1. bookVolume 8 (2020): Issue 3 (December 2020)
Journal Details
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Journal
First Published
06 Mar 2015
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3 times per year
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English
access type Open Access

Traditional Segregation: Encoded Language as Powerful Tool. Insights from Okǝti Ụmụakpo-Lejja Ọmaba chant

Published Online: 17 Jun 2021
Page range: 127 - 145
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
06 Mar 2015
Publication timeframe
3 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

Language becomes a tool for power and segregation when it functions as a social divider among individuals. Language creates a division between the educated and uneducated, an indigene and non-indigene of a place; an initiate and uninitiated member of a sect. Focusing on the opposition between expressions and their meanings, this study examines Ụmụakpo-Lejja Okǝti Ọmaba chant, which is a heroic and masculine performance that takes place in the Okǝti (masking enclosure of the deity) of Umuakpo village square in Lejja town of Enugu State, Nigeria. The mystified language promotes discrimination among initiates, non-initiates, and women. Ọmaba is a popular fertility Deity among the Nsukka-Igbo extraction and Egara Ọmaba (Ọmaba chant) generally applies to the various chants performed to honour the deity during its periodical stay on earth. Using Schleiermacher’s Literary Hermeneutics Approach of the methodical practice of interpretation, the metaphorical language of the performance is interpreted to reveal the thoughts and the ideology behind the performance in totality. Among the Findings is that the textual language of Ụmụakpo-Lejja Okǝti Ọmaba chant is almost impossible without authorial and member’s interpretation and therefore, they are capable of initiating discriminatory perception of a non-initiate as a weakling or a woman.

Keywords

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