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African Space/Time Concepts and the "Tusona" Ideographs in Luchazi Culture: With a Discussion of Possible Cross-Parallels in Music Author(s):

Gerhard Kubik Source: African Music, Vol. 6, No. 4 (1987), pp. 53-89 Published by: International Library of African Music Stable URL: Accessed: 01/07/2010 16:52
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AFRICAN SPACE/TIME CONCEPTS AND THE TUSONA IDEOGRAPHS IN LUCHAZI CULTURE in music ofpossible with a discussion cross-parallels
by GERHARD KUBIK ofIndiana In April1981I washonoured University, Department bytheFolklore whose Lecture inthe African Studies tospeak with aninvitation Series, Bloomington, Ruth Stone who Prof. Dimensions of Time'. 'African theme was my organised general tomeonOctober wrote inBloomington andstay 27,1980: "...I have marvellously, trip which relate ofAfrican musical on thesubject articles readyour very rhythm many oftime inAfrican toexplore wewill Inthis toourtheme. well series, concepts attempt andother offolklore, as a fundamental art, music, history, religion, aspect experience music African how to Weinvite areasofthehumanities. insight provides you explore thebroader a keyto understanding and mayprovide dimensions intothetemporal life". inAfrican ofexperience organization the I accepted The suggested and, although topicgave me a lot of headaches the first setofproblems, into this toprobing invitation andcommitted question myself herewitha scientific thatcameto mymindwas, are we really problem dealing crossordoes'time', cultures in African is conceptualized what explored reflecting Western of the another create through projection problem phantom merely culturally, ontoAfrica. concepts philosophical wouldbe necessary that ofthetremendous theprospect from investigation Apart of the requested evento givean outline any topic,I was plaguedby questions orlater. CanAfrican sooner music onAfrican researcher might posehimself working music provide any insight at all into "temporal dimensions" as Is there themselves? of thecultures anyevidence by the carriers conceptualized that intheir ownlanguage musicians African stated song byrepresentative explicitly in as so often The basicproblem, notions? with or danceare connected temporal the fact that the created versus 'etic' 'emic' to be an seemed cultural one, by studies, in a aroundcategories of Time' gravitates Dimensions theme'African general linear to have a be cannot which corresponding expected priori language, European and translatable isnot oftime' 'Dimensions inAfrican translations directly languages. in Africa, at all anywhere has no meaning of terms thisconfiguration probably has strictly also that the word "dimension" culture-dependent remembering was theresearch to be that seemed The pointofdeparture connotations. problem the answers were while in African not in and languages, conceptualized English of on aspects statements verbal to comefrom non-verbal) (and possibly expected cultures. African expressive was a kindof from thetopicindirectly to emerge seemed Another pointwhich of or of structural the results that we analysis and/ conceptual may expect assumption of to the us a to African one culture music, give understanding key e.g. complex, 'African life'. and broader behaviour, e.g. experience organisation, theapproach with togo along theyears over I havebeenreluctant enthusiastically



thatpostulates or forms thatexpressions of behaviour detected as by observers theorganisation ofoneaspect ofculture must be paralleled inanother. determining AlanLomax(1969:161-169) for tobelieve that seems different example, firmly quite ofmulti-part inmusic reflect socialstructure. He treats 'instrument types organisation andperformance ina similar conditions manner: variety' The to the and its tosocial situation, however, key understanding performance relationship
structure is tobefound inthesocialorganization ofthesinging wehavealready group..... that the discovered relation between leader andledinsong varies not performance directly with societal more with the level ofpolitical only complexity (Figs.45,46)but, specifically, complexity (Figs.47,48)...(Lomax 1969:155)

The problem here is that data arenotcorrelated with databutwith abstractions suchas 'societal' and'political are which themselves cultural in complexity' products, this casefrom thestandpoint ofWestern evolutionistic ideas. European Thelogicbehind thesearch for suchrelationships sinks tothelevel of occasionally late 18th suchas Monet, chevalier de Lamarck century philosophers a French whoheldthata facewhich looks(to an external naturalist, (1744-1829), like a reveals the that has the "character of a pig". observer) pig person In a more abstract itwasalso thefashion time and again, that manner, apparent in African characteristics musical shouldreflect tendencies towards performance similar interaction at thelevelof general societalbehaviour: forinstance,that elements suchas 'conflict', a researcher which 'cooperation', 'unity', 'solidarity' may believehe has detected as important of interaction in African musical patterns oreven inthemusic should mirror tendencies of itself, performances directly general behaviour in African as contrasted with those ofother of the world. societies, parts In order to avoidbeing inthis from thestart itseemed advisable first to trapped narrow down thegeographical extent ofthediscussion from to onerelatively 'Africa' culture area.I chosean areawhich I knowwellfrom fieldhomogeneous repeated G.P. Murdock's Cluster 16 in Eastern trips: ('Lunda') Zambia, Angola/Northwestern where andBantu ofthe so-called such as Chokwe, Luvale, languages Ngangela group, Lwimbi etc.arespoken. I realised Luchazi, Mbunda, Mbwela, Nkhangala, Secondly, - when that atthe matter from anexternal and 'space'and'time' looking standpoint, - are related one does so from themoment one usestheEnglish words in Bantu to sucha degree ineither that languages concepts sphere maybe represented bythe sameparticle, i.e. the'locative' are equally indicators. Under these 'time' prefixes circumstances itseemed advisable totreat theWestern of'space'and'time' as concept a merger, andonemay then more callthe'locative' adequately locative/ prefixes temporal, thus for atequivalents orsynonyms inboth the visual and opening up a path looking auralaspects oftheexpressive culture. For a start we maydiscusswhathas beenreferred to as the'timeconcept' in culture on thebasisofwhat is conceptualized inthelanguage. No oneis Ngangela tobe quotedonthis more than EmilPearson, wholived in perhaps qualified subject southeastern the 1920sand has recently a uniqueinside Angolafrom published account ofNgangela culture in hisbook:PeopleoftheAurora (1977). Pearson atthesynonymity hints of'time' and'space'('place')inNgangela thinking
as reflected in thelanguage.And likeme he seemsto be reluctant to projectWestern notionsof 'time' directly onto a cultureso different fromthe WesternEuropean,



the ofcross-language hethen todilute dilemma although attempts incommunicability In a short section 'The with theword 'time'. entited byimprovising philosophically he writes: TimeConcept'
for "time" In theNgangela there is no word, as faras I know, as a continuous, language lack of Time or of events or the same. is that is,itis flowing experiential passage subjective, which is meaningful to theperson orthing which it.Timeandspaceare that experiences Thesame incidents ofeternity. word isusedfor both "time" and"space" latter (the cognate

inthe sense of"distance"). "Ntunda" caneither time ormeaningful meaningful express i li"- "There For kua issome "Ntunda i nahiti" "Ntunda distance;" and, example: space. - "Time haspassed." Another "Ntsimbu" the of word, (or"Simbu"), expresses thought "definite time." The related means the of "Simbula," verb, "delay," thought being awaiting Tothe the time". African seem tobeidling useful time, may "meaningful European away
whereas thelatter, tohisphilosophy, is awaiting the time that time, according experiential thatis virtually "Time"is locative, notsomething abstract. The concrete, something locatives "time" as well as "place". "Ha,""Ku"and"Mu"areusedfor expressing Example: - "In thebeginning" orplace);"Ku lutue" "Ha katete" time canmean either (as toeither "infront" or"inthe "Munima" future". canmean astoplace, or"after" "behind" as totime. (Pearson 1977:30)1

for isright his objective. accomplishing

inNgangela orntsimbu oftheterms ntunda Neither vocabulary descriptive appear verb which as it the to music relation with kusimbula (to delay) mayappear, except in with connection in other African does in wordsof similar languages, meaning on thedrum in a performance group.A learner tempoand speedcoordination bebehind ofinexperience andthus hisstrokes as a consequence (chipwali) may'delay' is then usedfor conversation theword kusimbula In musical theothers. correcting other arenormally usedfor hand Thelocative ha andkuonthe him. pointing prefixes i.e. areas ona drum on musical areas outdifferent skin, instruments,tapping playing with andmore on lamellophones, lamellae or individual rarely spotson a slitdrum in group has gone wrong forexamplewhensomething implications, 'temporal' the to repeat thesongfrom wants thegroup ofa newsongandtheleader teaching mistake occurred. where the (intime) point to 'musical i.e. 'measures', is usedinreference Neither norntsimbu ntunda time', tothe musical cultures seem tobetotally which etc., foreign concepts 'time-signatures' ofpeoples. Even what called a'time-line' isnowwidely ofthe pattern, Ngangela group inNgangela culture term inthe1960s first usedthe isidentified Kwabena Nketia since time-line for in the and the case of the used it, teaching 16-pulse onlyby syllables kachacha. which itis associated: also bythenameofthedancewith pattern there is ofsuchmnemonics that confirm Phonetic andstructural canonly analysis intotheEuropean butthisresult in Eastern is hooked 'time' strict music, Angolan in do notcomeintothepicture. Thedifferences of'time'. orntsimbu notion Ntunda of the'etic'or the'emic'approach field in this byeither 'understanding' generated between the exclusive arenearly total andcommunication standpoints mutually study is very difficult. ofvisualperception, when it comesto in therealm A similar situation is found
in basketplaiting ornamental structures (as foundon artefacts, etc.) in the analyzing same culture. While the locative/ temporal prefixes are used in abundance in



discussions there is no term in theNgangela craftsmen, by therelative languages initssemantic with field the notion Onthe other handthe equivalent of'space'either. - as longas inthe'locative' seems to be corroborated ambiguity apparent prefixes - inparallel onemaintains the same external ofconstruction in standpoint principles thevisualandauralrealms. In muchAfrican music thepresence of form or cyclenumbers, theequidistant of in movement and 'doubles', layout elements, parallel duple-division interlocking effects I have calledinherent seem to show in at least (which puzzle patterns) parallels onevisualtradition oftheNgangela-speaking thewriting ofgeometrically peoples: inthesand. structured ideographs With this onthe central ofthis theobstacles toa observation, touching topic paper, arehowever notovercome. Thefirst created is satisfactory analysis problem thereby that or in identities construction across the two realms to seem be analogies principles discernible from an external andthat aredependent on ('etic')standpoint, only they thenotion that can be represented in'space'. 'time' visually Itis likely that of'space'and'time' inthesense is universal synaesthetic experience that distance as either ortemporal and,therefore, maybe understood spatial spatial which distance is visually theexperience of perceptible maybe usedto symbolize which is distance of temporal non-perceptual. Graphic representation 'temporal in theform ofa spatial ofsymbols, distance' however, layout maywellbe cultureas much as depth inpictures seems to be. In Western specific, perception European it is customary to represent cultures measured time measured graphically through that both realms areexperienced as analogous andconnected space, implying through ofdistance. It is interesting that thisanalogy thenotion does notappearto though determine the European notation formusic, which is olderthanmodern system witha durational scientific and uses,basically, while diagrams symbols meaning, as a representation ofequal lapseoftime is only usedas a matter of equal spacing lines haveto soundsimultaneously). convenience several Thiscontrasts (when pitch forAfrican music(cf.Andrew notation withsomemodern systems Tracey1970, in thetreatment of are basedon strict Kubikin Simon,Ed. 1983)which analogy andspatial distance. temporal notation nowritten N.W.Zambia ofAngola/ cultures InNgangela-speaking system distance' noneinwhich andcertainly hascometoourknowledge music for 'temporal the idea of the into 'spatialdistance'. would be transferred Moreover, linearly connotation musical inthe sandhaving ofdrawing traditional any ideographs system of the culture and remote to the carriers is out of the question or application of on a number I tried tobring themselves. upthis point leading questions, Avoiding the elders in research and with in discussion occasions area, my Luchazi-speaking was always result negative. in between construction theparallels isthat created Thesecond principles problem toanygreat music do notseem toembrace andAfrican sandideographs theAngolan but theideographs themselves arefound, oftheareawhere music theAfrican extent in African music some 1500km them with when arestrongest namely away, comparing other. andintheCameroon onthe areaontheonehand, theLakeVictoria grasslands acrossdifferent to link cultural We are thus not only attempting phenomena from eachother. Andyet areasremote butalsoacross realms, geographical perceptual



