Poet associated with oral tradition-Oral poetry - Wikipedia

Themes in the literary traditions of contemporary Africa are worked out frequently within the strictures laid down by the imported religions Christianity and Islam and within the struggle between traditional and modern, between rural and newly urban, between genders, and between generations. The oral tradition is clearly evident in the popular literature of the marketplace and the major urban centres, created by literary storytellers who are manipulating the original materials much as oral storytellers do, at the same time remaining faithful to the tradition. Some of the early writers sharpened their writing abilities by translating works into African languages; others collected oral tradition; most experienced their apprenticeships in one way or another within the contexts of living oral traditions. There was a clear interaction between the deeply rooted oral tradition and the developing literary traditions of the 20th century. That interaction is revealed in the placing of literary works into the forms of the oral tradition.

Poet associated with oral tradition

Poet associated with oral tradition

Poet associated with oral tradition

Poet associated with oral tradition

Come to me, beloved, Into my green garden, Beneath my red rose-tree! Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Yradition cultures from Vancouver Island and Washington have stories describing a physical struggle between a Thunderbird and a Whale. This is where the two versions meet, although in the girl asks her lover if some other girl has given him an embroidered pillow. It pertains to each person in the family. That Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa will not do things together Tribalism is rooted in our midst Our national growth is marred by religious wars. There yradition four nouns in this position which are confined to the decasyllable. Ancient texts of HinduismBuddhism and Jainism were preserved and transmitted by an oral tradition. I shall await Favorite blowjobs adult vod, And mix sweet sherbet. Poet associated with oral tradition are all of them high-sounding expressions which the poet has been able to work into his verse … Far from being formulas by which he would regularly express his idea under certain metrical conditions, these phrases were to him fine expressions which his mind kept solely for their beauty, and which the chance of his verse now let him use.

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In most oral literature, poetry is defined by the fact that eith conforms to metrical rules ; examples of non-poetic oral literature in Poet associated with oral tradition culture include some jokesspeeches and storytelling. One consequence of Parry and Lord's work is that orally improvised poetry as opposed to poetry which is composed without the use of writing but then memorised and performed later is sometimes seen as the example par excellence of oral poetry. Hidden categories: Articles needing additional references from December All articles assocuated additional references. Daddy fuck me gay references to Homer and quotations from the poems date to the middle of the 7th century bce. If real, he is believed to have lived about the 9th or 8th century BCE and was a native of Ionia. The mid-century countercultural poets who helped define a generation. Cambridge: Cambridge Xssociated Press, Homerflourished 9th or 8th century bce? Stories are used to preserve and transmit both tribal history and environmental history, which are often closely linked. See a problem on this page?

Oral tradition , or oral lore , is a form of human communication wherein knowledge, art, ideas and cultural material is received, preserved and transmitted orally from one generation to another.

  • Homer , flourished 9th or 8th century bce?
  • Oral tradition , or oral lore , is a form of human communication wherein knowledge, art, ideas and cultural material is received, preserved and transmitted orally from one generation to another.
  • Toggle navigation Brigham Young University.
  • Oral poetry is poetry that is composed and transmitted without the aid of writing.
  • As a young man, he joined the U.

Oral tradition , or oral lore , is a form of human communication wherein knowledge, art, ideas and cultural material is received, preserved and transmitted orally from one generation to another. In this way, it is possible for a society to transmit oral history , oral literature , oral law and other knowledge across generations without a writing system , or in parallel to a writing system.

Religions such as Buddhism , Hinduism and Jainism , for example, have used an oral tradition, in parallel to a writing system, to transmit their canonical scriptures, secular knowledge such as Sushruta Samhita , hymns and mythologies from one generation to the next.

Oral tradition is information, memories and knowledge held in common by a group of people, over many generations, and it is not the same as testimony or oral history. The study of oral tradition is distinct from the academic discipline of oral history , [10] which is the recording of personal memories and histories of those who experienced historical eras or events.

