18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

Custom Homes

Urbanising Deltas of Folklore

Phokobje le Phiri Folktale Analysis
Phokobje le Phiri Folktale Analysis

Kelebogile Tshenye

MArch 2021

Unit Leader: Thireshen Govender
Unit Leader: Jiaxin Gong
Unit Tutor: Sarah Harding

UNIT 14︎︎︎
Rogue Economies - Trade Roots: HOME
The gendered expectations faced by Tswana women emanate from customs that emphasise gender relations that differentiate African male and female bodies in space. The word “custom” denotes traditional cultural practices and behaviours that are exchanged from generation to generation through devices such as folktales and are specific to a particular society. These customs are passed down in numerous ways, one being through the act of storytelling. Storytelling is a key feature as this is one of the responsibilities of the mothers or female figures in a community, to teach and pass on forms and ideas of governance which are embedded in these stories.

Theatrical art or the performative is a part of every day in public areas and at home. These can be seen in elements of ritual gesture and communal celebrations where artistic forms synthesise spectacle and the spoken word, rhythm and dance, as forms of expression. Historically, the Tswana woman has been excluded from the decision-making theatre – the Kgotla – as this was and is still seen as a male preserve. It is believed that the power of a woman lies in the domestic environment and not necessarily outside of the home. The ritual of attending this theatre has become firmly entrenched in the social rituals of the Tswana community.  

This project proposes to subvert both the male and female gender normative roles and customs that we inevitably conform to. The aim is to challenge and change the narrative of cultural folklore passed down to younger generations by creating a new oral history where the power of the narrative, implies and explains the nature of her ‘tradition’ and determines the overall impact of the performance, which is an integral part of one’s identity.

Traditional, Cultural Identity, Gender Norms, Folklore, Setswana

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