Atthe time havesomeattraction. theobservations madepossible bythis comparison in 1981I decided to chooseas a lecture to Bloomington ofmyinvitation topicone in than theauralside, thevisual with field studies more towards dealing my inclining N.W.ZambiaandE. Angola. AlumniHall, Indiana In my lecture on 15 April 1981 in the Distinguished the title in tusona under 'Space/time relationships University, Bloomington, that I with the of slides and live demonstration, tusona, out, help ideographs', pointed ofwriting, a method of which alsobe regarded as a traditional constitute system may in a space/time and their constellations ideas by meansof graphemes expressing I mentioned that inthetusona continuum. spatial Although relationships ideographs insomekinds I did tobe equivalent totemporal ofAfrican seem music, relationships further notelaborate for someofthereasons and Prof. Ruth above, promised given after somemore reflection. Stoneto do so inthefuture Thetopic oftusona as unintended ofstructural basictoAfrican symbols principles on "Tusonaideographs: music cameup againduring of recent results mylecture in N.W.Zambiaand E. Angola" at the4thannualSymposium on fieldwork given 7th and8thOctober Grahamstown, 1983, Ethnomusicology, jointly organised bythe International of African Music and the Music Department at Rhodes Library University. Inthe I amattempting a synthesis ofwhat I saidonthe twooccasions, paper present ofsomeoftheoriginal extended I now field material itself. bya detailed presentation thereader to lookwith meat thetusona invite tradition. Tusona(sing.kasona)is thenamein Luchazi- one of the languages of the for of and characteristics configurationsspecific Ngangela group graphic style, with thefingers on a planeofwhite drawn sand.Theymayalso appearon usually on objects.2 house walls andmore thewriting oftusona wasone rarely, Traditionally ofthe socialpastimes ofmen, ofelders intheir forties andfifties. normally (vakuluntu) leisure-time in thendzango, Tusonaare drawn i.e. the round, during gatherings thatched which can be in found area. of this culture assembly pavilion every village Thendzango isa'hut'without closed in Itisnormally sides. located walls, openonthe of a villageor groupof houses.It is a mostimportant thecentre place of social in a Luchazi encounter themalecommunity, to the as opposed village, representing translated as 'kitchen') where own cometogether for their thewomen ntsenge (often activities andgossip. is the where news is communicated, Ndzango place important where stories aretold, where aresettled, where received arefirst disputes by strangers the headman when enter a village, where the do hiswork, blacksmith village they may men sittogether todiscuss, where orplay is accessible Thendzango work, rest, games. from several sidesand in themiddle there is a fire-place, blacksmith's often with suchas bellows. Thedrawing ofa kasonamay without nearby, equipment any begin as a as sufficient oneor of men with number are particular instigation,long together twoexperts Millet beer(vwalwa vwamasangu) and present. maybe passedround, todraw, then someone all theothers he until athim suddenly begins looking quietly themeaning finishes toexplain andbegins ofthedrawing. oftusona drawers Expert
were oftenrewardedin the past withfreemilletbeer. Oftenthe figures are drawn outsidethe ndzango, whereit is not so dark and wherethe whitesand maybe less



with charcoal. Insome these men's activities mingled ways elderly youngster's parallel socialactivities suchas riddling, orstory-telling members ofall age-groups. among We maycategorize someofthesestructures in English as ideographs, others as Thecontent andmeaning ofthetusona arephilosophical andthey serve pictographs. within the both as entertainment anda store ofabstract ideasabout some community ofthepeople's most central institutions. a written record of They represent symbolic in thecultural to the male deep structures Theyare drawnto convey heritage. ideas aboutexisting to stimulate abstract institutions, community fantasy, logical and even A meditation. kasona an idea about an a situation thinking conveys object, ora constellation orevents. ofthings Themoodradiated isreflective, bytusona witty, often theessentials Sometimes ofa narrative arevisualized inan abstract enigmatic. In a sense, manner. aresomething a traditional like ofesoteric tusona library subjects andexperience the-Luchazi, -Chokwe andrelated intheculture area among peoples - because concerned. arestrictly arewiped off soon However, they ephemeral they - and it is,therefore, after difficult to assesshowold thetradition is. production obsolete thetradition wasoriginally shared the -Chokwe Although largely today, by and mostof theNgangela-speaking halfof Angola, in the peoplesin theeastern Northwestern andtheKasai areaofZaire, a territory as Zambia, Province, perhaps as France. It is certain that is pre-colonial. thetradition large
120 16* 200 244


Approximate range of the eastern culture areain which thesona Angolan tradition tusona isfound. resp. double LP withcommentary, Museum Collection Berlin Ed.Artur (West), Simon, MC11,Berlin 1981.
from G. Kubik, Mukanda naMakisi, Repr.


It is notpossible inthis article to givea full account ofall thesocial, cultural and historical of thistradition. We haveto limit implications ourselves to thepresent context. It must be mentioned, thatthere existseveral distinctive however, strains within thetusona eachwith itsownsetofgraphic tradition, Somearepurely symbols. while others arehighly inlayout. Thediversity pictographic, offorms not geometric that thetradition is very that several only suggests traditions old,buteven have may intoone,a fact that is perhaps no longer merged remembered. I could Consequently not findany of my informants of the tradition into verbalizing any divisions Whether inthe havebeen subcategories. pastsuch sub-categories may conceptualized anddesignated inthe isa question wecannot solve atthe moment. What terminology



theremnants, more andmore ofa isprobably wefind obsolete, only becoming today rich andvaried ofsymbols. onceamazingly repertoire consist ofa series ofregularly are common tusona laid-out dotswhich The most nonremind circumscribed configurations maysometimes by lines.The resulting inWestern ofwhat isknown cultures as a'labyrinth', also observers Luchazi European of In to their noticeable this we deal with with quality thought-play. paper only regard construction andexamine their time those characterized geometrical space/ bya highly in somekindsof African music. and theapparent parallels Anyone relationships I would refer a more ideaoftusona, the to literary thorough especially aspect, wanting inLuchazi aretranscribed allthe texts from the bookinwhich word-by-word tape my an often andinterpreted with detailed semantic translated etymological recordings, analysis. comes from the TheclassVI noun kasona(pl.tusona) verb kusona which means'to - notonly abstract lines andother elements dots, draw','to figures using rings, paint' in thesand,butalso on house-walls and on thehuman forexample body, during The appliedkusoneka initiation ceremonies. is also often with usedin connection on thesand. theideographs (or writing) drawing In the relatively culture area of easternAngola(including the homogenous Zaire and northwestern zones of words such as kusoneka Zambia)key neighbouring which as 'to write' before the andkutanga, arenowtranslated and 'toread', existed of Western-style Whencolonialschoolsbeganto introduction writing. alphabetic onthe 'British' inthe atfirst i.e.inpresent side, area, Zambia, daynorthwestern appear itwasnoproblem for alsoinAngola, andthen Chokwe andMbunda Luvale, Luchazi, inthe tousethe familiar terms new ina context, writing symbols speakers alphabetical on a book or and exercise blackboard aloud fixed texts paper reading graphically schoollessons. during toconsider the Itisrevealing ofthe words kusoneka andkutanga original meanings in Luchazi,Luvaleand related wordsthatare nowgenerally usedfor languages; ideassuchas 'writing a letter' or 'reading a book' (kusoneka expressing mtdkanda) the word to cloth or other material murkanda), (kutanga referring any paper, mdkanda a written such as a letter, book or exercise book,document, message, carrying certificate etc.The original of thewordkutanga meaning maybe approximately inEnglish a historical oraltext), or'tospeakaloud'ina (often conveyed by'torecite' A frequent formal manner. inLuchazi heard iskutanga muzimbu orkuta expression read the to tell what has one's 'torecite muzimbu, news', history','to happened during an important traditional custom in Luchazisociety. Someonereturning journey, a longjourney homefrom is required to narrate in a formal almost as if manner, from a book,everything that hashappened to him. Theboys ina traditional reading circumcision schoolare also taught thisis calledkutangesa muzimbu; (= to make made by the VaLuchazitell recite, teach),and some of the maskedcharacters in theform oflongnarrative muzimbu chronicle) texts, (history, accompanied by them tothe receive lined to inWesternSincereading drums, (Kubik:1981). village up the schools with aloudinchorus, young style primary begins pupils practising reading the semantic field ofkutanga waseasily extended toinclude the new While situations.
wideneditssemanticfieldby now including the silentformof kutangahas slightly i.e. the stage of readinga book or letterwhichfollowsthe firstyear 'reciting',



school, the originalmeaningof kusoneka has alphabet-spelling stage at primary i.e. drawing changed verylittle.It was always understoodin the sense of writing, in an abstractmanner- in contrastto pictures meaningful graphicalstructures theselineand dotstructures weredrawn insand depicting objects.Whiletraditionally with thefingers, orincolouron walls,with a drawing instrument suchas a brush, what was added in colonial timeswas newwriting materials; pens,pencils, ball-point pens, manufactured chalk (replacingmphemba,white paper, blackboard, industrially kaolin) and newgraphicsymbols:theWestern stable, alphabet.Whathas remained is thebasic conceptofwriting intheverbkusonekaand theaction contained however, i.e. 'theone who expressedbyit.The one who drawsa kasona is calledmukakusona, does' (muka-)'draw,write' (kusona). The major portionof easternAngola and northwestern Zambia is characterized in Luchazi) whichprovide geologically by theso-calledKalahari sands (musekeseke an excellent tusona.The mukakusonauses thefingers ofhis right groundforwriting strict technical rules.He beginshisperformance a spotin hand,following byselecting front ofhimwhere theground is relatively hardand levellikea board.Thenhe brushes with hisflat itisvery awaythelayerofloose sand on topofthehardsurface palm,until thin.He beginsto draw,whiletheother menoften their conversation and watch stop himattentively. a wordduring theprocess, on Usuallyhe does notutter concentrating theintricacies ofwhathe has to reproduce from and wellaware ofthefact memory, thatmanytusonaaredifficult to remember. In manytusonatwobasicmodesofaction are involved: ofdots.Thesearecalledmafundungwino 1. The impressing (singular: lifundungwino) craters or look likelittle In thesand they or mafundungwinyo (sing.lifundungwinyo). - to theLuchazi eye- liketherounddepressions left rather byfowlswhichneston orevena chicken, whenitwantsto layitseggs. theground, suchas partridge (nthento), When these fowls leave the spot a circulardepressionremains,which is called lifundungwino. The tusona dots are like miniature versions of the fowls' Theyare pressedin pairsintothesand,themukakusonausinghis mafundungwino. thedrawing a In starting at thesametimeinparallelmovement. first and third fingers distances. Here intothesand at geometrically seriesofpairsofdotsis pressed regular the mukakusona normallyworks away fromhis body. When he wants to work inorder to obtainequal spacingbetween the he usesan interesting technique: sideways

extension Fig. 2. Sideways Fig. 1. Basicmovement to theleft withthe 1stand 3rdfingers

extension Fig.3. Sideways to theright



heonly basicdots a new oneofthe dotwith two while the other used, impresses fingers onerests on a dotalready Thusthespanbetween first andthird is impressed. fingers andtransferred as a measure. Forinstance, ifhehas meticulously preserved sideways a vertical ofdotsandwants double-column toextend ittotheleft, hewill completed intooneofthemafundungwino oftheleft column andimpress a puthisthird finger new dot withhis first This actionmaythenbe repeated withtheusual finger. movement from the onthe until a third column is away body (upwards paper), parallel hewants toextend totheright, heputs his hand, (Fig.2). If,ontheother completed intoan 'old' lifundungwino first andimpresses a newonewith histhird finger finger (Fig. 3). Theresult isa basiclayout ofa specific number ofdotsaccording tothe character of thekasonaintended. Themethod ensures that allthedotsareequi-distant from each other. Distance is measured butequaldistances areobtained bytheeyealone, bythe consecutive use of thenatural of the first and third The action of span fingers. thedotsis calledkusona to draw), sometimes also kufunda (to write, impressing (to draw figures). In thenext thebasicscreen ofdotsthus obtained is amended stage byimpressing orin-between dotsthroughout the structure. Thisisdoneusing the 'interlocking' only first oftheright handandis calledkusononwena finger (to write between) (Fig.4).

