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Download the complete english language project topic and material (chapter 1-5) titled THE FORMS AND AESTHETICS OF UDJE SONGS OF THE URHOBO PEOPLE here on PROJECTS.ng. See below for the abstract, table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, list of appendices, list of abbreviations and chapter one. Click the DOWNLOAD NOW button to get the complete project work instantly.

 

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Download the complete english language project topic and material (chapter 1-5) titled THE FORMS AND AESTHETICS OF UDJE SONGS OF THE URHOBO PEOPLE here on PROJECTS.ng. See below for the abstract, table of contents, list of figures, list of tables, list of appendices, list of abbreviations and chapter one. Click the DOWNLOAD NOW button to get the complete project work instantly.

 

PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON THE FORMS AND AESTHETICS OF UDJE SONGS OF THE URHOBO PEOPLE

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  • Name: THE FORMS AND AESTHETICS OF UDJE SONGS OF THE URHOBO PEOPLE
  • Type: PDF and MS Word (DOC)
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  • Length: [146] Pages

 

ABSTRACT

This appraisal is on Udje dance songs of the Urhobo people. The study looks at the aesthetic qualities that abound in the Udje songs of the Urhobo people. The researcher analysed songs collected from field work and some collected by G. G Darah. In analyzing
the songs, the contextual theory was used as its analytical frame work which eventually brought out the forms and beauty that abounds in the udje songs. The research is divided into four Chapters, the first Chapter deals with the background to the study, the historical background of the Urhobo people, its theoretical frame work, statement of the research problem, aims and objectives, research methodology, limitation to the research and its literature review. Chapter two deals with the aesthetics of oral literature, the processes
involved in the performance of udje carnival, the hybrid nature of udje and the poetic functions of udje. Chapter three is its analysis and Chapter four is the conclusion of the study.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title
page…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….i
Declaration…………………………………………………………………………………………………………ii
Certification………………………………………………………………………………………………………iii
Dedication………………………………………………………………………………………………………….iv
Acknowledgement……………………………………………………………………………………………….v
Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………………………vii
Table of content………………………………………………………………………………………………..viii

Chapter One: Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………..1
Preamble…………………………………………………………………………………………….1
Historical Background………………………………………………………………………..3
About the Study Area………………………………………………………………………….5
Statement of Research Problem…………………………………………………………..6
Aims and Objectives……………………………………………………………………………6
Research Methodology…………………………………………………………………………7
Limitation of the Study…………………………………………………………………………8
Scope of the Study………………………………………………………………………………..8
Justification of the Study………………………………………………………………………9
Contextual Approach as Analytical Frame Work………………………………….9
Literature Review………………………………………………………………………………12
Hypothesis…………………………………………………………………………………………14
Urhobo Orthography………………………………………………………………………….15
Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………………………17

Chapter Two: The Aesthetics of Oral Literature…………………………………………………19
Preparation, Composition and performance of udje carnival…………………..26
Hybridization of the Udje performance…………………………………………………..35
Udje Serving the Purpose of Poetry…………………………………………………………38
Udje songs as Aesthetics………………………………………………………40
Thought/Feeling…………………………………………………………………41
Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………………………47

Chapter Three: Aesthetic Value of udje dance songs……………………………………………49
Rhyme in udje songs……………………………………………………………………………….51
Onomatopoeia…………………………………………………………………………………………53
Repetition……………………………………………………………………………………………….54
The Generic Nature of Udje Dance Songs…………………………………………………62
Udje Dance Songs as Satire………………………………………………………………………63
Udje Songs as Praise Poetry…………………………………………………………………….69
Udje Songs as Dirges……………………………………………………………………………….73
Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………………………83

Chapter Five: Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………..85
Appendix………………………………………………………………………………………………..88
Bibliography…………………………………………………………………………………………..133

