New Media, Old Artistry: The Adaptation of Yorùbá Folktale Narrative Strategies in Video Films

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Adekemi Agnes Taiwo (Ekiti State University, Nigeria)

Published Sep 5, 2019


The argument of this study is that Yorùbá people continue to keep alive and sustain their society’s oral folkloric tradition and verbal art despite the changes undergone by Yorùbá folktales that have passed into written form and other (new) media. Verbal arts educate, reflect and promote culture, as well as, their well-known capacity to instil moral decency in a young audience. This paper explores the adaptation of Yorùbá folkloric form in film. The audience memory is reawakened through the conservation and propagation of folktale into drama form in the film, Ijàpá and Àjàntálá. Ìjàpá (tortoise) is well known for its trickish behaviour and nature while Àjàntálá is also known for his vicious behaviour. Their character was worn into human beings (artiste) to teach society moral lessons. These Yorùbá movies Ìjàpá and Àjàntálá were adapted from Yorùbá folktales to examine issues and themes that are germane to contemporary society. Ìjàpá was produced in 2011 while Àjàntálá was produced in 2015. The theory of intertextuality which is the way books, songs, films are linked or associated to one another is adopted for the research.


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