I miss the interesting stories (Folktales) of those days, i remember my late great grandma always love it whenever i visit her and also hates it because i love asking unecessary questions about the stories she tell.
Children of nowadays only know cartoons and video games whereas we have lots of interesting stories in the Folktales that teaches good moral lessons and lot of senses, also impact fear of humanity in the heart of children but how many of our elders do this anymore?
In Ebira culture, as in most African cultures with an oral tradition, we have tales by moonlight.
These are folk tales told by anyone with a story to share, from elders to people in position of great respect and even young children. At night, outside on the porch, the story teller sits in front or in the middle and the audience surrounds the story teller. The stories are told in the gloom of twilight and are thus “Uhi’Reyi Anebira”.
The format in which the stories are told is also important. In Ebira culture, call and response is an integral part of civic participation. From religious rituals to music, children’s rhymes and everything in between.
An example of call and response which everyone probably has heard before is “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King. The beginning of the song in which a male voice chants and several backing vocals respond is a call and response (Life, 1994)
For Ebira tales by moonlight, the person telling the story starts with a call, and the audience responds. This is repeated a few times, possibly to get the full attention of the listeners. The traditional start of the story is marked by the chant below.
Story Teller: Titinkori
These tales usually feature animals involved in human situations. The animal takes the roles of a human and are creatures familiar to the audience in their day to day lives.
They also feature supernatural beings, Masquerades, spirits and the nether realms as Ebira religion practice ancestral worship as well as a diverse pantheon of deities
The aim of these stories is to teach the listeners life skills, cultural ideals and the philosophies of the culture.
Stories like how the Rabbit (Adeji) got his long ears, tortoise lost its hair teach the listeners about the dangers of stealing and gluttony whilst stories of how the tortoise got the cracks on its shell teach listeners about the dangers of greediness Click Here To Read.
The animals are always singular entities too, so in all the stories, there is rabbit, dog, tortoise, lion, leopard, hyena etc. Them and immediate families are the only ones of their species present in the stories, however the misfortunes that befall them apply automatically to the rest of their kind.
With this background in place, I will be publishing more Ebira folkstales in future please stay tune and always visit Ebira Online Media www.ebiraonline.com.ng for more.
Drop your comments below and share with your friends. Avo Nini
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