n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Bury my bones but keep my words : the interface between oral tradition and contemporary African writing : research article

Volume 25, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
  • E-ISSN: 2219-8237



The contention in this article is that African oral tradition should be reexamined in view of its perceived new importance in the work of African novelists. This article investigates the nature and definition of oral tradition, as well as the use of oral tradition as a cultural tool. The increasing inclusion of oral literature as part of the African literature component within university and school curricula is discussed. Finally, the pronounced role of oral tradition in fiction is examined, using as exemplars some seminal works of Bessie Head (1978, 1990 and 1995 ) and Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1965, 1977, 1981, and 1982).

Hierdie artikel betoog dat die mondelinge Afrika-tradisies geherevalueer moet word in die lig van die belang van Afrika-verhaalskrywers wat opnuut waargeneem word. Hierdie artikel ondersoek die wese en definisie van die mondelinge tradisie, sowel as die gebruik van die mondelinge tradisie as 'n kultuurinstrument. Die toenemende insluiting van mondelinge literatuur as deel van die Afrika-literatuurkomponent in universitêre en skoolleerplanne word bespreek. Voorts word die beduidende rol van mondelinge tradisie in fiksie ondersoek aan die hand van belangrike werke van Bessie Head (1978, 1990 en 1995) en Ngugi wa Thiong'o (1965, 1977, 1981, en 1982).

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