverbs question quotation quoted raha rano Rasamuel riddle riddler safidy Sakalava says Sibree situation social speaker speaking speech structure style stylized symbolic tahaka texts topic-comment tradition trans translated tsiny tsy mba Turn two-sided verbal art wife woman words