The Utilitarian Nature of Ọfọ̀ and Its Sub-types in the Yorùbá Authouchtonous Healing system
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Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin
This paper focuses on ọfọ̀ and its sub-types, the verbal art used in the Yorùbá indigenous healthcare system. The issue of the utilitarian nature of indigenous literature (orature) and art in general is relevant to this work. In African literature and art, the aesthetic function and other utilitarian functions are inseparable. The issue of art for art’s sake as in Western formalist and new criticisms, structuralism, etc. is not applicable(Ògúndèjì, 1997 and 1998). By verbal art, we mean the various literary genres used in reflecting and expressing the belief, religion, worldview and values of the society. Specifically, the verbal arts under study are the genres used among the Yorùbá people to manage their physical, mental and social well-being in pre and post-colonial era. Therefore, it could be assumed by the Africans that the Western healthcare delivery system is regarded as complementary to the indigenous system of healing. The verbal arts discussed under study are ọfọ̀1and its sub-types. These sub-types are àyájọ́ (myth-like incantation), ẹ̀bẹ̀ (verbal propitiation), èpè (curse) and ìwúre (supplicatory blessing).
myth-like, supplicatory blessing, healthcare, Western formalism, utilitarian nature, authouchtonous, orature, healing, sub-types.