Transcending the Versification of Oraliture: Song-Text as Oral Performance among the Ilaje
Authors: N. Akingbe
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Oraliture is a terminology that is often employed in the description of the various genres of oral literature such as proverbs, legends, short stories, traditional songs and rhymes, song-poems, historical narratives traditional symbols, images, oral performance, myths and other traditional stylistic devices. All these devices constitute vibrant appurtenances of oral narrative performance in Africa. Oral narrative performance is invariably situated within the domain of social communication, which brings together the raconteur/performer and the audience towards the realisation of communal entertainment. While the narrator/performer, plays the leading role in an oral performance, the audience’s involvement and participation is realised through song, verbal/choral responses, gestures and, or instrumental/musical accompaniment. This oral practice usually take place at one time or the other in various African communities during the festival, ritual/religious procession which ranges from story- telling, recitation of poems, song text and dancing. This paper is essentially concerned with the illustration of the use of song- text, as oral performance among the Ilaje, a burgeoning coastal subethnic group, of the Yoruba race in the South Western Nigeria. The paper will further examine how patriotism, history, death and anti-social behaviours are evaluated through the use of songs among the Ilaje.