dots of the interlocking Fig. 4. Impression

which the andcircumscribing drawn arethen dots, 2. Lines surrounding passbetween Theselines areaboutas thick as thepad ofthe ingeometrically them ways. regular
to one informant, which handwith oftheright indexfinger aredrawn.According they John Mazunga at Katuva, Kabompo District, Zambia, the lines in the tusona are is related to theverb calledmifunda (sing.mujimda),a class II nounin Luchazi,which kufunda.

thelines Fig.5. Drawing



This is thebasic techniqueof drawing a kasona. We findit applied in mostof the In some figures or specialtechniques modified ideographsofthistradition. however, maybe used. Whenthemukakusonahas finished and in a fewinstances evenwhilehe is drawing, stilldrawing, he beginswith theverbalexplanation oftheideograph. (kulumbununa) a kasona is pictographic Sometimes and merely an animalsuchas a tortoise represents or crocodile.In thesecases theverbalexplanation be often notmuchlonger may short, thanthe name of the animal itself. In otherinstances, a kasona mayvisualisein an abstractmannerthecontent of a proverb, in whichcase theproverb is recited bythe mukakusona and its meaningexplained. Many tusona have long narrativesor considerations attached to them. In thesecases thekasona functions not philosophical a as structural of the to be expressed, butat thesametime only representation thought as a mnemonic aid. The meaningof a kasona is explainedbythe'owner'or mukakusonato theelders assembledin thendzango,who listenattentively and mayoccasionallycomment on the drawingand its explanation.The processof explaining is called kulumbununa chakasona. One of the criteriaof an effective kasona is that thereshould be a convincinglogical relationshipbetween the structureof the drawing and the explanationfromthe viewpointof the cognitivesystemof the culturewhichhas of some tusona thatthe logic of a thought producedit. It is characteristic may be transformed and remouldedinto the geometrical in the relations logic apparent betweendots and lines. Many tusona have a complexinnergeometry. Apartfrom their functionas ideographiccarriersof importantverbal traditionsfrom one to thenext,thetusonaalso transmit mathematical generation empirical experiences. Luchazi mathematics is completelydifferent from Latin/Western mathematical itsgeometrical dimension is based noton one grapheme traditions; (lines)buton two: dots and lines.One can geta glimpseofthegeometrical of some ofthese complexity to reproduce frommemory a ingeniousideographsby closingone's eyes and trying kasona such as "Kambava wamulivwe". This was a figurecommunicated to Mr and me in July,1973by thelate Mwangana (Chief)Kalunga Kayombo kaChinyeka Ntsamba Chiwaya (1898-1981).We sat down insidethe enclosure(kulilapa) of his in Chikenge,Kabompo District, traditional residence N.W. Province,Zambia, and ChiefKalunga drewthisfigure in thesand (Fig. 6). mutwe kutotaho puzu! njimbu

Fig.6. Kambava wamulivwe, thekambava intherock (animal) kutotaho njimbu puzu! *muchila It was six yearslaterbeforeI was able to obtainan explanationof thisideograph from another elderat Chikenge villagewho has also died in themeantime: Kapokola



Chimbau.On July an animalcalled 20, 1979he let us knowthatit represented kambava which had diedin therock:"Kambava kasitu wamumusenge. Wengilile mulivwe.Kumulya mutweutovala. Kumulya muchila utovala. Wengilile Muvilawenikutotaho mulivwe. mulivwe" puzu chapolele (Kambavais a njimbu in mammal the It a If one ittastes forest. entered inside rock. eats the head, living very Ifoneeatsthe well. ittastes Itentered inside a rock. well. atitsbody tail, very Hacking an axe, waschopped with out!Andthe inthe rock) puzu!a large piece corpse decayed In thedrawing I haveidentified theparts denoted as thehead bytheinformant The figure and thetail(muchila). has a narrow waist.Thisis where the (mutwe), hunters intherock whofound theanimal out a with the axe (kutotaho chopped piece means: to knock, cutout(also a bee'snest, for beat, puzu). Kutota njimbu example). Puzuis an ideophone, theideaofbreaking conveying up,disintegrating, crumbling. thefigurative content intothiskasonabythecarriers ofthe Although projected tradition or mathematical is an important content. aspect,so is thegeometrical Tusona mathematics isthe undisclosed ofanexpert the mukakusona, knowledge very element which him to create excitement and when he draws sucha helps surprise theeyesoftheother inthendzango, beneath men at an incredible figure, speed. In thepresent 34dotsarelaidoutinsucha manner itis possible that to pass figure between them with a single line which returns toits Thepath eventually starting point. ofthelineis prescribed thewhole thus laws, bymathematical figure being absolutely predetermined. forus," Vamphulu" onemore drew (The Gnus).This figure Kalunga Mwangana and induce a structure C.G. kasonahasa "mandala"-type 1950, 1974) may (see Jung in which its Ithasanoscillating meditative moodina viewer. components may quality to seechanging onemay invisualperception, 'shift' i.e. as ina picture puzzle, begin orthat manner. thelines anddotsinthis (Fig. 7)* images byassociating



mbi! thespectator torecognise With thelastlinecompleted begins bythemukakusona, eachwith twoeyes, a mouth ofthefigure, corners thefour from four faces emerging
butoneof"African ofthelastnumber onthecover Music", (6,2). *Ed.Thiskasonaappeared

(Thegnus) Fig.7. Vamphulu



and two horns:it is the fourgnus in the storyassociated withthiskasona. Chief Kalunga immediately pointedto thefourheads and thenexplainedto us whateach of them says, startingat the bottom of the figureand moving his index finger The firstgnu says "Mbi!", then the second one asks "Vika?" counterclockwise. " Vantu" to which the third one replies one concludes: (What?), (People) and thefourth " Tutinyenu!"(Let us runaway!) Thesewordsareshownnextto theheadsin thefigure above. The fullstory as toldbyChiefKalunga follows (recorded / June tape A 78/I, 30, 1979,in Chikenge): Ndzita yezile muchifuti.Kaha ngwavo ineza mukutsihavantu. Kaha vatinine Kaha muvevwa:Mbi! Ngwavo vutaveneovwo. Kaha ndzo, ou ngweni: kumusenge. " Vika?"Ngweni: "Njinevumbi!"- "Ove unevumbi?"--"Ee. "- Ngweni:"Angecho vvo njinevu,iii! ngwehavantu."Ou ngweni:"Vantu?"- "Ee. "- "He! Tutinyenu vene vakwanakutsihavantu." Kaha mwatu,hoho havatinininine. Kaha vatinina vakayoya. mumusenge, War came to thecountry. So they (thegnus)said, ithas cometo killpeople. And they ran away intotheforest. Whentheyheardthesound mbi,theysaid, That is surely a The otherreplied: "I have heardmbi." gun! So thenone ofthemsaid: "Whatis that?" - "You have heardmbi'" - "Yes." - The third one said: "Me too, I have heardit, It is like people." - And thisone here said: "People?" - The otherone terrible! arejust killing "Yes." - "Hey! Let us runaway,overthere replied: they people." Then in run were a moment had fledintotheforest scattered, off, they away. So they they and survived. thesound of a gun. Mbi is an ideophoneand represents This kasona mayalso lead us to somehistorical sincewe have bychance questions, one documentfromAngola showingit in identicalshape about fifty years ago: it in 1930as a wall painting in Chokwe-speaking HermannBaumannphotographed


translation (G. Kubik) English

to Chief Kalunga beginning drawthe kasonaof theGnus, watchKayombokaChinyeka inhand. note-book ingwith At theChief's enclosure, 22, 1973. July Chikenge,



Chief Kalunga, as above

northeastern Three facts arise country, Angola. important (seephotograph): 1.Although the lower ofthe isdestroyed, washed it part figure probably away byrain, isclear that the is" Vamphulu" andthat itisabsolutely identical inshape with drawing theoneI obtained from Chief inZambia,1973. Kalunga 2. The placewhere it was photographed, notidentified is several although exactly, hundred kilometres from where I found thesamekasonainZambia. 3. Theethnic inBaumann's research areawas-Chokwe, inmine -Luchazi. group

A photograph reproduced from "Lunda"by Hermann the Baumann, 1935,showing kasona on 'Vampulu' painted the wallof a ntsenge (store, kitchen and fireplace for the in Chokwe women) country, northwestern Angola. Thesethree facts forthisparticular kasonaas a tradition, a suggest great stability cross-ethnic that extends overa widegeographical stability a area,andat leasthalf much Itconfirms ourimpression from century, informants probably longer. gathered thatthetusona tradition must be very old. In spite oftheopportunity forcreative invention at all times, and somemargin ofvariation when (evident comparing my collection with other authors' Dos Santos1962, Emil accounts, 1951, Hamelberger Pearson1977), itmust haveremained stable over inthe essentially longtime periods



Eastern culture area.Further, Baumann's confirms that tusona, Angolan photograph inthe drawn sandmay bepainted onmud walls. This although normally occasionally is also confirmed Bastin theexpert on byMarie-Louise communication), (personal Chokwe decorative whohasplaced a colour slide atmy inwhich Chokwe art, disposal in a modern sona (although are paintedon a house wall at Dundo. context) Baumann's reveals onemore detail. When however, important photograph, drawing them onwallsthe-Chokwe, andmost usethe twotraditional of colours others, likely the eastern mukundu death etc.and blood, (redochre) Angolan peoples: symbolizing These two coloursare luck,resurrection. (whitekaolin)symbolizing mphemba as opposing forces in Chokwe and Luchazicosmogony. It is most conceptualized inthe andclearly visible black-and-white that was mukundu interesting, photograph, for thelines. Further itis sociologically thedots,andmphemba usedfor interesting that on a ntsenge, thestore for theideograph andfire-place women whoare appears ofthetradition, a woman notcarriers occasionally although maybe able to draw to interpret thisobservation since as I saw in N.W. Zambia.It is difficult tusona, Baumann gives anydocumentation. barely is theone calledmukanda Luchaziideographs One ofthemostingenious (boys' I it on 1978 atChindzombo north of recorded circumcision 4, school). village, January Zambia. It was and drawn, district, explained simultaneously, Chikenge, Kabompo a young still under 30years works as a old,whonormally man, byMoseChindumba, inZambezi tovisit hisrelatives. andwhohadcometo Chindzombo medical assistant inZambezi, to him, wholives andwhoaccording itfrom hisfather, He hadlearned more. knows many mbelo yavilombola
2 vilombola, kumukanda vazekavaile

