Oral Poetry as Channel for Communication

Obaje A. Anthony, Yakubu Bola Olajide


African village traditionally was a small unit where every inhabitant knew and was interested in the affair of his neighbor. This common heritage produces poems passed on by words of mouth from one generation to another. This paper discusses the transmission of African socio-cultural values from one generation to another through oral poetry. It explains its common heritage and modus operandi, which creates the desired atmosphere and evokes the appropriate emotions as demanded by the occasion. The paper also literarily exemplifies the significance of the communication between the living and the dead, the listeners (audience) and the mistrels, praise singers, and the traveling bards of the Ewe of Ghana, the Bantu of South Africa, the Yorubas and Hausas of Nigeria, the Berber of Algeria and the Gikuyu of Kenya. The modes of political poetry in every one of these oral groups and their quest for cultural rehabilitation are encapsulated in the discourse.


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.ccc.1923670020120804.365


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