oa Africa Insight - Xhosa music in Ciskei today

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



Since independence was only granted to Ciskei in 1981, the process of developing a sense of nationhood among its citizens is still in its earliest stages. It is therefore too early to be able to speak of Ciskeian music in the same sense as one can of English, French or Russian music, each of which has an identifiable character and historic roots. Amongst conservative Ciskeians, Xhosa and Mfengu ethnic affiliations still exercise an influence on culture. Differences in music and in the behaviour associated with them are still to be discerned, even though these may be slight. The following account will, therefore, be based primarily on recent studies of the musical life of ethnic people in Ciskei. In an article of this length, it is possible to provide only the background to the kinds of music made in contemporary Ciskei and an overview of the musical scene.

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