n Latin American Report - Mbira dzaVadzimu (Nhare) : historical and cultural legacy
|Article Title||Mbira dzaVadzimu (Nhare) : historical and cultural legacy|
|© Publisher:||UNISA Press|
|Journal||Latin American Report|
|Affiliations||1 Midlands State University, Zimbabwe|
|Publication Date||Jan 2013|
|Pages||79 - 101|
|Keyword(s)||Contemporary, Mbira dza Vadzimu, Musical style, Nhare, Performance context and Shona|
The mbira dzaVadzimu (which means the voice of the ancestors) is also referred to as the nhare, and can be traced back as far as the 16th century. Since that period the instrument has gone through a number of changes ranging from its structure to its sacred efficacy. The instrument has accumulated a number of aspects that constitute the legacy of the mbira dzaVadzimu. This article traces the history of the mbira dzaVadzimu and how the legacy has shifted from its sacred efficacy and adopted a contemporary status where it is performed for entertainment It also outlines the etymology of the term 'mbira' as conceived by those who own it as opposed to terms coined by academic exponents. The mbira dzaVadzimu has never been stationary since its creation, even migrating to other parts of Zimbabwe and the world. The Shona musical styles and performance contexts in which the mbira dzaVadzimu is performed have also experienced a paradigm shift. The article is an extract from my ongoing PhD research which has an ethnographic design employed together with applied action research in the Wedza District of Zimbabwe.
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