Presentation on theme: "The Principles of Folktale in Igbo Society"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Principles of Folktale in Igbo Society Otu Mgbe:The Principles of Folktale in Igbo Society
2 Questions to consider: Why did folk tales serve such an integral role in Igbo society throughout adulthood?What (if any) corresponding tradition to the oral tale do we have in modern American society?
3 Purpose of story in Igbo life Story-telling served 3 goals in Igbo society:EntertainmentMoral and societal traditionArtistic genreJ.O.J. Nwachuckwu-Agbada, “The Igbo Folktale: Performance Conditions and Internal Characteristics”
4 entertainment Similar to theater Performer was expected to know “role” of storytellerAudience participation and judgmentPerformances preserved “order and balance” of society on smaller scale
5 morality and tradition Tales repeated throughout villages, familiesArchetypal themes easy to rememberUnite mythical, spiritual, and concrete realmsServe as educational tools for childrenPass along rules of order
6 artistry in folk tales Tales included songs as part of ritual Storytellers respected ritual of talesStories told after dark during dry seasonStandard openings and group responses
7 stories from “things fall apart” 13 different animal tales referenced, using 11 different titular charactersThe Tortoise (chapter 11) is the Master Trickster in Igbo talesStories illustrate male/female values, moral codes
8 Some Examples:“Let kite perch and eagle, too. If one says no to the other, let his wing break.”--ch.3 Extending hospitality is essential to one’s success and well-being.“The little bird nza who so far forgot himself… that he challenged his chi.”--ch. 4 Do not think so highly of oneself that one forgets his proper place.“Eneke-nti-oba challenged the whole world to wrestle and was bested by a cat.”--ch 7. Grace and skill are more formidable than strength and bravado.Mosquitoes buzz by ears as a reminder of their love and devotion.--ch 9 Explanation of how things work in the world.
9 And: Snake-lizard killed his mother, then killed himself. --ch 9 None are above the rules of society.Tortoise names himself “All of You” to eat all the food at the feast. Later, parrot delivers the wrong message to Tortoise’s wife.--ch 11 Be wary of false friends; Don’t make enemies, they will retaliate!(After exile in Mbanta)Mother Kite teaches her daughter how/what to hunt.--ch 15 When a situation is odd, beware.
10 The final tale:Eneke the bird was asked why he was always on the wing and he replied:“Men have learned to shoot without missing their mark and I have learned to fly without perching on a twig.”How can this be interpreted in respect to Ogonkwo? The villages? The future?