Luapula valley Luunda royal praise-poetry: form, content and function

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Kapimbwa, Anthony Chibende
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This dissertation discusses the form, content and function of Luapula Valley Luunda Royal poetry. Interest in this kind of research was born out of the knowledge that in earlier studies of Luunda-Kazembe roj-al poetry, there is an apparent lack of literary analysis of the poems used.There have been some major studies in this field. The first one is Chiwale's work (1962) which deals with meanings and the historical background of the praise-poetry and praise-names of Eastern Luuuda. Chiwale's work has not presented Luunda-Kazembe praise poems as poetry by way of discussing poetic qualities. As a matter of fact he confesses that his " not organised or subsidised research, the information is perforce. limited and somewhat patchy". (p.l). As 1 have pointed out above, Chiwale deals with meanings of praise-names and praise-poetry hence the "limited" and "patchy" information.Secondly Mapoma's works, (1974, 1978, 198C), although literally, do not specifically discuss the praise-poetry of the Luunda of Mwata Kasembe. In the 1974 work, Mapoma deals firstly with the musical practice of "ing'omba" or musicians, the royal music of most of the Luapula Province traditional chiefs. In addition he shows how musical structure and practice of "Ing'omba" reflect beliefs and are based on the social structure of the Bemba people. The 1978 work discusses the social functions of music In society and gives general examples draving from different societies in Luapula Province of which Luunda is one. In his Ph.D thesis Mapona discusatss "The Determinants of Style in the Music of Ing'omba" aud once again looks at various royal musicians.The major objective of my study therefore, is to fill this gap by providing a new insight into the literary aspects of Luunda-Kasembe poetry. The dissertation is divided into four chapters. The first chapter IK the introduction which discusses inter-alia, the people, the poetic tradition, the kingship and the royal poet. This section is important because it has btren ccnsidered that a research of this nature demands an examination of the matrix out of which the praise-poet draws his subject matter and style (Moyo, 1978).The second chapter firstly deals with some general aspects of poetry. Secondly, I have dealt with relevant literature; the analysis and discussion of poetic forms in Luunda-Kazenbe poetry.In the third chapter, effort has been made to consider the content, i.e. major themes and how they relate to the historical tradition, side by side with the socio-political functions of the praise-poems.The fourth and final chapter examines the implications of my study. In addition to that a few suggestions have been offered for future research in this area.
Poetry- -Luunda- -Luapula Valley- -Zambia , Poetry- -study and teaching- -Zambia