Nso, Mbum and Iyamho Creative Imagination and Social Concerns: The Study of Proverbs

Ngeh Ernestilia Dzekem


This study investigates the relevance of oral performance in addressing social concerns within the context of the three oral communities under study. It contends that the oral literature of the Nso and Mbum people of the North West region of Cameroon and Iyamho people of Edo state, Nigeria lodge cherished African values that are still significant to the people’s conception of development in this evolving society. Every community strives to reinforce positive values in order to enhance development. The paper considers the collection and documentation of proverbs that are on the lips of Nso, Mbum and Iyamho people relevant because this cultural heritage that habours their valuable mores, lores and customs are threatened by globalization. Many have thought that oral literature is outdated and that given its mode of transmission which is by word of mouth, it cannot address serious contemporary social issues. Through the participant observation method and interviews with members of the communities under study, the findings tentatively reveal that orature which generally consists of material that is several generations old and is transmitted orally contains local knowledge systems that can be useful in the discussion in addressing social concerns to enhance sustainable development within the various communities under reference. Considering the crucial position of context in oral literature, new historicism, interpretative cultural translation and pragmatic functionalism theories guided the analysis, and revealed, that since all successful development efforts begin with the right decision which is anchored on good human qualities and resources, the indigenous knowledge system expressed in Nso, Mbum and Iyamho proverbs can be exploited and applied alongside some innovative methods to foster development. The study therefore assumes that since sustainable development anchors on the quality of the mind, we need to conceive our projects locally and think globally.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/wjssr.v9n3p25


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