Problems of Oral Literature Research in Swaziland

Enongene Mirabeau Sone


This paper sets out to examine some of the problems which are encountered by researchers in Swazi Oral Literature. It begins with a brief description of Swaziland and goes on to demonstrate how the social and cultural changes which the country is undergoing have influenced the origin and evolution of research in Oral Literature. It argues that while Oral Literature might be existing under marginalized conditions in contemporary Swaziland, it is nevertheless, a living and dynamic mode of communication. The paper also reiterates the need for radical change to both attitude and perspective in the application of Western theories and methodologies in the study of African Oral Literature. Finally, the paper insists that it would be reactionary to continue to see Oral literature as a discipline that looks primarily backwards. In other words, it calls on researchers to also concern themselves with texts that are being created contemporaneously.



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