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by
Wim van Binsbergen

The Kazanga festival

Ethnicity as cultural mediation and transformation in central western Zambia?

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? 1993-2002 W.M.J. van Binsbergen[i]

1. Ethnicity

A perennial and probably universal aspect of the human condition is that we give names,[ii] to elements of the non-human world which surrounds us and to human individuals, but also to the groupings into which we organize ourselves.[iii] Usually members of a society designate their own grouping by a proper name, and in any case they give names to other groupings around them. Such nomenclature is often vague, but it brings about a dramatic ordering within the wider social field which various communities share with one another. On the logical plane, projecting onto another grouping a distinct name which does not apply to one’s own grouping, denies that other grouping the possibility of differing only gradually from one’s own. Through the expression in words which make up the name, the opposition between groupings is rendered absolute, and is in principle subjected to the relentlessness of the dendrogram, of binary opposition which plays such an important role in human thought.[iv] By calling the other category ‘A?one’s own category in any case identifies as ‘not-A? The latter is usually also given a name, ‘B? by those which it has called ‘A? and third parties within the social field can either adopt this nomenclature or replace it by one of their own invention.

          ?          ? Every society comprises, among other features, a large number of named sets of people: for instance local communities, kin groupings, production groupings, parts of an administrative apparatus, cults, voluntary associations. We would call such a named set of people an ‘ethnic group?only if certain additional characteristics are present: when individual membership is primarily derived from a birth right (ascription); when the set of people consciously and explicitly distinguishes itself from other such sets in its social environment by reference to specific cultural differences; and when the members of such a set identify with one another on the basis of a shared historical experience. ‘Ethnicity? then, is the totality of processes through which people, by reference to the ethnic groups which they distinguish, structure the wider social and geographical field in which they are involved so as to transform it into an ethnic field.

          ?          ? The nature of the additional characteristics mentioned is gradual and not absolute. For their formulation and application is in the hands of the members of a society; the social scientist tries to identify these socially constructed characteristics through empirical research. In order to be effective the relationships which people enter into with one another, have to be not only systematic but also flexible and contradictory. The social process creates boundaries, but also in order to cut across them. For instance, most ethnic groups include a minority of members who have gained their membership not at birth but only later in life, in a context of marriage, migration, language acquisition, adoption, the assumption of a new identity and a new life style, religious conversion etc.[v] Ethnic fields turn out to be differently organized at different places in the world and in different periods of human history; there is a great variation in the way in which people demarcate ethnic groups through distinctive cultural attributes (for instance, language) and through historical consciousness.[vi] Ethnic groups may often have a subjective historical consciousness, but what they always have is an objective history open to academic enquiry, from their emergence to their disappearance,[vii] and this history cannot be understood unless as part of the history of the genesis of the encompassing ethnic field as a whole.

          ?          ? It is analytically useful to make a clear distinction, by reference to strategically chosen characteristics, between ethnic groups and other ascriptive groupings such as castes and classes, but we must not expect that such analytically-imposed distinctions stand in a clear-cut one-to-one relationship to analogous distinctions in the consciousness of the social actors themselves. For the distinction between such ethnic groups as exist, side by side, within the same social field is not limited to the logic of nomenclature (,which merely entails co-ordinative relationships, without hierarchy), but tends to assume a subordinative nature; within the overarching ethnic field, the participants articulate political, economic and ritual inequalities between ethnic groups in a way which the analyst would rather associate with classes and castes.[viii]

          ?          ? Ethnic nomenclature is a complex social process which deserves specific research in its own right. This is a position which anthropology has only adopted in the most recent decades. Until the middle of the twentieth century anthropology used ethnic names as labels marking apparently self-evident units of culture and social organization: within the units thus demarcated one defined one’s research, but the demarcation in itself was hardly problematized.

          ?          ? The card-index boxes and book shelves of the young anthropological science filled with an overwhelming production of ethnographic material which almost invariably was presented by reference to an ethnic name intended to identify a ‘people? or especially a ‘tribe? Colonialism produced a nomenclatural fragmentation of social fields in the colonized areas, with the implied assumption that each of the units so identified displayed absolute boundedness and internal integration, characteristics which allegedly were inescapably underpinned by century-old tradition. Such was the unit of analysis within which individual careers of anthropologists could come to fruition.

          ?          ? It was only in the 1960s that the concept of ‘tribe?was subjected to profound criticism as an ethnocentric and reified designation of an ethnic group within the global ethnic field but outside the politically dominant civilization ?in other words in the so-called ‘Third World?[ix]

          ?          ? Since then much has been written about the rise and fall of the concept of tribe in Africa, in the context of political and economic processes in this continent since the end of the nineteenth century.

          ?          ? In a nutshell this body of literature revolves on: colonization (in the course of which the state created administrative units which were presented as ‘tribes??an optique which the Africans soon took over in their own perception and political action)[x]; the implantation of the capitalist mode of production by means of cash crops and migrant labour (which eroded local systems of production, reproduction and signification, and at the same time produced regional inequalities which soon came to be interpreted in terms of an ethnic idiom); urbanization (in the course of which a plurality of ethnic groups, and their members, engaged in urban relationships which, through a process of selective transformation, referred less and less to the traditional culture of their respective region of origin);[xi] decolonization (the rise of a nationalism which exposed ethnic fragmentation as a product of manipulation by the state); and, notwithstanding the previous point, the ethnic overtones of political mobilization and networks of patronage in the post-colonial states;[xii] the vicissitudes of military and one-party regimes which often presented themselves as the solution for ethnically-based domestic political problems; and most recently the rise of democratic alternatives which despite their emphasis on constitutional universalism would yet seem to offer new opportunities for ethnic mobilization.[xiii]

          ?          ? The Africanist literature on these topics is large and rapidly increasing, but at the same time we know far less of the processes of symbolic and cultural transformation which have informed ethnicity in these contexts.[xiv] It is these processes, specifically, which constitute the main topic of the present argument.

2. Ethnic identity and ethnic brokerage

A common term in the context of ethnicity and ethnicity research is that of ‘identity?[xv] As social scientists in the narrower sense, we might define ‘identity?as the socially constructed perception of self as group membership. Everybody plays various different roles in various groupings, and therefore everybody has a plurality of identities, as acquired in the course of one’s socialization to become a member of these groupings.

          ?          ? Usually the rise of an ethnic group in Africa consists, as a project, in the launching of a new identity and the installation of that identity in the personalities of the ethnic group’s prospective or intended members. The project of ethnicisation presents the ethnic identity (as expressed by a group name) as the ultimate, all-encompassing and most deeply anchored identity, which is then supposed to incorporate all other identities which one has acquired as a member of the local society.

          ?          ? Not by accident, such an ethnic identity reminds us strongly of the concept of culture in classic anthropology, often defined as: ‘everything one acquires as a member of a society? However, the local culture need not in the least be limited, in place and time, to a specific named ethnic group; often it has a much wider distribution. For instance, in the savanna belt of South Central Africa, which will be the scene of most of my argument, scores of ethnic groups have been distinguished one next to the other since the nineteenth century; yet if one were to concentrate on the distribution of patterns of production, reproduction and signification one would perceive such an underlying unity that there is every reason to speak of one large cultural area in this part of the world.[xvi] Within this far-reaching regional continuity distinct ethnic groups have distinguished themselves ?almost in the way one may cut several differently shaped cookies out of the same slab of dough. Among those sharing in this regional cultural continuity, self-perception will be anchored in ethnic names (which do not define cultural boundaries), and moreover, rather diffusely, in references to kin groups and local groups at various levels of inclusiveness and scale, in a landscape, a language, a poly-ethnic state system etc.

          ?          ? Ethnicity comprises the process of taking consciousness (which for many people means being actively persuaded to do so, by ethnic leaders and brokers), in the course of which a plurality of diffuse, accumulated, often cross-cutting, identities are brought under the denominator of one ethnic identity, which is then marked by a specific name. The ethnic name is constructed so as to mark a cultural boundary, and therefore pre-existing culture (or at least a selection of items from that culture) has to be partly reconstructed so as to fall within that boundary and to offer distinctive cultural attributes. In the bundling and reshuffling of identities the personal experience of self and of the world of transformed: the discovery of ‘I am a ?Fleming, Azeri, Yoruba, Nkoya?etc. offers a ordering perspective in which powerlessness, deprivation and estrangement such as one has experienced earlier on in all kinds of situations, suddenly appear in a new light: as if the collective historical experience suddenly makes sense of them, and as if there is reason for hope that these negative experiences will be turned in their opposites through ethnic self-presentation. Viewed in this way ethnicity has many parallels with other ideological phenomena such as nationalism, the awakening of class consciousness, religious conversion and religious innovation.

          ?          ? Ethnicity displays a remarkable dialectics which I am inclined to consider as its engine.[xvii] On the one hand, the binary opposition through nomenclature offers a logical structure, which is further ossified through ascription and which presents itself as unconditional, bounded, inescapable and timeless;[xviii] on the other hand, the actual processual realization (through the construction of a culture coinciding with the group boundary, through distinctive cultural symbols, through a shared historical conscious­ness, through that part of membership which is non-ascriptive but acquired) means flexibility, choice, constructedness and recent change. Both, entirely contradictory, aspects form part of ethnicity. This dialectics renders ethnicity particularly suitable for mediating, in processes of social change, between social contexts with are each of a fundamentally different structure, and particularly between the local level on the one hand, and the state and wider economic structures on the other.[xix] The ethnic name and the principle of ascription produce the image of a bounded set of people. Therefore integration between the local level and the national and international level, which poses such bewildering problems of structural discontinuity, under conditions of etnicization, no longer remains a challenge which the vulnerable individual must cope with on his own on the basis of his inadequate skills and perceptions geared to the local level; on the contrary, such integration becomes the object of group action. Internally, a set of people is restructured so as to become an ethnic group by designing a cultural package which, in its own right (i.e. not just because of its symbolizing more abstract power relations such as exist between the local level and the more global levels) constitutes a major stake in the negotiations between the emerging ethnic group and the outside world. One takes a distance from rival ethnic groups at the local and regional scene through a strategic emphasis on cultural and linguistic elements; and on a more comprehensive, national level of socio-political organization one competes for the state’s political and economic prizes (primarily: for the exercise of power and the benefit of government expenditure) by means of the state’s recognition of the ethnically constructed cultural package.

          ?          ? In this process the ethnic group more and more articulates itself as just that. But although all persons involved in this process are in principle equals as carriers of the ethnic identity, the contact with the outside world, precisely if it shapes up successfully, causes new inequalities within the group. The mediation takes place via political, economic and ideological brokers who (through greater knowledge, better education, more experience, better political contacts and more material means of sustaining such contacts) are more than their fellow-members of the ethnic group in a position to exploit the opportunities offered by the outside world.[xx] These brokers develop ethnic leadership to an instrument of power formation which works in two directions:

?externally, towards the outside world, where these leaders claim resources in exchange for an effective ordering of the local domain;[xxi]

?and, internally, within the ethnic group itself, where the brokers trade off a limited share of their outside spoils for internal authority, prestige and control at the local level.

