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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Historiography of Yoruba Myth and Ritual
Author:Apter, Andrew H.
Year:1987
Periodical:History in Africa
Volume:14
Pages:1-25
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Yoruba
rites of passage
myths (form)
History and Exploration
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3171830
Abstract:This paper combines two approaches - the historicist and the functionalist - in an interpretation of variant Yoruba myths by examining the relationship between Yoruba myth and ritual. The thesis of the paper is that the Yoruba ritual system provides an illuminating framework for interpreting the political and historical implications of Yoruba myths and their variant traditions. Part I illustrates the revision of myths by politics and part II the preservation of myth by ritual to explain why mythic variants occur. Part III develops a model of the Yoruba ritual system with complementary principles, emphasizing the unity of the polity and the autonomy of its parts. Part IV applies this model to Yoruba traditions that are rooted in the period and processes of Oyo conquest and expansion, to which, part V argues, the Obatala myth-ritual complex belongs. Conclusion is that the Yoruba ritual system provides a new solution to the 'puzzle' of post-15th century Ife influence. Notes, ref.
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