Towards Understanding Drama, Culture and the African Man: A Dramatic Exploration of the Urhobos’ Burial-Rites

Joseph Agofure IDOGHO


The paper attempts a holistic analysis of the burial-rites of the Urhobo people, of Delta State, Nigeria vis-à-vis its dramatic content. Drama over the ages has been acclaimed as an essential part of culture, however not every cultural practices could be regarded as theatrical. It is therefore in the light of this position that the paper examines the burial-rites of the Urhobo people with regard to its dramatic correlation; to ascertain the relationship between ritual, drama and culture on one hand: and on the other hand to explicitly expose the urhobos worldview on the concept of man, as a trinity being- that maintains a relationship between the world of the unborn and the ancestral world. The researcher employs historical, sociological and literary methodology in this study: accordingly, the paper adopts qualitative research methodology in data gathering and analysis to reach its logical positions. The paper thus revealed that the Urhobos’ burial-rites possess measurable dramatic elements, which African drama could draw inspirations. Subsequently, that death, to the Urhobo people as to Africans is not an end to human existence, rather a passage from one realm of existence to the other: that deserves appropriate rituals to ensure order in the cosmos. Although modernization and civilization is gradually affecting this indigenous practices, but its importance to the Urhobos cannot be overemphasized. Thus its documentation and dramatic affinity underscores the clarion call for cultural preservation and propagation and the fact that most African rites could provide insights for modern African drama.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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