Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore

UKZN Press
552 pages - 230mm x 150mm
Paperback / softback (9781869144258)
Digital download (9781869144265)

In this book, Adrian Koopman describes the complex relationship between birds, the Zulu language and Zulu culture. A number of chapters look at the underlying meaning of bird names, and here we will find that the Zulu name of the Goliath Heron means ‘what gives birth to baby crocodiles’, the dikkop (umbangaqhwa) means ‘what causes frost’, and the African Hoopoe is a party-goer who wears a colourful blanket.The book goes further than just Zulu names, exploring the underlying meanings of bird names from other South African languages and languages from Central and East Africa. Here we find birds with names that translate as ‘cool-porridge’, ‘kiss-banana-flower’ and ‘waiter-at-the-end-of-the furrow’.A focus on Zulu traditional oral literature details the roles birds have played in Zulu praise poetry (including the praise poems of certain birds themselves) and in proverbs, riddles and children’s games. Also considered is traditional bird lore, examining the role played by various species as omens and portents, as indicators of bad luck and evil, as forecasters of rain and storm, and as harbingers of the seasons. Here we see that the Bateleur Eagle (ingqungqulu) is linked to war, the Southern Ground Hornbill (insingizi) to thunder and heavy rain, the Red-chested Cuckoo (uphezukokhono) to the start of the ploughing season, and the Jacobin Cuckoo (inkanku) to the start of summer.Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore discusses the Zulu Bird Name Project, a series of Zulu bird name workshops held between 2013 and 2017 with Zulu-speaking bird guides designed to confirm (or otherwise) all previously recorded Zulu names for birds, while at the same time devising new names for those without previously recorded names. The result has been a list of species-specific names for all birds in the Zulu-speaking region. Finally, the book turns to the role such new bird names can play in conservation education and in avi-tourism.

Chapter 1 Introduction
Chapter 1.1 The names of the White-eye
Chapter 1.2 Proper names vs common nouns
Chapter 1.3 A preliminary typology of bird names
Chapter 1.4 Human and bird interaction
Chapter 1.5 Rise of interest in birds and birding among Zulu speakers
Chapter 1.6 Review of source material
Chapter 1.6.1 Primary source material
Chapter 1.6.2 Secondary source material
Chapter 1.7 Overview of the chapters
Chapter 2 Names and identity
Chapter 2.1 Introduction
Chapter 2.2 Exploring the notion ‘eagle’
Chapter 2.3 The issue of generic and specific names
Chapter 2.3.1 The ‘problem’ of bird names in African languages
Chapter 2.3.2 Nguni names for the Bateleur
Chapter 2.4 Folk-taxonomic systems
Chapter 2.5 How do we handle ‘Maclean’s problem’?
Chapter 2.6 Dove and pigeon names as an example of ‘polytypy’
Chapter 2.6.1 Introducing the notion of polytypy
Chapter 2.6.2 Extracts from Doke and Vilakazi’s 1958 Zulu-English Dictionary relating to doves and pigeons
Chapter 2.6.3 Doves and pigeons of KwaZulu-Natal: a comparison of the scientific taxonomy with Zulu taxonomy
Chapter 3 The meaning of African bird names
Chapter 3.1 Introduction: Semantics – the theory of meaning
Chapter 3.1.1 The notion of ‘meaning’
Chapter 3.1.2 Secondary meanings and secondary functions
Chapter 3.2 An overview of meaning in African bird names
Chapter 3.2.1 Typologies of bird names based on semantics
Chapter 3.2.2 Song
Chapter 3.2.3 Appearance
Chapter 3.2.4 Habitat
Chapter 3.2.5 Diet
Chapter 3.2.6 General behaviour
Chapter 3.2.7 Motion
Chapter 3.2.8 Belief names
Chapter 3.2.9 Nesting
Chapter 3.2.10 Other
Chapter 4 The meaning of the new Zulu bird names
Chapter 4.1 Introduction
Chapter 4.2 Comparative semantic profiles of African bird names, old Zulu bird names and the new Zulu bird names
Chapter 4.3 A semantic profile of the coined Zulu names
Chapter 4.3.1 The semantic category ‘Song’
Chapter 4.3.2 The semantic category ‘Appearance’
