Frontier Continent – Behind the Epistemological Secrecy of Oral Africa: A Case of Xitsonga

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Chauke OR


This paper endeavours to uncover the distinctive and conservative nature of African cultural and ideological scope, with a particular focus on how and why the Vatsonga people firmly object the deliberate and unmonitored disclosure (to strangers) of the revealing wisdom, mystery and life spices that enviably advertise within the gamut of  their traditional world and livelihood. Stretching from this shall be the notion that the value and integrity of the Vatsonga people is largely, if not wholly bestowed, in experiencing and knowing what the external world is either ignorant of or has some superficial insight into it but is devoid of tangible access to fully grapple and identify with it. The paper takes an Afrocentric stance, a theory seeking a non-European way of conceptualizing the African experience (Asante, 1978), deriving arguments from the di-racial debate of sidelining African values in favour of Western civilizations. It considers, as its point of departure, the essence of the traditional knowledge that lie other wisely idle, in Xitsonga culture, and especially in the banks of the sedentary grey-haired populace whose efforts have often been interpreted in disparaging terms by Westerners. In this line of argument, the paper will take into perspective the core of the Xitsonga culture in which all the Xitsonga’s world view, oral tradition, styles and ways of surviving are pivoted and revolving.

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