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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The art of 'The Ozidi Saga'
Author:Okpewho, IsidoreISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic term:Nigeria
oral literature
epics (form)
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/research_in_african_literatures/v034/34.3okpewho.pdf
Abstract:In 1977 the Nigerian poet-playwright John Pepper Clark-Bekederemo published 'The Ozidi Saga', a folk epic from the Ijo of the Niger Delta. This publication was based on the audiotapes of a command performance, in 1963, of the story by a troupe led by an outstanding storyteller named Okabou Ojobolo. The performance, which took place in Ibadan, was hosted by an Ijo matron, before an audience made up partly of Ijo residents in Ibadan and partly of non-Ijo Nigerians. The present paper, examining the artistic qualities of 'The Ozidi Saga' as revealed both by the text on the printed page and by the interaction between the narrator and his audience, pays attention to the way in which Okabou stamps his personality and interests into the body of the story's material; his use of the sounds of his native Ijo language; and narrative strategies (the descriptive strategy, the kinesic strategy, and the strategy of nuanced representation). The paper shows how the realities of Ijo culture and society impress themselves on the tale in the narrator's frequent recourse to Ijo ontology, referring to the validity of the female-male distribution, kinship and gender relations, and the image and position of the female among the Ijo. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]