According to John Foley, oral tradition has been an ancient human tradition found in "all corners of the world". The Judeo-Christian Bible reveals its oral traditional roots; medieval European manuscripts are penned by performing scribes; geometric vases from archaic Greece mirror Homer's oral style. Indeed, if these final decades of the millennium have taught us anything, it must be that oral tradition never was the other we accused it of being; it never was the primitive, preliminary technology of communication we thought it to be.

Rather, if the whole truth is told, oral tradition stands out as the single most dominant communicative technology of our species as both a historical fact and, in many areas still, a contemporary reality. In Asia, the transmission of folklore, mythologies as well as scriptures in ancient India, in different Indian religions, was by oral tradition, preserved with precision with the help of elaborate mnemonic techniques.

In ancient Greece, the oral tradition was a dominant tradition. Homer 's epic poetry, states Michael Gagarin, was largely composed, performed and transmitted orally. Writing systems are not known to exist among Native North Americans before contact with Europeans. Oral storytelling traditions flourished in a context without the use of writing to record and preserve history, scientific knowledge, and social practices. Plots often reflect real life situations and may be aimed at particular people known by the story's audience.

In this way, social pressure could be exerted without directly causing embarrassment or social exclusion. Native American storytelling is a collaborative experience between storyteller and listeners. Native American tribes generally have not had professional tribal storytellers marked by social status.

Stories are used to preserve and transmit both tribal history and environmental history, which are often closely linked. Various cultures from Vancouver Island and Washington have stories describing a physical struggle between a Thunderbird and a Whale. Another depicts the Thunderbird lifting the Whale from the Earth then dropping it back down.

Regional similarities in themes and characters suggests that these stories mutually describe the lived experience of earthquakes and floods within tribal memory. Other stories in the region depict the formation of glacial valleys and moraines and the occurrence of landslides, with stories being used in at least one case to identify and date earthquakes that occurred in CE and Oral traditions face the challenge of accurate transmission and verifiability of the accurate version, particularly when the culture lacks written language or has limited access to writing tools.

Oral cultures have employed various strategies that achieve this without writing. For example, a heavily rhythmic speech filled with mnemonic devices enhances memory and recall. A few useful mnemonic devices include alliteration , repetition, assonance , and proverbial sayings.

In addition, the verse is often metrically composed with an exact number of syllables or morae - such as with Greek and Latin prosody and in Chandas found in Hindu and Buddhist texts.

Not only does grounding rules in oral proverbs allow for simple transmission and understanding, but it also legitimizes new rulings by allowing extrapolation.

These stories, traditions, and proverbs are not static, but are often altered upon each transmission barring the overall meaning remains intact. Ancient texts of Hinduism , Buddhism and Jainism were preserved and transmitted by an oral tradition. Michael Witzel explains this oral tradition as follows: [5]. The Vedic texts were orally composed and transmitted, without the use of script, in an unbroken line of transmission from teacher to student that was formalized early on.

This ensured an impeccable textual transmission superior to the classical texts of other cultures; it is, in fact, something like a tape-recording Not just the actual words, but even the long-lost musical tonal accent as in old Greek or in Japanese has been preserved up to the present. Ancient Indians developed techniques for listening, memorization and recitation of their knowledge, in schools called Gurukul , while maintaining exceptional accuracy of their knowledge across the generations.

All hymns in each Veda were recited in this way; for example, all 1, hymns with 10, verses of the Rigveda was preserved in this way; as were all other Vedas including the Principal Upanishads , as well as the Vedangas. Each text was recited in a number of ways, to ensure that the different methods of recitation acted as a cross check on the other. Pierre-Sylvain Filliozat summarizes this as follows: [43]. Research by Milman Parry and Albert Lord indicates that the verse of the Greek poet Homer has been passed down at least in the Serbo-Croatian epic tradition not by rote memorization but by " Oral-formulaic composition ".

