VIDEO + SLIDES: Akan Ananse Stories, Yorùbá Ìjàpá Tales and the Dikènga Theory: Worldview, Structure, Content, Function



In this paper, we aim to use Dikenga, the cosmogram of the Bakôngo, as an Afrikan cosmological, philosophical, conceptual, and theoretical framework to analyze the structure of Akan Ananse and Yorùbá Ìjàpá stories. According to Fu-Kiau, “nothing exists that does not follow the steps of the cyclical Kongo cosmogram” (Fu-Kiau 1994: 26). This bold hypothesis is tested in this study by applying what we term the “Dikènga theory of literary analysis” to the aforementioned stories. We find that this theoretical framework can help us shift away from concepts of “storylines” and “timelines” to reveal the patterned and cyclical nature of material, spatial and temporal phenomena. Further, we find such an approach may deepen our understanding of these stories as manifestations of a shared Afrikan worldview.


Duration: 1 hour, 13 minutes 27 seconds

61 Slides


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