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Theorizing African Oral Poetic Performance and Aesthetics: Udje Dance Songs of the Urhobo People

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Starting with the premise that literature and the arts are cultural productions, Tanure Ojaide finds using Western literary theory to judge African literary works, whether oral or written, not only missing the major aims of such creative works but also failing to understand their aesthetic impact. Using udje dance songs of Nigeria s Urhobo people as an example of an African oral poetic performance, he theorizes that provoking laughter and intellectual delight are foremost in the minds of the poets/composers of the songs, the performers, and the audience. Ojaide goes further to relate African oral poetic performance to the African Diaspora where African-American battle rap, Caribbean Calypso, music and rhetoric, among other artistic productions, exhibit the same performance features and aesthetic impact. "Tanure Ojaide writes about the oral poetic traditions of his Urhobo people with the zeal and commitment of a native son. His views are commendable for the contribution they make to our study of the subject." --Isidore Okpehwo State University Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Binghamton University of SUNY


Product Description
Starting with the premise that literature and the arts are cultural productions, Tanure Ojaide finds using Western literary theory to judge African literary works, whether oral or written, not only missing the major aims of such creative works but also failing to understand their aesthetic impact. Using udje dance songs of Nigeria s Urhobo people as an example of an African oral poetic performance, he theorizes that provoking laughter and intellectual delight are foremost in the minds of the poets/composers of the songs, the performers, and the audience. Ojaide goes further to relate African oral poetic performance to the African Diaspora where African-American battle rap, Caribbean Calypso, music and rhetoric, among other artistic productions, exhibit the same performance features and aesthetic impact. "Tanure Ojaide writes about the oral poetic traditions of his Urhobo people with the zeal and commitment of a native son. His views are commendable for the contribution they make to our study of the subject." --Isidore Okpehwo State University Distinguished Professor of the Humanities, Binghamton University of SUNY
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