          ?          ? The leaders negotiate both with the outside world and with their potential followers in the local society. In this context of brokerage between local community and the outside world, that which constitutes one’s own identity becomes problematic, and asserting the ‘traditional? ‘authentic?(but in fact newly reconstructed) culture appears as an important task and as a source of power for the brokers. Ethnic associations, publications, and such manifestations as festivals, under the direction of ethnic brokers, constitute widespread and time-honoured strategies in this process.

          ?          ? The insistence on ethnic identity produces powerful ideological claims, which the outside world sometimes meets with more sympathy than with analytical understanding. These claims may not be recognized as a recent, strategic, and rhetorical product, but may be idealized (as they are idealized by the ethnic brokers themselves) as, for instance, ?..the courageous expressions, worthy of our deepest respect, of an inescapable identity which these people have acquired in childhood socialization and which takes a desperate stand against the encroachments of the outside world...?For instance, in today’s thinking about intercontinental development cooperation a fair place has been reserved for such claims and the associated cultural expressions.

          ?          ? It is really the mediation of a deeply anchored tradition, which is at stake here? Is that the reason why ethnic processes deserve the kind of sympathy and support which we, in a rapidly changing world, are inclined to extend to forms of culture threatened with extinction? How do these ethnic manifestations reveal the details of the negotiation process between the outside world and the local community? How do they express new inequalities? Can we find here new arguments for the classic thesis of Marxist re­searchers and politicians, who claim that the ethnic process produces a false conscious­ness which prevents the actors from realizing the underlying structures of exploitation such as should be interpreted in class terms?[xxii] What does the analysis of the ethnic negotiation process teach us about the characteristics of the wider political and economic system in which this process is embedded in the world today?

          ?          ? I invite the reader to come with me to an ethnic festival in central western Zambia, to which these questions are eminently applicable, and where they may find some provisional answer.

3. The emergence of the Nkoya as an ethnic group, and the ‘Kazanga Cultural Association?/span>[xxiii]

Since 1988 every year on the first weekend of July a peculiar ceremony, by the name of Kazanga, takes place in Kaoma district, in western Zambia.

          ?          ? From its inception to 1991 Shikombwe was the scene of Kazanga. Shikombwe is the capital of Mwene (i.e. Lord, Chief, King) Mutondo. That Shikombwe is a royal residence (lukena, plur. zinkena) is clear from the lilapa surrounding the inner part of the agglomeration: a reed fence supported by pointed poles, which is a royal prerogative. Inside the lilapa we find a simple four-room house serving as a royal palace, and moreover a reed audience hall, and a shelter where, as principal regalia, the instruments of the royal orchestra are kept and where they are played twice a day. A large open space outside the lilapa is dominated by the modern court building, in front of which a rough flagpole has been erected; here the kapasus ?constables attached to the royal court ?hoist the Zambian flag every morning. This open space is the scene of the Kazanga festival. Around it lie the residential compounds of the courtiers and members of the royal family. A narrow track connects Shikombwe to the tar road over a distance of fifteen kilometers, and along the tar road it is another twenty kilometers to the district capital Kaoma, which until 1969 was called Mankoya. Kaoma district is part of Western Province (formerly called Barotseland), whose modern and traditional capitals by the name of respectively Mongu and Lealui lie at the end of the tar road two hundred kilometers west of Kaoma; at the other end, four hundred kilometers east, lies the national capital of Zambia, Lusaka. Mutondo’s area, about ten thousand square kilometers, consists of fertile wooded savanna, inhabited by peasants in small villages that are mostly concentrated along the many rivers and streams. Many (by no means all) inhabitants of this chief’s area consider themselves subjects of Mutondo and members of the Nkoya ethnic group, and speak preferably (but seldom exclusively) the Nkoya language; others identify with the Lozi group[xxiv] which is politically and socially dominant in western Zambia, or with the groups which since the beginning of the twentieth century have en masse immigrated from Angola: especially the Luvale[xxv] and Luchazi.

          ?          ? Mutondo derives his hereditary title and hence royal status from a kingdom which was established in this region in the eighteenth century A.D. by his ancestors, who were dissidents breaking away from the famous Lunda empire in southern Zaire. The dynastic group adopted the name of Nkoya, which was originally[xxvi] the name of a forested area around the confluence of the Zambezi and the Kabompo rivers. Given the cultural continuity in the region the name ‘Nkoya? certainly did not designate a distinct and bounded culture; the formation of the Nkoya as an ethnic group was still a thing of the future. After Mutondo’s state and subjects became tributary to Barotseland’s rulers in the middle of the nineteenth century, they were, as a so-called ‘Lozi subject tribe? incorporated in the colonial state of Northern Rhodesia in 1900 under the name of ‘Mankoya? In 1964 the colonial state became the independent Republic of Zambia. At incorporation Mutondo became a relatively high-ranking title within the Lozi aristocracy. The lukena and its court retinue are still subsidized by the national state on the basis of treaty which the latter concluded with the Lozi king in 1900 and 1964.

          ?          ? Nonetheless Lozi-Nkoya relations have largely been experienced as antagonistic and humiliating the Nkoya, especially under the colonial state, which allowed the indigenous Lozi administration considerable freedom. Mankoya district then sighed under Lozi domination.[xxvii] Besides Mutondo, only one royal title in the region managed to survive the incorporation process into the Lozi state: Mwene Kahare of the Mashasha people. The many other royal titles were replaced by Lozi representative indunas. Two other princes who were closely related to the Mutondo dynasty has in time moved their seat to outside Barotseland: Mwene Kabulwebulwe and Mwene Momba, who from the outset had been recognized by the colonial state in their own right, but of course could not share in the Lozi subsidy which was strictly limited to Barotseland.

          ?          ? A decisive year in the development of ‘Nkoya?to a self-assertive ethnic group was 1937, when the Lozi king established a filial branch of his own court smack in the middle of Mankoya district, in order to control the local chiefs, judiciary and district finance. Another such year was 1947, when Mutondo Muchayila was demoted and exiled for ten years by the Lozi king on the grounds of restiveness. In the same time the Rev. Johasaphat Shimunika, the first autochthonous pastor of the Evangelic Church of Zambia,[xxviii] translated the New Testament and the Psalms[xxix] into the local language which by then was already called ‘Nkoya?along with its speakers. Despite much effort from the missionary side it proved impossible to have this language recognized for use in education and in the media ?understandably, since its speakers comprise less than 1% of the Zambian population, in a country which in addition to English as the official language has recognized as many as seven regional languages including Lozi. In the years 1950-60 Rev. Shimunika also processed oral traditions into writings which depicted a glorious past for the growing ‘Nkoya?identity.[xxx] He explicitly extended his pan-Nkoya efforts to include, besides Mutondo, the princes Kahare, Kabulwebulwe and Momba along with their subjects, and exposed Lozi domination as historically unjustified.

          ?          ? The Nkoya during this formative period as an ethnic group regarded Zambia’s struggle for national independence primarily as an opportunity to end Lozi domination at the regional level. Their political initiatives, presented under a Nkoya emblem, were immediately prohibited.[xxxi] Their choice in favour of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), as opposed to Lozi power, fired back when in Barotseland UNIP itself came under Lozi domination. Then many Nkoya went over to the opposition. Thus in the first years of Zambia’s independence they were estranged from the UNIP-ruled national state. With the decline of the Lozi in national politics as from 1969,[xxxii] and the disunity among Luvale and Luchazi voters in the district, the Nkoya gained their first and only parliamentary seat and ministerial position in the 1973 general elections, shortly after Zambia had become a one-party state under UNIP. Afraid of ‘tribalism? the government was still hostile to expressions of Nkoya ethnicity. In the same period a large development project was started in Nkeyema in the eastern part of the district. The villagers hardly gained any direct benefits from Nkeyema, by contrast to the enterprising African farmers who flocked in from other districts, as well as the members of the modern and the traditional political elite of the Nkoya, between whom close kinship ties existed. This elite brought the villagers to great enthusiasm and loyalty by formulating ethnic goals such as increasing the subsidies of state-recognized chiefs , the reinstatement of some titles which had disappeared, and the propagation of the use of the Nkoya language in education and the media. The growth of local UNIP branches under the leadership of this modern elite rendered the expression of Nkoya ethnicity acceptable to the national state. For the first time the Zambian national anthem and the UNIP marching songs could be heard to be sung in the Nkoya language.

          ?          ? Since the beginning of the twentieth century part of the life of the inhabitants of this region would be lived outside the region, on the commercial farms and the mines, and in the urban areas, of Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The local people’s low level of education, their limited job experience, small numbers as migrants, and low ethnic status made it virtually impossible for them to collectively and lastingly occupy niches of their own within the capitalist labour market. Although before third parties they could pass for Lozi, the latter highly successful group denied the Nkoya access to Lozi resources in the towns. Nonetheless one was forced to go to town: it was there that one could find cash for consumption articles and bride wealth, and also a refuge away from the tensions within the village community ?which were experienced in terms of sorcery. Because of the uncertainty of the urban labour market the migrant usually maintained a strong orientation on his village to which he expected to return only too soon, and on his ‘homeboys?in town, who constituted his only support upon arrival, and in times of unemployment, illness and death. Wherever in town their numbers present allowed for collective ceremonial to be staged, healing rites, puberty ceremonies and funerals offered the opportunity to keep alive the contacts with their homeboys, in a context marked by their own music and dance from home. For those who had a measure of success in town the Evangelic Church of Zambia offered an urban network, power base and identity; this church was mainly active in their home area, and through its mission schools had offered a modest channel of upward mobility. Most villagers and urban migrants however participated intensively in autochthonous and syncretistic cults, which might or might not be combined with a nominal form of Christianity.

          ?          ? For a long time the urban component of the village community was not formalized into an ethnic association, despite the fact that colonial Zambia knew many such associations, which only later became suspect in the post-colonial crusade against ‘tribalism? and subsequently disappeared. Only in 1982 the ‘Kazanga Cultural Association?materialized as a formally registered society under the patronage of the Nkoya minister. This was an initiative of a handful of people from Kaoma district who, by their middle age, and against all odds, had made the grade from insecure circulatory migrant labourer to member of the capital’s middle class. With the drop in copper prizes in 1975 Zambia entered into a crisis which has lasted until today. Therefore even the urban middle class could not ignore the economic developments which were meanwhile taking place in Kaoma district. Some returned to the district forever; other started a farm there but continued to live in town. Their enthusiasm for the Nkoya identity which became ever more articulated brought these urbanites in close contact with the district’s political elite, and brought them new credit in the eyes of the villagers from which they had earlier taken a distance through their class position and urbanization. They adopted the ethnic goals as mentioned above. In addition the Kazanga association continued to offer a support structure to migrants. Also did it offer the infrastructure for a few conferences meant to validate the Nkoya translation of the Old Testament, a project which Rev. Shimunika had not been able to complete before his death in 1981. However, the association’s main goal is the propagation, through an annual festival of the same name, of the local culture which, inevitably, was labelled ‘Nkoya?as well. From the name of a forest, via that of a dynasty and a district, that name had developed to designate an ethnic group found in several districts, and at the same time a language, a culture, and a cultural project intended to articulate this newly emerged group at the regional and national level.

4. The Kazanga festival in 1989

In the remainder of my argument I shall limit myself to the 1989 Kazanga festival, on which I have detailed information.

