Tendi : six examples of a Swahili classical verse form with translations & notes

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Title

Tendi : six examples of a Swahili classical verse form with translations & notes

Description

Pg 59 - English Translation

Utendi wa Mwana Kupona [Mwana Kupona’s Poem] is one of the most popular poems in Kiswahili literature. It was written around 1858 by Mwana Kupona binti Mshamu (c. 1810-1860) for her daughter, Mwana Hashima binti Sheikh (1841-1933). Didactic in purpose, the author wrote it to instruct her daughter as to the proper behavior of a faithful and dutiful wife. She advises that while she should pay proper deference to her husband in all matters, she must nevertheless talk to him “as if he were a child.”

The poem has been especially popular among women, with the name “Mwana Kupona” frequently appearing even today in such public places as store fronts and market stands. It stands as a notable exception to the patriarchal tradition among Kiswahili poets of the time. While written literary texts were predominantly the work of men, women are noted for their important role as keepers of the oral tradition.

Creator

J. W. T. Allen

Publisher

New York : Africana Pub. Corp. [1971]

Language

Swahili,English

Collection

Citation

J. W. T. Allen, “Tendi : six examples of a Swahili classical verse form with translations & notes,” KU Libraries Exhibits, accessed July 17, 2024, https://exhibits.lib.ku.edu/items/show/5920.