African Drama and Performance (Research in African by John Conteh-Morgan, Tejumola Olaniyan

By John Conteh-Morgan, Tejumola Olaniyan

African Drama and function is a set of leading edge and wide-ranging essays that convey conceptually clean views, from either well known and rising voices, to the examine of drama, theatre, and function in Africa. subject matters variety from reports of significant dramatic authors and formal literary dramas to improvisational theatre and renowned video movies. South Africa's fact and Reconciliation Commissions are analyzed as a type of social functionality, and facets of African functionality within the diaspora also are thought of. This dynamic quantity underscores theatre's position in postcolonial society and politics and reexamines functionality as a sort of excessive paintings and daily social ritual.Contributors are Akin Adesokan, Daniel Avorgbedor, Karin Barber, Nicholas Brown, Catherine Cole, John Conteh-Morgan, Johannes Fabian, Joachim Fiebach, Marie-Jos? Hourantier, Loren Kruger, Pius Ngandu Nkashama, Isidore Okpewho, Tejumola Olaniyan, Ato Quayson, Sandra L. Richards, Wole Soyinka, Dominic Thomas, and Bob W. White.

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Latent con®icts, social rifts, differing views can be brought to the open. The jowei-mask is used as the embodiment of the highest moral and social values and of the most secret forms of knowledge and dominant values of the female Sande Society of the Mendes of Sierra Leone. The beautiful Sande masker bears a variant of the name of the highest-ranking member in the Society, sowei. Dances of the jowei constitute the apex of initiation activities and important sociopolitical events such as the enthronement of a king or paramount chief.

Gonde is also shameless in going right up to people and asking for money despite her utter unworthiness, rather than waiting in a digni¤ed manner for people to present whatever gifts they might want to give her. 5 The extent to which initiation rites can act out complex, contradictory social positions and conceptions of the world may be best outlined by a cursory glance at a main component of the Bambara initiation cycle; that is, at the masks or performers koré dugaw. They are tricksters or clowns representing the inextricable intertwining of both viciousness and destructiveness, critical intelligence and creativity.

On the other hand, signi¤cant parts of those performances consist of threatening confrontations between the king and the chiefs. 30 Joachim Fiebach The king and the leading warrior chief face each other with drawn swords: this signi¤es that there are discrepancies, con®icts, and tensions among the ruling groups themselves. Other types of complex cultural performances that act out the real power structures and social hierarchies in order to demonstrate their legitimacy include components of symbolic actions that directly contest this legitimizing effort.

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