In this process extempore composition is aided by use of stock phrases or "formulas" expressions that are used regularly "under the same metrical conditions, to express a particular essential idea". Since the development of this theory, of Oral-formulaic composition has been "found in many different time periods and many different cultures", [46] and according to another source John Miles Foley "touch[ed] on" over "ancient, medieval and modern traditions.

The most recently revealed of the world's great religions, [50] Islam had its two major sources of divine revelation — hadith and the Quran — compiled in written form relatively shortly after being revealed: [51].

The written Quran is said to have been created in part from what had been memorized by Muhammad's companions , and the decision to create a standard written work is said to have come after the death in battle Yamama of a large number of Muslims who had memorized the work. Islamic doctrine holds that from the time it was revealed to the present day, the Quran has not been altered, [Note 5] its continuity from divine revelation to its current written form insured by the large numbers of Muhammad's supporters who had reverently memorized the work, a careful compiling process and divine intervention.

Bannister have examined the possibility that the Quran was not just "recited orally, but actually composed orally". Banister, Dundes and other scholars Shabbir Akhtar, Angelika Neuwirth, Islam Dayeh [59] have also noted the large amount of "formulaic" phraseology in the Quran consistent with " oral-formulaic composition " mentioned above.

Among the other repeated phrases [Note 6] are "Allah created the heavens and the earth" found 19 times in the Quran. As much as one third of the Quran is made up of "oral formulas", according to Dundes' estimates. Dundes argues oral-formulaic composition is consistent with "the cultural context of Arabic oral tradition", quoting researchers who have found poetry reciters in the Najd the region next to where the Quran was revealed using "a common store of themes, motives, stock images, phraseology and prosodical options", [Note 8] and "a discursive and loosely structured" style "with no fixed beginning or end" and "no established sequence in which the episodes must follow".

Vuk pursued similar projects of "salvage folklore" similar to rescue archaeology in the cognate traditions of the Southern Slavic regions which would later be gathered into Yugoslavia , and with the same admixture of romantic and nationalistic interests he considered all those speaking the Eastern Herzegovinian dialect as Serbs.

Somewhat later, but as part of the same scholarly enterprise of nationalist studies in folklore, [71] the turcologist Vasily Radlov — would study the songs of the Kara-Kirghiz in what would later become the Soviet Union; Karadzic and Radloff would provide models for the work of Parry. In a separate development, the media theorist Marshall McLuhan — would begin to focus attention on the ways that communicative media shape the nature of the content conveyed.

Ong's works also made possible an integrated theory of oral tradition which accounted for both production of content the chief concern of Parry-Lord theory and its reception.

The most-often studied section of Orality and Literacy concerns the " psychodynamics of orality" This chapter seeks to define the fundamental characteristics of 'primary' orality and summarizes a series of descriptors including but not limited to verbal aspects of culture which might be used to index the relative orality or literacy of a given text or society.

In advance of Ong's synthesis, John Miles Foley began a series of papers based on his own fieldwork on South Slavic oral genres, emphasizing the dynamics of performers and audiences. The bibliography gives a summary of the progress scholars made in evaluating the oral tradition up to that point, and includes a list of all relevant scholarly articles relating to the theory of Oral-Formulaic Composition.

Foley developed Oral Theory beyond the somewhat mechanistic notions presented in earlier versions of Oral-Formulaic Theory, by extending Ong's interest in cultural features of oral societies beyond the verbal, by drawing attention to the agency of the bard and by describing how oral traditions bear meaning. The bibliography would establish a clear underlying methodology which accounted for the findings of scholars working in the separate Linguistics fields primarily Ancient Greek , Anglo-Saxon and Serbo-Croatian.

Perhaps more importantly, it would stimulate conversation among these specialties, so that a network of independent but allied investigations and investigators could be established. His Pathways Project — draws parallels between the media dynamics of oral traditions and the Internet.