          ?          ? In the open space around the court building reed shelters have been erected, offering a refuge from the winter’s sun to a minority of the audience, numbering in total roughly one thousand. Also two ‘loges?have been constructed out of the same material: one for the chiefs, and, at the other side of a reed wall, another one for a handful of state dignitaries, including two ministers.[xxxiii] The two-sided strategy of ethnic mediation could not be expressed more eloquently: the construction of ethnic identity towards the chiefs?/i> loge coincides, along a parallel axis in the same viewing direction, with the assertion of that identity towards the state loge.

          ?          ? Since in 1989 the media were still disappointingly absent from Kazanga, no special recording facilities are required. However, there is a loudspeaker installation, which constantly squeals and thus leaves no doubt about the fact that the local music, song and dance are now to be produced in a format different from the usual one. The audience does not pay an entrance fee ?the costs are paid out of spontaneous contribution from the audience during the dances (when people come up to the dancing ground to place their coins and bills on the head or shoulders of the dancers), from a general collection, and from money which the Kazanga association has earned by the sale of Nkoya-language calendars depicting ‘heights of Nkoya culture? the dance of the kankanga (which marks the end of the life phase between a woman’s menarche and her becoming nubile), and the traditional hunter complete with his bow and arrow, axe and tinderbox.

          ?          ? After the spectators have installed themselves on the festival grounds the four chiefs one after the other make their dramatic entrance. The festival direction tells the people to kneel down for the traditional royal salute. Directly in front of a small thatched shrine which is situated in the centre of the festival grounds, musicians produce the unique sounds of the snare drum (ngoma ntambwe) and the royal bell (ngongi) ?which are very rarely heard even at the royal courts. Preceded by a kapasu walking with measured parade steps the chief struts onto the festival grounds, followed by a procession of subjects which, in front staying narrowly behind the chief, towards the back tapers out to the left and the right, where the stately steps go over into dancing. The women in the retinue ululate thrilling guttural sounds. The musicians immediately behind the chief are all but pushed away by two members of the festival direction who on their shoulders carry a cassette recorder like one carries a relic shrine ?in order to record at least in sound every aspect of Kazanga; in 1989 the urban middle class which makes up the core of the Kazanga association not yet possessed video cameras (a situation which ended in 1991). When the chief has traversed the festival grounds halfway, a few other members of the Kazanga association step forward to welcome him. Cheered by the crowd, and while the chief’s traditional praise names blast from the loudspeakers, he takes his place in the loge. After a few minutes of silence (which several more owners of cassette recorders use to place their equipment, in recording position, near the musicians) the crowd claps the royal salute, after which the musicians, kneeling behind their instruments, sound one of the praise songs from their habitual repertoire. This sequence is repeated for each of the four chiefs.

          ?          ? Besides the chief’s entrances the day’s mimeographed programme as distributed displays the following items:

?an official part featuring the Zambian national anthem (of course in Nkoya) and speeches by the chairman of the Kazanga association, and the minister of culture; and

?performances by various dancing groups, solo dancers and the accompanying orchestra composed of xylophones and drums, in order to present a representative sample of Nkoya expressive culture.[xxxiv]

          ?          ? We shall first look at the official part, in which Kazanga clearly appears as mediation towards the national state. Then we shall assess how the festival, by virtue of its organizational structure, selects and transforms the local culture. We shall see how it does not only express new inequalities, but also exerts a decisive influence on the hierarchy of the traditional chiefs. Finally we shall pay attention to the specific nature of the symbolic production which characterizes the festival and in which its mediatory nature is most acutely expressed.

5. Kazanga and the state

The mediation around which Kazanga revolves is exclusively directed, vertically, at the state and not, horizontally, at other ethnic groups.

          ?          ? The festival no longer carries any explicit reference to the Lozi as ethnic enemies or as a reference group.[xxxv] Meanwhile the Lozi at the district level have been partly supplanted by the Luvale and the Luchazi, who in 1988 conquered Mr Kalaluka’s parliamentary seat. Their makishi mask dances, which are never absent from cultural manifestations at the district level, are excluded from the Kazanga festival as non-Nkoya, even though male circumcision (a widespread ritual complex throughout the region, of which the makishi dances form part) was still practiced as late as the end of the nineteenth century, by the ancestors op those now identifying as Nkoya, and particularly in the Mutondo state.[xxxvi]

          ?          ? In his address the Kazanga chairman expresses his disappointment about the absence of the media, which, he claims, is even more unjustified since Kazanga is not a tribal ceremony:

‘Kazanga ceremony is a ceremony of the Nkoya people like any other ceremony that are [sic] held in other parts of the Republic. I wish the government could help us organize this ceremony as the other kinds[xxxvii] have received the same help. And I would have wished the TV to cover this ceremony and at the same time the radio. But unfortunately enough this has not been the case on our ceremony for the second time. The party and its government have been made to believe that Kazanga is a tribal ceremony. [xxxviii] I say: No! And it is quite unfortunate that people have said so. Kazanga is merely a ceremony of the Nkoya people just like any other ceremony as I have said.?(applause)[xxxix]

          ?          ? The Junior Minister of Culture, Mr. Tembo, hails from eastern Zambia, and like 95%[xl] of the Zambian population he does not know Nkoya. Until a few years ago his speech would have been simply in English. But many things have changed in Zambia. Before the ceremony, therefore, the Minister has had one of the Kazanga leaders (the ex-trade unionist and now game-skin dealer Mr D. Mupishi) dictate a number of appropriate Nkoya phrases to him, and these he now pronounces ?not visibly from paper but from braille notes in his jacket pocket. This is the very first time that a state representative in an official capacity addresses the Nkoya in their own language. The acclamation is overwhelming.

‘Our culture?/span>, says Mr Tembo in laboriously, but imperfectly, pronounced Nkoya, ‘is the Nkoya culture, the culture of Zambia, a great culture which is very dear to us.?/span>[xli]

Soon switching to English, which Mr Mupishi translates into Nkoya, the minister praises the festival organizers for the excellent reception they have given the politicians, and declares their ethnic mediation successful:

‘We are here to express the party’s policy of cultural unity through diversity. Kazanga is a Zambian ceremony.?o:p>

He calls upon the elders to educate the youth ‘on the meaning of Kazanga? and exhorts the youth to show interest.

‘Let us all be proud that we are Zambians.?

This year, 1989, the silver anniversary of Zambian Independence will be celebrated, and the minister praises God’s great blessings and the wisdom of President Kaunda:

‘When we think of the miraculous ?er ?escape from certain tribes [!]. When we think of the wisdom of our leadership ?our great beloved President’s wisdom. (...) We will meaningfully praise God if we treasure what we have. God wants us to look after our nation by following the party’s policy, the party’s direction; by treasuring our leadership; to listen to them especially when they tell us over and over again: ‘‘love one another’’, ‘‘love one another’’.?[xlii]

The Zambian state is bankrupt and needs all the support it can get. The Kaunda regime is near its end; in the democratic elections in 1991 UNIP, after controlling the state for almost thirty years, will be defeated by a national democratic coalition named MMD (Movement for Multi-party Democracy) led by Mr F. Chiluba. In the night before Kazanga in 1989 the Zambian currency was once again devaluated by 100%. The religious idiom must conceal the fact that politically the minister has nothing more to say. But that does not disqualify him in the eyes of his audience. Particularly in the light of Nkoya humiliation during the colonial period, and the initial distrust between the Nkoya and the post-colonial state, Minister Tembo’s message of the unconditional acceptance of Nkoya ethnicity by the state is more than sufficient.

          ?          ? At the end of his speech the blind minister, once Zambia’s most popular singer, calls upon the public to sing ?in Nkoya, and to a tune that accompanied a dancing group of schoolgirls earlier in the ceremony ?a simple song on Zambian development which the minister just wrote. His call is answered reluctantly, while in accompaniment he strikes the folding parts of his blindman’s stick in front of the microphone. Ethnic mediation is something this minister understands only too well; he was my final-year student at the University of Zambia in the early 1970s.

          ?          ? Let us now analyze the details of the ethnic mediation process as it presents itself at the Kazanga festival.

6. Cultural selection and transformation in Kazanga

It is essential for ethnic mediation that the brokers?leadership can assert itself not only through serving the ethnic group in an organizational capacity but also through cultural selection and transformation.

          ?          ? In Zambia, as almost anywhere in the modern world public life and the national political culture are dominated by the media, especially radio and television. Ethnic mediation towards the outside world seeks media access, and festivals are a time-honoured means to acquire such access. In the specific case of the Nkoya two important reasons must be added to this. Of old, Kaoma district has had an extremely rich musical tradition.[xliii] At the beginning of the nineteenth century the Nkoya royal orchestra was even permanently adopted by the Lozi. Therefore, music which the Nkoya rightly recognize as their own can often be heard at the Zambian media ?but then as an attribute of the hated Lozi traditional establishment; all efforts which Nkoya have made over the years to have radio broadcasts in their own language, have been in vain until very recently. And, secondly, the principal public expression of that power is the Kuomboka ceremony, which is held every year in April at the occasion of the Lozi king’s (later paramount chief’s) moving, by ceremonial barge, from his summer residence to his winter residence. For a century Kuomboka has attracted the keen attention of the media and of national dignitaries. The Kazanga ceremony was meant as the Nkoya’s answer to Kuomboka,[xliv] just like the Kazanga association (up to and including printed T-shirts for the associations?members and to be worn as part of the dancers?uniform) is an attempt to emulate the much richer, more powerful, more numerous and more efficient Lozi association which year after year makes Kuomboka possible.[xlv]

          ?          ? Thus the Kazanga festival is a strategically chosen new form. In what ways does it select and transform the existing local culture?

6.1. Kazanga in the nineteenth century

The name Kazanga is derived from a ritual that has gone in disuse since the end of the nineteenth century.[xlvi] Through the ritual one hoped to gain supernatural permission to partake of the new harvest. The king was the ritual’s principal officiant. The climax was the sacrifice of one or more slaves over an anthill (a symbol of the fertility of the land); the blood was led into the ground along gullies dug for that purpose.[xlvii] Kazanga was the only moment in the year when the entire people came together around the king, and it was surrounded by extensive performance of music and dance. It is exclusively the latter aspects which the leaders of the new association have selected when designing a new and modern Kazanga ceremony.

          ?          ? Zambia is a post-colonial state insisting on its respect for human rights. The Nkoya try to articulate themselves as an ethnic group in a context of peripheral capitalism, where food and food crops have turned into commodities and where the fertility of the land has lost its sacred nature. The Nkoya identity first emerged within the Evangelical Church of Zambia, and Nkoya chiefs counted among theat church’s founding members. The integral revival of the old harvest ceremony was therefore unthinkable.

6.2. Kazanga for four chiefs

As an expression of the recent Nkoya identity the new-style Kazanga ceremony would only make sense if it was not limited to one chief or king (as was originally the case) but involved all four chiefs with their retinue and subjects. Here a major problem arose.

          ?          ? In western Zambia royal persons, as an expression of their incomparable political and ritual status, are separated from their subjects through strict rules of avoidance and respect. For instance, they must not eat together with anybody else (except very close kin), nor come in touch with death. They can only be approached through the intervention of court dignitaries, and on such occasions the visitor displays humility through the adoption of a kneeling, squatting or sitting position and through rhythmic clapping. The purpose of court life is not so much the handling of administrative affairs but the glorification of the king and the guarding of his prestige, protocol and person. The king is the living axis of the community, the lukena is the centre of the universe, in which there is strictly speaking only room for one king. It is this fundamental idea which was expressed by the old Kazanga ceremony.

