Journal of Philosophy and Culture

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Yoruba Deities In Aimé Césaire\'s Dramaturgy

B Arowolo


The French Caribbean Literature is replete with African cultural archetypes, an important inheritance from the African origin of the predominantly black population. Most prominent of these archetypes are traceable to the Yoruba culture and faith system. This paper studies the esthetic use of Yoruba deities in Aimé Césaire\'s dramatic works. The study reveals that Césaire, who is ever conscious of the African substratum of his multi-cultural heritage, has used to good literary effect his allusion to Yoruba deities. He has also reincarnated some of them as perceived by the Caribbean in the plays. The paper observes a distortion of the original Yoruba image of the deities in the Antillean perception as represented by Césaire\'s plays. However, this neither diminishes the esthetic significance of the allusion nor does it violate the sacredness of the deities in question. Rather, it demonstrates the resilience of these deities and their adaptability to time and space.

Journal of Philosophy and Culture Vol. 3 (1) 2006: pp. 53-71
AJOL African Journals Online