A Critique of Oral History and the Challenge of Orinality

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Department of History and International Studies


Till today, in an oral society like Yoruba, historical facts, the challenge of originality or the veracity of the information arising from lack of incomplete history ranging from conflict of ideas to absence of information and dates are inevitable. Therefore, this study addresses some historical challenges associated with the oral history. The study seeks to address some "historical distortions" in some Yoruba ancient histories relating to the Yoruba divinities, cities and individuals. Ifa, (the foundation of the Yoruba culture), oriki (panegyrics) and oriki' (totem) are major dependable sources of historical documents or materials used for analyses. The study demonstrates the inadequacies or weaknesses associated with these oral historical genres and their strengths. The work concludes that, where there are historical inadequacies, related historical texts are relevant historical documents useful as trace for the source historical text. It is found out that, this will go a long way of producing comprehensive historical account on event or issue under investigation.



Ifa, Oriki Orile, Oral History, Yoruba