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By Donald J. Cosentino

The domei is a well-liked narrative paintings shape one of the Mende humans of Sierra Leone. even though it is a conventional shape, the narratives will not be remembered or retold, yet on every one party the performers recreate out of a typical inventory of characters and plots domeisia, that are singular and occasionally excellent expressions of a novel, and sometimes very good, tradition. during this ebook Donald Cosentino offers a wide number of those narratives, as he amassed them in dramatic functionality at the verandahs and round the cooking fires of a Mende village. The domei is instructed to delight, and Dr Cosentino info many of the parts that represent the excitement of an oral functionality. yet underneath the outside glitter of those ironic, scary, bawdy and haunting narrative performances, there's an highbrow hardness of argument and debate which shines during the domeisia incorporated the following. Dominating those performances, and emblematic of the full creative culture, are the 'everywoman' determine of the Defiant Maid, Yombo, and the 'everyman' obdurate Farmer, Kpana.

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Extra resources for Defiant Maids and Stubborn Farmers: Tradition and Invention in Mende Story Performance

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The whole community goes through the rite of passage with her, and rejoices in the communal prospect of a new wife and new children. Sande's social primacy is mirrored in the images of the domei. ' Except for initiation surgery, there are no veils around the events of Sande which prevent them from structuring the plots of domdsia. Rivalries among initiates, machinations of the Sande leadership and anti-male conspiracies are all part of the sub rosa glamour of the kpua - and popular plot concerns for domsi performers.

They said, 'We're going,' and they passed her by. She said, 'Well, pass by. ' So they went. Then they reached Brown Hawk. 1 in the Appendix to this chapter) From this point on, Mama Yewa turned her narrative in upon itself. The young birds continue their search, encountering Brown Hawk, Hornbill, Bush Fowl, Rice Bird, and Kpula Bird before they are at last reunited with their mother. At each meeting the same sequence of action occurs: (1) a tentative recognition is proclaimed; (2) mutual tests are conducted; (3) recognition is denied; (4) young birds leave.

One of the most popular narratives in the tradition, 'A Defiant Maid Marries a Stranger', derives its plot out of the havoc wrought by ngafanga who transform themselves into humans. 13 Both the conflict and the resolution of this plot suggest the absolute separation which ought to exist between the world of the bush and the world of the town, and the chaos which results when these worlds collide. The worlds of the town and the bush define the limits of the Mende cosmos. They exist as two poles in absolute oppositiontown : bush : : nature : culture : : known : unknown :: human : unhuman.

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