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‘Kumabali Ye Horon Di’ (The Person Who Doesn’t Speak Is Free): On the Social Construction of Copy Rights



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Jansen, Jan 


Based on observations during years of fieldwork in Manding dating back to 1988, this presentation analyses a recording of one person as a group or team performance. I will show how those not involved in the actual recording position themselves in order to have a claim on the recording. The argument is demonstrated with a video recording (of themes from the Sunjata epic, recited by a person officially inaugurated as the ‘Master of the Word’ of his family) made in Kela (Mali), January 2007, recently published as Volume 3 in the Verba Africana series. I argue that these ‘overlooked’ aspects are epistemological challenges to what academics generally present as oral tradition.


World Oral Literature Project Workshop 2010


oral literature, Manding, Sunjata, Mali

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