New Horizons: <i>Sahdji</i> to the Bronze Booklets

in Alain L. Locke

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226317762
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226317809 | DOI:
New Horizons: Sahdji to the Bronze Booklets

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The narrative of Sahdji, which Alain L. Locke published in both The New Negro as a short story and in Plays of Negro Life as a one-act drama, uses the form of a folk tale. An African king, Konombju, loves Sahdji, though she is in love with Mrabo, a member of the tribe and heir to the king. When the king is killed in a hunting accident, Sahdji reveals to the elders her adulterous love and then throws herself into a passionate dance that ends with her suicide, seemingly in accordance with tradition. Throughout the ballet, a narrator stands at the side of the stage and comments on the action, using the various adages that Locke discovered by researching African folklore, in order to shape the thematics of the story. Very little dialogue was used, and it appears that the narrative was conveyed largely by pantomime.

Keywords: Sahdji; Alain L. Locke; New Negro; Negro Life; African folklore; Konombju; Mrabo; dance; folk tale; pantomime

Chapter.  15033 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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