          ?          ? Kings who are not each other’s vassal and lord respectively, but equals, can strictly speaking not visit each other, and must certainly not eat together or sleep under one roof.[xlviii] When nonetheless it is inevitable that they should meet, the visiting king is to have his own retinue and own temporary lukena at his disposal.[xlix] Bringing together, as in the new-style Kazanga, several royal chiefs was therefore a profound innovation, which required sacrificing much of the Nkoya cultural logic. At a considerable distance (ca. 1 km) from the festival location four temporary royal residences had to be erected. complete with lilapa. The royal procession and entrance in itself did follow a historic model,[l] but their fourfold repetition was unheard-of.

6.3. Kazanga and the dynastic shrine of Mutondo

In the middle of the festival area we have seen a low round thatched shelter, inside of which a dozen sticks had been placed into the ground; each stick was segmented through a large number of transverse incisions. This was a shrine for the deceased members of the Mutondo dynasty. The shrine had been especially erected for the occasion of Kazanga, and at a most exceptional spot: for a village shrine should not be situated along the public road but at the centre of the settlement, between the village headman’s house and the men’s shelter (kuta); the proper place for a dynastic shrine is inside the lilapa ?but it would be unthinkable to organize a massive festival in that secluded ands sacred space.[li]

          ?          ? For the conceptualization of space and time, and for the unleashing of the symbolic potential of new-style Kazanga, all this is of the greatest importance. The shrine adds to the festival the sanction of an ancestral past, a strong suggestion of continuity vis-a-vis the tradition, which helps to dissimulate such actual breaches of the cultural logic as we have already spotted. Revolutionarily situated in the open festival space, it turns the latter into a sacred space.

          ?          ? Thus a symbolic decrease of scale is brought about: the dynastic shrine poses as village shrine, namely of the entire region transformed into an imaginary Nkoya village; of this village the loges represent the men’s shelter; and the nearby lilapa represents the headman’s house, which implies that Mutondo ? unjustifiably ?is symbolically turned into the traditional leader not only of his own subjects but of all those who embrace the Nkoya identity ?including the other Nkoya chiefs? subjects. By articulating itself as the sacred centre of the entire social and geographical space within which Nkoya identity is being constructed and expressed, the shrine lends a cosmic significance to that identity. It is near this shrine that the most sacred, ancient and rare royal instruments are played.[lii]

          ?          ? Also in its new form Kazanga remains a glorification of the kingship, which hence remains one of the pillars of Nkoya ethnicity. But this idea is expressed by means of a shrine that symbolically replaces the sacrificial anthill in the old Kazanga ritual, and that should not be where it is; it represents a double breach of tradition.

7. Kazanga in 1989 as confirmation of Mutondo hegemony

While the ethnic brokers who organize Kazanga strengthen their own positions of power both in the outside world and within the Nkoya ethnic group, they also have an impact on the hierarchy of the traditional chiefs. The 1989 festival presented Mutondo in a position of seniority to which traditionally he can lay no claim.

          ?          ? In the eighteenth and nineteenth century a fair number of royal titles defined as many independent states. The political relationships such as existed between groups at a particularly decisive moment in their genesis used to be expressed, within the Lunda sphere of influence in South Central Africa, as a permanent kinship relation between titles, in such a way that each holder of title Y, regardless of period, age, sex or actual biological relationship, would appear as the ‘younger brother? ‘father?etc. of each holder of title Z. This system of so-called ‘perpetual kinship?/span>[liii] formed the basis for ‘positional succession? according to which individual title-holders in the course of their career would be promoted from lower to higher titles as the latter became vacant through death or demotion. However, these time-honoured instruments of political integration were not applied within and between the states of Kaoma district;[liv] this led to an extreme political fragmentation which made these states defenseless against Lozi expansion and the colonial state. When locally only the two titles of Mutondo and Kahare survived, a sharp dichotomy arose with a strong rivalry between either chief’s following. The colonial district was named after the Mutondo dynasty, and in accordance with Kahare’s more peripheral geographical position Mutondo’s following claimed seniority for their prince. It is only from this early colonial period that Kahare (in a belated attempt at perpetual kinship, and despite the greater antiquity of his own title)[lv] addresses Mutondo as ‘elder brother?(yaya). Also Kabulwebulwe and Momba follow this convention vis-a-vis Mutondo, and for somewhat better reasons since certain early incumbents of these titles are known to be have broken away from the Mutondo dynastic group as recently as the nineteenth century.[lvi]

          ?          ? This formal subordination is not confirmed by the outside world. In general, the hierarchy of state-recognized chiefs in Zambia comprises ‘Paramount Chiefs? ‘Senior Chiefs? and ‘Chiefs? Mutondo and Kahare are each only ‘Chief; and as such each other’s equals. Also in the hierarchy of the Lozi indigenous administration they occupy the same, relatively exalted level, as royal chiefs entitled to a lilapa and to an orchestra but not to the most senior type of royal drums, the Mawoma kettle drums.[lvii] Under the post-colonial state, Kahare’s position[lviii] has always been even stronger than that of Mutondo.

          ?          ? The issue of equality among the Nkoya chiefs has played a great role in the choice of the location of the new-style Kazanga festival. The large majority of those identifying as Nkoya live in Kaoma district as subjects of either Mutondo or Kahare, and a location outside the district was therefore not contemplated. The district capital (where the Nkoya are politically and economically a minority as compared to the Lozi, Luvale and Luchazi) was rejected as a possible location, and initially preference was given to either of the two zinkena. In principle it was decided to have Kazanga alternate each year between Mutondo’s and Kahare’s capital. In practice however all festivals have taken place at Shikombwe between 1988 and 1991. It was here that in 1981 Muchayila, who had been demoted as chief in 1947, was re-instated after the death of his successor, a pro-Lozi figurehead; until Muchayila’s own death in 1990, i.e. in the formative years of Kazanga as an association and as a festival, the hale and hearty Muchayila was to remain the undisputed symbol of Nkoya ascendancy.

          ?          ? The shrine in the middle of the festival grounds explicitly referred only to the Mutondo kingship and its previous incumbents.

          ?          ? Despite the pan-Nkoya signature of Kazanga, and the presence of other chiefs with their retinue, it is Mutondo’s royal bell and snare drums which are being played here, by his musicians. The few solo dancers who will significantly touch the shrine during their performance are members of the Mutondo royal family, and so are the score of people who, as a separate item on the festival programme, are to dance around the shrine.

          ?          ? The subordination of the other chiefdoms under Mutondo hegemony in the context of Kazanga is also clear from other details in the course of the festival.

          ?          ? Mutondo is not only the chief who makes the first entrance (at the same time as the modern dignitaries, who unobtrusively take to their place in the loge) but it is also him who, standing in front of the royal loge, welcomes the other chiefs with a handshake upon their arrival. As compared to the historic clapping among the Nkoya this is a downright exotic gesture, which however has become a completely accepted aspect of the Zambian urban and national culture today; in the present context it underlines the lack of protocol for royals meeting. With the handshake Mutondo asserts himself as the host and as senior to the other chiefs at this pan-Nkoya festival. As if to stress that Mutondo, more than his colleagues, represents the link with the glorious past, he is the only one to wear historic regalia over his western costume: his breast and back are covered with leopard skins, and he dons three spiralled shell disks[lix] on his brow. However, all four chiefs carry an eland tail (hefu) as regalium, which they wield as a fly-switch when walking or sitting in state.[lx]

          ?          ? The presentation, in the context of Kazanga, of Mutondo as the most senior Nkoya chief is immediately taken over by the state representatives at the festival. Minister Tembo explicitly directs his speech to Mutondo, whom he erroneously calls ?i>Senior Chief?and whom he addresses by the Nkoya honorific ?i>ba Hekulu?(‘Your Majesty?. No doubt this is partly due to his preparatory conversation with Mr Mupishi, member of the Mutondo royal family.

          ?          ? Expressing the pan-Nkoya identity in new-style Kazanga turns out to have as its price: giving in to the seniority aspirations of the Mutondo title and its followers. Integration of the geographically and politically highly fragmented local groupings under the Nkoya emblem does not produce a unity of equals. Presentation of one’s ethnic identity to the outside world does not do away with the internal contradictions but, on the contrary, reinforces the latter, within the new political space which opens up by contact with the state.

          ?          ? However, we shall see that this attempt at hegemony through Kazanga did not last, and most recently was resolved in a compromise which combined such potential for unity as could be derived both from village culture and from the meiation towards the state.

8. Expressive culture in Kazanga

As a form of ethnic mediation Kazanga seeks to present a sample of Nkoya culture. What would we expect such a sample to look like, given the habitual forms of expressive culture in the village situation?

8.1. Expressive culture in the village situation

For two centuries the local music and dance (always with their song texts in the Nkoya language) have been a model for the whole of western Zambia. The riches in this field are in contrast with the fact that visual arts and ornamental architecture are virtually non-existent here.[lxi] Most forms of expressive culture are linked to specific ceremonial situations: girls?initiation, marriage, therapy, name inheritance, royal accession, the twice-daily performance of the royal orchestra, the hunters?guild’s celebrations. Besides there is a, fashionably changing, festival repertoire (ruhnwa) to entertain those villagers who take part in these situations playing non-specialist roles. Playing the main instruments (drums and xylophone) is reserved to men; the royal instruments are reserved to paid court musicians; the ceremonial situations enumerated above define for some participants solo roles as singer or dancer; and certain expressive forms (makwasha) are reserved to people of middle age or older. But apart from this relatively limited structuring of the expressive domain, each member of the community has both the right and the competence to make public and active use of virtually the entire repertoire of Nkoya expressive culture.

          ?          ? Singing along with others, dancing along with others, supporting the sound of drums and xylophone by clapping, by shaking a rattle or by shouting exhortations, criticisms and witticisms, and rewarding the dancers by dancing forward oneself and putting money on the dancer’s head or shoulders ?for the villager music and dance always mean the actualization of a cultural domain in which he or she is in principle competent, both in the cognitive sense (of knowing how to appreciate and what to do) and in the normative sense of possessing an unchallenged birthright to participation. This does not mean that in every musical event everybody present dances and sings along constantly. Many of those present are content, most of the time, with a place at the men’s fire or the women’s fire, where people engage in conversation, where the plastic beer container, the cigarette and the snuff box are passed form hand to hand, and where ambiguous joking is standard; however, the expectation of active participation is there during the entire ceremony and almost everybody does participate at one moment or another in the course of the event.

          ?          ? In this domain, it is only in the context of the royal orchestra that one can witness pure musical and dancing consumption with exclusion of the possibility to active participation. At all other occasions we hear, polyphonically, next to one another many slightly different voices and texts, and also with regard to the dancing forms one could speak, by analogy, of ‘polychory?[lxii] There is never any question of stage direction, orchestration or choreography. Musicians, singers, dancers and spectators change places according to their own needs and preferences. Leading men and women only see to it that the solo roles, if any, are not too much obscured in the general melee. In time and space these musical expressions are self-evidently integrated in the social and geographical space of the village, and they constitute a very frequent part of the life cycle of the village and of its individual members.[lxiii]

          ?          ? In everyday village life in Kaoma district the roles which one plays in material production and reproduction are little formalized, with ample freedom for personal interpretation, weak social control, and constantly erupting conflicts for which moving to another village is the standard solution. Local society is an example of the somewhat amorphous social organization which the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute and the Manchester School considered characteristic for South Central Africa.[lxiv] The expressive culture ties in with this. The ceremonies and rituals into which song and dance are structured refer, largely implicitly and non-verbally, to symbols which yet impose a cosmological ordering, and thus meaning, to the loose social structure.

