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Folk Theatre and the Ethnolanguage Discontinuum: Cultural Implications

By Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

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ABSTRACT
The controversy over how appropriately the Nigerian dramatist can convey his cultural experience and narrative to his audience through the conduit of an imported language burdened with its alien set of conventions, syntax and structure has engaged many Nigerian anthropological and literary scholars for some time now. How a particular society perceives a character presented by the narrator depends largely on how a parallel line connecting that character to the peculiar qualities, personalities or situation in that society can be well drawn by the folk dramatist. Language and communication are essential features of drama and in the retelling of these folk stories, performers indirectly become language teachers to their audience, and assist them to re-learn it. The functional theory of folk theatre which makes it a source of vital information about the culture of the Nigeria society, and trainer of enhanced language skills, has been ignored. Presently, folktales are fast disappearing from the life of the average Nigerian family as people face new modes and foreign languages of entertainment. People have lost the enduring lessons of our folktale tradition. Government has disregarded the need to pass on indigenous language inherited from the ancestors to their offspring. Indigenous language needs to evolve to take on the challenge of foreign languages. The article examines the measures to be adopted to breach this language divide and salvage this situation.
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About the Author

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

http://www.unn.edu.ng/academics/institute/institute-of-african-studies-2/
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