---5 tundan
2 vilombola, vayakumukanda. kuno vanatuhuka circumcision school) (boys' Fig.8. Mukanda

the for in Luchaziand related languages Muk"nda(speech tones:_--) is theterm ofthepeoples institution inthe culture Thisis a central for school circumcision boys. is Zaire.Themukanda Zambiaandsouthern north-western lodge ofeastern Angola, circumcised outsidethevillageand thenewly constructed boys,who are called in Chokweand tundanda (sing.kandanji) (sing.kandanda)in Luchazi,tundanji instruction. for several months' inseclusion there arekept Luvale,



atthebeginning starts ofthedry in Mukanda the-Luchazi season, among usually in or June is closed about November or The and December. October, May April, age Itisa pre-puberty ofthe tobeinitiated isusually ca. 6-10 intended school, boys years. to maketheyoungboysself-reliant, and independent of their group-conscious, in anticipation oftheir future tasks androlesas members ofthesociety of mothers, men. has a personal Duringhisprolonged stayin thelodgeeachkandanda guardian his who is for andeducation. In (chilombola, pl. vilombola) responsible well-being there areassistant who minor addition tasks. adolescents, usually guardians, perform Thesearecalledtulombola-tito (sing. kalombola-tito). whohasnotbeento themukanda An uncircumcised i.e. someone is called male, Thisis a depreciatory that sucha person the chilima lacks term, (pl. vilima). implying which for males. education is provided byLuchazi society young inthe ofthe Thefive dots middle five tundanda whoare represent (initiates) drawing in seclusioninsidethe lodge. The two at the bottomrepresent two publicly whose istobring the vilombola task, others, food, acknowledged (guardians), among inthevillage, to theboysinthemukanda. cookedbytheboys'mothers Thetrue vilombola know where toenter, areinitiated, because themselves they they In thedrawing to a mukanda went when were this is expressed insucha they young. of that the the two vilombola lead to the narrow inevitably way paths acknowledged ofthemukanda, entrance seenatthetopofthefigure, which I havemarked with an - andthis cancomprehend arrow as mbelo is explained yavilombola. Everyone by the'owner' ofthekasona- thatthetwodots,ifthey weremovable, couldmove the the between lines the enclosure andreach entrance without encircling meeting any on their obstacle path. However there falsevilombola whohavenever are also twopretenders, passed are These arerepresented a mukanda school. vilima (uncircumcised). through They by to carry thetwodotsat thetop.Nowthey also want foodto thetundanda andthey

The kasona "Mukanda" (boys' circumcision as drawn school) in thesandby Moses ChinduN.of Chindzombo mba, village, N.W. Chikenge, Kabompo Dist., Prov., Zambia, 4, 1978 January



their Butbeing uninitiated cannot the walk. entrance, begin they simply recognise they this cannot seeit.Their leadsoutofthe area.Inthe isexpressed such that path drawing in thepaths which couldbefollowed twotopdotsdo notleadtothe five bythe points themiddle, butoutofthestructure. It is possible to call tusona because are compound ideogram configurations, they of structures several It elements. is not nearly always complex composed ideogram to one idea by convention, one signattached buta set of complex ideas simply I callthem with distinctive bygraphemes expressed spatial "compound relationships. because theindividual a kasonaeachhaveideogram ideograms" graphemes forming functions andmeanings which variable totheir and are,however, according position A dot,for can a context. mean an animal or an on example person, object, depending line theoverall a can a a mean a on context. theme; path, wall, fence, again depending The graphemes ofa kasonaonlyobtain their full overa meaning byconfiguration Analphabetic anda compound such as tusona plane. script ideogram script represent twocompletely tographic different communication andcould, therefore, approaches never be related line.With a kasonaitis possible to express alongan evolutionary non-verbal ideas and insights intothe structure of theworldin and aroundus, to render The of a situation orevent, words. thelogic of impossible by logic including lawsgoverning such institutions as be in conserved mukanda, long-established may theform ofthewritten of a kasona,bybeing transformed intostructural imprint logic. drawing thefact theaudience satisfaction from In thekasona"Mukanda" derives mainly so perfectly: that thatan axiomatic law ofthis institution is expressed namely only itandassume whohaspreviously canever enter someone functions, graduated freely thatof a chilombola or kalombola-tito suchas forexample (guardian) (assistant there isnopath that Thisisconvincingly demonstrated bythe logic: graphic guardian). toreach the the available to allowthe uninitiated entrance. would Following only path them land outside (hambandza). they A precondition tothe ofthe ofthis kasona liesin message ideographic appreciation central andhismaleaudience aboutthis theknowledge shared bythemukakusona Luchazi which malehadtopasswhen Thesatisfaction arises institution, every young. of never from the a'written that those false who have been guardians perception proof theirtitle, to mukanda, and therefore do not deserve becausetheyare vilima Thesandfigure itssecrets. cannot a priori discover corroborates (uncircumcised) by the that this is indeed thenatural order ofthings. As ifblinded itsstructure bymagic, evento recognise theentrance to theenclosure. false areunable guardians In this means itis shown vilima bypurely 'why' (uncircumcised) example graphical functions ofvilombola, even ifthey wanted to.Themukanda cannever assume the isa world ofrigorous lawsandcarefully balanced behavioural which areinculcated rules, inthis intotheinitiates is presented andtaboos(vizila).Oneofthese byinstructions kasona. witty weshould Tusona often make theinner, in order ideographs perhaps sayessential, institutions andhuman interaction tothe visible take the situations, events, eye. They on a trip mind to unknown dimensions ofthepsyche. In a number oftusona sucha
visualquality.We have hints thatnewtusonawere 'trip'is assistedbytheir oscillating in solitude, farawayfrom thevillage, forexamplebya hunter usuallyinvented resting



intheshadeofa tree, time between work-hours inthe for a while bysomeone passing traveller relatives in a remote or a of fields (kumehya) by long-distance visiting part thecountry. Thevery nature oftusona with itsdotsandlines riseto geometry gives effects. As wehaveseenin"Kambava or" Vamphulu", as wamulivwe" picture-puzzle with a passive, dream-like soonas onelooksatthem these andlines stare, points begin togroup the into visual to'move'; begins components fluctuating perception patterns, Inother there areinherent inmany ofthe as ina picture-puzzle. tusona words, patterns from Thesepatterns a perceptual then stimulate inthe regrouping emerging process. drawer associations: seem trees, animals, lonely day-dream-like people, paths, objects to emerge from forcreative and thisinturn is a stimulus Whatthe them, thought. to seeinthose mukakusona structures is in somewaycomparable to what a begins in the 'sees' diviner formed in his (mukakutaha) configuration bythelittle objects thetusona, ofcourse, havenothing to do with basket), ngombo although (divining What the drawer later divination. seeshemay share with the The ndzango community. other men these when the endorse mukakusona the of associations, explains 'meaning' the inthem. Thefollowing hisfigure, kasonaiba further logic bydiscovering example of themany in which 'inherent It was communicated to us by patterns' emerge. 1 on Jeremiah Makondoat Chikenge he had nearly village July1979.Although to reconstruct itcompletely. it,weeventually forgotten managed

vwalavwetu" Fig.9. "Tunwenu

our beer) (Letusdrink

Itisoneofthose structures where a single line a layout circumscribes offorty ingenious dotsin thiscase, in an odyssey of pathsand finally to itsstarting returns point. Another oldmanwhom weusedtoconsult, the lateKapokolaChimbau, it identified as:" Tunwenu vwala vwetu" ourbeer). Thisisindeed what onemay come (Letusdrink to seeinthis atitwith Luchazi aretwopeople, oneleft There drawing, looking eyes. andoneright, with their hands eachother. into areboundtogether merged They by between orunited between them. something, passing something themselves, bya table millet beer is an important socialactivity VaLuchazi itbrings Drinking men, among andpromotes discussion. Vwala that peopletogether is,therefore, something would come tomind, which couldhavelinked the hands ofthe twofigures. Thedotsin easily the middle beseen as vessels beer. From this the could, perhaps, containing viewpoint, isconvincing, andothers will with that two interpretation agree KapokolaChimbau can be seeninthis kasonasharing their drinks. people A question ofquitea different is whether thisis thegenerally nature, however,



I knewKapokolaChimbau as one ofthemostimaginative explanation. accepted in Chikenge. It is probably hispersonal elders i.e. whathe himself interpretation, innoway into the Butthis diminishes the valueofhiscomment. The projected figure. of a tusona is creative even what come and to be originally process, may interpretation in the course of time as standard the of a kasona owes meaning accepted ultimately its existence to theverysame creative we witness in Kapokola Chimbau's process naming. It is evident thatthe 'trip'inducedby some tusona(without the aid of any can also be a trip intotheenigma ofhuman existence. There is one hallucinogenes) I havenot which found but which so far wascollected kasona, myself independently by ineastern twomissionaries theTvuCokwe (1951:126) Angola, Hamelberger among and EmilPearson theVaLucaziofMuxiku Province. It is another (1977:25) among ofa 'mandala'-style as iftaken from thepagesofJung's works onthe figure, example It is calledKalunga, collective unconscious. as 'God'. translated by bothauthors onemay whether the word which Although (cf.Kubik1977) kalunga, argue Ngangela hasmany 'rain' more without and meanings, basically specifically 'anything beginning initssemantic the andend','infinity' etc.canbe equated field with ofa High concept the chakasona of one kulumbununa God,the (explanation ideograph) given by ofthe and in a wayconfirmed soundsoriginal. It authors, Hamelberger, by theother, assumes theform ofan aetiological howhuman deathoriginated. myth, explaining nothaveinvented hedoesnotgive coulddefinitely usthe this, Hamelberger although Chokwe butonly a Portuguese Thetranslation andFrench translation. text, original instyle, embodies someediting notin content. evidently although apparently

Fig.10."Kalunga" from (repr. 1951:126) Hamelberger Thesmall atthe atthe sign bottom: toprepresents Man.The Kalunga ('God'),the sign Sun is represented theMoon bythesickle on theright. bythediscon theleft, The vertical line sixcentral dots the to 'God'. linking The other dots represents path leading thebasicstructure ofthiskasonaarecircumscribed forming linewhich bya single itself after a longandcomplicated rejoins journey. To those whocanreadtheeastern the transmits Angolan ideographic script, figure



the toseeGodinorder ...Long Sunwent torender to following story: agothe homage hefound the him. onandonuntil which Hetravelled leads toGod.God path directly andsaid, back toseemetomorrow the Suna cock "Come before gave morning, you God the Sun went On to The finally depart". leaving sleep. following morning very cockwhich the theSunbegan tocrow. Godgave TheSunrose atonce and early, himself before who "I heard the inthe cock crow God, said, again presented morning which I gaveyouyesterday for Youcango your butyoumust your supper! way, here Itisfor this that Suntravels round the reason the yourself every day..." present world andreappears every day. TheMoonalsowent to visit a cock.He kept itduring the God,andreceived Next after thecockbegan to crow theMoonpresented following night. morning, himself toGod, with as promised, the cock under his arm. "Youtoo, Godsaid, again didnot eatthe cock which I gave for Allright, from you you yesterday your supper! onyou now have tocome back here and seeme 28days!" Isitnot what every precisely the Moon hasbeen until today? doing Maninhisturn went tovisit God.He alsoreceived a cock, but since hewasvery after his he killed it. One half he ate the same while the hungry long journey, night, other half heput aside his for return Next the Sunwas journey. morning already high inthe when Manwoke remained ofthe cockandthen took a sky up.He atewhat from God(hedidnot Godsaid tohim "And what about holiday gothere). smilingly, the cock I gave which I didn't hear itcrow this Man you yesterday evening? morning." to "I be was killed it. I ate one half I began frightened, very hungry. Yesterday evening andthe other half this in order to obtain for return morning strength my journey." "All allright" "the cock toyou. But now listen. Youknow God, right, replied belonged that the the tome Sunand Moon alsocame and of each them received a cock like you, kill but didnot it.Forthis reason neither Sunnor Moon will ever Youwho die. killed cock will the die like itdid. And atyour death will come and you present yourself again tome!" here 1951: transl. (Hamelberger 126, Kubik) there isonekasona which seems tohold the toanunderstanding of the Finally key structure ofmost ofthe tusona. It is the smallest inthe tradition geometrical figure those whose canbe circumscribed dots line itself. We among bya single rejoining collected itfrom anelderly Sachiteta born in1914, whom wemet informant, Kakoma, atvillage our excursion tothe Katuva Kanguya during villages river, along Kabompo at the of 1979. Hehad some to District, Zambia, beginning July, difficulty responding our for since like other he said had them. tusona, he, request elders, many forgotten After some heproduced a kasona which time, however, "Katuva-vufwati" (Fig.11),