          ?          ? As a structure of activities the domain of music and dance offers for many hours, sometimes days, at a stretch situations of uninhibited articulation ?often characterized by great virtuosity ?of the individual as member of a group which, assembling for symbolic production, largely coincides with the local group within which material production and reproduction find place. Without the slightest exaggeration, the expressive domain forms the pivot of the village society.[lxv]

8.2. Expressive culture in Kazanga

What of all this can we find back in new-style Kazanga? Much less than one would expect if one were to view the festival as an authentic expression of tradition.

          ?          ? The festival is dominated by ‘the performance?as a cosmopolitically produced format of symbolic production. We may define this format as: a specialist activity which is structured and standardized in detail by stage direction; disconnected in space and time from the habitual local context of material production and reproduction; and with a strict separation between (a) controllers, (b) direct producers i.e. performers, and (c) a crowd of symbolic consumers who have been reduced to productive incompetence and non-participation.

          ?          ? Such a production format denies the characteristics of the expressive domain in the village society. It offers a modular matrix in which disconnected parts can be entered and replaced ad libitum; these parts are made into objects and are consumed, in order to gain ?in the midst of similar performances ?a market value in the outside world, which is seen as a market of ‘performative?products. The constituent parts of the performance could be derived from a local idiom, but they come to function in a context and in a manner which is so radically different that any idea of continuity vis-a-vis the tradition has to be given up. Kazanga is the uprooted performance, the playing-back full of ostentation, of the local domain of symbolic production. Under the guise of articulating the vitality of the local culture in the world today, it offers a format within which that culture runs the risk of being turned into a meaningless folkloristic cultural product.

          ?          ? A closer analysis of the chiefs?four entrances reveals how Kazanga is a carefully directed performance, in which the suggestion of a traditional model (that of the ‘royal procession? is achieved with the patent means of the cinematographical industry. The naive spectator sees four chiefs in a row, each followed by his own orchestra and retinue and by representatives of his people, sufficiently numerous to raise clouds of dust with their dancing. In fact however this impression is only correct for Mutondo and Kahare. The other two chiefs turn out to make their entrance in front of Mutondo’s orchestra, and because they have only been able to bring a few subjects from their distant capitals their procession consists mainly of local ‘extras?who have just been part of the previous chiefs?entrances! In view of the emphasis, in this society, on one’s exclusive allegiance to one specific chief as a method of social placement, and in view of the rivalry between the chiefdoms, it is clear that Kazanga, as a planned performance, demands from the performers that they take an almost cynical distance from their own cultural logic.

          ?          ? Let us now look at the three roles of controller, performer and spectator, starting with the last.

8.2.1. The spectators

Within the format of Kazanga the spectators along the borders of the festival grounds have been reduced to passive consumption, a state which the directions blasting from the loudspeakers helps them to maintain. With enthusiastic cries they respond to the chiefs?entrances and to most performances, and many cannot help themselves and inadvertently move in time with the music. But is is only a few elderly women who do claim their birthright, and dance and sing wholeheartedly along with the performances. Their dancing movements are fierce and without inhibitions involve the entire body. One or two of them have actually dressed in genuinely traditional dress made out of gameskins or bark, or wield a miniature hoe as a dancing prop.

8.2.2. the performers

Of the fifteen performances listed in the programme only a few are presented by full-fledged villagers, notably from Kahare’s area. These articulate their expressive culture with a minimum of stage direction and choreography, in their everyday clothes, and many on their bare feet. However, by contrast to the village situation they do not engage in this expressive production because in the space and time of their community a self-evident reason for such production has presented itself, but merely because they have been coopted by ethnic brokers. In these hard times the prospect of financial gain appeals to them, and after the festival they are deeply disappointed when they are sent home with each barely enough to buy a packet of cigarettes. However, this in itself suggests that also the villagers begin to be accustomed to the performative model, and begin to see their own dancing as productive wage labour.[lxvi]

          ?          ? They have been brought to Shikombwe at the eve of the festival upon an open truck, and for them the height of the festival lies in the two nights before and after the festival, when the combination of instruments, musicians and a crown in the same open space produces a spontaneous celebration virtually indistinguishable from the village ruhnwa. The large xylophone flanked by drums, the crowd which spontaneously wheels around the musicians and improvises (!) joking songs, the women who peddle their village beer and scones, the absence of artificial light which makes one time and again run into unexpected kinsmen and friends from sometimes hundreds of kilometers away ?all this retains the taste, smell, sound and effervescence of the village ceremony, articulating a cultural identity at the village, valley and regional level which has not yet been transformed by ethnic mediation.

          ?          ? The other performers are solo dancers impersonating a traditional court jester, hunter or warrior in apparel which one has not seen around for many years, and moreover women’s dancing groups: two from a village school, one consisting of female members of the Kazanga association in Lusaka, and one consisting of two young village women who perform the dance of the kankanga. The latter are led onto the dancing ground in a stooping position and concealed under a blanket, as usual in girl’s puberty ritual, but they are clearly no longer kankangas: their breasts are mature and contrary to tradition are covered under conspicuous white bras; the ladies display nothing of the shy grace and the fear of failure of the adolescent debutante, but towards the end of their dance wave white little scarves almost in the manner of revue artists. The urban dancing group is conspicuously urban: all wear shoes, they have expensive coiffures, some are donning sun glasses, and all wear ?over the chitenge wrapper skirt which is an inevitable concession to village taste and norms of propriety ?a uniform T-shirt with the stencilled text ?i>Kazanga 1989 ?Nkoya cultural ceremony? Their inhibited movements refer to North Atlantic middle class ideas and to cosmopolitan Christianity: an unmistakable attempt to construct an ethnic culture which is capable of being mediated to the wider society also in this sense that it emphatically does not confirm stereotypes of ‘paganism?and ‘primitiveness? there is no shaking of breasts and bottoms in their performance. The members of each women’s group are dressed identically, and they take every effort to keep time with the others, making the same movements and taking the same steps, along the geometric figures of circle and straight line. This lends to their joint performance a flat unity, predictability and poverty of form which stands in flagrant contrast to the traditional expressive culture.

          ?          ? The urban women are coordinated by a male dancer, Mr. Tom, who ?for all his wearing women’s clothes, a blonde nylon wig (!) and dancing rattles on his lower legs ?constantly emphasizes his male leadership over dancing and singing women, something again completely unthinkable in the village situation. He also dances along with the other women’s groups, even with the pseudo-kankangas. Although his attire and behaviour are reminiscent of the historic figure of the jester at Nkoya courts,[lxvii] his role is truly unique and without proper precedent??just like the Kazanga festival as a whole ? and can only be understood by the fact that Mr Tom is generally considered a musical and choreographic genius, the composer (‘dreamer? in the local conception) of all the Kazanga songs ?so evocative of Nkoya ethnic consciousness ? and director of the Kazanga dancing troupe from Lusaka.

          ?          ? As an aspect of its mediating nature, and largely through its reliance on visual and otherwise non-verbal symbols, the festival is capable of presenting, within one and the same framework of space and time, contradictions which could not be grasped within the same repertoire of meaning. On the level of the performers Kazanga expresses, despite the proclaimed quest for pan-Nkoya unity, contradictions which divide the ethnic group in several camps: contradictions between an urban and a rural lifestyle, between classes, between men and women, and between autochthonous religion and Christianity.[lxviii] Somewhat to our surprise these contradictions are hardly concealed or coded under a smoke-screen of symbolism; on the contrary, the subordination as exerted by the dominant group (urban, middle-class men) is explicitly made manifest. An interpretation in terms of a ‘mystifying false consciousness? which conceals the real contradictions, as is sometimes applied in the study of the cultural dimension of ethnicity, does not do justice to this state of affairs.

          ?          ? Only Christianity remains implicit as a reference;[lxix] nevertheless it has obviously succeeded in debarring from the festival programme the music and dance of syncretistic healing cults, even though at the village level such cults have constituted the dominant religious expression for half a century or more,[lxx] with singing and dancing forms which closely follow those of the historic expressive domain. Those attributes which are considered to be acceptable to the wider society (shoes, sunglasses etc.) are particularly manifested by the urban dancing group, who considers it their right to mingle constantly in the other performances, and who welcome the chiefs during their entrances. As members of the Kazanga association they are among the ethnic brokers, and they assert themselves as the owners of the Kazanga festival and of the Nkoya ethnicity; and they do have a point there.

          ?          ? A small group of performers, finally, incorporate in stance and apparel another crucial contradiction: the uniformed kapasus, who stand and salute militarily when everyone else kneels and claps, who strut in rigid parade fashion when everyone else walks or dances, and who thus constantly emphasize the contradiction between the local level and the state (whose authority they directly represent at the local level).

8.2.3. the controllers

Part of the Kazanga leadership we have already encountered, dancing in T-shirts, giving speeches, administering the festival programme and instructing the public via the intercom system. Besides the T-shirts with their special imprint, formal European costume with tie is their characteristic apparel. During the festival they constantly and without signs of friction deliberate, all the time clearly visible as a distinct category near the microphone, with the court dignitaries of Mutondo, who are also formally dressed and more often than not are the Kazanga leaders?kinsmen. Their attitude towards the national politicians is less uninhibited, and in this respect the bulk of responsibility is carried by Mr Mupishi, who accompanies the high-ranking guests, and who prompts diplomatic statements to his fellow-members of the executive. None of the leaders in ties can be persuaded to dance or to give the royal salute ? superior distance from the cultural product as offered by Kazanga appears to be a necessary component of their mediating role.

8.3. The performative format as ready cash in the outside world today

Of course examples could be quoted of Third-World societies in which stage-directed performance by specialists has traditionally been a local culture trait. However, in the case of Kazanga the performative format is an exotic, cosmopolitan formula which was propounded since the beginning of the twentieth century, and with considerable political and ideological force, also in Kaoma district, by mission and formal education, and which subsequently was furthered by the post-colonial state in the context of the celebration of national festivals, agricultural shows etc. Little wonder that this formula facilitates mediation towards the state, which for its own legitimation leans heavily on performative cultural production.[lxxi] The formalized performance, a one-way traffic which is no longer routed in a practice of material production and reproduction, and which relegates the target group of consumers to passive incompetence, is nothing but a metaphor of the relationship which exists between the modern state and the citizen. The Zambian consumers are daily confronted with the performative formula via radio and television, from performances by the National Dance Troupe to the North American television serial Dallas and the international Top-ten of pop music. It is the formula of today’s mass culture on a global scale as propagated by the electronic media. It is that part of the contemporary African experience which is in line with, even coincides, with the experience of North Atlantic media consumers and cultural consumers, in a market of commercialized, stage-directed and estranged symbolic products, among which incidentally modern African products are increasingly conspicuous.

