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Related Literatures

Two African scholars

Nandwa and Bukenya ( 1983: 1) mentiones the oral

literature with their quotes : “Other aspects of folklore include traditional methods of
cooking, architecture,

medicine, and dressmaking as well as religion or ritual, art,

instrumental music, and dance. The total body of information which a community
possesses about all these things is its folklore.” And as we see oral literature or orature
is not just a literature and it shows the people’s lif styles. Sometimes words orature and
folklore can be confusing. Generally folklore is used to mean the orature but some
scholars see Yoruba and Kikuyu proverbs or chants as an example of poetic quality of
people’s folklore. But it is important to mention that the folklore of a people consists
essentially of two kinds of

activity: what these people traditionally say (e.g.songs,

proverbs, tales) and what they
traditionally do (weaving, dance, rituals).

Also there are other scholars that tries to define orality and mentiones about the
relation between literacy and orality. One of these scholars is Walter J. Ong who wrote
the book “Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word in 1982. In his book he
gives description of orature as “one where people ar e totally unfamiliar with writing.”
And he mentiones that “our memebership in society as completely committed to writing
and print as ours has made it necessary for him, and others, to describe primary orality
in relation to literacy.” (from the article titled Review of Walter J. Ong's Orality and
Literacy by Art Bingham.)

each of them has its own independence existence.One of the other scholar who defined oral literature is Ruth Finnegan.legends. She describes “African folklore literature as Oral Literature and according to her Oral Literature is an “unwritten literature” and it depends on a performer who formulates it in words on a specific occasion and it helps it to be actualized. Ruth Finnegan also the two types of literature “orature and literature” as two distinct art forms. In the article titled “Oral Traditions&Modern Poetry:Okot p’Bitek’s Song Of Lawino and Okigbo’s Labrynth by Charles A. Bodunde” it is mentioned that “the involvement of community in the creative process. For example: William Bason believes that verbal art forms such as myths.assumptions. As we see oral literature is a subject that many scholar had discussed and tried to define And tried to give relation or differences between literature and orature. beliefs.Part of the reason why many African writer borrow from the oral traditions can be explained by its attribution to the writers recognition of the functions which oral art forms perform in community. Mazisi Kuene states that the influences of oral tradition especially on poetry is tremendous. beliefs and dogma of religious system of people.” And he divides the oral tradition into 2 categories: 1)literary: this category consists of proverbs and parables 2)narratives: this is based on myths. “ According to another scholar Joel Adedeji “oral tradition is based on the ideas. legends.” .symbols. attitude and sentiments of people and you can acquire this tradition by social interactions.historical lays like epic. includes descriptions of rituals . as well as in the criticism is one of the characteristic of Oral Tradition.

but it is . be they visual or verbal. 3 It is clear from the above quotation. languages. preservation and emergent orientations that require expression and commentary.academia. initiations. oral literature. 2005:36) oral literature hasalways hada revered place in peoples lives’ as it is comprised of culturally specific interactive activities. and the ravages of the convergence and divergence of cultures. lifestyles and environmental ture (Ogunjimi and Rasheed. survives over time as a genre that aptly adapts to changes and challenges. According toShitemi (2009:87) oral literature is fused and integrated in peoples’ daily interaction through communication. These include creation. which constitute a continuum where people’s thoughts and actions can be shared (Ajibade (2005:21). language use and other modes of transmitting knowledge like norms and social ethics. births. transmission. usage. planting and harvest seasons. Shitemi (2009:87) avers that Oral literature is art form that has withstood the weather and storms of time. However. that oral literature is not only assumed to be dynamic and resilient. being part and parcel of modes of social expression. She also points out that celebrations such as weddings.https://www. funeral functions or other calamities such as epidemics or searches for godly intervention also serve as mediums and platforms through which the functional features of oral literature are manifest.

even before African nations won political independence from their European colonizers. . However. the existence and continuity of oral literature is also present in other parts of Africa. a hypothesis which the researcher incidentally aims to prove. topical songs and proverbs as well as the annual performance of the reed dance and Incwala ceremonies. especially folksongs.also perceived to be timeless. modern professional music. Salm and Falola (2002) deal with Swazi oral literature. it is imperative to note that a misunderstanding and misrepresentation of African oral literature has been in existence for a long time. dirges. Salm and Falola (2002:60) concur with Okpe who and add that oral literature provides an outlet for social criticism and commentary and contributes to social cohesion. but some of its genres. are still being used in the moral education of the young. They also observe that although Western education and urbanization have lessened the importance of oral literature. Ajibade (2005:20) Salm and Falola (2002:60) who claim that: Oral literature still penetrates some facets of daily life in Swaziland and many parts of Africa. It is true that the occasions for its performance are not as frequent as in the past. Even though Haywood (1966). it continues to thrive in many communities because of lack of printed material and because of its prominent role in maintaining traditional culture.

they still believe there is hope for the existence of oral literature in the 21 Stmcentury According to Valdaeva (2003:379) all these discoveries bring forth a feeling that such changes are sure to affect language because every new idea and new occurrence requires its own bearer.Mostert and Kaschula (2010:64) argue that traditional knowledge. easily understandable and vivid language. they caution against them as their existence may bring forth threats of abuse and the evaporation of indigenous knowledge which has served human kind for millennia. Dasylva (2001: xxii) sees oral literature as a collective expression and a celebration of . It is still the interrelationship between context and text. This definition has turned out to be a very useful concept for those scholars interested in examining the cultural relationships between those who can read and write. to use new. Kaschula (2001: xii) notes that “oral literature exists only insofar as society allows it to exist. Okpewho (1992:3) defines oral literature as literature derived by word of mouth. Conversely. have been transported onto the global stage through various developments pertaining to information and communication technologies and the ubiquitous nature of the internet. However. including oral poetry and many genres of oral literature. but remains ever changing and dynamic”. Although they observe that this is a positive scenario as it opens up many avenues for practitioners of indigenous knowledge. who will promote this idea. which permits it to flourish. It is not a static literature.

He further maintains that this literature teaches what society likes and what it hates. Similarly. folkbeliefs and songs of preliterate societies which have evolved and passed on through the spoken word from one generation to another. culture specific related experiences which enhance values in traditional societies. Each genre of oral literature has its own special characteristics just as each piece will have aspects which it does not share with other material from the same genre. It is therefore safe to state that oral literature is an instrument of cultural education. Adejumo (2009:1) asserts that: Oral literature is a creative text delivered by the word of mouth. philosophy and beliefs of a people. oral literature has certain stylistic aspects which are peculiar to it. cultural values. by virtue of its verbal expression in its authentic form. .communal. He notes that through this literature we learn a lot about societies. Mirambo (2010:121) asserts that oral literature embodies history. It refers to the heritage of imaginative verbal creations. stories. Chesaina (1994:8) when he indicates that: Oral literature depends on artistic or imaginative use of language. However. _21ST_CENTURY_A_PERSPECTIVE_ON_BASOTHO_PROVERBS .Adejumo (2009:2) argues that oral literature promotes language use because the core of language is embedded in the use of proverbs. He therefore argues that listening to oral performance will solve the problem of language extinction. https://www. It is the change in oral literature that has sparked an interest in studying proverbs as one of its component. pun and other stylistic features which are embedded in it.