Fig. 11.Katuva (Theonewhopierces vufwati intestines)



comes from kutuva- to pierce,bore a hole, and vufwati The word katuva-vufwati - thecontent vizevitwekulya haze halufu ofthestomachand intestines; (The things

was called"Kanganokanthyengu" of theroanantelope) (The little foot-print by another inthesameplace,Benson informant Muzaza.4

intheintestines). arethere weeatwhich

onJuly inthe cankill the which 23,1979 mulimba.) (Interview goats pen(vamphembe in Katuva). is "something Robert to another informant, Katuva-vufwati Ngunga, According intheholesintrees" usedto stay ofanimals which ofthetype likea smallmammal
"Because people come to (Kakele ngwehakakasitu,tusituvekukalamuzimphako).

says SachitetaKakoma, is a smallanimal(kasituwamundende), Katuva-vufwati,

kaha havakumutuva vakwiza nakutuvatuva kuze kumphako,kaha muvamutuvila, hazimo kaha vufwati havukwiza.) Luchazi text:(rec. tape A 79/11/7, July5, 1979) kaha lizinalyeniikeyeKatuva-vufwati. Uze kasona uze, mwomuwakelekumphako, kaha kumbataluswangokaha Wakelekumphakomuze. Kaha vuno muvakumbata kuhakaho muze. Kaha vunoni vuze vufwativweni vunatwika,kaha kutalako ngechize:Nana! Oku kumphakokuli vufwati.Oku kumphakokuli vufwati.Oku kumphako kuli vufwati. Kaha ngavo: Kal'iya? Kutotaho haze, kaha kutalako lizina lyeni. ngwavo:Kali katuva-vufwati, Translation

when then at thehole, it,when through they they pierce pokeagainand againthere out." the content comes the its animal (Mwomuvantu through abdomen, pierce

becausethatanimalwas in the This drawing here,its nameis Katuva-vufwati, tooka longstick and Then thepeople like that. It wasinthetree-hole tree-hole. just out.Then ofitsstomach burst the content until ina certain manner, they putitinthere is thecontent of a there lookedat it and wondered: "Hey! Therein thetree-hole asked: ofa stomach!" Andthey there is thecontent inthetree-hole There stomach! said:"Thisis cutitoutandlookedat it,they When "Whois this little animal?" they
thatis his name." katuva-vufwati,

from a tradition ofhundreds ofsixtusona selected known Ourdiscussion formerly forthemoment to examine us sufficient in eastern have insight given Angolamay raised at thebeginning to someofthequestions ofthis them andreturn structurally I call discussed which We that the Formal have seen here, geometrical type paper. mathematical Sometimes a someintriguing qualities. TypeA in mybook,displays toitsstarting allthe constituent dotsandreturn linewill tocircumscribe suffice single ofthe than oneline isneeded. Thecircumscription more dotsbyone sometimes point, notverbally andfollows rules. lines is systematic ormore strict, formulated, though a or must be isolated a thus 'field' In mosttusona, dot by line, every acquiring never There than in of its must more or own. be one dot area 'territory' surrounding a limited ofa kasonaofTypeA, only number of thedrawing To achieve eachfield. In many casesthere is only onepossible route for the exist. possibilities operational
a dot.The lineto take.Linesalwayspass between seriesor rowsofdots,never crossing is therefore ofstructured combinations ofdotsand linesinthetusonasystem number



limited. wecannot determine the number oftusona Although mathematically possible inthis tradition as a whole, because construction showunpredictable techniques:do itwould todo so for bepossible onesubgroup, Al (seeKubik, Formal variation, Type inpress). Thisawareness allows a mukakusona even to reconstruct today anyfigures hemight haveforgotten, thestrict rules ofbehaviour for dotsand byapplying merely lines which from can be deduced thetradition. ofFormal A consist Tusona ofa basicscreen ofequidistant into which a dots, Type seriesis inserted, the basic one, witheach contrasting, interlocking bisecting dot placedso thatit divides the distance its two diagonal between interlocking in half. neighbours Thelayout ofdotsis then or rather which interscribed circum-, bylines normally return totheir In sometusona, a single lineisdestined tocircumscribe starting point. dozens of dots,returning to itself withamazingaccuracy after an odyssey of movements. Fortheobserver, anexpert mukakasona labyrinthine watching drawing at topspeed, itoften seems howthis miraculous can be accomplished. The'rules ofbehaviour' for dotsandlines which I deduce below from oursample were notexplained to mebyLuchazielders. I havegoodreason to assume however, that reflect theconcepts ofthecarriers ofthetradition. areinherent inthe they They structure of thefigures, and also partly in thestyle and technique of the implicit drawing process. 1. Basicdots.The basicscreen is laid outfirst. The mukakasona them in impresses his series to then the tothe left, pairs, extending upwards, finally bytransferring right, thespanbetween thefirst andthird ofhisright handfrom fingers placeto place,as described Thedots earlier. transferred from a technical constitute, sideways viewpoint inthefinished a chainof'overlapping' or'anchored' (notdetectable product), pairs. Weshall discover that the thus isolated animportant contains clue anchoring principle to an understanding of themathematics of thistradition. It is at thebasis of a from to composite proliferation elementary process shapes. 2. Interlocking dots. Theinterlocking dotsarethen inserted between the basiconesas onemight dotinto a cubewith four With the dotsa new placea fifth 'eyes'. interlocking dimension is created. The screen of combined dotsis nowdiagonally in divisible to thealready addition established horizontal and vertical The total divisibility. number ofdotsin a kasonais,therefore, to be considered as a composite resulting with the shortest distance between twodotsbeing Itconsists ofa entity, any diagonal. number ofequidistant basicdotsand an 'interlocking screen' ofdependent regular dots.Thisstructural characteristic ofthetusona cannot be seenafter thedrawing is because basic and dots are and thetwo completed, interlocking indistinguishable, screens merge completely. backatthe structural ofthe wecansaythat Looking implications drawing process, thepairof basicdots(formed and third is something likean bythefirst fingers) autonomous whilethe interlocking dots are singular in unit,standing by itself, The combination of these twodivergent entities is at therootof the conception. relative ofoddnumbers weencounter inthe total number ofdotsforming a frequency kasona.Wehavetonote that itis an essential inherent inthemukakusona's concept, to transfer thesurface ofthesandwhile drawing technique, pairsofbasicdotsover hisfigure. developing



A further 3. Symmetry. traitis revealedin the number and total important ofthe Inmost combined dots. casestheir isgoverned a arrangement layout by principle of symmetry. Theymayform rectangles, implicit squares, overlapping (anchored) a broadcross orother toan overall rectangles, symmetrical leading shapes symmetry, oncethelines areinscribed. Thegeometrical doesnotgive a corresponding symmetry in thetotalnumber ofdotsin thefinal structure. Thisnumber symmetry complex to form seems numbers such as 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, so rarely display anyregular in other realms ofAfrican culture. Thisis dueinpartto theprinciple of prominent totheoverlapping oranchoring ofsurfaces visual andinpart formed interlocking, by form thedots.However, as willbe seenlater, arealso a governing numbers regular inthe inthetusona arehidden structural tradition, only they principle deepstructure Most the have a like an of tusona ofthe left-right symmetry anthropomorphic figures. such as or zoomorphic being,but thereare some withquaternary symmetry, not Some of these do contain and of "Kalunga". any concept "Vamphulu" 'up' or " Vamphulu" for canbeturned inany or'right'. direction without 'down','left' example itsidentity. It can also be mirror-inverted. losing Sometusona haveactually been oftheoretical interest. collected Thisis notmerely in thisculture or upsidedown from different informants area. mirror-inverted in are the tusona but as a Directional tradition, concepts important performance tothe movement the Inrelation mukakusona directional of during technique. process a kasonais: drawing bottom to top(on walls); thebody(on sand)orfrom a) awayfrom left to right. b) from inmany African traditions andcontrary tothat of Thisisa common writing approach half oftheglobe. areason thenorthern various

from away thebody 12.Theconcept ofdirection inmany African traditions (orbottom Fig. writing totop) left toright Ifthe twodirectional are tend togenerate circular movement concepts combined, they This is paralleled anticlockwise. in thedirectional movement of African circular dances (the famousexception is the ngwayaof Upangwa,Tanzania,whichis andinnumerous arttraditions across cultural andlinguistic in boundaries clockwise) Africa: on the walls of the King'scourtin Abomey e.g. Uroborus-type figures andthe left-directedness ofthe called inthe shrine of (Dahomey) snake-figure kalunga initiation the Kubik mungongi among Ngangela-speaking peoples. (Fieldnotes 1965). 4. Lines.Thenext, andinmany tusona thefinal insomeby stage, only supplemented is thedrawing oftheintersecting or circumscribing lines. These additions, pictorial lines follow strict ofbehaviour. rules With tothe between regard possible relationships dotsandlines wemay three oflines usedinthe tusona ofFormal distinguish types Type A:



line.Thisis thebasictypeoflineinthetusona.It is however, a) Straight onlynominally it pursuesa straight course actuallyone could call it'reactive'.In principle 'straight'; it the row or rows of until the end of a between two reaches dots, parallel longer along an angle,or rather a gentle row.Onlythendoes ithaveto changedirection, describing to a further setofrules.Since itscurvesor angles curveofeither 900or 1800,according but are 'reactive',i.e. determined do not come about arbitrarily, by the structural to thistypeas the'straight refer layoutofthedots,we mayforthesake of simplicity line'.

