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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Tortoise tales and Yoruba ethos
Author:Owomoyela, OyekanISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
trickster tales
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4618226
Abstract:Tortoise, variously named jp, jp, Aljp, Abaun and Albaun in Yoruba, is a familiar figure in Yoruba folklore, where he is consistently depicted in the trickster role. In effect, there are two legitimate claimants to the title of trickster in Yoruba folklore: .s .El'.egbra, a god, whose activities encompass both the divine and the secular spheres; and jp, who operates in the mundane and fanciful world of the imagination. This paper first points out the similarities between the two characters, similarities which are valid only in general terms (a study of details reveals many dissimilarities); then it examines the ethnographic significance of the jp tales by exploring their didactic message and social role. To explain the continuous violation of Yoruba norms by jp, the author considers comparable instances from other forms of Yoruba folklore, such as ork ('praises'). App. (summary of three jp tales), bibliogr., notes, ref.