The use of new media in revitalising oral narrative in the Igbo culture

Publication Type:
Thesis
Issue Date:
2006
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NO FULL TEXT AVAILABLE. This thesis contains 3rd party copyright material. ----- This thesis investigates the ways in which 'new media' can be used to revitalize traditional oral narratives in Igbo culture. Traditionally, the colourful and exciting tales and history of Igbo have been transferred from generation to generation through methods including oral story telling, literature, music and dance. Nigerian modem literature grows out of the traditional story telling; fascinating Igbo oral narratives and stories with music are tools of expression by artists and are used to express their mood, life style, and history/culture. Among the significant and valuable attributes of Igbo oral narratives that are mentioned in this Introduction and throughout the thesis are their potential for supporting and reinforcing Igbo cultural traditions, for assisting the exchange of ideas, for providing ways for Igbo youth to re-engage with their Igbo culture, and for preserving a moral framework in Igbo society. While the thesis contains some ideas for an educational strategy for revitalizing Igbo oral narratives, its main objective is to provide a theoretical framework that can assist the structured development of a learning and teaching strategy. The thesis therefore is substantially a review of available literature on Igbo culture and oral narratives, and a summary of reflections and conclusions drawn from personal observations. The intention is that this combination of review, reflections and conclusions will form the desired theoretical framework for later development of an educational strategy. Developments in technology in recent years, particular developments in new media, have changed the ways in which Igbo people learn about their culture, and there is a need for new educational strategies to ensure the preservation and transfer of traditional cultural narratives. The study looks at how the oral narratives of Igbo can be reproduced in a modern environment using new technologies, and focuses upon educational needs and strategies. It draws upon the work of Olaosebikan (1982) to explain the traditional role of African cultural narrative in education, and upon the work of Samovar and Mills (1992) to explain how new technological advancements affect communication in the area of ethnicity and culture. The study will open new ways of understanding, as it will show how the use of new media in a new learning environment can reveal Igbo oral traditions. It will look at ways in which new media could be used to promote the history of the community and enhance its development. It focuses on the relation between oral expression, literature, writing and new media and identifies the factors influencing Ibo creative stories and oral tradition using modem means like multimedia or computer animation to communicate information. The study is informed by information from a range of academic disciplines including literature and history, ethnology, sociology, and feminist perspectives. It explores ways in which the form and context of a person’s collective memories are represented in their culture. Personal experiences or ‘participant observation’ have also been useful in my research. A developmental DVD, attached as Appendix 1, includes an animated representation of the variables apparent in the Igbo alphabet that will help in the understanding, writing and sounding of words in the Igbo language. A digitised storyboard for the animated DVD is provided as Appendix 2. The study concludes with the assertion that new media can be used effectively as a learning device to promote the development of individual and group identity through the traditional forms of performance, music, story telling and dance.
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