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Complexity and Politics of Naming in Yoruba Tradition: A Dramatic Exploration of Once Upon an Elephant

Department of Creative Arts, University of Lagos, Akoka 23401, Nigeria
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Genealogy 2019, 3(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/genealogy3020018
Received: 6 January 2019 / Revised: 6 April 2019 / Accepted: 9 April 2019 / Published: 11 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Familial Naming Practices)
This paper examines the connection between naming and oral tradition, specifically àló and ìtàn, by discussing Bosede Ademilua-Afolayan’s Once Upon an Elephant (2015), and demonstrates the ways in which contemporary Nigerian playwrights appropriate the same to engage their political realities. The Yoruba are aware that names are not mere signs but the material nodes of the social network, hence the rites associated with naming underscore the people’s belief in birth, life, and living, as well as the totality of existence. The paper is in three parts: a background to the analysis, a discussion of Yoruba belief about naming that is linked with a discussion of oral tradition, and an analysis of the play with materials that are drawn from the previous discussion in order to show how the playwright has used the strategy of naming to engage a broader socio-political reality of her society. View Full-Text
Keywords: alias; autogenesis; culture; naming; oral genre; socio-politics; tragedy alias; autogenesis; culture; naming; oral genre; socio-politics; tragedy
MDPI and ACS Style

Balogun, L.; Fasanu, S. Complexity and Politics of Naming in Yoruba Tradition: A Dramatic Exploration of Once Upon an Elephant. Genealogy 2019, 3, 18.

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