Recommend to your Librarian

Songs of the Women Migrants

Performance and Identity in South Africa

Deborah James

Paperback (Printed to Order)

This book gives an account of how migrant women, whose lives and experiences have heretofore been neglected in the pages of academic scholarship, dance and sing the vibrant and expressive musical style of kiba. In so doing, they build an identity as autonomous breadwinners whose aspirations and values are nonetheless rooted in 'tradition'.

About the Author

Deborah James is a Lecturer at the London School of Economics.


This book should be of interest to a wide range of scholars including anthropologists, ethnomusicologists and historians. James provides us with an intelligent and sometimes moving account of how women and men have incorporated historical memories and longings and contemporary relations to create a vital artistic tradition that links rural and urban areas.
This ethnography is compelling for several reasons. The text has been created with great care and respect for the communities and individuals James has worked with. Each chapter is skilfully crafted, the arguments clearly articulated, and generously supported with a range of ethnographic evidence.

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