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Ethno-pragmatics of Ońunwa Performance of the Igbo of Nigeria

Chiluwa, Innocent (2009) Ethno-pragmatics of Ońunwa Performance of the Igbo of Nigeria. Journal of Multiculturual Discourses, 4 (3). pp. 279-295.

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This study examines how cultural practices and belief systems are constructed in On´unwa performance � a popular infancy-rites ritualistic lyrics of the Igbo of south-eastern Nigeria. The study applies a combination of discourse approach, ethnography, and pragmatics in the analysis of data, showing how discourse, is representational of sociocultural experience, identity, and social relationships. The discourse of On´unwa features mostly poetry as song texts (lyrics) and dance and exhibits some traditional patterns of behavior and world-view. Data comprise 10 translated texts that were rendered in songs and performed during a session of On´unwa dance of the Ngwa tribe of the Igbo. The study demonstrates that the infancy rites songs generally performed by women, re-enact some culturally determined gender roles as opposed to western popular advocacy of gender equality. Masculinity and femininity in this context are perceived as divine and unchanging, while traditional womanhood is natural, legitimate and inevitable and women affirm, defend and indeed perpetuate it. On´unwa rejects radical feminism and gayism and maintains the cultural position that there is a biological difference between a man and a woman. In all, this study shows how culture permeates our everyday discourses and argues that discourse is indeed a cultural practice. Keywords: On´unwa; discourse; gender; song-text; culture

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Dr. Innocent Chiluwa
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2012 14:52
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2012 14:52

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