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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The theme of evil in the balladic poetry of the Isokos of southern Nigeria
Author:Akporobaro, F.B.O.
Periodical:Nigeria Magazine
Geographic term:Nigeria
praise poetry
Isoko language
Abstract:Human happiness as expressed in the tales, ballads and lyrics of the Isoko of southern Nigeria is seen as a very precarious state of being, constantly under threat as a result of man's natural attachment to evil. The varied terrain of narrative symbols, incidents, characters and auditory images in the ballads and lyrics insistently enforce a vision of horror and treachery breathing in the soul of men everywhere. This dark vision is often expressed along with a vision of the vagaries of fate, personal gods and human destiny. One of the many expressions of this vision within the context of Isoko folklore is a group of song narratives called the songs of Ibagboloro. One of these, 'The song of the anthill', is translated and presented as a basis for discussion. (The text in Isoko is also included.) The author looks at the theme and motifs, as well as the mode of performance, and reappraises the social function of these tales in Isoko life. The real role of Isoko balladic tales and narratives lies in the way they provide not only a means for understanding life but also for enduring it. Notes, ref.