Eschatological Motifs and Socio-Spiritual Aspects of Urhobo Funeral Poetry

Abstract

Author(s): Felicia OHWOVORIOLE

Dirges play an important role in the cultural life of Africans and many Africans feel man cannot approach God directly but through mediation. Dirges are songs, poems or dances performed on the death or dances performed on the death or during the funeral of someone with societal recognition. In form the Urhobo dirge may be eulogic, satiric, lamentative, condemnatory or incantatory. The Urhobo are a major ethnic group with a rich tradition in the Delta area of Southern Nigeria. Our consideration in this study is to highlight how the people respond to their spiritual world through the form of worship that is eternalised in different acts and sayings during a funeral. These acts may be formal or informal, regular or extempore, communal or individual, ritual or unceremonial through word or deed. The literary aspects of the recitations have also been examined

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