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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Violence in dialogue: Yoruba women in actions
Author:Olusola Ajibade, George
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines (ISSN 0008-0055)
Geographic term:Nigeria
married women
Abstract:This study deals with particular forms of Yoruba women's reactions in Nigerian polygynous households. Violence is not limited to physical attack and battery. The power of words is so strong that its effect is limitless as it can penetrate both physical and spiritual objects and spheres. Songs are used to show emotions or feelings about something, somebody or groups of people. Marital affairs such as rivalry or jealousy among co-wives (Orogún) and the troubles of polygynous households are among the reasons for some of the co-wives' songs. This paper critically analyzes the songs usually sung by co-wives in polygynous households among the Yorůbá, using psychoanalysis and African 'womanism' as theoretical framework. Such songs are used by co-wives to express their feelings about a particular incident within the matrimonial home. The analysis and interpretation of data benefit from a conceptual understanding acquired during fieldwork through experiential participation and in-depth interviews with selected housewives. The existing works on Yorůbá oral literature serve as secondary data. The paper elucidates the representation of violence in co-wives' verbal artistry and shows how verbal art is used as an instrument to cope with the scourge of polygyny within a patriarchal setting. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]