Limen of the Actual and the Fabulous: Conceptual Blurs and Cross-Roads in Yoruba Narrative Performance


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


African Studies


Among the Yoruba, narrativity inheres not only in set forms like folktale and poetry, but also in informal dialogue and conversation. The culture’s definition of the world could be inferred from these narratives. Close observation yields a better understanding of the artistic exploitation of the African reality by novelists in the tradition identified as magical realism. Individual and comparative study of these narratives also demotes the traditional discourse that favours boundaries between such poles as good and evil, spirit and matter, and reality and fantasy. The power and currency of the narrative performance is best appreciated in the light of its adoption as entertainment series by the electronic media. Methodology adopted to elicit the data for the monograph includes participant observation, non-participant observation, and focus group discussion.