An analysis of the praises of domestic animals.
It occured to me that scholars who undertake to explore praises in Zulu have centred much analysis on praises of human beings and very little on those of domestic animals. Domestic animals are very close environmental company to any Black person in South Africa, especially to those who reside in farming areas. This study demonstrates that the domestic animal merits praise because it constitutes a kind of relative and colleague to a Black person. The first chapter gives a general layout of those to follow. What one has to note in the first chapter is the assessment of the extent to which scholars have made studies towards assessing praises of domestic animals. To be more precise, about six books have been identified containing some gleanings on the praises of domestic animals . This scarcity of documented sources for these praises together with the fact that praises of domestic animals are still mainly part of oral tradition constitute the main reason prompting this study. Chapter Two analyses hopefully in depth the social aspect of praises of domestic animals. We deduce from the numerous facts emerging from the inter-relationship between owner and animal that the main reason for the existence of the praises in question, is to forge links that bind poet and animal together. Aspects discussed in Chapter Two are, among others, the purpose of praising which examines the effect of praises on both the animals themselves and the community at large. The chapter also looks at the various poets in this field, the occasions during which domestic animals are praised, and the kind of audience anticipated when praising these animals. Though almost all the poets in this regard are wholly nonliterate, the praises they compose are nevertheless rich in literary constructions. They decorate the praises with all sorts of poetic expressions. One may even imagine that the praises of domestic animals were composed by modern learned poet who composed them by transcription and had all the skills to adopt the most impressive literary forms. Chapter Four sums up the role of praises of domestic animals on society as well as the literary richness that the praises possess. On the other hand this chapter Four is also to be taken as the summary and distillation of the previous ones.