Agbeyewo Ewi Ayaba Laarin Awon Oyo-Osun (An Appraisal of the Poetry of Obas' Wives among Oyo-Osun People)

Oyeweso, Musibau Oyewale (2015-05-18)


This study examined poetry of Oba’s wives among the Oyo-Osun people. It analysed the nature, language and performance of the poetry of Oba's wives in the society, with a view to highlighting its significances. The primary data for the study were collected from the five purposively selected towns Osogbo, Ede, Ilawo-Ejigbo, Iwo and Ikoyi. Oral interviews were conducted with the kings of the selected towns. The data were transcribed and analysed using sociological and formalist theories. The results showed that the poetry was chanted daily in the palace and during any royal ceremony. It was also affirmed that there were two categories of Oba's wives, namely ayaba agba; (senior wives of an Oba), and ayaba keekeeke; (junior wives of an Oba) that jointly performed this poetry. It also showed that the poetry expressed status and role of Oba’s wives and the characters and deeds of the past Oba and the incumbent, and invocation of the spiritual forces within the palace. The language was found to be replete with poetic devices such as repetition, alliteration, parallelism, allusion, and metaphors. The study also showed that the two categories of Oba's wives, that is ayaba agba and ayaba keekeeke jointly performed this poetry. The study concluded that the poetry was an important means of instrument revealing information about the Oba, his wives, the happenings in the society and contemporary issues.