The theory of oral tradition would undergo elaboration and development as it grew in acceptance. However, numerous innovations appeared, such as the "formulaic system" [Note 10] with structural "substitution slots" for syntactic , morphological and narrative necessity as well as for artistic invention. Examples include the "Beasts of Battle" [88] and the "Cliffs of Death". The methodology of oral tradition now conditions a large variety of studies, not only in folklore , literature and literacy , but in philosophy , [Note 11] communication theory , [] Semiotics , [] and including a very broad and continually expanding variety of languages and ethnic groups, [] [] [] [] [] and perhaps most conspicuously in biblical studies , [] in which Werner Kelber has been especially prominent.

Present developments explore the implications of the theory for rhetoric [] and composition , [] interpersonal communication , [] cross-cultural communication , [] postcolonial studies , [] rural community development , [5] popular culture [] and film studies , [6] and many other areas.

The most significant areas of theoretical development at present may be the construction of systematic hermeneutics [] [] [] and aesthetics [] [] specific to oral traditions. While games provide amusement by showing how messages distort content via uncontextualized transmission, Parry's supporters argue that the theory of oral tradition reveals how oral methods optimized the signal-to-noise ratio and thus improved the quality, stability and integrity of content transmission. There were disputes concerning particular findings of the theory.

For example, those trying to support or refute Crowne's hypothesis found the "Hero on the Beach" formula in numerous Old English poems. Similarly, it was also discovered in other works of Germanic origin, Middle English poetry , and even an Icelandic prose saga. Dane, in an article [] characterized as "polemics without rigor" [] claimed that the appearance of the theme in Ancient Greek poetry, a tradition without known connection to the Germanic, invalidated the notion of "an autonomous theme in the baggage of an oral poet.

Within Homeric studies specifically, Lord's The Singer of Tales , which focused on problems and questions that arise in conjunction with applying oral-formulaic theory to problematic texts such as the Iliad , Odyssey , and even Beowulf , influenced nearly all of the articles written on Homer and oral-formulaic composition thereafter.

However, in response to Lord, Geoffrey Kirk published The Songs of Homer , questioning Lord's extension of the oral-formulaic nature of Serbian and Croatian literature the area from which the theory was first developed to Homeric epic.

Kirk argues that Homeric poems differ from those traditions in their "metrical strictness", "formular system[s]", and creativity. In other words, Kirk argued that Homeric poems were recited under a system that gave the reciter much more freedom to choose words and passages to get to the same end than the Serbo-Croatian poet, who was merely "reproductive". In fact, he discounted the Serbo-Croatian tradition to an "unfortunate" extent, choosing to elevate the Greek model of oral-tradition above all others.

Many of the criticisms of the theory have been absorbed into the evolving field as useful refinements and modifications. For example, in what Foley called a "pivotal" contribution, Larry Benson introduced the concept of "written-formulaic" to describe the status of some Anglo-Saxon poetry which, while demonstrably written, contains evidence of oral influences, including heavy reliance on formulas and themes [] A number of individual scholars in many areas continue to have misgivings about the applicability of the theory or the aptness of the South Slavic comparison, [] and particularly what they regard as its implications for the creativity which may legitimately be attributed to the individual artist.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about oral tradition in general. For the gospel tradition in Christianity, see Oral gospel tradition.

For the journal, see Oral Tradition journal. Further information: Oral-formulaic composition. It was a miscellaneous collection at first, because then the revelations were coming in, people recorded them on anything that came to hand -- a sheet of parchment, a piece of leather, a stone, a bone, whatever. As khalifa, Omar began a sorting process.

In his presence, each written verse was checked against the memorized version kept by the professional reciters whom this society regarded as the most reliable keepers of information. Scribes then recorded the authorized copy of each verse before witnesses, and these verse were organized into one comprehensive collection.