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION
Preamble
The Urhobo people have a very rich culture which is noticeable in their unique dresses, food, building technology, marriage, naming ceremony to mention just a few. Songs and dances are common features at their festivals and ceremonies, which include Eni festival
(celebrated in honour of a hunter who killed an elephant at Okpara), it is celebrated once in every twenty five years (25 years) and the amount of Eni festivals an individual experiences in life determines his/her age, Emeteyavwo festival (clitoridectomy), Ore festival (ancestral worship), Omanuku festival (celebrated in honour of a water goddess) and the udje carnival which is our topic of discussion in this thesis. The udje dance is as old as the Urhobo people, the origin cannot be traced since the Urhobo people cannot state exactly how it started. The udje dance was originally performed by seven (7) of the twenty-two clans in Urhobo land, they include Eghwu (Ewu), Okparabe,Olomu, Arhavwarien, Udu, Ughievwen and Ughwerun. The dance is performed by these communities at different times and dates fixed by their members. In most cases it is performed alongside special festivals, for instance, the Udu and Ughievwen people are
respected for the passion they have in the celebration of festivals which is accompanied with the udje dance performance. These annual festivals include Emeteyavwo, (clitoridectomy) and ore (ancestral worship). The Ughievwen exclusively celebrates the Ogbaurhie. The
celebration of Ore usually takes three days of which the first day is meant for sacrifice to Ekpako-ide (Grand ancestors), the second day is for Esemo (fathers) and the last day is for the worship and sacrifice to Iniemo (mothers). As the gaiety and celebration of Ore lasts, it goes along with the Udje performance. In Udu and Ughievwen, the udje carnival begins some few days after the performance of Ore festival, since the udje dance is used as the grand finale to their communal festivals. Udu normally celebrates the Ore festival in the month of May immediately after the Emeteyavwo which begins in February and last for three months. The Ughievwen people mark theirs in the month of July, while the udje carnival comes up in the month of August in Ughwerun, while in Udu, it takes place between July and August. The communities in the other seven clans that perform the udje carnival are free to fix the date of their carnival on a day that is more convenient to them and is accepted by everyone in the community. The udje dance lasts for seven days and it creates an avenue for two communities to go into a “battle of songs” or “verbal warfare” as Darah (2005) calls it. During the performance of the udje dance, ‘battling’ communities are free to use any derogatory words on their rival in order to bring them to disrepute. At the end of the ‘battle’, the winner always goes home celebrating, while the loser accepts his defeat in good fate. They also go home preparing for their next ‘battle’ believing that they will win. During performance, battling communities search for flaws in their rivals, these flaws are used in attacking their rivals. If a community harbours prostitutes, their rival compose a song with the theme of prostitution to bring them to a fall. The composer of the udje dance songs can also decide to pick on a member of his rival community, who is of high status when he discovers a flaw in him. As a result, people from the udje performing communities try by all means to be well behaved, so that they will not be the topic of an udje song and this help to keep their clans in order. Unfortunately, in recent times, the udje dance is no longer celebrated as a carnival. It is now performed at funeral, wedding, Coronations, anniversaries and special occasions of the Urhobo people. This is as a result of the decline in the cultural values and norms of Urhobo people, a lot of those who are supposed to be actively involved in this celebration have neglected it for the pursuit of western culture. So, what children once enjoyed in urhobo land, have gradually declined in the society. Recently, groups from the seven clans that once performed the udje carnival are trying to revive the carnival and return
its past glory.

