The cultural politics of power in the Yorùbá dùndún drumming tradition

Eluyefa, D. (2015) The cultural politics of power in the Yorùbá dùndún drumming tradition. The Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities 2015, Osaka, Japan. 243 -261. ISSN 2186-229X

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In every society, social values are constructed and monitored by those who have power and influence - kings, queens, politicians, media barons, etc. However, Michel Foucault, a social theorist, does not only see power as something that some people possess and some do not possess, but also as an effect of a particular social discourse. The discourse about the dùndún drum (talking drum), among the Yorùbá group in Nigeria, is represented through the myth that sees Àyàn Àganlú as the god of drumming. While the myth reinforces the power of the practitioners, it also undermines the power of women. Foucault also believes that power somehow inheres in institutions and not in the individuals that make those institutions function. As a result of the place of the gods within the Yorùbá belief system, both the practitioners and the dùndún drumming tradition are powerful. However, for the practitioners to exercise their power, they draw upon the discourse that allows their action to be considered acceptable. What part does religion play in the myth about the dùndún? How does power play out within the tradition? These and many more questions will be examined in this paper.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: School of Humanities
Depositing User: Dr Dennis Eluyefa
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 09:42
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2019 14:20

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