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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Songs of the king's wives: women, power and performance in the Yoruba public sphere
Author:Omojola, BodeISNI
Year:2009
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Volume:34
Issue:2
Pages:47-57
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:women
musicians
Yoruba
traditional festivals
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24484019
Abstract:Indigenous festivals, which rely significantly on music and dance, often constitute the village public sphere and the social arena within which the structures of power are performed and negotiated in traditional African communities. This article discusses two unique musical traditions which feature prominently at annual traditional festivals in Emure-Ekiti, a Yoruba town in Western Nigeria. The musical traditions are 'orin olori' (songs of the king's wives) and a related ensemble, 'orin airegbe', a musical tradition associated with female chiefs. Exploring an ethnomusicological approach, the article argues that the complementary relationship between these two all-female musical traditions and the scope of their performance practices draw attention to the ways in which public performance speaks to the status and agency of women in traditional Yoruba societies. Bibliogr., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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