• June 24, 1975
  • Performer: Nongenile Masithathu Zenani, a Gcaleka woman
  • Place: In her home, 9:30 am (to 11 am)
  • Audience: Three women, including Nolakhe, her daughter; two kwedin', including Mziwandile, her grandson; two children, Ncamile, her grandson, and Thembekile, her granddaughter
  • Notes: I was watching a woman working with her pipe. Masithathu asked if I was interested in the Xhosa custom of smoking, and that led to this ibali. There was therefore no preparation: she launched immediately into this narration. Might give a clue as to how she constructs her non-formal commentaries (which, in turn, might point to the structure of such formal traditions as iintsomi). She also seems to be able to break things off when she chooses, yet leaving a complete work. How does she do this? She is constructing this ibali as she goes along. But along what structure is she working? What images guide her? Keep her going? Note that in all of her non-formal commentaries, she nevertheless uses techniques and style of formal traditions: the use of a structure in time and space, i.e., a kind of plotting of images; she introduces characters, moves them in action. She adapts methods of the intsomi to non-intsomi materials (including non-verbal materials: gestures, body movement, plus facial and vocal drama). A brief break at dgt 661. At the end, I ask her to distinguish between imbali and ibala, and intsomi. A note about intshongo: a straw, a piece of grass that has been pulled through the pipe stem, dripping with liquid tobacco, nicotine. Women consider it special, pull straws through their pipes and offer the straws to other women. These women eat these straws, breaking them and eating them. Is this the cause of so much cancer of the esophagus in this area? Definition in Kropf: "The oil which accumulates in the stem of a tobacco pipe" (428). See 3S-273
  1. Full audio


Scheub, Harold
June 24, 1975
Description of Original
Reel to reel audiotape
Local identifier
For Staff