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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Arabic writing between global and local culture: scholars and poets in Yorubaland (southwestern Nigeria)
Authors:Abubakre, Razaq D.
Reichmuth, StefanISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
Arabic language
Abstract:A much discussed aspect of the issue of the global trend in cultural development is the growing cultural diversity within States and communities rather then between them. The highly urbanized Yoruba region of southwestern Nigeria provides a striking case of a cultural diversity which goes back well beyond the colonial period but has become even more marked in the course of the 20th century. This paper deals with one aspect of Yoruba cultural diversity: the development of Arabic writing and literature within the cosmopolitan community of Islamic scholars in Ilorin. More than anything else, Arabic appears in the Yoruba region as an important interface between local and global culture. The paper first pays attention to Arabic praise poetry which was introduced in Yorubaland by Islamic scholars in the 19th century. It then discusses the growth of a modernized Arabic education sector in Ilorin and other parts of Yorubaland that gained momentum from the sixties onward and which led to a tremendous increase in Arabic literary activities, a strong interest in Arabic rhetoric, the development of Arabic narrative prose, a renewed interest in proverbs and the emergence of drama and theatre in Arabic. Bibliogr., ref.