3 1 2 1800 curve 900 course curve straight line' ofthe'straight ofthebehaviour Fig. 13.Examples itmustproceed a lineofthistype, one wantsto begindrawing direction In whatever is a rowofdots alongwhichitcan move,up to thelastdot in as longas there straight ad lib; anychanges thatrow.(See underI above). The linecannotchangeitsdirection before It cannotturn in each area it traverses. dots of the dependon theconfiguration of the the end of the row of dots along whichit is proceeding.From theviewpoint line is always diagonal, thus linkingthe executantthe movementof the straight dots. distancesbetween shortest rules: Directionalchangeis determined by thefollowing 'wall' or ends and another 1: If the'wall' of dots along whichthelineis proceeding of900, a curve line has the then rowopensup at a right to'bend', describing gentle angle, it cannotproceed and continuealong thenew row (see under2 above). In principle, intoempty space and leave thefieldof dots behind,unlessit is to assumea different linemustalwaysfinda function. lines').The straight (For thissee belowunder'roving lean. to which row of dots against thelastdot in is no newrowin sightand consequently 2: Ifon theotherhand there thelinemust out' ofthecoherent therow'sticks go rounditina 1800 bodyofdots,then on theotherside ofthesame rowofdots(see under3 above). Once and return U-turn again it mustproceed to the end of that row until a new situationcomes about, a newchangein direction. provoking to showthatthestructural This shouldsuffice layoutofthedots and themovement in Formal Type A of the lines are absolutelyinterdependent of the interscribing ofthelinecomes to keep in mindthatthechangein direction tusona.It is important rows of dots. thelastdot ofthe(longer)rowoftwoparallel about after Gaps in anyof of a row that section line leans the those the rowsare ignored.In instances, against the and sketch, at that is Fig. 14). which following (See uninterrupted. spotcomplete



of theseimplicit thata linewill Strictobservation rulesleads to theassuredresult to itsstarting after a tortuous return sometimes and (see "Kambava long journey point, This holdstrueforsingleas wellas multiple lines.The rulesare strictly wamulivwe"). are desired, suchas in " Vamphulu" theinventor observedunlessspecialeffects where ofthefour ofthisprobably ancient to visualise thehorns kasona wanted very gnus,and modified therouteof some lines. consequently dot prominent - turn1800left! row gapin theshorter lastdotin row longer - turn 900 right! lastdotin row shorter - ignore row! theparallel

- ignore.Lean against

Fig. 14

point starting someofthetusona, laws byredrawing The readercan getthefeeloftheseunwritten on sand or on paper. He willdiscoverthatthereare no choicesforthe'straight either line'.Thereis onlyone predetermined pathit can take. forlinesis totally different (b) Wavyline.The secondacceptedmodeofbehaviour in is and it one. Found insometusonaoftype from thefirst A, serpent-curved proceeds or vertical row a horizontal thedots ofeither manner: itpasses between thefollowing For example: movement. or 'slalom'-type in serpentine Fig. 15 dots in a kasona As a consequenceofthespecific spacingofthebasic interlocking Thus it or never vertical a horizontal in moves direction, diagonally. line this always line the the while between distances (see the dots, straight or links, connects, longer distances. the shorter moves linking above) diagonally In some function. (c) Roving line. Curvedlinesmay also assume quite a different wide the whole surround which structure, linesoccur traversing tusona,long roving the line in of the to the screen before dots, roving of areas empty e.g. returning space kasona of "Mukanda". thefinalshape ofa whichdetermines It is thetypeofline,straight, wavyor roving, and layoutofdots,but whichhavethesame number kasona. Thereare severalfigures



and thefinal in thetypeof linewhich differ givesthem shape."Katuvavufwati" both are based kasonawhich wehavenotconsidered another below, yet, reproduced ofdotsthese andlayout number sixbasiconesandtwointerlocking; oneight dots, in of duetothe different aredifferent inshapeand Andyet areidentical. size, paths they
with"Liswa lyavandzihi" willmake this the line. A comparisonof "Katuva vufwati"

clear. observation

ofthe vandzili nest birds) (the andpredicted theroute ofthelinecanbe explained in"Katuvavufwati", While by line'(under the'straight for which we havediscussed therules (a) above),in"Liswa fortheline,straight, all three modesof behaviour wavyand roving, lyavandzili" andsymmetrical toanabsolutely inanintriguing combination, regular leading appear tobebytrying kasonaseems understand this Theonly waywecanstructurally shape. each Then are related. the because link' between tofind two, they obviously a'missing one ofa the introduction the from will seem tobea development structure previous by for theline. newmodeofbehaviour Fig.17

Fig. 16

"Katuva vufwati"


1 Stage line' 'Straight its following rules proper

2 Stage link) (missing of'wavy Addition line' anditsrules

3 Stage Further expansion: lines' added 'roving

at I arrived I discovered that mewaswhen for Thegreatest Stage2,which surprise as anactual kasona. I didnotsee exists ofconstruction, abstract from principles purely theCokwe ofAngola butitwasdocumented itinKabompo among Zambia, District, similar a and has and dos Santos two meaning (1961) authors, (1951) Hamelberger by



to our "Liswa lyavandIzili". This suggeststhat 1 was on the right trackin trying to an intermediate construct form. As is evident from ofthelineat each pointinitspath Fig. 17,themodeofbehaviour can be clearly defined (whether 'straight', 'wavy',or'roving').Stage 3 is obtainedfrom Stage 2, bya simplebuteffective expansiontechnique.On bothsides of Stage 3, left and right, thewavylineis 'broken'and theroving linescommence. Insteadofcurving aroundthenextdot(as inStage2), thelinethenproceeds into'empty space',describing a wide halfcirclebefore comingback to thescreenof dots on theoppositeside. Our pointof departure in thisinvestigation was theidea thatmosttusonaare not but that theircomplexitypresupposesthe only complex geometricalstructures, existenceof mathematical in thiscultural area. Whether thisexperience is experience or intuitive is a that be but is theoretical, empirical, question may fascinating really irrelevant fromthe viewpoint of the cultureconcerned. The dimensions of Luchazi mathematical can noteasilybe slottedintoanyofthecategories in cultivated thought in tusona that determines the distinctive European languages. It is mathematics behavioural rulesforthelayoutofthedotsand thedrawing ofthelines.Regularity and order is the hallmarkof thisgraphictradition, to the extentthat it is possible to reconstruct tusona. forgotten To understand thegeometry of tusona it is important to remember thatthe dots which formthe layout should be consideredas a surface,ratherthan as monodimensional particlesdistributed over a plane. The formeris, accordingto my thewaya Luchazi eye looks at a kasona. Dots and experiencein Kabompo District, lines forma surfaceon the sand, a continuum of marksand emptyareas. Only by the in can this the intrinsic oftusonabe discovered. perceiving figures way regularities We weresurprised ofthetotalnumber ofdotsintusona,butlooking bytheirregularity at themas 'surfaces', we suddenly discoverthateven thosewithseemingly irregular formnumbers. In other (even primenumbers)of dots are based on hiddenregular 'words tusona possesssomething likea deep structure. Numbers suchas 12 or 24 (the form numbers in African so important cultures) very expressive appearwith particular frequency. For example,thekasona "Kambava wamulivwe" (Fig. 6) seemsto be composedof 22 basic and 12 interlocking dots. This gives a total of 34 dots, which are then circumscribed witha singleline, rejoining itselfafteran intriguing course over the wholefigure. At first thenumber 22 is surprising, a mathematical puzzle. Whyshould the total of 34 (whichcan onlybe dividedby 2 and the primenumber17) formthe no less than 15 curveson itsway,beforereturning to itsstart.Whydoes it performs

skeleton ofsuchan interesting Andwhy is itthat this geometrical shape? particular kasonarequires a mostcomplex and labyrinthine line? The line pathforthesingle

function so perfectly within theframework ofsuchirregular numbers? more we that the of the discover basic dots inthis can kasona Looking closely, layout be appreciated ina different that we at them look as and manner, 'surfaces', provided that canbeconsidered as forming tworectangles ofthesamesize,overlapping at they twopoints. Eachofthese the constitutes constellation of3 x 4= rectangles very regular 12dots.(Fig.18)



Fig. 18

Fig. 19

Since thetwo rectangles overlapby two dots,the latterhave to be countedtwiceto theform number ofthedeep structure. thetotalnumber obtainfrom It now becomes numbers 22 and 34 comeabout. butstructurally clearhowtheportentous insignificant two dotsalso form theinterlocking Insidetheconjoinedrectangles, surfaces, namely do not their number 12 is each. Since of dots 6 further overlap summary they rectangles basic dots. of formed the the size those are half 19) (Fig. by They preserved. of 18 x 2 = 36 constituent Thus "Kambava wamulivwe" reallyhas a deep structure elements which are amalgamated so that two dots count for four. It is this (consistingbasically of amalgamation or overlappingbetween'deep structures' linecan themathematical clueas to howa single of6) which seemsto provide multiples to itself. all thedots and safely thestructure, travelright returning isolating through So we can define this kasona as consistingof two bodies of dots laid out each governed structure: 3 x4 overa rectangular surface, bytheinternal equidistantly row overlapping. The total + 2 x 3 = 18 dots,withtwo dots of theouterhorizontal is defined structure 2, 3, 4 and theirmultiples. by thesimplenumbers ofthesetusonais notso muchthe theninthestructural Whatis important make-up form. ofconstituent ofthesurface dots,butthestructure (total) number patterns they In A dot maybelongto morethanone pattern at a time, to twoover-lapping entities. if such should be counted form the 'real' total number dots twice, they partof counting it is to the number twoentities. For a structural of consider analysis tusona important of dots in each surface entity. It can now be shownpractically thatall thetusonaof FormalType A whichcan be linea) areproliferationsofthe(3 x 2) + 2 = 8 basic circumscribed bya singlestraight i.e. the figureknown as "Katuva vufwati"or "Kangano kanthyenu"; structure, two or moresuchbasic structures anchoredtogether contain b) byone or moredots. structure ofall thetusonaofTypeA I and "Katuva vufwati" is indeedtheembryonic of a good numberof othertypes.The most complex figures such as "Kambava or "Tunwenuvwala vwetu"can be understood as proliferations of this wamnulivwe" structure. embryonic It is nowpossibleforusto construct orreconstruct varioustusona, we someofwhich have neverseen,butwhichmusthave existedat sometimeor place, becausetheyare partof thesystem. The rootkasonaof"Kambava wamulivwe" is really a rectangular of a'6-form', layout 3 x 2 dots in whichtwo moreare inscribed, a total of 8. Since it is basicallya giving 6-form, anchoringis only possible betweenthe basic dots of the two overlapping The interlocking dots can neverbe anchored.How tusonacan be created 'rectangles'. two or moresuch6-forms from byone dot is shownin Fig. 20. As in the overlapping root form,a single line will do to isolate the dots, even in the most extended proliferations.




Fig.20a Fig.20b

It is possible to create infinite proliferations of anchored 6-forms and it is predictable that canallbe circumscribed they bya single'straight' for 21 and22. line, example Figs.

Fig. 22



Fig.22 (contd.)

"Tunwenu vwalavwetu", oneofthemost tusona ofFormal intriguing TypeA can thusbe explained as a proliferation of theembryonic 6-form and its compound It is built derivatives. ofcompound derivatives. up entirely
40 10

vwalavwethu" 23 "Tunwenu Fig. The readerwho is familiar withcertain basic principles in the shaping and ofAfrican music must haveheard likea 'bellring' allthrough composition something ourdiscussion oftusona, andnotonly because ofmy useofterms perhaps suggestive like'interlocking', 'inherent etc.Moreover, students ofAfrican music have patterns' beenaware for a longtime inpre-20th that African musical traditions such as century thenowobsolete ofBuganda, music handed down from royal anonymous composers ofthepast, there areoften strict with little for very regularities margin improvisation. The approach of the ancient of African musicmayhave beentotally composers different from thatof anyone butone can feel, forexample, within the nowadays, of the Kigandamusical contours (cf. Kubik 1969)an almostobsessional system with absolute so that oncea basicpart is composed, the preoccupation relationships, rest canbe deduced In this culture the series of nearly automatically. particular pitch thebasicandinterlocking areso interdependent that twoorthree notes parts hardly couldbe changed without thesystem; a third is then deduced destroying part entirely from thetwobasicones.I remember, when I first stumbled itwasa'culture uponthis,



