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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Contextual elements of vicious performance: focus on a category of audience-orientated physical contest
Author:Aniago, Peter EmekaISNI
Periodical:African Performance Review (ISSN 1753-5964)
Geographic term:Nigeria
rites of passage
Abstract:This paper analyses the Fulani 'soro', a male youth flogging contest in Nigeria, drawing on the concept of 'vicious performance', an analytical framework which classifies a category of participatory performance characterized by the inflicting of pain and contestants' responses to it. 'Soro' is engaged in voluntarily to prove contestants' courage and their ability to endure pain. It is audience-oriented and takes place within clearly defined performative boundaries. The concept of 'vicious performance' is used to examine why anyone would want to go through such an ordeal. It shows that 'soro' is a means of psychologically training young Fulbe boys for life as a nomad and survival in a wild environment. Consequently, a successful show of courage and pain endurance in a 'soro' performance marks the transition from boyhood to manhood. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]