Ritual As Social Drama: The Role Of Women In Umulumgbe Funeral Ritual

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In this  study I present the extent to which the performance of the funeral ritual of the Umulumgbe community, the South Eastern sub-tribe of the Igbo of Nigeria, can be viewed as a social drama, and the meaning of the special participation of women in the performance of the ritual. Specifically, the study set out to investigate the nature of the ritual as a classic example of the category of African social drama as run by women. From the social dramaturgical elements identified in the performance of the ritual, the study has subsequently sought to examine the significance of the elevated role of women within the Umulumgbe context. I have explored the performative aspects of the ritual: the design, the process, the setting, participation and effects. From the findings, it emerges that the funeral ritual of the Umulugmbe is a classic example of African social drama. More so, the elevated role of women in the performance of this ritual signifies a more powerful position in the Umulugmbe society.

Author: 
Ozor, Gloria Nwandu
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