Historical Background
Urhobo ethnic group is found in present day Delta State of Nigeria. It is made up of twenty two (22) clans which include Abraka, Agbarho, Agbarha-ame, Agbarha-otor, Agbon, Arhavwarien, Effurun-Otor, Eghwu (Ewu), Evwreni, Idjerhe, Oghara, Oghor, Okere,Okparabe, Okpe, Olomu, Orogun, Udu, Ughelli, Ughievwen, Uwheru, and Uvwie, in six (6) Local Government Areas of Delta State. The history of their origin is contained in different tradition. The first of these traditions is that the Urhobo people were originally created and placed in their present location by God since the time of creation. Although this tradition has no documentation or archeological records, the people believe in it. Onokerhoraye (1995:34) asserts that:
The Urhobo people have always lived in their present location from the time of creation. They are the aborigines coming from nowhere but living in their present territories from time immemorial. The second tradition which is popular among the people is that the Urhobo people migrated from Benin in present day Edo State. the Urhobo people believe that they are the children of Prince Urhobo, the last child of Oba Ogiso. Therefore, they are the decendants of the royal family of Binin. It happened that the Benin people, during the reign of Oba Ogiso experienced a draught that lasted for three years. Oba Ogiso consulted the gods for a solution; the gods in turn asked that the blood of the son of the land should be sacrificed to him. Prior to that time, the blood of slaves were used for appeasing the gods. According to Edjoor (2005:10), Oba Ogiso and other top Benin chief “asked their junior (sic) brother ‘Urhobo’ to produce someone for the sacrifice.” Urhobo was not pleased with the decision of the gods and that of Oba Ogiso, so he asked his people and children to leave Benin. This led to their migration to their present location in Delta State. There are other traditions about the origin of Urhobo people; some believe that they originated from Ife in Yoruba land. Although, like the first tradition, this was not documented, a lot of Urhobo people hold to this tradition. Yet, another tradition of Urhobo migration states that the Urhobo people originated from Sudan and Egypt. This belief is corroborated by Arawore (1940) who is quoted in Onokerhoraye (1995:34):
The Urhobo for the first time came from Egypt, left some of their people on the Lake of Chad, halted for a time at Ile-Ife, had a permanent abode at Benin and finally were driven to the swamp of the Niger Delta. Urhobo people cohabit with other ethnic groups such as the Isoko to the South East, the Itsekiri to the West, Benin to the North, Ijaw to the South and Ukwani to the North East.Their major occupation is subsistence farming: food crops such as cassava, yam and cocoyam are produced. Their major cash crops are palm produce and rubber. Fishing and lumbering are also carried out on a small scale. The Urhobo people have the family as the smallest unit of their social organisation. The combination of different families make up the quarter, the quarters combine to form the village while the combination of different villages forms the clan. At the family level, the father is the head, while at the village and quarter level, the eldest person in the community is the head, at the clan level, the Ovie (king) is the head. Ikime (1969:15) further describes the social organisation of the Urhobo people: The social organization of the Urhobo and Isoko is best studied under the context of the village, for the village constituted the most effective social and ‘political’ unit. The Urhobo and Isoko had a system of age grade or Itu (singular
Otu) as they call them. In Ikime’s assertion, each of this age grades is organized in a way that each knows their duty in the village and each has a leader. These age grade include Otu Imitete, Otu Eurawa or Uvbie, Otu lletu, and Otu Ekpako, which is the highest age grade and they also produce the leader at the village level.
About the Study Area The two communities selected for this study are the Udu and Ughievben clans. These clans are located in the south eastern corner of Urhobo land and are both found in Udu Local Government Area and Ughelli South local Government Area of Delta State respectively. The two clans are bound by the Forcados River on the west, the Okpara Creek on the east and the Warri Ughelli highway on the northern boundary. The average Urhobo people refer to both clans as the Ughievben people, since both clan speak a similar dialect referred to as the Ughievben dialect. Their major occupations are farming, fishing, palm oil production and rubber tapping. Due to the establishment of the Delta Steel Company and Oil companies like Shell and Chevron Nigeria Limited, the citizens of this region have abandoned these occupations to work in these big firms and a lot of them have migrated to the City in search of better employment and living which is offered by these big firms. This has in turn reduced the number of youth that partake in the performance of udje. As such it has also affected this research work since getting those to perform the dance became a problem because of the limited number of people that take part in udje performance.

Statement of Research Problem
The udje dance songs of the Urhobo people have played a unifying and entertaining role in the economic, political and social life of the people from time immemorial. However, the present generation has neglected the rich cultural lore that is found in udje dance due to a
strong influence of westernization in its varied forms. This eventually gave rise to the study of udje songs by notable scholars like G. G Darah, J. P Clark, and Tanure Ojaide. They all carried out their research on different aspects of the songs. J. P Calrk in his 1965 research
examined the difference that exixts between the English poetry tradition and the oral nature of African poetry through the evaluation of udje songs. G. G Darah examined the songs as good examples of satire while tenure Ojaide in his study brought out the focus aim and
objectives of the udje songs. These scholars have studied some of the aspects of udje songs but have neglected others and this thesis extends this research further by focusing on, among other things:
– Recording and translating the udje songs thereby preserving them from
extinction
– A detailed discussion, of the aesthetics as found in the udje songs.
– A detailed analysis of the poetic elements found in the udje songs.
– This research will also hylight the various poetic forms of the udje songs

Aims and objectives
This thesis will focus on the aesthetic value of the udje songs of the Urhobo people. The specific objectives of the study are to:
– Highlight the stunning beauty of the udje songs, by evaluating the various characteristics of oral literature that abound in the selected dance songs.
– Foreground in detail the various aesthetics of the udje songs.
– Highlight the generic nature of the udje songs
– Delineate the convergence and divergence between the earlier works of udje artist  and the contemporary or hybridized udje dance songs that are presently in circulation.