          ?          ? Behind the electronic gadgets (which are represented in Kazanga through the intercom system and the cassette recorders, and most recently also through video recorders) stands the globally dominant capitalist mode of production, with such relevant characteristics as the separation between immediate producers and their product, the ensuing alienation, the market as the principal basis for the formation of value, and with its emphasis on standardization and modular replaceability ?as applies to an industrial product, or a worker under capitalist conditions. These traits are so conspicuous in Kazanga,[lxxii] that the festival must be seen as mediating not only between the local community and the state, but also between the non-capitalist production of that community, and the global capitalist mode of production.

9. Conclusion

An unprepared researcher who in the course of field-work in Kaoma district would stumble upon the Kazanga festival, would probably be inclined to consider the phenomenon as an integral part of the local culture, and in doing so would miss much of the political and cultural implications of the ethnic mediation process. However, anthropological research in the district over the past twenty years gives us a touchstone for what is being presented today as ‘the traditional Nkoya culture? Kazanga turns out to be anything but the expression of a well defined, traditional cultural identity. It is the relinquishing of diffuse local identities, in exchange for the construction of an ethnic identity which makes for ready cash in the outside world because there its products are recognizable.

          ?          ? One might consider new-style Kazanga as an example of ?i>bricolage? or of the ?i>invention of tradition? In anthropology, ‘bricolage? the French word for artisanal do-it-yourself, has become a technical term for an innovation which selectively brings together elements from a culture’s repertoire in a new combination but while retaining, more or less, the pre-existing underlying cultural logic.[lxxiii] Kazanga is not bricolage because, as we have seen, all elements have been profoundly transformed and have come to function in a way which grossly violates the cultural logic of village society. ‘Invention of tradition?was introduced a decade ago by Hobsbawn and Ranger as a technical term for the phenomenon that newly-invented symbols of group identity and of political legitimacy tend to be represented as traditional and of considerable antiquity.[lxxiv] This term would at first sight seem to fit Kazanga, especially when we consider its being named after a nineteenth-century ritual. Uninitiated visitors including state dignitaries do have the impression that what is offered to them in the form of the festival is ‘the traditional Nkoya culture??a fiction if only because of the recent emergence of ‘Nkoya?as an ethnonym.

          ?          ? However, my detailed analysis has shown that the festival, whose extremely recent nature nobody denies, revolves no so much around legitimation towards the past, but around the mediation of the local culture towards the outside world today, while in the process that culture is radically transformed, and new inequalities are created and emphasized. Calling this process ‘invention of tradition?would risk overlooking these essential features and mistaking the prime direction of the ethnic processes involved in Kazanga: they look to the future more than towards the past, and are extrovert rather than introvert.

          ?          ? The analysis of Kazanga does more than merely offering one illustration of a model of cultural selection and transformation in the context of ethnic mediation ?even though that model appears to have wide applicability, from the Afrikaner and Zulu movement in South Africa[lxxv] to patterns of leadership in the multi-cultural society such as has emerged in, for instance, the Netherlands over the past few decades.[lxxvi] Kazanga poses a question which is of the greatest importance in today’s growth towards a global society. Is there for the cultural riches of the peripheral, powerless societies of the Third World any other future left than to be encapsulated, more or less as folklore, in the outside world under an alien (performative) format? Detachment from the original context is inevitable in the process of cultural exchange, and cultural exchange would still appear to constitute the only means left ? not only to document and explain (as is our job as anthropologists) the priceless accomplishments of the numerous distinct cultures in the Third World, but to incorporate these riches as part of the universal inheritance of mankind.

          ?          ? One important factor in our longing for distant cultures, one reason why in every new generation there are North Atlantic anthropologists ready to go to Africa, lies in the hope to experience a totally different culture in its own context, coherence and meaning, to the greater glory of human culture as a whole and as enrichment of our existence. Such a quest has often been denounced as romantic and egoistic, and it hardly tallies with the subordination which for centuries has determined south-north relationships. This hope has produced an ethnographic literature which, although highly specialist and rarely giving rise to esthetic gratification in its own right, often succeeds in mediating between the local society under study, and the cosmopolitan or global society. Every ethnographer in the writing-up process takes a distance from the immediate experience in the field ?just like Kazanga takes a distance from the expressive domain such as it functions at the village level.[lxxvii] Are there any conditions under which this process, in Kazanga, in other attempts at cultural mediation, and in ethnography, can be completed without throwing away the baby with the bathing water? Adherent of a world religion are by definition inclined to give an affirmative answer to this question: their universalism implies that the organizational and ideological core of such a creed, despite its becoming detached from the environment in which it was originally founded, can be introduced into a new environment, in starkly different local societies, and yet remain equal to itself, and recognizable.[lxxviii] As someone who after growing up in Dutch society has acquired ?at the price of great and lasting conceptual and emotional discomfort ?a certain competence in two local societies in Africa (in Zambia and Botswana) and has scratched the surface of two more (in Tunisia and Guinea Bissau), I am far more sceptical on this point.

          ?          ? However, who shall say where the limits lie beyond which, in a process of change, one refuses to recognize, and to claim as one’s own, that which originally pertained to one’s own identity? In the construction of identity one is, per definition, not accountable to others. The anthropologist may find that ethnic mediation produces a cultural product which fundamentally differs from ‘the real thing??but who is to deny the participants in that culture the right to be happy with the transformed product, to recognize themselves in it, and to send if off into the wider world? The performative format, and more in general any kind of mediation which is largely informed by the structure of the cosmopolitan outside world, offer opportunities for negotiation with the state and the global economy which, given the latter’s dominance, may well mean the only chances for local cultural elements to survive at all.

          ?          ? The unmitigated enthusiasm with which the villagers acclaimed the chiefs at their entrances, and with which they pressed to give money even to the pseudo-kankangas, suggests that they are likely to disagree with that part of my analysis of Kazanga which puts so much emphasis on the breaches of their own cultural logic. Their lack of rigidity vis-a-vis traditional canons, their implicit trust that whatever really counts may not have to be lost despite selection, transformation and the burden of new inequalities, may give us as social scientists courage in our own attempts to intellectually mediate between local societies in the Third World, and the intimidating globalizing structures of today.

          ?          ? That the actors?optimism is partly justified ?that the ethnic mediation produced by Kazanga is revitalizing rather than destructive, can be gauged not only from the unexpected way in which the Kazanga dances and songs ?with their dramatic and explicit evocations of Nkoya ethnic consciousness ?are now, in their turn, invading musical expression in the villages themselves, but also from the most interesting innovations which are, under the impact of the Kazanga festival and association, recently taking place in the Nkoya kingship. In the early 1970s the Nkoya neo-traditional court culture was marked by a rigid, wholly introverted splendour. The maintenance of nostalgic historic forms of protocol and symbolic, particularly musical, production (which no longer correspond with any real power invested in the kingship under conditions of incorporation by the Barotse indigenous state and by the colonial and post-colonial central state) reflected the fact that the need for boundary maintenance vis-a-vis the outside world was at its peak. All this strikingly contrasts with the laxity of court life at the zinkena today. Of course, the kingship, based on a local vision of the political and cosmological order, could only lose out when the subjects came to participate more effectively and whole-heartedly in a national political and economic order based on very different constitutional principles. However, at the same time a fervent reconstruction process is going on. Kazanga’s effective negotiation between the state, the kingship and the villagers insists on a new symbolic and ceremonial role for all four Nkoya kings together along lines which are all bricolage and thoroughly unhistorical, but which do result in restoring the kings to a level of emotional and symbolic significance perhaps unprecedented in twentieth century Nkoya history. Mwene Kahare, who used to be a somewhat pathetic, stammering and alcoholic figure dressed in a faded suit with ragged shirt collar, now, in his seventies, appears at the 1992 Kazanga festival covered in leopard skins and with a headband adorned with regal zimpande ?regalia he has probably never worn since his installation in 1955 ?formidably brandishing his royal axe in a solo dance that keeps the audience breathless and moves them to tears. He does so not at his own lukena nor at that of his rival, Mutondo, but at newly inaugurated Kazanga festival grounds which are neutrally situated at the banks of the Luena river at the border between either chief’s area. The suspiciously untimely death of Muchayila’s successor Mwene Kanchimpi in 1991 prevented Mutondo control over the 1992 festival (a successor is seldom installed within a year), and anyway rendered the Mutondo lukena inappropriate as festival grounds in this time of mourning. Mwene Kahare’s royal dance centres, of course, on a shrine situated at the hub of the festival grounds; but it is no longer the Mukanda-related thatched shrine of Mutondo, nor his own wooded pole adorned with buffalo trophies, but a neutral shrub of the type found in most Nkoya villages.

          ?          ? In 1992 the state delegation to the Kazanga festival was led by the Cabinet Minister for Education, the Hon. Arthur Wina M.P., a Zambian politician of very long standing, now a member of President Chiluba’s MMD cabinet, and son of a former Lozi Ngambela (traditional Prime Minister).[lxxix] In his speech, Minister Wina explicitly joked that, with the recent shortage of water in the Zambezi flood plain (where the Lozi Paramount Chief’s residences are located) there was little point in going to Kuomboka, Kazanga providing an adequate alternative. In coded language this was understood by the audience as a statement on the limits if not decline of Lozi power under MMD conditions (although Mr Wina, and for instance a former Lozi king’s grandson Mbikusita-Lewanika, are clear examples of Lozi ethnic prominence in MMD circles) and of the full acceptance of Nkoya ethnic aspirations also after Mr Kaunda’s political demise.

          ?           ?With such a high-powered state delegation the courtiers from Mutondo could not persist in their earlier refusal to attend Kazanga in a form which so effectively denied Mutondo hegemony; in fact, the Kazanga executive (in which MMD and UNIP supporters now work hand in hand) made it clear that staying away would be interpreted by the new government as a anti-MMD demonstration and might therefore have unpleasant consequences. From a distant enemy, the state has become an ally; and from being introverted and divisive, ethnicity, at least in the form of ethnic mediation it has taken in Kazanga, has come to combine inward symbolic reconstruction with confident participation in the national space.

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Notes

[i]               An earlier, Dutch version of this argument served as inaugural lecture at the chair of ‘ethnicity and ideology in development processes in the Third World? Free University, Amsterdam, 20 March, 1992 (van Binsbergen 1992b; a much shortened French version was published as van Binsbergen 1993a). The present version was expanded in the light of additional insights gained during two short visits to Zambia in May and October 1992, as well as correspondence with members of the Kazanga cultural association, a perusal of the association’s files as kept by its Hon. Secretary, and analysis of videotapes and photographs of the Kazanga ceremonies in 1991 and 1992 as kindly made available by Messrs J. Kapangila and W.M. Shihenya.

[ii]            ?Cf. Genesis 2:19.

[iii]            ?Fardon 1987 however denies the existence of universals in the study of ethnicity.

[iv]            ?Cf. Levi-Strauss 1962a, 1962b.

[v]            ?Cf. Salamone 1975; Schultz 1984. The few migrants from Kaoma district who are successful in town sometimes seek to pose as members of a more prestigious ethnic group: Bemba or Lozi. Such posing (‘passing? is a much studied aspect of ethnic and race relations in North America; e.g. Drake & Cayton 1962: 159f.

[vi]            ?As stressed by, e.g., Horowitz 1975; Fardon 1987; Prunier 1989.

