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Chabana sa khomo (One nation)

Mohapeloa told anthropologist David Coplan in an interview in 1978 that Chabana is based on two folksongs, used in the first and second half of the song respectively. ‘Mong’a kobo’ (Owner of the hide) is in the second half and is identifiable from two field recordings made by Hugh Tracey in Lesotho in 1951 and 1952, although it is possible that Mohapeloa’s version, widely known by 1950, may have influenced the folk version Tracey recorded. The Soprano and Bass call-and-response at the beginning of the song must come from a folksong “as it is sung in the villages … in original Sotho style” as Mohapeloa put it to David Coplan in an interview in 1978, a song “sung when the skin is scraped to make a karos [blanket]”. The rhythm is expressed antiphonally as if accompanying the brushing movements of villagers cleaning a cowhide to make it pliable.

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Chabana sa Khomo

Audio
African Choral Legacy - Historic Recordings of J.P. Mohapeloa Track 4
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