ORAL TRADITION, A PANACEA TO LAND IDENTITY CRISES: ISSUES IN CHINUA ACHEBE'S TEXTS

Ngozi Dora Ulogu

Abstract


Land identity crisis in contemporary communal setting has taken a toll in the peace and tranquility of the society. Issues and facts surrounding land ownership have become more complex owing to unidentifiable false claims to such disputed lands. Usually there are claims and counter claims which eventually escalate and lead to eventual crises. To maintain a healthy and peaceful society is of the essence in a traditional African setting. African traditional society has provided a channel of transmitting facts about land ownership, respect and rules on issues of communal existence. However, this tradition seems to be neglected, hence leaving a culture of recklessness and impunity. Chinua Achebe in his novels Things Fall Apart and Arrow of God chronicles situations and events depicting African cultural heritage, norms and regulations that protected the peace and sanity of the land, even in the face of crises.  African Oral tradition has a rich repertoire of regulations, and channels of reviving and reinventing the old long tradition, including story telling. Using Storytelling as a framework of analysis, this essay makes a literary analysis of the use of oral tradition in the transmission of the cultural values and facts in relation to land ownership, communal and inter-communal coexistence. Specifically, the paper investigates the impact of storytelling in mitigating instances of land disputes and crises. The paper observes that reviving oral tradition is sacrosanct as a veritable means of sustaining cultural harmony and peace in the society.

 Keywords: Oral Tradition, Land Identity, Crises, Ownership, Storytelling

 


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