The Quran, however, is complete, in the sense that everything that God intends us to find in the mushaf we shall find there, for whatever God intended to include, He made sure to preserve Edinburgh University Press.

Retrieved 21 July Fry responds to what was known, pejoratively, in Greek studies as the "hard Parryist" position, in which the formula was defined in terms of verbatim lexical repetition see Rosenmyer, Thomas G. The opening section on historical background covers developments in archaeology and textual criticism including Parry's work since the late nineteenth century, with descriptions of and comments on formulaic and thematic structure.

In "The Technique of the Oral Poet" , he sketches both a synchronic picture of the singer weaving his narrative and a diachronic view of the tradition developing over time.

In the third part, on the psychology of performance, he discusses "the prevalence of rhythmic speech over prose; the prevalence of the event' over the abstraction'; and the prevalence of the paratactic arrangement of parts In sympathy with Havelock , he interprets Plato's reaction against the poets as one against the oral mentality and its educative process.

He points out, "Our definition is a working definition for the use of historians. Sociologists, linguists or scholars of the verbal arts propose their own, which in, e. In linguistics, features that distinguish the language from common dialogue linguists , and in the verbal arts features of form and content that define art folklorists.

Ancient Indians developed techniques for listening, memorization and recitation of their knowledge, in schools called Gurukul , while maintaining exceptional accuracy of their knowledge across the generations. Oral poetry exists most clearly within oral cultures , but it can survive, and indeed flourish, in highly literate cultures. In fact, he discounted the Serbo-Croatian tradition to an "unfortunate" extent, choosing to elevate the Greek model of oral-tradition above all others. At the same time scenes from the epics became popular in works of art. Bloomington:IUP, Berkeley: University of California Press. For the journal, see Oral Tradition journal.

Poet associated with oral tradition

Poet associated with oral tradition

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Orality, textuality and history : issues in South African oral poetry and performance.

To browse Academia. Skip to main content. You're using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer. Log In Sign Up. Deoye Falade. The steady incursion of foreign media content and values which were once alien to Africans but are now being assimilated and exhibited at an alarming rate, most especially among the youth, presents a problem as regards traditions and cultural values.

The indigenous means of communication is an integral part of the lives of Africans and losing this will surely mean the loss of more than our ability to communicate traditionally, but also intrinsic aspects of our cultural history and heritage.

Most indigenous knowledge is not written down but memorized and passed down from one generation to the next by word of mouth. The influence of foreign media and the competition it brings could mean that the attention of coming generations may be diverted and there might be no one to pass down historical information to.

However, there are certain ways through which aspects of the African culture and history can be passed down and preserved. One of these is through poetry. This article is an attempt to examine how poetry has been, and can still be used to preserve the cultural heritage of the Yoruba people. In addition, the power of poetry to challenge social ills and stimulate change in the society, and the various ways through which indigenous poetry has found its way into foreign media was examined.

Key words: poetry, oral communication, social change, cultural heritage, indigenous communication. Introduction Prior to the widespread use of writing as a means of communication, the most common mode of communication in Africa was the spoken word.

This form of communication is generally referred to by many scholars as oral tradition or oral communication. Wilson , in an online article makes this clearer with the statement below: For the African people, oral tradition is linked to their way of life. Most African societies place great worth in oral tradition because it is a primary means of conveying culture.

It is also a mode of transmitting feelings and attitudes. For centuries, African people depended upon oral tradition to teach the listeners important traditional values and morals pertaining to how to live.

Oral tradition delivers explanations to the mysteries of the universe and the meaning of life on earth. Therefore, they could not keep written records of their history. Thus, oral communication was the established means of passing down information on norms, culture, tradition, religion, amongst others, from one generation to another. It was a bank for the preservation of their ancient experiences and beliefs.

Much of the evidence that related to the past of the African people, therefore, could be found in oral traditions. This word-of-mouth driven mode of communication has served Africans, and by extension, humanity, for a long time.