Research methodology
In the course of the research, the primary and secondary sources of data were used. The Kashim Ibrahim Library of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Delta State University Library, Abraka were consulted; the internet was also of great help to this research work since information was also sourced from the net. The bulk of the information used in the development of this work was gotten through interviews with representatives of the udje communities and renowned udje practitioners and elders from the performing areas of the
udje carnival. Since the udje dance is going into extinction, the performances were done by groups from the Udu and Ughievben communities who are trying to revive the performance back into the Urhobo communities. The choice of songs was that of the performing groups, each groups produced songs that they felt are their best composition. Songs were also gotten from recorded texts from these various groups, examples are the songs by the Onorume Musical Ladies from Egini in Udu clan and some songs performed by the Blessed Band group led by Egbeku Kenairu of Ughevwu, both in Udu and Ughelli South Local government area of Delta State respectively. The researcher also consulted and analysed some field work collections of udje dance songs by G.G Darah entitled The Battles Of Songs; Udje Tradition of the Urhobo, J.P Clark Bekederemo entitled The Poetry of the Urhobo Dance Udje and Tanure Ojaide’s work entitled Theorizing African oral Poetic Performance and Aesthetics: Udje Dance Songs of The Urhobo People.

Limitation of the Study
This research work was carried out at a time when the hybrid version of the udje performance has gone into circulation. As such, most of the performers of the udje tradition are those that are trying to revive the udje tradition in the various performing communities and these people have also been influenced by westernization. Contact with western culture has led to the neglect of some important parts of the performance, like the ritualistic and competitive aspects. Some of the udje artists even go as far as calling themselves evangelists
like Evang. Egbeku of the Blessed band Musical group, which was not so in the past; in fact, the original performers of the udje tradition were chief priests (ose-ejo) or loyalists to the Uhanghwa Shrine. During the process of recording the field work, we also encountered some unforeseen problems. The first of these was getting someone to cover the occasion and when we finally got one and started recording, the camera developed a problem and the recorded work was lost. We had to start the recording all over again after fixing the camera. This made the udje performers to be tired and their best were not fully achieved during their performance, they had to neglect some of the dance steps, as such performed just the music in some of the performing sections.

Scope of the Study
This research work will focus on the udje dance songs of the Urhobo people. There are seven clans that perform the udje dance among the Urhobo people. Nonetheless, these clans acknowledge the fact that Udu and Ughievwen are the founding fathers and the best performers of udje dance. As a result, majority of the songs used for this study were colleted from these clans.

Justification of the Study
The oral tradition, culture, festivals and dance of the Urhobo people are gradually going into extinction due to the influence of imperialism, which was introduced by globalization into our society. Imperialism served as a veritable tool for the denigration and
condemnation of African values no matter how useful they may be in serving local needs and solving problems peculiar to Nigerian situation and supplanting them with western sociocultural values that are incapable of meeting local demands and inconsistent with the local orientation. Globalization is a tool of imperialism which Nye (2002:1) quoted in Ruorke (2008:131) refers to as “the ‘dynamic shrinking’ of the factors that divide the world economically and socially”. This shrinking means coming together, making the world a
global village, the western world uses globalization to transfer their modern culture to other developing nations of the world where traditional cultures are still in vogue.Youths in developing nations copy these modern western cultures and neglect their beautiful ways of
life. This research work in turn, will help promote the udje traditional culture of the urhobo people, by focusing on the udje tradition bringing out the importance of the udje songs, its nature and form and the aesthetic qualities and beauty of the udje songs of the
Urhobo people.

