ABSTRACT Previous studies in Yoruba oral poetry have largely focused on Oyo, Egba, and Egbado in the Northwest, giving little attention to other areas of Yorubaland, including Ondo and Ikale, among other parts in the Southeast. Furthermore, the forms on which these studies concentrated, mostly chants, are invariably cultic and of a restricted spread. The more general, non-cultic forms, cutting across the vocal patterns of Yoruba poetry, are less frequently investigated where they are investigated at all. The consequence is that they are becoming extinct due to social modernity that is driven, on the one hand, by a combination of new spirituality and westernization and, on the other hand, by neglect in the academy. This is the point at which this study seeks entry, focusing on the less-investigated forms of indigenous songs that are performed at the birth of a child or during child-naming ceremonial rites in Southeast Yorubaland. This genre of traditional songs is rooted in Yoruba philosophy and poetry and constitutes the life-spring of popular, neo-traditional music like juju, fuji, waka, and highlife.
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