shock' ofdecisive for future likewalking the consequence my understanding, through time ofa science window fiction I haveonly hadoneother similar space/ timejourney. in 1973 when I first sawthetusona. While reactions besubjective experience: my may and therefore redundant as a scientific it must be acknowledged on the statement, other handthat human canintuitively detect thewave-lengths of occasionally beings connected The 'djia-vu'experience channels. which me in caught Zambia/ Angola that there insomeforms ofAfrican existed creativeness a pathallowing a suggested ofeither auralorvisualconfigurations to become as itwere an onlooker composer - guided a process inwhich force - hishands moved during byan unknown nearly drawn the itself. Thisis notnecessarily automatically, by internal logicoftheprocess tostates oftrance orspirit butitislike into a psychic comparable possession, reaching stratum where of direct in us become available. And off-printssomething very deep suchoff-prints with incredible theself-assertion and maymaterialize speed;hence which anexpert cancreate mukakusona a figure, andthe with which speedwith speed a Muganda of the old guard of courtmaster-musicians could reconstruct an hehadforgotten. interlocking part Butletus return to an approach with which themajority ofacademically trained willprobably feel readers intusona safer. interest inrelation toAfrican Synaesthetic inviewofthefollowing music maybejustified parallels: 1. Thepresence of'form' inboth numbers inAfrican realms: music quite normally, wherewe call themcyclenumbers, and in manytusona.In "Vamphulu" and it is 24, in some morecomplicated "Kambavawamulivwe" ones it is composite tohowthe ofthe areanchored Butnote, according rectangles deepstructure together. as saidbefore, that the form number intusona cannot beobtained bysimply counting all thedots:onehastocount thenumber ofbasicdotsineachinvisible In rectangle. = for 2 the basic have x 12 rows 6 but two dots, "Vamphulu" example parallel pairs cross each other.In "Kambava wamulivwe" thereare two invisible rectangles a form number of32dots.Many form numbers inthetusona arenothing but yielding in of the As African 12and24 seem basic 6-form. to be particularly music, multiples important. 2. 'Doubling inpairs'is thenext trait theauralwith thevisualfield: inthe linking tusona wehavetheimpressing ofdotswith first inparallel andthird in rows; fingers kinds ofAfrican for instrumental wehave music, example many playing, xylophone in octaves movement oftwobeaters overthekeyboard ('male'and 'female' parallel or other intervals. voices) is also basicand appears 3. The principle ofequidistance as a structuring element inthe both aural Both basicandinterlocking inthe andvisual field. elements as tusona, wellas inmany forms ofAfrican instrumental arelaidoutinequispatial composition, with theambiguity, or thesynonymous rows.In accordance ofspatialand nature, inmany African theequidistance when realised cultures, temporal concepts principle in'time' Themost leadstotone-rows ofequal-spaced sound consisting (notes). impacts ofinstrumental inthis music manner canbefound in outstanding examples composed
the log xylophonemusic of southernUganda (amadinda, embaire),in some log anchored each with12dots,whilein" Tunwenu vwalavwetu" there arethree, together,



and in musicof northern mangolongondo) Mozambique(mangwilo, xylophone music of the Vute in Central timbrh Cameroon. (lamellophone) theconstruction of of interlocking is a further 4. The principle guiding parallel Thetusona wecallin ofmany use what music as wellas ofAfrican tusona, regions. ofinterlocking. a duple-division music type In thetusona thelines realms there areabstractive orstructuring devices. 5. In both combinecertainrows or sequencesof dots into patterns, creating oscillating in music and accentuation, but Thisis paralleled byphrasing configurations. partly or encourage for overallpatterns whichfacilitate their also by a predilection toemerge. Both inthe tusona which new seem ear, restructuring during patterns bythe there are of African instrumental music here andinmany effects, visual, puzzle types I havetermed there orwhat 'inherent aural, patterns'. ithasbecome A flourish While clear that tusona oftype abstract ofa upon principles mathematical nature similar to those insomeolder ofAfrican traditions itis music, to discover that thestrongest arenotfound similarities between tusona and startling themusic intheir owneastern culture. Thismusic isvery much Angolan governed by time-line other and devices not foundin the asymmetric patterns compositional kmaway,on theother Overa thousand are musical one hand,there cultures, the other not yethistorically in which thesame ancient, assessed, certainly very workso neatly thatone could evenvisualize from those principles compositions cultures with a tusona-style notation These arethe music ofBuganda on system. royal theonehand(see Kubik1969)andtimbrh oftheCameroun music on the grasslands inSimon, other Ed. 1983). Someofourmodern notation for music (Kubik xylophone has a fortuitous from dotsonly andstems) Buganda using (dropping flags similarity with anda certain tusona When I was (cf.Kubik1964:154, 1982:148). puzzlequality I hadno idea that notations a graphic tradition suchas tusona doingsomeofthese existed.

ofcomposition "Basubira Kubik from malayika" Fig.24a) Totalimage (akadinda) reproduced


ofcomposition "Ssematimba ne Kikwabanga' from b) Totalimage reproduced (amadinda) Kubik inSimon 1983:148. Theparallels intheprocess anamadinda ofstructuring, orcomposing, xylophone is a basicseries be overlooked. there ofequalFirst, pieceand a kasonacan hardly or dots.In thexylophone thisis a series mentioned of single spacedpoints styles 'inpairs' Thisseries strokes isperformed 'double': as parallel performed byoneplayer.



in music as parallel in thetusona octaves. there is the columns in thetusona, Next, ofdots,also equal-spaced. series Thiscorresponds to theinterlocking interlocking ofstrokes inthese series who'falls performed xylophone styles bythesecond player, between' thefirst one.Finally, there isa process ofassociating orgrouping the dotsof In tusona bothseries. itisdonebylines, inKiganda music there is both accentuation and an abstracted certain combines notes ofthetwobasicseries. The which pattern inboth casesisthose result which we have earlier called fluctuating puzzle-like gestalts or subjective The inherent inherent fromthe total patterns. patterns emerging structure of an African instrumental then stimulate thelistener to fill composition them with a content: text etc.Concrete isprojected into them. words, phrases meaning The inherent from someofthetusona a content: also suggest a patterns emerging a an a a Inherent as idea, situation, figure,picture, story. patterns emerge subjectively visual or aural imagesto the onlookers or participants. They are structurally i.e.inherent, inthe total but cannot betraced as suchbyany contained, configuration, arenot buta result However, either, measuring objective apparatus. they hallucinatory ofgestalt-hearing or-seeing, basedintheneuro-physiology ofthehuman perceptual itself. Their i.e.their tochange, and, apparatus fluctuating, oscillating quality, ability as everyone has experienced with to shift dimensions without picture-puzzles, any effort of will-power, thefactthathuman comesfrom itself perception constantly itsprojection ofscanning ontotheexternal stimuli. Theevidence of patterns adjusts inherent in abstract such as the tusonamay be a most patterns configurations for cultural because it showsthatthe African research, consequential finding in other of culture the ofhowto makeuseofthe world, discovery, unparalleled any reactions ofthehuman perceptual apparatus bydeliberately configurations creating which must andreconstitute as 'inherent the both 'decompose' patterns', encompasses auralandvisual Itisnotonly realm. anoutstanding feature ofseveral ofAfrican types butas wenowknow italsooccurs inthe visual field inatleast onelarge Central music, African culture area. ofType A and intusona methods andterminology ofconstruction Comparison amadinda music xylophone

VaLuchazi Luchazi COMPLEX Tusonaideographs, CULTURE TypeA

E. Angola Zambia /NW.


Interlacustrine cluster

LakeVictoria (Uganda)
Baganda Luganda Amadinda music xylophone


Esoteric male of tradition elders who have attained the ofeducation level highest

PERCEPTUAL REALM Visual HISTORY obsolete Ancient, becoming

Buganda Aural nowextinct (in its Ancient, context) original

tradition Esoteric male intheframework ofcourt of music for theKabaka




series of double- Equal-spacedseriesof notes in Equal-spaced dots - twofingersparalleloctaves - two beaters rowparallel heldat equal distance apart apartact heldat equal distance strike simultaneously, moving simultaneously, moving overthekeyboard laterally body basically awayfrom Leftandright and third handbeaters ofthe are First finger in myanjo, handareused,omitting used,striking right four them thesecondbetween keysbetween omitting





INHERENT PATTERNSresult from thetotalstructure, resultfrom the totalstructure, visual assoc- generate word assocgenerate subjective subjective determine thetheme of iations,suggest words(content) iations, theprojected on for themeof the songand text content, which themukakusona variations(ebisoko), on which elaborates thesinger elaborates verbally STRUCTURES of thestructures are are Many Manyof thestructures in form number and in form number regular and regular basedon proliferations of basedon themes of 12, 18,24 a 6-form also 25, 27, 35 notes (rarely in theokunaga part)


4 .5 .2. 4 . 5 . 2 . etc. ofnotes) kusona write) (draw, okunaga(starta series ofinter- Equal-spaced series of interseries Equal-spaced notes, dots,duple-dividing locking duple-dividing locking thebasicseries thebasicseries 'doublerows' notdoubledThe notesform The dotsaresingle, in parallel octaves 415423 * 4 1 5 4 2 3 etc. kusononwena divide) between) okwawula (write (separate, the structure dots the drawing Phrasing Delineating by accentuation lines a) by sharp encircling kusita kasona(erectthewalls okusitaebyondo(erectcorners) of a kasona) out and b) bypicking an inherent duplicating pattern okukoonera on the (to knock top twokeys) . 1. . 2 . 415423 etc. 415423



These as I saidearlier, arediscernible from Butina sense parallels, an'etic'standpoint. somekindofcorroboration also comes from 'emic'research, the that in namely fact ofthegeographical distance andthevisual/ auralcrisscrossing, theterminology spite forcomposing a kasonaand a Kiganda someparallels xylophone piecealso display thetwoBantu LuchaziandLuganda, areonly cultures, although language remotely Thisis perhaps related. better shown intheform ofa table (seeabove). Wedo nothaveany for theparallels intheantiquity of explanation except possibly theseBantulanguage zonetraditions, bothofwhich are known to be of a certain andstability overa considerable SomeoftheKiganda court music antiquity period. until can be back atleast traced tothelastdecades ofthe compositions played recently 18thcentury and content correlated with the through compositional analysis, ofthe Ifantiquity basekabaka issignificant, itcouldalsohelp genealogy (deadkings). theesoteric nature ofthetraditions and their survival in onlya fewwidely explain areasofAfrica. Because wearetalking aboutremnants ofancient African separated a third areawhere similar construction inmusic couldwell cultures, principles appear fit intothepicture. I am referring to timbrh music oftheVuteinthe lamellophone Cameroun Ifwecorrelate these three areaswith grasslands. 1,2 and 3 ofthe stages of theBantu-speaking thenthethree traditions look likeleaves dispersal peoples, on a longpath.SomepeopleofCentral behind Cameroun were dropped previously classed as'Semi-Bantu' a notion nowobsolete, but arerelatively to close speakers, they thesupposed Bantu nuclear area.What distorts this isthat however, dispersal picture, Vuteinformants claim that thestyle oftimbrh music I recorded which there in 1964 and 1970is 'modern'. It is theconstruction of this 'modern that principles style' are identical withthoseof theamadindamusicof Buganda:theuse of equi-spatial octave creation ofinherent etc. tone-rows, pairs, duple-division interlocking, patterns theexception oftheokukoonera orabstracted Whether timbrh music is (with part). in 'modern' its construction or 'modern' in the is really principles only songs, formeto sayat themoment. Thepossibility cannot be excluded thatan impossible ancient which havelaindormant intheareafor sometime hasmerely technique may beenrevived in'modern' timbrh music. Thereis obviously in approach common in themoreancient Bantu something which have it is traditions and valid across the aural survived, expressive visual/ a practically threshold: identical method ofcreating characteristic One which patterns. sets these traditions from 20th andvisual apart many century (inmusic arts) products is thestrict, almost constructivistic Each tiny of a building technique. component whole is designedto be an essential, element withmulti-lateral irreplaceable In amadinda and akadindamusicof Bugandanotone notecan be relationships. without a reason. variation ifa different doesoccur, text is to replaced specific Slight besuggested. Inthe tusona toothere isnomargin for arbitrariness. Eachcomponent of thewhole is clearly ofconduct. In thetusona defined andthere arestrict rules itisthe 'behaviour' of the circumscribing musicit is the lines,in Kiganda xylophone rules Thisgives both traditions a unique cohesiveness (cf.Kubik1969). compositional and finality. variation is used,there is hardly All the Though anyimprovisation. in the the are both musical and traditions. configurations composed, graphic
It is possible,of course,forculturalscientists to ignoreor overlookthe structural inthecase oftheKiganda tradition, on thesongand parallelsand concentrate, purely



