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5 - A Poetological Narration of the Nation

from Part II - History, Fictions, and Factions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 June 2022

Toyin Falola
Affiliation:
University of Texas, Austin
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Summary

This chapter is basically a review of a collection of poems mirroring the Yoruba cultural ethos, drawn from Etches on Fresh Waters, Scoundrels of Deferral, A Mouth Sweeter than Salt, and Counting the Tiger’s Teeth. Believing the core of a nation to be its people, the poetry collections seek to present a narration of the nation through poems about the cultural practices, values, and beliefs of the people. Clearly, the chapter depicts poetry as a creative mode of expression, performing a “dialectic function of narrating a group’s culture,” and as a means of “documenting” and “teaching” culture. The chapter launches into the cultural significance of poetry and how poetry reflects the past and present cultural realities of the Yoruba people especially. The cultural ethos include salutations to the revered, celebration of ethnic identity, sermons on moderation, unrestrained freedom, and hospitality, amongst others, while some were used to show women’s sociocultural position.

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Chapter
Information
Decolonizing African Knowledge
Autoethnography and African Epistemologies
, pp. 99 - 124
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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