[vii]             Cf. Chretien & Prunier 1989; Tonkin e.a. 1989; Vail 1989a, 1989b.

[viii]          ?A famous example of such ambiguity is Leach 1953. Further cf. Barth 1970; Doornbos 1978; Mitchell 1956, 1974; Lemarchand 1983.

[ix]            ?Gutkind 1970; Helm 1968; Godelier 1973, especially pp. 93-131: ?i>Le concept de tribu: Crise d’un concept ou crise des fondements empiriques de l’anthropologie??

[x]            ?E.g. Ranger 1982; Vail 1989a, 1989b.

[xi]            ?Among many studies I only cite the classic Mitchell 1956.

[xii]             For an excellent analysis, see Bayart 1989, especially pp. 65-86: ?i>Le theatre d’ombres de l’ethnicite?

[xiii]          ?Cf. Buijtenhuijs 1991; Buijtenhuijs & Rijnierse 1993.

[xiv]          ?A trend in recent Dutch and Belgian research of ethnicity seeks to address this onesidedness by stressing cultural aspects; cf. Schilder & van Binsbergen 1993.

[xv]             In the limited scope of this argument I cannot do justice to the very extensive, multi-disciplinary literature on identity. One of the most influential authors on identity has been the psychiatrist Erikson (e.g. 1968). Valuable anthropological studies on ethnic identity include de Vos & Romanucci-Ross 1975; Horowitz 1975; Jacobson-Widding 1983. For Zambia specifically, cf. Ethos and identity (Epstein 1978), which dissociates itself from the earlier emphasis on more classification in the ethnicity research of his close colleague Mitchell (1956, 1974). A masterly approach, with emphasis on expressive culture, is Blacking 1983. For an inspiring French contribution, see Amselle 1990.

[xvi]          ?Such continuity was especially stressed by Vansina in his pioneering work on the history of the southern savanna in Africa (1966); van Binsbergen 1981 is an attempt to explore the religious dimension of this continuity.

[xvii]          ?For a similar insight, cf. Uchendu 1975: 265.

[xviii]           Early researchers of ethnic phenomena in Africa have been persuaded, precisely by this aspect, to analyze ethnicity in terms of primordial identity ?a view exploded by Doornbos 1972.

[xix]          ?Marxist anthropology analyzes the mediation between such fundamentally structured social sectors in terms of the articulation, or linking, of modes of production; cf. Geschiere 1982; van Binsbergen & Geschiere 1985; and references cited there. Although the study of ethnicity demonstrates that the symbolic domain cannot be regarded as clearly subordinate to production and reproduction, the articulation of modes of production perspective remains inspiring in this field ?cf. van Binsbergen 1985.

[xx]             The central role of this type of brokers is discussed in an extensive anthropological literature, in which Barth 1966 features as a classic.

[xxi]          ?In ethnic mediation, the outside world does not merely consist of the state and nothing more. Peel 1989 describes Yoruba ethnicity as a nineteenth-century project in which an early church leader played a leading part ?just as was the case among the Nkoya. Vail 1989b mentions, besides local politicians and church leaders, also academic researchers as mediators in many ethnicisation processes in Southern Africa; cf. Papstein 1989; van Binsbergen 1985. The mediation process is also a theme in Ranger 1982. Recent studies of Afrikaners or Boers in South Africa have also elucidated the role of creative writers, and in this respect there are numerous parallels with other parts of Africa, e.g. Okot p’Bitek as a champion of Acholi ethnicity in Uganda (van de Werk 1980).

[xxii]          ?Cf. Edelstein 1974; Saul 1979; Kahn 1981; van Binsbergen 1985. Until recently, the Marxist approach has dominated the study of ethnicity among South African Blacks. The struggle against the apartheid state as a manipulator or even creator of Black ethnicity has led analysts ?in a way which is laudable from a political point of view, but too reductionist from a scholarly point of view ?to deny the status of ethnicity as an independent variable: ethnicity for them could not be anything but perverted class consciousness (e.g. Simons & Simons 1969; Mafeje 1971; Phimister & van Onselen 1979). In the last few years we witness a gradual change away from this position among South African students of ethnicity (e.g. Beinart 1988, who presents a detailed biography of a labour migrant, and in the process pays ample attention to the ethnic strategies of the Black population).

[xxiii]           Field-work in Kaoma district and among migrants from Kaoma district living in Lusaka was undertaken in 1972-1974, and, during shorter visits which were generously financed by the African Studies Centre, Leiden, in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1988, 1989 and 1992 (twice); to the Netherlands Foundation for Tropical Research (WOTRO) I owe a debt of gratitude for financing one year of writing-up in 1974-1975. On the local society and its history, cf. van Binsbergen 1981, 1985, 1987a, 1991a, 1991b, 1992a; van Binsbergen & Geschiere 1985b (especially pp. 261-270, ?i>production at a Zambian chief’s court?; and references cited in these publications.

[xxiv]           On the Lozi, especially known from the work of Max Gluckman, cf. e.g. Prins 1980 and extensive references there.

[xxv]          ?On the Luvale, cf. Papstein 1989 and references there.

[xxvi]           There are indications (whose linguistic plausibility I cannot judge) that the name Nkoya goes back even further: that it is a corruption of the name ‘Kola?which designates the Lunda core area ?the cradle of many dynasties in South Central Africa.

[xxvii]        ?In the northern part of Barotseland in 1940 the Luvale group manage to break away from Lozi administration and to create their own district directly under the central state; cf. Papstein 1989; for the influence of this process on Nkoya ethnicity, cf. van Binsbergen 1992a: 39.

[xxviii]        ?In fact: ‘Andrew Murray Memorial Mission? later named ‘Africa Evangelical Fellowship? whose mission church became organizationally independent under the name of ‘Evangelical Church of Zambia?

[xxix]              ? Testamenta 1952.

[xxx]              ? Anonymous n.d.; and Shimunika’s magnum opus: Likota lya Bankoya, edited by me in both Nkoya and English: van Binsbergen 1988a, 1992a. The English translation in the 1992 edition was made by Mr M. Malapa (chairman of the Kazanga association in the years 1988-1991) and myself.

[xxxi]           Two political organizations under a ‘Mankoya?emblem were founded: the ‘Mankoya and Bantu Fighting Fund?and the ‘Mankoya Front? however, under reference to ‘tribalist? agitation these were very soon prohibited. Also the creation of an ANC branch in Mankoya was initially prevented by the colonial authorities in collusion with the Lozi indigenous administration (Mulford 1967).

[xxxii]        ?Caplan 1970; Molteno 1974.

[xxxiii]        ?In 1989 the state loge was occupied by, among others: the Cabinet Minister for Labour, Social Development and Culture Mr. J. Mulimba, also member of the UNIP Central Committee; the Junior Minister of Culture Mr L. Tembo; Mr J. Kalaluka, a private citizen, until 1988 Member of Parliament for part of the district, and Minister of Economic Affairs; and Mrs S. Mulenga, wife of the Kaoma district Governor who was himself prevented from attending due to illness.

[xxxiv]              ? According to the 1989 programme, the list of solo dancers featured Mwene Mutondo himself, whose royal dance was to constitute the festival’s culmination point. However, this part of the programme was cancelled ?the explicit reason given was that the aged chief was not feeling well (he died of old age in 1990 two weeks after that year’s Kazanga festival), but probably another major reason was that the organizers were prevented from articulating Mutondo hegemony to an even larger extent than was already the case ?as we shall see in section 7 ?even without Mwene Mutondo’s solo dance.

[xxxv]              ? Remarkable is nevertheless the fact that the misisi, a woman’s upper garment derived from the Victorian dress of early missionary women in Barotseland and as such the neo-traditional dress of the Lozi elite, is never seen to be worn at Kazanga, although several prominent Nkoya women do possess a misisi and do not hesitate to wear one at public manifestations at the provincial level, which roughly coincides with the former Barotseland. Even though the Lozi are not explicitly referred to as ethnic enemies during Kazanga, elements suggestive of a cultural heritage shared between Nkoya and Lozi are avoided at Kazanga.

              ?               ?The absence of open expressions of Nkoya-Lozi hostility at Kazanga does not mean, however, that this is no longer an issue. In recent years such hostility is acerbated by the fact that individual Lozi farmers take possession (often with consent of the Nkoya chiefs!) of fallow land which the Nkoya consider as ancestrally theirs. Kazanga members claim that prominent Lozi are trying to discredit Kazanga by spreading the rumour that human sacrifice is secretly practiced on that occasion, as in the original form of Kazanga over a century ago (section 6.1). Moreover, early in 1991 Kazanga leaders helped Mwene Mutondo and Mwene Kahare appeal to President Kaunda to prevent the Lozi Paramount Chief from abolishing the latter’s chieftainship or at least making them totally subordinate to the Lozi establishment at Naliele. The President’s intervention reinforced his popularity in the district, to such an extent that even after MMD’s national victory (see below) in October 1991 UNIP continues to have a strong backing in Kaoma district. In the Kazanga executive, UNIP and MMD supporters have worked hand in hand the last few years.

[xxxvi]              ? Politically and culturally the Nkoya are closely related to the Luvale. The sharp ethnic boundary which exists today with regard to male circumcision between the Nkoya (who now ridicule the custom) and the Luvale (who continue to practice it, along with the attending Mukanda initiation ceremonies) is largely a development of the last hundred years (van Binsbergen 1992a: 214 and passim; 1991d).

[xxxvii]         Given the official abhorrence of ‘tribalism?in the Zambian political culture the chairman in his speech (originally in English) avoids the charged word ?i>tribes? but replaces it by a word, ?i>kinds?which is the literal translation ?i>mishobo? (sing. mushobo); the latter word is used by Nkoya speakers to denote not only ‘species? ‘kind? but also ‘tribe?or ‘ethnic group? Because of the coinciding of these meanings most Nkoya speakers among the audience will have missed the subtle distinction between ‘kinds?and ‘tribes?

[xxxviii]              ? Obviously the suspicion of tribalism was the official reason why the media had stayed away. The presence however of two ministers at Kazanga suggests that the opinions within the Zambian political centre were divided on this point. As from 1991 Kazanga received ample media coverage, both in regular announcements before the event (where Kazanga has been one of only five ethnic annual festivals in the country to be so announced) and in over one hour of television broadcasting of the programme itself.

[xxxix]        ?Official address by Mr M. Malapa, chairman of the Kazanga cultural association, at Shikombwe, 1st July 1989.

[xl]            ?Less than 1% of the Zambian population have Nkoya as a first language, but given the high degree of multilingualism in western Zambia we may assume the number of those who speak Nkoya as a second language to be somewhat higher.

[xli]             The (correctly used) Nkoya word for culture here is shihemuwa, literally: ‘origin, descent, that which one acquires at birth (hemuwa)? the word thus coincides with the analytical term ‘ascription?

[xlii]          ?Official address by Mr L. Tembo M.P., Junior Minister of Culture, at Shikombwe, 1st July 1989.

[xliii]          ?Cf. Brown 1984; Kawanga 1978; and my own publications.

[xliv]          ?Cf. below, concluding paragraphs.

[xlv]          ?Cf. Brown 1984; van Binsbergen 1987b; and references there.