which itswords the instrumental structures areintended torecreate, andinthe caseof on theverbal thetusona the i.e. At content, explanatory part(kulumbununa). first it that this is most the desirable both glance mayappear understanding pathtowards becauseit is endorsed in There cultures concerned. the traditions, is, by persons a deeperstructural the adherents of thesecultures do not however, level,which needto verbalize, orperhaps no longer verbalize. necessarily Tusona 'art'or'music'in andamadinda arenotmerely the ideographs compositions Western sense. closedsystems offunctional andcausalrelationships, Theyarelittle little universes without exits. Theminds whocreated them must havebeen researchers inthebasicsenseoftheword. the mini-universes ofthese Bycreating self-contained of whatour macro-universe configurations theyalso createdmini-replicas may be like.Theydiscovered abstract which arenotman-made, ultimately relationships which comeaboutandexist without human deliberation. Anditmust havebecome an immense once were onthe these ancients track ofsuch Theinfinite discoveries. passion inboth areproof traditions ofa persevering proliferations enough experimental spirit behind them. Notes
Luchazi In modern for for the usesan obsolete 1. Pearson orthography Ngangela languages. orthography disjunctive ntunda be writen: ntunda should sentences kwaili, theappropriate heactually'quotes) from which inahiti, (thelanguage as calabashes etc.without, such onobjects beengraved that however, 2. Dos Santos providing they may (1961)claims area. noevidence from research about Dos Santos'statement, andI have doubtful isvery Bastin data.Marie-Louise my any desobjets sur lesable, dans ladecoration relevd desona, dutype "Je tomeinfact &crit Shewrote (Nov.17,1981): n'aijamais dos Santos." le suggere Eduardo comme Tshokwe, first researchers. were Their existence studied notbeen tusona have 3. Until They usually escapes scientifically. recently and followed observation Baumann north-eastern itseems, from (1935), byindependent byHermann Angola reported, andDos Santos in Hamelberger ofsomeofthem discussion detailed (1961)on thebasisofnewmaterial (1951,1952) Pearson inhisbook, came outwith a large Rev.Emil More the -Chokwe. Aurora, collected People ofthe recently, among workin in the 1920s his missionary observed in English, he calls"sandgraphs" of tusona which collection during ofAngola. Provinces andMuxiku Kwandu-Kuvangu Northwestern in Kabompo sideoftheborder, in 1973 on theZambian District, on this subject began Myownwork and -Luchazi inhabited areaandis mainly culture totheEastern a region which by-Luvale, Angolan Province, belongs in I hadstarted a language which tolearn inAngola Luchazi here I worked -Chokwe speakers, exclusively among peoples. of from the - Luchazi areaonly totheir from hadmigrated Zambian ofthe Theforefathers 1965. beginning Angola present onwards. the 20th century of inthe in1971) andittook there sixmonths tothis in1973 wasthe second company place (having spent region Myvisit inLuchazi ofa book andEnglish author inoralliterature, researcher a Zambian (seebibliography). kaChinyeka, Kayombo with the a research and1979 under in1977/78 toKabompo visits two Institute District, affiliateship more, longer, During in mybook Tusona mostofthematerial of Zambia,I was ableto collect forAfrican compiled Studies, University - Luchazi from the inAngola, on invitation In 19821 wasabletodo somecomparative study (inpress). ideographs the Zambian and aidfor Luanda. Financial deFolklore, Nacional andthe deEstado da Cultura Secretaria Departamento zur ofScientific Research for the Advancement the from Foundation wasobtained field-work (Fonds Angolan F6rderung No. 2792and4210. ofmy research framework inthelarger derWissenschaftlichen Vienna, projects Forschung) Ph.D. cultural a Zairean work on tusona, from scientist, NangeKuditawa Sesemba, myowncontinuing Apart inZaire.Someofthe ofsona(Chokwe has recently embarked on a newfield-study lusona) language, sing. Bruxelles, I from what I sent a few tradition havealso beenstudied ofthis mathematical tusona, mainly recently. implications ofthe Technical Institute for Mathematics atthe a mathematician inN.W.Zambia, toWolfgang collected Jaritz, myself ofthe table tothe the lawsofa ballona billiard a paper inGraz(Austria) andhecameupwith path applying University line tusona 1983). (Jaritz single - inthis the found casetheanalogous sonatradition oftusona at a mathematical Another among analysis attempt of Forthe - has Bastin tomy ofAngola -Chokwe communication). degree (Marie-Louise knowledge. personal justcome a ispresenting inAngola, whohasrepeatedly worked MariaTeresa deAndrade Doctor inPedagogy, Armitage, Vergani
and munima. kulutwe, hakatete,



ofGeneva atthe etdeSciences del'Education dePsychologie tothe Faculte dissertation Analyse (Switzerland): University dansuneculture traditionelle du nombre de des tshokwe expressions symboliques idiogrammes l'Angola: numbrique africaine. far ofthe -KubainZaire, ona raffia cloth kasona canalsobeseen that this historical be ofgreat 4. Itmay significance back tothe British Museum andissaidtodate area.Itisinthe ourpresent-day tusona distribution from century eighteenth inZaslevsky 1979, 108). (See photograph


BASTIN,Marie-Louise Lisboa. Tshokwe. 1961 ArtDecoratif H. BAUMANN, der Angola-Expedition des Museums in Inner-Angola. 1935 Lunda. Bei Bauernund Jaigern Ergebnisse fiir Berlin. Berlin. V1lkerkunde, No.1. inStid-Angola", fiber Felsbilderfunde Bericht Vol.6, 1954 Paideuma, "Vorlitufiger KaCHINYEKA,K. - Sayings 8. Wien. Africana Nr.30,Series Acta Ethnologica 1973Vihandyeka etLinguistica ofwisdom, vyamana ELLIOTT,J. The andgraphic. andscripts", inJustine The visual "Therelationship between arts, 1979 Cordwell(Ed.): plastic painting Publishers. Hague:Mouton ERVEDOSA,C. de Angola. da EducaqgoRepsiblica Minist6rio Luanda: 1980 Popular angolana. Arqueologia C. FRANCA, No. 65/66. de Mogqmedes)", Mensdrio Administrativo, do Tchitundo-hulo 1953"As gravuras (Deserto rupestres Luanda. E. HAMELBERGER, Annales "Ecrit surle sable", 1951 61eann.Paris. Spriritaines Vol.IX. emAfrica, "A escrita na areia", 1952 Portugal W. JARITZ, von Ideogramme oder:einemathematische auf Billardtischen 1983"Ober Bahnen angolanischer Untersuchung nr.207. Centre A-8010 Research Mathematisch-statisiche 17,Bericht Graz,Austria, Sektion, Steyrergasse Herkunft", Graz. C.G. JUNG, Zurich: Rascher des Unbewussten 1950Gestaltungen Verlag. AnelaJaff6): Jolande L. Henderson, 1974(and M.-L.vonFranz, Jacobi, (2nded.) Man and hissymbols. Joseph Books. Aldus London: Books, Jupiter KUBIK,G. 2. Vol.94,Part inSouthern Journal 1964 Inst., ofRoyal Anthropological Uganda", playing "Xylophone musical into some music with anintroduction inKiganda 1969 concepts", Kiganda techniques xylophone "Composition inAfrican remarks inAfrican Vol. Vol.3,No.3. Corrigenda Music, Music, 4, No.4. 1970. Music, Supplementary African totheEditor, Vol.5,No. 2. 1972 (Letters pp.114-5). International Bulletin 1971 und1973", inNordwest-Zambia, "Kulturelle 1975 undspachliche ofthe Feldforschungen No. 17. andEthnological on Urgent Committee Research, Anthropological Vol.5 No. 11-14. Review oftheaurora", Review ofEmilPearson's 1978 ofEthnology, (San Diego,1977) "People - Circumsision Museum with Collection DoubleLP record school andmasks. namakisi Mukanda 1981 commentary. Berlin. Simon. MC 11,Ed. Artur Berlin (West) und Kulturen - Forschungsansttze, -methoden inost-und zentralafrikanischen 1982 -ergebnisse", "Erziehungssysteme CXII. in Wien, derAnthropologischen Gesellschaft Mitteilungen andclassification A.M.T.Mabele andJ.S.Mugangala): A. Lyoba, E. Kongola, F. Balyebonera, 1977 of Recording (with Seminar onOralLiterature, the other andsome in Tanzania oralliterature Sept. during Papers presented parts ofAfrica. Dar es Salaam:Goethe-Institut. 1976. 20-26, E. ofWest-Central Africa. Wien-F6hrenau: - Luchazi A graphic tradition Tusona Verlag. bya people practised ideographs. (inpress) Stiglmayr. K. MUBITANA, A Boasian ofZambia. andChokwe Luchazi intheartoftheLunda, 1970 "Form andsignificance Luvale, approach", Vol. 1. Museums Zambia Journal, MURDOCK,G.P. ofPittsburgh. 1967 Atlas, University Ethnographic



1977Thelater andsouthern London: Heinemann Educational BooksLtd. prehistory ofeastern Africa. REDINHA,J. 1948 "Asgravuras do AltoZambeze e a primeira tentativa da sua interpretaqgo", Culturais do rupestres Publicafies Museodo Dundo, No. 2. Lisboa:Companhia de Diamantes de Angola. e culturas 1975 Etnias de Angola. Luanda: Instituto de Investigagqo Cientifica de Angola. dosSANTOS,E. 1961Contribuiddo daspictografias e ideogramas dos Quiocos. Estudos sobre a Etnologia parao estudo do.Ultramar Vol.8,No. 84. Portugues, SIMON,A. (Ed) 1983 Musik inAfrika. Mit20 Beitrigen zurKenntnis traditioneller afrikanischer Musikkulturen vonA.M. Dauer, L. H. Jungraithmayr, G. Kubik, A.Simon, H.H.Wbingler 2 Cassetten. und Museum Gerhardt, Berlin-West. firV61lkerkunde, TRACEY,A. 1970 Howtoplaythe mbira ofAfrican Music. (dzavadzimu). S.A.: International Roodepoort, Library VERGANI de A. ARMITAGE, M.T. desidiogrammes tshikwe de l'Angola. 1981 dunombre dansuneculture Analyse expressions symboliques numbrique traditionelle Dissertation. Facult6 de Psychologie etde l'Education, Universit6 de Gentve africaine. (Suisse). ZASLAVSKY,C. 1979 Number andpattern inAfrican culture. Conn.: Lawrence Hill. counts, Africa Westpoint,


Contributions to thisJournal from all sources arewelcomed Thefollowing by theEditor. general themes as a clue,but contributions, in English and French, on allaspects ofAfrican music mayserve andarts areconsidered. Pleasewrite to: TheEditor, Music' 'African International ofAfrican Music Library I.S.E.R. Rhodes University Grahamstown 6140 SouthAfrica Structure and form in African music.Analysis of sounds, techniques, processes. Manufacture andplaying ofinstruments. The placeandfunction ofmusic inAfrican culture andfolklore, traditional society, andmodern. andtheir socialsetting. Theusesandmisuses ofmusic. Songs Musicians andtheir placeinsociety. The structure ofAfrican danceandmovement. Itsplaceandfunction insociety. Its with music. relationship African music in education, bothtraditional andtheschool system. The useandadaptation ofAfrican music for spiritual purposes. Thehistorical ofAfrican from etc.sources. study music, written, oral, pictorial The study of otherAfrican artsand crafts, etc. oral,decorative, dramatic, plastic, Their with music. relationship
The relationship of languagewithmusic. The appreciationof African music. Taste, meaningin music.

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Afro-America African-derived music andarts outside Africa. Their connection with Africa. Reviews Reviewsor noteson books,records, research in progress, or films, productions, events African music arewelcome. concerning