Chapter 4.3.3 The semantic category ‘Habitat’
Chapter 4.3.4 The semantic category ‘Diet’
Chapter 4.3.5 The semantic category ‘General behaviour’
Chapter 4.3.6 The semantic category ‘Motion’
Chapter 4.3.7 The semantic category ‘Belief’
Chapter 4.3.8 The semantic category ‘Nest’
Chapter 4.3.9 The semantic category ‘Other’
Chapter 5 Zulu bird names used for other purposes
Chapter 5.1 Bird names as other lexical items
Chapter 5.1.1 Polysemy as illustrated by Zulu bird names
Chapter 5.1.2 Bird names and cattle colours
Chapter 5.1.3 From cattle colour patterns linked to birds to general colours linked to birds
Chapter 5.2 Bird names in secondary lexemes
Chapter 5.2.1 Onymisation
Chapter 5.2.2 Names of people
Chapter 5.2.3 Names of geographical features
Chapter 5.2.4 Street names
Chapter 5.2.5 Brand names and logos
Chapter 6 The morphology of bird names
Chapter 6.1 Introduction
Chapter 6.2 Classification of noun stems
Chapter 6.3 Names with simple stems
Chapter 6.4 Names with reduplicated stems
Chapter 6.5 Names with complex stems
Chapter 6.5.1 The use of the prefix –no–
Chapter 6.5.2 The use of the prefix –ma–
Chapter 6.5.3 The use of the prefix –so–
Chapter 6.5.4 The use of the prefix –sa–
Chapter 6.5.5 The use of the suffixes –ana and –ane
Chapter 6.5.6 The use of the suffixes –azi and –kazi
Chapter 6.5.7 Various other suffixes
Chapter 6.6 Names with compound stems
Chapter 6.6.1 Noun + noun
Chapter 6.6.2 Noun + adjective
Chapter 6.6.3 Noun + possessive locative
Chapter 6.6.4 Noun + verb
Chapter 6.6.5 Verb + noun
Chapter 6.6.6 Other verb-based names
Chapter 6.7 The value of a derivational system
Chapter 7 Verbalisation of birdsong in Zulu
Chapter 7.1 Introduction
Chapter 7.1.1 Preamble
Chapter 7.1.2 Birdsong renderings in field guides for birdwatchers
Chapter 7.1.3 Birdsong references in bird names
Chapter 7.2 Descriptive names, including the use of metaphor and simile
Chapter 7.3 Imitative names: the use of onomatopoeia
Chapter 7.3.1 Onomatopoeia
Chapter 7.3.2 The call and the names of the Hadeda Ibis
Chapter 7.3.3 Previously recorded Zulu onomatopoeic names
Chapter 7.3.4 Zulu workshop-coined onomatopoeic names
Chapter 7.3.5 Onomatopoeia that becomes generic
Chapter 7.4 Interpreted calls: what the bird is really saying
Chapter 7.4.1 The notion of interpretation
Chapter 7.4.2 Contributors to the interpretations of Zulu bird calls
Chapter 7.4.3 Selected Zulu interpretations of bird calls
Chapter 8 Birds in Zulu praise poetry
Chapter 8.1 Introduction
Chapter 8.1.1 Different genres of praise poetry
Chapter 8.1.2 Historical figures in Zulu praise poetry
Chapter 8.1.3 The copying of bird-related memes
Chapter 8.1.4 Birds in Zulu praise poetry
Chapter 8.2 Ulwandle kaluwelwa, luwelwa yizinkonjane: swallows over the sea
Chapter 8.3 The ‘red birds’: ungqwashi and igwalagwala
Chapter 8.4 The raptors
Chapter 8.5 Ujojo and other finches
Chapter 8.5.1 The ujojo finch
Chapter 8.6 Miscellaneous other birds
Chapter 8.6.1 Domestic hen
Chapter 8.6.2 The owl
Chapter 8.6.3 The Hamerkop
Chapter 8.6.4 The wagtail
Chapter 8.6.5 Mousebird and egret
Chapter 8.6.6 Honeysucker
Chapter 8.6.7 The dove
Chapter 8.6.8 Waterfowl and vulture
Chapter 8.6.9 The lark ucilo
Chapter 8.6.10 Glossy starlings (perhaps)
Chapter 8.6.11 The intendele partridge
Chapter 8.6.12 The plover
Chapter 8.6.13 The Southern Ground Hornbill
Chapter 8.7 Izinyoni nje ‘Just birds’
Chapter 9 Praises, proverbs and riddles
Chapter 9.1 The praises of birds
Chapter 9.1.1 Introduction: praise names to praise poetry
Chapter 9.1.2 The praises of selected birds in Zulu
Chapter 9.1.3 The praises of the longclaw inqomfi
Chapter 9.2 Birds in proverbs, idiomatic expressions and sayings
Chapter 9.2.1 Introduction to proverbs
Chapter 9.2.2 Proverbs relating to the hunting and trapping of birds
Chapter 9.2.3 Other aspects of birds leading to proverbs
Chapter 9.2.4 Cognitive links between the three elements of a ‘bird proverb’
Chapter 9.2.5 Proverbs and folk tales
Chapter 9.3 Birds in riddles and children’s games
Chapter 10 Bird beliefs: Portents and heralds
Chapter 10.1 Introduction
