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Song Walking – Women, Music, and Environmental Justice in an African Borderland - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Song Walking: Women, Music, and Environmental Justice in an African Borderland

Angela Impey


This book explores contrasting histories of western Maputaland, a remote South African rural locality bordering Mozambique and the kingdom of Swaziland. It builds on interweaving narratives, offsetting its documented history with the experiences of two groups of elderly women whose memories, songs and practices narrativise a century of borderland politics. Specifically, it draws on memories inspired by the mouth harp (isitweletwele), a tiny metal instrument introduced into the region by European traders in the mid-1800s and adopted by women to accompany long-distance walking. Extending the pre ... More

Keywords: women, walking songs, memory, southeast Africa, environmental justice, border landscape

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226537962
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226538150.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Angela Impey, author
SOAS, University of London