African Poems

Oral Poetry from Africa

Tag: Bahima

In Praise of Seven Women

A Bahima women’s Praise-Poem, recorded in 1955 in Ankole, composed and recited by Kempumbya, wife of Ntumu. (See also The Bahima Women Praise Their Cattle and Bahima Women’s Praises.) The Bahima people are the cattle-herders among the Bayankole people of southwest Uganda. In these praises, originally in the Runyankole language, seven different women are described. The chorus (My companions etc.) is repeated after each praise.

She does not sit just as if she were placed there;
She does not shame her husband’s kraal…

Bahima Women’s Praises

A Bahima women’s Praise-Poem, recorded in 1955 in Ankole, and recited by Rhoda Kenyonyosi, who described it as by an unknown composer and dating from 1950. (See also The Bahima Women Praise Their Cattle).

The Bahima people are the cattle herders among the Bayankole people of southwest Uganda. In these praises, originally in the Runyankole language, the subject is the beauty of the women of the Baronda age set, and especially that of Veronika. The chorus (Stand up, so that before we say goodbye etc.) is repeated after each praise.

You Baronda,
wake up the ugly women…

The Bahima Women praise their Cattle

A Bahima women’s Praise-Poem, recorded in 1955 in Ankole, and composed and recited by Ntamaare. The Bahima people are the cattle-herders among the Bayankole people of southwest Uganda. In these praises, originally in the Runyankole language, the subject is the cattle for which they are famous. Each of the different cows belonging to the herd is admired for its unique characteristics, especially their hide and their horns. The chorus (When they stampede etc.) is repeated after each praise.

They are as greedy as Ishe-Katabazi:
I want them to graze in the newly burnt grass of Rwanda…

African Poems