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Gelede Metaphysics and Gender in an African Ritual Play

Dele Layiwola


There have been myriad studies on the art of Gdance drama of the Yoruba among which are: Ulli Beier (1958); Harper (1970); Olabimtan (1972); Drewal and Drewal (1983); Layiwola (1987); Ibitokun (1993); Lawal (1996). All of these studies together have been able to document the content, style, tradition and folklore of a compelling masking tradition. This essay, therefore, does not intend a repetition of those things which have been done with creative as well as scholarly ability. Instead, it will dwell on certain metaphysical conceptualizations arising from material study and documentation. Since it is an attempt to capture those rather ethereal aspects, a lot of critical as well as speculative statements are likely to hold sway. In all, the import will be to provoke thought and inquiry as well as to stimulate curiosity and attention.

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Ijele: Art eJournal of the African World. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editor: Nkiru Nzegwu; Film Review Editor: Phyllis J. Jackson; Exhibition/Curator & Book Review Editor: Azuka Nzegwu

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