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Ife Studies in English Language - Abstract

Title

TRANSMUTATIONS IN YORUBA DRAMA FROM FOLKLORIC DRAMATISATIONS TO VIDEO FILMS

Authors

SESAN Azeez Akinwumi, Department of Languages and Linguistics, Osun State University, Osogbo

Published

© Ife Studies in English Language Vol. 12 (1) 2016, pp. 81-98

Language

English

Abstract:

Yoruba drama has enjoyed transmutation, particularly in the medium of production and the performance space, with the emergence of the new media of radio, television, cinema and in the recent time home videos. The paper discusses the evolutionary trends of Yoruba dramatic culture from folkloric dramatisations video films. Attentions are paid to the dramatic qualities of festivals and ritual observances in the stage of pristine orality, through the alarinjo tradition to the contemporary innovations in cinearts and video film production. The paper observes that there is no inflexible and indestructible transitional gulf between Yoruba folkloric dramatisations and organised modern theatre and video films, and by extension, among the three. The paper also observes that each medium of dramatisations has its own audience because no medium is superior to another, considering the evolutionary theory of orature and folkloric performances. The paper also attempts a discourse of the epistemological and ideological issues that influence the reading and analysis of the contemporary Yoruba video films. The specific attention of the paper is on folkloric films in the forms of epic, history, legend and myth in relation to how these have been affecting the identity construction of Yoruba people. The paper argues that the total gestalt of Yoruba films have deviated from the core utilitarian functions of folkloric dramatisations. The paper, therefore, is of the opinion that mercantilism is a factor that influences how folkloric materials are interpreted, with particular reference to history and myth. The conclusion of the paper is that culture is not static: it responds to the needs and aspirations of the moment. The only caveat, therefore, is that cautions should be exercised in the use of folkloric materials in the contemporary Yoruba film industry for the sake of the present generation and posterity.

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