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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:A Genre Classification of Digo Oral Literature: Based on the social features
Author:Park, J.K.
Year:2011
Periodical:Asian Journal of African Studies
Volume:30
Pages:47-76
Geographic term:Kenya
Discipline:Language
Subjects:Digo - language
Oral Tradition
Digo - ethnic group
Abstract:Social contexts for oral literature performances not only have an effect on the realization of meaning, but construct a system of genre classification as well. An oral literature genre can be categorized according to the participants who normally enjoy the form and the occasions where the form is performed. The objective of this study is to describe how the Digo community of Kwale conuty in the Coast Province of Kenya classifies their oral literature genres according to the social features. The field research for this study was conducted around Ukunda and K wale towns from January 17 to February 14 in 201 1. 11 oral performers of the Digo community were interviewed during the field research. The data collected was analyzed to illuminate the genre classification of Digo oral literature based on the social features. The body of this study reveals that the cultural rules on oral literature performances in the Digo society can be applied as distinctive features to their categorization of the oral forms. Digo people classify their oral genres based on the age, sex and profession of the participants of performances. For example, they recognize children's songs(mawira ga anache) and songs for exorcism (mawira ga kuphunga). They also categorize the oral forms according to the occasions, such as wedding ceremonies and funeral services. Some can be performed at festive occasions, whereas others are suitable for mourning in the Digo society. Oral literature is the art form deeply involved in everyday life. Oral performances are realized in actual life scenes as many people participate. Thus, the social context of oral literature is an integral part of the performance. This study attempts to elucidate how the social context can be reflected on the genre classification of Digo oral literature. (Journal Abstract).
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