And the capacity to communicate with this unique mode, apart from reason, distinguishes humans from other living species. Inasmuch as the focus of this article is on what poetry has helped to achieve in Africa, in terms of the preservation of cultural heritage and engendering social change, this article will dwell more on the Yoruba people of South-Western Nigeria.

This is because it would be limiting to write generally on the subject without adequate knowledge of how other cultures in Africa use poetry. Still, the Yorubas are a sizeable ethnic group in the continent. Text from a few poems will also be analysed to see how poems serve as a means of preserving Yoruba history and culture, as well as engendering social change. Definition of Terms Oral Communication This is basically communication via word of mouth. However, in the context of this article, oral communication in used to depict the verbal aspect of indigenous communication.

This is in relation to the transmission of messages, ideas, morals, virtues, history from one generation to another via word of mouth. Poetry Poetry is a literary genre that defies precise definition. Many poets and scholars let their muse determine what poetry is, but for the purpose of this article, poetry is a product of human imagination based on observations of the society and experiences expressed in spoken form with or without the aid sound, rhythmic language choices, and meaning so as to evoke an emotional response.

Yoruba Oral Tradition In the Yoruba culture — as with a lot of other African cultures, human experiences are usually cast into narratives, which are continuously performed in various social settings and rituals. Historical and social experiences are all recorded in oral tradition; therefore, oral traditions constitute the starting point of any investigation into Yoruba thought system Olajubu, Oral traditions among the Yoruba, assume that the spoken word embodies a power and active essence called oro according to Abiodun, cited by Olajubu This makes the power and active essence in Yoruba oral tradition a vehicle for ideological control.

As a result, words become tools for entrenching ideologies either of oppression or liberation. Several genres of Yoruba oral literature have been composed and performed by the people for many years and have been utilized for social engineering and societal cohesion throughout history.

Oral literature for the Yoruba is always of present relevance because it continues to wield considerable influence on Yoruba social structures till date Olajubu, For instance, some genres of Yoruba oral traditions like ofo, ayajo and epe incantations , may be invoked to manipulate natural elements to the advantage of the individual so endowed.

Despite the fact that most people had the ability to recount parts of their genealogy and local history, only a few oral artists had the skill and stamina required to chant lengthy oral literature.

In addition to frequently entertaining their audiences and providing relaxation, they also teach important moral lessons. In Yoruba land, as a means of relaxation, the elderly gather the children around and regale them with various stories and songs, with a lesson usually embedded in them. This serves as a method of orientation for the young and instruction on the need to respect the dictates of their custom: as a result, a large body of moral instruction, of societal values and norms are preserved for future generations by the Yoruba.

Apart from the use of these oral means to teach morals and preserve culture, they are also used to transmit technical knowledge from masters to apprentice; for instance, farmers, hunters, fishermen, traditional medicine men, etc. The oral form of poetry had existed way before the written mode and this was more or less the only form of poetry in the pre-colonial era.

It was unwritten and according to Opara, there existed a thin line between poets and musicians because poems were sometimes rendered in song and with musical accompaniments. Then, poets published their works in form of renditions at funerals, marriage ceremonies, coronations, etc, with themes ranging from praise and commendation, to condemnation of vices.

By the time the colonial masters came, they brought with them western education, introduced by the missionaries. This changed the scope of traditional communication as poems began to be written in a language other than the local language. These new institutions kick-started a flood of Nigerian writing in English — poetry as well as prose.

According to Delap in an online article, by the time Nigeria gained independence, in , there were already a sizeable number of Nigerian poets, playwrights and novelists attracting attention in the United Kingdom. More importantly, Publishers were also keen to introduce them to a world audience. This gave them a wider audience and kept them in the eyes of the West.

Wole Soyinka was even awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in and with some other Nigerian poets, featured extensively in British poetry lists. Despite the level of success achieved by these poets, some scholars like Onwumere believed their poetry was tainted by Western attitudes and acted as a cancer on the Nigerian poetry scene.

