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Okoh, Onweazu Nkem (1984) Tradition and individual creativity in Enauni Igbo tales. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is an attempt to demonstrate that while great regard is paid by the Enuani Igbo to 'tradition' in oral narrative performance, there is in fact a considerable scope for individual creativity. After the Introduction (Chapter 1), the study is divided into three major parts: Part One, 'Some traditional elements of performance', (Chapters 2, 3 and 4) examines features of the narrative tradition shared by all performers. Part Two, 'Tradition and the individual artist' (Chapters 5, 6 and 7) comprises an investigation of the nature of literary creativity in this society, based mainly on a detailed study of one of the most outstanding Enuani artists, Udene Okohai. The main features of Okohai's innovative narrative technique are investigated, especially that of the 'mixed mode', which is unique to him. Part Three, 'Evaluation', (Chapters 8 and 9) draws substantially upon data recorded during story-telling sessions, interviews and conversations on how the Enuani themselves conceive of their oral tales (or, more specifically their performance). While some desirable features of performances are examined, the emphasis here is on the Enuani notion of 'tradition'. This thesis concludes by arguing that the two important demands made on the Enuani artist - that he adhere strictly to 'tradition' and that he exercise his creative freedom within the framework of the traditional style - are by no means opposed to each other. Every good tale performance displays a balance between tradition and individual creativity.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 14:58

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