LUMINA Volume 21 No. 2


STORY-TELLING IN THE SERVICE OF SOCIETY: EXPLORING THE UTILITARIAN VALUES OF NIGERIAN FOLKTALES


by Dr. Ayo Kehinde

This paper explores the utilitarian values of Nigerian folktales. This is with a view to assessing the role of this quintessential aspect of the country's folklore in the overall development of the nation and her people. In the main, the paper reveals that Nigerian folktales are very useful in developing the country socially, educationally, spiritually, psychologically, and the like. It is discovered that the Nigerian folktale performer is the sensitive point of his/her community because he/she expresses the longings, failings and successes of his/her people. It is further established that folktale is an early source of the imagination in Nigerian communities, and it has therapeutic, emotional, cathartic, didactic and socializing usefulness in the societies. The paper is concluded on an optimistic note that despite the preponderance of modern means of relaxation in the country, storytelling still persists in Nigeria. Contemporary Nigerian folktales are imaginatively refined for the purpose of injecting new meanings, new ideas and new values, based on the nation's contemporary historical experiences and relations Folktale is one of the forms of Nigerian folklore. Others include myth, legend, proverb, aphorism, reminiscence, anecdote and joke. In the main, folktales comprise various kinds of narrative prose literature found in the oral traditions of the world.



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