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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The poetry of the Egwu Ota of Asaba: a mytho-historical experience
Author:Mowah, Frank UcheISNI
Periodical:Africa: rivista trimestrale di studi e documentazione
Geographic term:Nigeria
ancestor worship
traditional music
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40761082
Abstract:This article examines the Egwu Ota dance/music which is performed at the funeral of elders, chiefs, 'oba', and other dignitaries among the Ibo of Asaba, a town on the western bank of the Niger river in Nigeria. It reviews the foundation and early history of Asaba in the 16th century, and the origin of ancestor worship in Asaba, paying special attention to the development of Egwu Ota as a form of ritual dance/music which was played for the spirits of the ancestors (Ota), both as a panegyric for the worthy who had distinguished themselves in their lifetime and as an elegy for those who could not meet the standards required to be apotheosized as ancestors. Then it discusses the gradual secularization of Egwu Ota, and its current nature, instrumentation, and significance. The article is based mainly on oral information. Notes, ref., sum. in French and Italian.