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Authors: MADUAGWU, E. A.
Keywords: Dance
Ogodi funeral rites
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Ogodin'omulunwa dance is performed among some Ogbaru Igbo of South Eastern Nigeria, especially among the tripartite brotherhood of Osomala, Odekpe and Okoh towns. Ogodi celebrates the lifetime of a deceased elderly woman of with surviving adult children. As a reward to the toils of maternity, it is a positive commentary on the level of social respect accorded the woman of Ogbaru extraction. Unfortunately, this dance faces a threat of extinction as a result of the ongoing state creation that rarely considers the disintegrating effect on culturally autonomous groups. Currently, the Ogbaru towns used for this research are based in two different states resulting from political divisions. This dance is equally not documented in scholarship. Existing literature on dance is scanty compared to other forms of performance, and funeral dances represent a minimal portion of what is available. It, therefore, becomes imperative that this dance be studied to fill this gap.Data were obtained through primary and secondary sources. The participant and non participant observation of dances, interviews with informants and community elders, and archival documents represented the primary sources. There were also video recordings of Ogodi dance. Secondary were gathered from the internet and libraries. Data were subsequently translated and analyzed using the structural system of semiotic analysis; that is, the icon index and symbol. In the absence of a formal notational system for African dance, a descriptive approach was also employed to explicate the content value of gestures. There are two types of Ogodi dance. In the first type, the body is buried after the husband's family had obtained permission from the deceased's relatives. Here, the body is replaced with a bust or photograph of the deceased. In the second type, the body is returned to the relatives for burial, thus featuring the full complement of the dances. Ogodi is still appreciated among Ogbaru people as a medium of transition of the deceased to the ancestral realm and also valued as an avenue of moral education the female youth. It was observed, however, that anti-tradition Christian doctrines are having negative effects on interest in the performance as most indigenes now prefer Christian burial rites for their dead.Burial dances such as Ogodi which contain moral values that have sustained African communities for centuries are on the brink of extinction. Effort should be directed to the research of such forms which reflect the way we think and live to forestall imminent extinction. In view of the fragility of oral tradition, it is imperative that research attention be directed to similar non-verbal performance.
URI: http://localhost:8080/handle/123456789/112
Appears in Collections:Theses & Dissertations

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