Chapter 10.1.1 Explanation of terminology
Chapter 10.1.2 Sources of material
Chapter 10.2 Omens, portents, taboos and charms
Chapter 10.2.1 Manifestation of omens and portents
Chapter 10.2.2 Omens of death and illness, witchcraft and evil
Chapter 10.2.3 Omens of war
Chapter 10.2.4 Omens of luck, bad and good
Chapter 10.2.5 Taboos against killing, eating and imitating birds
Chapter 10.2.6 Birds used as charms
Chapter 10.3 Harbingers and heralds: birds of weather, seasons and times of day
Chapter 10.3.1 Weather forecasters: rain birds, storm birds and lightning birds
Chapter 10.3.2 The heralds: birds of spring and summer
Chapter 10.3.3 Announcers of dawn and dusk
Chapter 11 Feathers, food and fancies
Chapter 11.1 Use of feathers for decoration and ornament
Chapter 11.1.1 The Blue Crane (Grus paradisea), Z. indwa (also frequently indwe)
Chapter 11.1.2 The Common Ostrich (Struthio camelus), Z. intshe
Chapter 11.1.3 The Long-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes progne), Z. isakabuli
Chapter 11.1.4 Purple-crested Turaco (Tauraco porphyreolophus), Z. igwalagwala and mousebirds (indlazi and umtshivovo)
Chapter 11.1.5 Paradise Flycatcher (Terpsiphone viridis), Z. u(lu)ve or inzwece
Chapter 11.1.6 The Kori Bustard (Ardeotis kori), Z. umngqithi
Chapter 11.1.7 The dove (ihobhe, ijuba), the eagle (ukhozi) and the vulture (inqe)
Chapter 11.1.8 General plumage (unspecified birds)
Chapter 11.1.9 A lexicon of feather terms
Chapter 11.2 Use of birds for food
Chapter 11.3 Miscellaneous beliefs and uses
Chapter 11.3.1 Humans, cattle and birds
Chapter 11.3.2 Where birds winter
Chapter 11.3.3 Curious miscellanea
Chapter 11.3.4 Practical uses with some modern implications
Chapter 11.4 Conclusion: attitudes towards traditional beliefs
Chapter 12 New names and new identities
Chapter 12.1 Introduction
Chapter 12.2 Background to the workshops
Chapter 12.3 Preparations for the first workshop
Chapter 12.3.1 Logistics of the workshop
Chapter 12.3.2 Collating of existing material
Chapter 12.4 Modus operandi of the first workshop
Chapter 12.5 A case study of shore birds and waders
Chapter 12.6 A summary of the linguistic strategies and processes used
Chapter 12.6.1 Confirmation
Chapter 12.6.2 Selection and relegation
Chapter 12.6.3 Redirection
Chapter 12.6.4 Assignment
Chapter 12.6.5 Coinage
Chapter 12.7 Interrogation of the results of the 2013–2015 workshops
Chapter 12.8 The second round of workshops
Chapter 12.9 Final list of Zulu bird names: the process of acceptance
Chapter 12.10 Appendix: The kingfisher’s tale
Chapter 12.10.1 Nine birds need nine names
Chapter 12.10.2 Nine names for nine birds
Chapter 13 Change is in the air
Chapter 13.1 Yesterday, today and tomorrow
Chapter 13.2 Zulu bird names in their historical context
Chapter 13.2.1 Oral contributions and their transcription
Chapter 13.2.2 Earlier contributors to the Zulu ornithonomasticon
Chapter 13.3 The modern Zulu bird namers
Chapter 13.3.1 Those involved in the 2013–2017 Zulu bird name workshops
Chapter 13.3.2 Sakhamuzi Mhlongo
Chapter 13.3.3 Themba Mthembu
Chapter 13.3.4 Junior Gabela
Chapter 13.4 Birds and education
Chapter 13.4.1 Birds and conservation or environmental education
Chapter 13.4.2 Bird clubs and the Women’s Leadership and Training Programme (WLTP)
Chapter 13.4.3 Writing of children’s readers
Chapter 13.4.4 Bird guide training
Chapter 13.4.5 Community bird guides
Chapter 13.5 Birding and avitourism
Chapter 13.6 The evolution of memes: changing dynamics in traditional beliefs
Chapter 13.6.1 The dying out of a meme
Chapter 13.6.2 The (virtually) unchanged survival of a meme
Chapter 13.6.3 The adaptation of a meme: the Southern Ground Hornbill
Chapter 13.6.4 The birth of a new meme: the Southern Ground Hornbill (again)
Chapter 13.6.5 The deliberate forced reversal of memes: owls and vultures
Chapter 13.7 Bird names: challenges for the future
Chapter 13.7.1 Bird names in South African Bantu languages
Chapter 13.7.2 Species-specific names in Swahili
Chapter 13.7 3 Names of birds in Seychelles Creole
General index
Bird name index