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AFRICAN MUSIC.                         255
it still further, for in addition to his own proper name (which it is deemed ill omened to speak) everybody of any rank, receives a number of isi-bonges or praise-names, alluding to some action or peculiarity. It is customary on all formal occasions, to recite several of these isi-bonges, just as a European nobleman on official ceremo­nies desires to have all his titles proclaimed. In song3, of course, the invention of these is unlim­ited. Thus the great Panda, a renowned ruler of enormous fatness, is spoken of as,—
" A swallow which fled in the sky,"
" A swallow with a whiskered breast,"
" Ramrod of brass,"
" Thigh of the bullock of Inkakavini."
" Thou art an Elephant."
M Monarch who art black," etc., etc.
Such songs of praise are sung with great relish by full choruses. Violent gestures are used to heighten the effect. The songs are in unison, no harmonic divisions being attempted.
The instruments of the Kaffir are few and crude; the whistle before mentioned, although giving but one tone, is a great favorite. It is so shrill that it can be heard above the wildest din of the ensemble.
A rude flute or flageolet is also sometimes used; but the most-used instrument, is a primitive harp with one string only, and whose tones though light and sweet can scarcely be heard at six yards distance. It is an ordinary bow with a string of






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III