ASPECTS OF AFRICAN ORAL LITERATURE AND PERFORMANCE AESTHETICS

Abdullahi Kadir Ayinde

Abstract


This paper gives an overview of an ethnographic portrait of the artists who recreate the tradition of oral performance as well as samples of performance situation of Ereno festival of Epe people in Lagos. The essay spells out certain aspects of oral tradition and critically examines how they did have the appreciation of beauty through performance. African oral tradition and folkways deal with man’s existential being. It grapples with man’s dilemma and adventure in life. The utilitarian value of the oral tradition is to utilize its various conventions for instruction and entertainment and to stimulate human feeling through songs, song-tales, riddles, beast-fables, parables, jokes, proverbs, anecdotes, legends, myths, fables, spics, folktales and stories. In traditional African literature, the oral performer spoke in prose and verse and song. The dynamism with which the performer exhibits the aesthetic potency of the oral forms makes the African poets and storytellers the community chroniclers, entertainers and collective consciousness.


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