oa Lagos Notes and Records - Ewi, Yoruba modernity and the public space

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0075-7640



This paper clarifies the sense in which ewi, a poetic practice that straddles written and oral media, constitutes a tradition among the Yoruba. It underlines the fact that ewi exemplifies the dynamism of Yoruba culture in its openness, its innovative spirit and its capacity to appropriate facilities that define the modern. It also argues that ewi's tendency to integrate experimentation on the part of its various practioners is crucial to defining its character as a form that is outwardlooking. The study pays particular attention to major milestones in the invention of the tradition and the works of selected practitioners in theorising ewi on its own terms.

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