Namibian music and dance as ngoma in arts education.
The aim of this thesis is to explore Namibian music and dance, to gain understanding of the character of different practices and through this, to provide teachers and learners in schools with materials suitable for use in the new arts curriculum in Namibia. In order to motivate the need for indigenous cultural materials, a brief historical background to Namibian arts education is sketched, highlighting the effects of colonialism on cultural identity and the separation of music from dance in education. In gathering examples of indigenous music and dance it became clear that for these practices to retain a measure of integrity in schools, new ways of thinking about performance in schools would be required. This leads to a discussion of an approach summarised within the term ngoma, which refers to holism, communality and orality among other things. It is suggested that music/dance as ngoma has a positive contribution to make to Namibian arts education. To support this suggestion in a practical way, I explore the indigenous traditions used to educate and socialise young people. Argumentation follows regarding possibilities of preparing teaching-learning materials in a manner appropriate to Namibian circumstances. A breakdown of diverse characteristics of indigenous music and dance is done in order to help the teacher identify and comprehend the individual characters of Namibian performances. In this way teachers should be better prepared to utilise the examples of music/dance events that follow. Various events are contextualised, described, transcribed and analysed with suggestions for use in the classroom. Finally the ngoma approach, the principles of Basic Education in Namibia, and the new arts syllabi are brought together by investigating some of the possibilities of music and dance as ngoma in schools.