Contextual Approach as Analytical Framework
The study of oral literature has given rise to different theories which are used to get a better appreciation of oral literary texts and some of these theories of orature are the structuralist, evolutionist, the functionalist, psycho-culturalist, diffussionist and the contextualist. But for the purpose of this study, we are only interested in the contextualist approach to the study of orature. This approach was first developed in language study by J. R. Firth in association with Brownislaw Malinowski. These critics, according to Lyons (1977:607), are of the view that: Every utterance occurs in a culturally determined context-of-situation; and the meaning of the utterance is the totality of its contribution to the maintenance of what Firth here refers to as the patterns of life in the society in which the speaker lives and to the affirmation of the speaker’s role and personality within the society. In so far as any feature of an utterance-signal can be said to contribute
an identifiable part of the total meaning of the utterance, it can be said to be meaningful. It follows that not only speech words and phrases but also speech sounds and the paralinguistic and prosodic features of utterances, are meaningful. This approach is very close to the functionalist view, in the aspect of the meaning of an utterance being the totality of the contribution to the maintenance of the pattern of life, which is one of the roles the functionalist ascribed to the study of oral literary text or orature. But in the case of the contextual critic, other than the utterance contributing to the maintenance of the pattern of life, to derive meaning from an utterance, the speech words and phrases are not the only important aspect to consider but also the speech sounds and the prosodic or
paralinguistic aspects which comprises of the tone of voice, whispering or even mimicry that contribute to the meaning of an utterance.
The contextual approach to the study of oral literature places prior attention on the need to study an oral literary text in their social environmental and cultural context. The word context is defined by Michael J. Toolan (1988:263) as: The non-verbal, extra-linguistic environment of that utterance which may be a crucial help to us as we try to make sense of the text. Context includes the
people involved in a particular text e.g a speaker and addressees, the purpose of the speech or writing, the proximity or other wise of the participants, and so on. Context in the above assertion means the extra-linguistic environment of the utterance, which
involves the activities of the oral artist and his audience, their environment and social organisation, which is also a determinant factor when ascribing meanings to oral texts. In fact, to understand an oral text, a scholar of oral literature must study the surrounding world of
the text, it involves the activities that the oral artist carries out in order to send a message to his audience. This can also be embedded in the utterance, it can be the situation that gave birth to the utterance, what the utterance hopes to achieve, how the utterance was made and the social environment of both the oral artist and his audience. The contextualist also emphasizes the significance of the social context in relation to the utterance, that is its place in the life of those who partake in the performance of orature and this facts must be recorded alongside the text. Bascom (1965:281) corroborates this, when he states that: The first point I wish to discuss is that of the social context of (orature), its place in the daily round of life of those who tell it. This is not a problem in the strict sense, but rather a series of related facts which must be recorded, along with the texts, if the problem of the relation between [orature] and culture or the function
of [orature] or even the creative of the narrator, are to be analyzed. These facts include:

(1) when and where the various forms of [orature] are told;

(2) who tells them, whether or not they are privately owned, and who composes the audience;
(3) dramatic devices employed by the narrator, such as gesture, facial expression, pantomime, impersonation, or mimicry;

(4) audience participation in the form of laughter, assent or other responses, running criticism or even encouragement of the narrator, singing or dancing, or acting at parts in a tale

(5) categories of [orature] recognized by the people themselves; and

(6) attitude of the people toward the categories. Bascom in the above assertion have succeeded in mentioning the various poignant fundamental issues which a scholar using the contextual approach to the study of oral literature should watch out for in his analysis of the oral text.
The contextual critics posit that scholars who are studying oral literature should endeavor to study it in a way that the historical and cultural details of the text are examined.
The meaning of the text should not be achieved in isolation, the oral artist and his other audience should be given due consideration when ascribing meaning to a text, the people whose past and present environment is represented should be considered and the role of the oral artist and the audience in the performance of the text should also be given adequate consideration. In consideration of the above theory, a contextual approach to the study of the themes, functions and aesthetic devices of the udje dance songs will be more suitable for this study. Although, some of the other theories of oral literature are applicable to the study, but they only view, study an aspect of the udje dance and neglect the other parts. Examples are seen in the structuralist approach which study is concerned with the structure, which is quite limiting, because it neglects the social and historical context within which oral litrature operates. For the functionalist approach, it is also considered inadequate because it pays attention only to the functions of oral litrature in our society and ends up neglecting some
other parts of oral literature, like the occasions on which they are used, or knowing the age, sex and status of both the oral artist and his audience, even the context in which the oral piece appear is of great importance. The evolutionist is also not suitable because it based its
analysis on the fact that oral literature developed from a single species, there by standing or rooting their theory on Darwin’s theory of evolution. These critics ended up neglecting some other important functions and aspects of orature in our society.
We thus adopt the contextual approach to our study of the udje songs because it will help us in bringing out the diversity of the udje dance in terms of its subject matter, its various aesthetics, its educative purposes, its stylistic aspects, its form and the functions it
has to play in the society where the udje dance songs are found.

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