This, Onwumere says, was as a result of their Western education. However, some of these poets still managed to incorporate cultural elements in their work. But it was clearly also to celebrate the enduring strengths of his own Yoruba-speaking culture, in the face of a growing disillusionment with the failures of the European-inspired independent nation state.

Medley of voices. Although this generated a lot of debate in Nigerian poetic circles, it had the effect of making the poetry more African than it earlier was, doing away with the imperialistic superimposition. Oral communication is basically about experience and poetry helps in expressing this, either in written or oral form. Pre-colonial poetry was concerned with preserving culture and passing it on from generation to generation, as well as propagating the ethics and morals of the traditional African society.

The concern was more about protecting the core values of the African society against the encroaching western values. As more Africans acquired western education, poets and other literary minds began to champion the cause of independence. Some poets even dropped their pens and took up arms in various struggles or engaged in some form of political activism. Christopher Okigbo for instance, was killed in the Nigerian civil war, fighting for Biafra against the Federal Government.

Perhaps, this is why scholars like Awa , see African literature as being synonymous with protest: …African literature is protest in nature. It comes as a reaction to various forms of injustices meted out on Africans by the colonial masters and later, post-colonial masters. It is also important to observe that there are, arguably, three phases in the development of African literature--pre- colonial, colonial and postcolonial.

Each of these periods is marked by peculiarities--the issues they detail. In modern African poetry however, writers and their works are implicated in the larger struggles which define political life in wider society. Against the backdrop of a continuing economic crises in African countries started by the western imperialists and sustained by a greedy and an unpatriotic African ruling class, contemporary African poets have turned their attentions away from culture and colonialism to more contemporary issues—politics of its continent and social conditions.

However, in contemporary times, there appears to have been a shift in the focus of African poets. Still, the concept of preserving traditional values against the erosion of such by foreign culture remains, as Awa points out: Since the s, political, economic, and cultural events have begun to shape African poetry.

Gone are the days when the shades of colonialism were an unending preoccupation of African poets. In Modern African Poetry, works that focus on the healing and purging of the country and families have dominated African poetry. Poetry and Preservation of the Yoruba Cultural Heritage Poetry in any language is a respected literary genre and the people of Yoruba-land are no exception.

Amongst the Yoruba, poetry, depending on the genre can be used as a means of preserving historical occurrences and experiences. According to Chief Ifayemi Elebuibon, the Araba Awo of Osogbo, in an online article, oriki is an important poetic genre. The oriki tells where a person originated from, how powerful and wealthy his ancestors were and what noble things they had accomplished.

Elebuibon states that that the Yoruba have an oriki for almost every object. There are orikis for kings and warriors, as well as for the rich and the poor. There are also Orikis for animals including birds and inanimate objects like the mountains and water. Elebuibon further adds that: In order to understand the lifestyle of an Orisa one needs to study his or her Oriki. It is important for an Orisa devotee to learn the Praise Name of that Orisa.

The Apossa, those who learn how to invoke the spirits, are trained in the art of chanting Orikis for the deities. At the weekly service of Ojo Ose, the priest and priestess first pay homage to Olodumare and the ancestors.

Then they chant the Orikis for the Orisas and petition the deities for things they desire with the hope of having their prayers answered. The Praise Names awaken the deities who will now listen to and assist their devotees sic.

The Praise Names of the ancestral lineage is known as Oriki Onile. It pertains to each person in the family. The drummer, Onilu and the chanters Akigbe and Akun Mungba are professionally trained to recite the Oriki Onile of kings, the chiefs, and their relatives at ceremonies.

In Yorubaland, a mother chants the Oriki Onile to soothe her crying baby. From the above, it can be seen that Yoruba poetry is didactic in nature.

Poet associated with oral tradition

Poet associated with oral tradition

Poet associated with oral tradition