[xlvi]          ?The morphology of the Nkoya word Kazanga is: Ka [nominal prefix, human person, singular] + _z [‘to come’] + anga [verbal suffix, iterative]: ‘the one who comes lastingly or repeatedly? It thus refers to the chiefs?entrances, to the people’s annual coming together on the occasion of the ceremony, but also to the ascent of the Nkoya who articulate their culture at the national level as a self-asserting ethnic group, and probably even to the ethnic brokers who hope to be ?i>coming men?in the political sense. Probably the word also contains a reference to the harvest (which comes repeatedly, i.e. annually), personalized as a concept or as a supernatural being ?the principle which renders the new food inedible until it will have been propitiated in the right manner. Because of the association with ?i>kwezanga mutena?(?i>the coming of the day, dawn, east? the word Kazanga ties in with the national political symbolism of UNIP (whose slogan has been Kwacha!, ‘Sunrise!? but especially with the old cosmological notions in Kaoma district (and not only there) as expressed in the standard prayer used in purification and healing ritual at the village shrine: the good things of life come, as the rising sun, from the east, whereas the bad things, like the day at sunset, must depart to the west (?i>kwayanga mutena?. Incidentally Lusaka is east from Kaoma district, and Kahare’s lukena east from that of Mutondo; at Kazanga, Kahare’s temporary lukena was also situated east of Mutondo’s permanent capital.

[xlvii]           Van Binsbergen 1992a: 49f. Incidentally, human sacrifice formed a usual aspect of the royal cult in South Central Africa: in the states of Kaoma district and the surrounding region slaves were ritually sacrificed not only at Kazanga but also to the lilapa and to the royal drums, on the occasion of royal burials, and for the preparation of royal medicine. Substitution of humans by sacrificial animals was not possible, since in this tsetse-infested region there were hardly any domestic animals, and hunting and fishing formed the principal sources of animal protein.

[xlviii]        ?Around 1870, fleeing for Yeke raiders who were tributary to the formidable king Msidi (cf. Reefe 1981), Mwene Kahare Kabimba approached Mwene Mutondo Shinkisha’s lukena so closely that his party could hear the sound of her royal orchestra; however, Kabimba rather continued his wanderings, at the end of which he was flayed by the Yeke, than to appeal to his colleague who was even his kinswoman (van Binsbergen 1992a: 396 and passim).

[xlix]          ?When around 1820 the Lozi king Mulambwa came to visit Mwene Kayambila, one of Shinkisha’s predecessors, in order to request royal medicine and a royal orchestra, a temporary royal court was built for Mulambwa and his retinue in an open space between two villages; the spot is still known today (van Binsbergen 1992a: 417 and passim).

[l]               Capello & Ivens 1886, i: 419; van Binsbergen 1992a: 131.

[li]            ?During my visits to Shikombwe in the late 1970s there was no such structure at this central and public spot, the shrine being inside the lilapa. In an interview I conducted at the Shikombwe Royal Establishment, 5 May, 1992, with the Mwanashihemi and the Mwana Mwene (other courtiers presents), it was stated that when the shrine was deliberately moved for the occasion of the Kazanga ceremony, the original ancestral sticks ?which appear to be of great antiquity, both as a type and as individual specimens ?were uprooted from the lilapa area and planted on the new spot (a most irreverent and unusual procedure, I would add). In that interview it was emphasized that the dynastic shrine beslowed on the Mwene who owned the right to oversee the Mukanda male initiation ritual ?which ties in with other evidence (see note below). Melland (1967: 133f, 167) describes a similar type of shrine for the Lunda of northwestern Zambia; the Lunda also practice Mukanda. For the Kahare dynastic shrine, which is totally different, see van Binsbergen 1981: plates 3a, b; the Kahare dynasty is claimed to have rejected Mukanda from its very beginning.

[lii]            ?Situated in that conceptual centre is no longer the earth as formerly symbolized by the anthill, but are now representations of royal ancestors. In this respect the shrine, despite the partial christening of the region since the early twentieth century, is really a belated step in a much older process which took place over much of South Central Africa in the course of the past half millennium: a process in which stranger rulers, in their search for local legitimacy, seize power over the older cult of the land by propounding their own dynastic ancestors as mediators of rain, fertility and crops, as fighting against the forces (of murder, incest and sorcery) which threaten these blessings, and thus as guardians of the social and cosmic order. Cf. Schoffeleers 1979; Ranger 1985; van Binsbergen 1981.

[liii]              ? Cunnison 1956.

[liv]             Primarily because, as break-away dissidents from Mwaat Yaamv’s Lunda empire, one rejected the idea of an overarching, inter-regional authority, as well as the central ritual basis for such an authority, the Mukanda complex of male circumcision; the latter was soon to be the occasion for a war with the Humbu branch of the Lunda, and remained a bone of contention between the Kahare title and the Mutondo title which came up later ? the latter trying repeatedly to restore Mukanda; van Binsbergen 1992a and 1991d.

[lv]            ?Van Binsbergen 1992a: 234f.

[lvi]             Van Binsbergen 1992a: 295f and passim.

[lvii]          ?The Nkoya used to have such drums prior to incorporation in the Kololo/ Lozi state in the mid-19th century; the Lozi Paramount Chief still has them. According to one rather convincing etymology, the Kaoma river which in 1969 gave its name to the nearby district capital and the district as a whole, was named thus by Mwene Liyoka ca. 1850 since its banks were the scene of the destruction of one of his Mawoma (van Binsbergen 1992a: 310 and passim). Thus President Kaunda’s 1969 attempt to ‘detribalize?the name of the district by changing it from Mankoya to Kaoma, ironically ended up with a name which implicitly refers to a central Nkoya symbol of power and identity; however, for a Bemba speaker like President Kaunda, the name Kaoma would primarily evoke ethnically neutral associations with the High God, who is called Nyambi in Nkoya. Ever since Lozi incorporation, the capture and subsequent prohibition of the Nkoya Mawoma has been felt as the most tangible symbol of humiliation. Although enlightened Nkoya today, like those making up the Kazanga executive, are aware that the Lozi traditional authorities can no longer stop the Nkoya chiefs from re-adopting Mawoma, the latter have so far shunned from doing so.

[lviii]          ?As a member of the national House of Chiefs, as a UNIP trustee, as a member of the Kaoma Rural Council, and as a close relative of the only Nkoya minister and Member of Parliament.

[lix]             These disks, widespread in South Central and Southern Africa, are made from the polished circular bottom of the Conus shell as found in the Indian Ocean. They constituted major trade items in pre-colonial times, and have formed major symbols of royal status. In Nkoya they are called zimpande, sing. mpande; a general Southern African term is ndoro. Cf. Jeffreys 1953.

[lx]            ?Only Mwene Momba dons an additional regalium: a loose black, red-bordered gown ?the official garment which the colonial state issued to chiefs in Southern Province, i.e. outside Barotseland, and which has persisted ever since. For an analysis of the symbolism of dress and bodily stance of Zambian chiefs and modern politicians, as a key to their mutual relationships, cf. van Binsbergen 1987b.

[lxi]             Further research is required (e.g. in the collection of the Livingstone Museum) in order to ascertain whether this absence of visual arts is mainly a result of the iconoclastic influences of Christianity and anti-sorcery movements since the beginning of the twentieth century. If there was a visual art before that time it probably consisted largely of objects from the sphere of the ancestral cult and of sorcery. To my knowledge the ancestral sticks in the Mutondo shrine ?an unmistakable form of representational art ?are unique in this district, but as said above they do occur elsewhere in northwestern Zambia ?in fact they have a wide distribution on the African continent.

[lxii]          ?From the Greek polu, ‘many? en coroc, ‘dance?

[lxiii]          ?For instance, in 1973-74 in the valleys of Njonjolo and Kazo, comprising about forty small villages with in total hardly a thousand inhabitants, during the dry winter season from May to August hardly a weekend passed without a major, ritually prescribed musical event in one of the villages within walking distance. My impression is that the rate and scale of musical performance at the village level has since declined somewhat but not dramatically so.

[lxiv]          ?E.g. van Velsen 1971; Turner 1957.

[lxv]          ?Cf. van Binsbergen 1991a.

[lxvi]          ?The commercialization of musical and dancing performance in the context of Kazanga is meanwhile far more prominent in the case of the Lusaka troupe, which performs not only in ceremonial and ethnic contexts but can also be engaged, against a negotiable fee, to perform in bars around Lusaka.

[lxvii]           Van Binsbergen 1992a: 407f.

[lxviii]        ?One theoretically important contradiction, which is unmistakable in the village society of Kaoma district but which does not seem to be expressed in Kazanga is that between (male) elders and youth. Further reflection is needed on this point.

[lxix]              ? However, there are among the spectators a few White missionaries from the Luampa mission station (the main focus of Christianizing in the district since 1923); after the festival they make use of the opportunity to peddle, to the assembled public, religious tracts and song books which the mission has produced in the Nkoya language.

[lxx]          ?Cf. van Binsbergen 1981, 1992a: ch. 6. Likewise, any reference to these cults, despite their conspicuous dominance, is absent from Shimunika’s work.

[lxxi]          ?On this aspect of cultural transformations in the African post-colonial state T.O. Ranger en R.P. Werbner organized an inspiring conference at Manchester in 1986, ‘Culture and consciousness in Southern Africa? many of whose contributions have meanwhile appeared in the Journal of Southern African Studies; also cf. Kaarsholm 1989, 1990.

[lxxii]           I remind the reader of the gleichschaltende stage direction of uniform and motor patterns, the suppression of polyphony and polychory, the financial reward, and the reduction to incompetent symbolic consumers of the majority of those present at the festival.

[lxxiii]        ?Cf. Werbner 1986 in his review of Comaroff 1985.

[lxxiv]              ? Hobsbawm & Ranger 1983; the concept formalizes a notion which earlier was expressed by the term ‘neo-traditional?

[lxxv]           On Afrikaners, cf. Moodie 1975; February 1991; Giliomee 1989; Hofmeyr 1988; on the Zulu and Inkatha, cf. Coquerel 1989; Mare & Hamilton 1987; Marks 1989; Schlemmer 1980.

[lxxvi]        ?In the study of Dutch multi-cultural society special attention has been paid to ethnic brokers who do not belong to the asserting ethnic groups, but to the (Dutch) outside world ?the ‘caretakers? (Kobben 1983; van Borselen 1985); for brokers who come forth from these ethnic groups themselves, cf. van Wetering 1991; van der Burg & van der Veer 1986; Koot & Venema 1985; Bruin 1985.

[lxxvii]        ?Cf Clifford & Marcus 1986; Geertz 1988. Personally I have been preoccupied with the idea of anthropology as cultural mediation between local societies and the cosmopolitan outside world, and have tried to explore some of the attending methodological, aesthetic, ethical and political problems; cf. van Binsbergen 1984, 1985, 1988b, 1988c, 1991c; van Binsbergen & Doornbos 1987.

[lxxviii]         For a critical assessment of precisely this type of universalism in a context of African ethnicity, cf. Mbembe 1988: 44f.

[lxxix]        ?The fact that only a few months earlier the present author’s book on Nkoya history and ethnicity (van Binsbergen 1992a) had been officially presented to this minister may have been not unrelated to his appearance at Kazanga; ethnic festivals do not evidently fall under the ministry of education.

 

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