THE LION AND THE JEWEL BOOK
The Lion and the Jewel book. Read 79 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. This is one of the best-known plays by Africa's major dramat. The Lion and the Jewel is a play by Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka that was first performed in Baroka is featured too, but he "is in a little corner somewhere in the book, and even that corner he shares with one of the village latrines". Read the full-text online edition of The Lion and the Jewel (). The main characters are Sidi (the Jewel), 'a true village belle' and Baroka Book details.
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The lion and the jewel: Wole Soyinka (Books in focus) [Edward Blishen] on myavr.info *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Lion and the Jewel (A Play) By Wole Soyinka [Wole Soyinka] on Amazon. com. Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers . This play "is set in the Yoruba village of Ilunjinle. The main characters are Sidi ( the Jewel), 'a true village belle' and Baroka (the Lion), the crafty and powerful.
Baroka, meanwhile, is lounging in his home, surrounded by servile and admiring wives who treat him like a god. Sadiku arrives and tells him that Sidi has refused his proposal because he is too old. Baroka seems saddened, and with resignation he confesses to Sadiku that he has become impotent.
Sidi is so engrossed in the wrestling that she initially forgets her original intention, but she soon starts prodding and teasing the old man, asking about his wives.
Baroka is aware of what she is doing, and uses his status and gravity to destabilise the impertinent young woman. The two continue their verbal sparring until Baroka shows her a stamp- making machine, tempting her with the idea of having her image on thousands of stamps. At the market, Lakunle and Sadiku are waiting for Sidi to come back.
As they wait, a group of mummers arrive. Suddenly Sidi arrives, out of breath and crying violently. At first, Lakunle is horrified, but he magnanimously offers to marry Sidi nonetheless. As he says this, Sidi rushes off without a word. Sadiku reports that Sidi has gone to prepare herself for a wedding. Sidi appears in full wedding outfit, looking radiant.
Lakunle is upset, but as soon as the wedding festivities commence, he begins dancing with another woman and has soon forgotten about Sidi. Wole Soyinka wrote The Lion and the Jewel while working at the Royal Court Theatre, where it also received its first British production in , seven years after its premiere in Ibadan in Nigeria.
It is a light-hearted comedy with a serious message, and it pits the forward-looking schoolmaster Lakunle against the tribal leader Baroka, illustrating the divide between the modern and the traditional, both in Nigeria and in the style of playwriting itself. The play displays a fusion of theatrical styles — from the Yoruban tradition to simple storytelling to English-language influences. It also contains many of the elements which can traditionally be found in Nigerian theatre; drumming, singing, dancing and physical storytelling.
One of the major Yoruba festivals is the ancient egungun, a masquerade performed annually to establish a link between the living and the dead. It is a sacred ritual in which costumed and masked members of the cult gather to extract the evil from a community, and its popularity continues to grow. Based on egungun, a new form of theatre called the Alarinjo developed in the fourteenth century.
Masked actors would perform at the court of the Yoruba kingdom, and actors, musicians and mask-makers were organised into guilds to ensure that the secret skills of each profession were not passed on to others. Due to increasing political instability in the nineteenth century, the kingdoms and guilds were broken up and theatrical performances became the job of travelling companies. Another influence is traditional story-telling, which was especially popular in the south.
Some sagas took several days to complete, and were often accompanied by music. Audience members were often required to participate by responding to the story, or by repeating certain sections. All these forms contributed to the creation of the Yoruba opera, which was first developed in the mid-twentieth century by Hubert Ogunde.
By , the Yoruba opera had taken on a specific form — it opened with a glee a rousing musical number , followed by a topical, satirical story with dialogue, song and dance, and closed with another glee. These performances were heavily geared toward entertainment, but they always had a clear moral message. His travelling theatre company was incredibly popular throughout the latter half of the 20th century, and this popularity led to the creation of some touring companies by Other prominent theatre makers also drew upon the Yoruba traditions, sometimes using traditional Yoruba instruments and musical forms.
In , playwright Duro Ladipo opened the Mbari-Mbayo Centre, dedicated to training performers and visual artists. Yoruba opera, or Yoruba travelling theatre, is a very adaptable form. It can use traditional music, dance and myth, but it can also incorporate the latest styles in music and design. It is adaptable to almost any location, and sets can be prepared and set up very quickly. There is usually constant musical accompaniment, and although the songs are always rehearsed, the dialogue is often improvised.
English-language plays have also played a strong part in creating contemporary Nigerian theatre.
The English-language playwriting which began to flourish in the sixties, led by Wole Soyinka, shows clear influences from both these traditions and reflects much of the tension between the indigenous and colonial traditions. Clark, like many other theatre professionals, combined his theatrical career with academic posts.
His plays, too, combine traditional performance methods with a political message.
Osofian represents a new wave of playwrights critical of their predecessors for being concerned too little with politics and class structures.
A very important element in the contemporary development of theatre has been the universities. In Nigeria became a federation of states, which meant that each state established its own arts council and its own university.
Several of these universities offered theatre training, and some even supported touring companies. Their approach to working is wholly collaborative. They work in an open, playful atmosphere, bringing together influences from different theatre cultures. The company is made up of British-Nigerian and Nigerian actors, and the fusion of these two theatrical traditions is central the work they create. During his lifetime, Nigeria was to become independent and experience long periods of civil strife.
The decision to grant Nigeria self-rule was taken in , but independence was not declared until 1st October , and Nigeria became a republic in The constitution drawn up by the British in the fifties meant that rule was divided between central authorities and three regional legislatures.
However, after only two years of independence, a split in the Yoruban AG leadership led to a crisis in the Western region, and the leaders were charged with treason and sentenced to 16 years in prison. In , violence erupted, and a year later, the federal government was overthrown in a military coup. As a consequence of the killing of many Northern leaders in the coup, riots erupted in the North with many Easterners being killed, and later the same year a group of Northern officers killed both the head of state and the governor.
A military clash between Northern and Eastern regions now seemed inevitable. In May , the governor of the East declared his region the Republic of Biafra, and about a week later, the armed conflict that was to last more than two years erupted between the federal government and Biafra. It was at the beginning of this conflict that Wole Soyinka spoke out for peace, and was jailed for the duration of the conflict.
He was not released until after the cease-fire had been declared following the defeat of the Biafrans on January 15th, A series of government changes throughout the following twenty years, including two military coups and several involuntary resignations, meant continuing political chaos in Nigeria. After the sudden death of General Abacha, the man who pronounced the death sentence on Soyinka, in , civilian rule was restored and continues today. The ethnic variety in Nigeria is enormous. There are estimated to be between and distinct ethnic groups, with almost different language groupings.
However, the official language is English, and many university-educated families speak English in the home. The Ogoni number roughly , and live in an area no bigger than square kilometres in the River State in Nigeria.
They live mainly off farming and fishing. In , Shell discovered oil in Ogoni. As Nigeria was still under British rule, the Ogoni had no say in the oil exploitation, and Shell quickly began their work. When Ken Saro-Wiwa was tried and executed on spurious charges in November , the world was forced to react and Nigeria was immediately ousted from the Commonwealth.
Nigeria is now enjoying a period of relative political calm. After years of military rule, however, corruption is not uncommon and faith in the government remains low.
The strong traditions and styles of Yoruban theatre are very evident in The Lion and the Jewel. The name "Yoruba" is of more recent origin than the concept. It was originally the Hausa name for the Oyo kingdom, meaning "the people of the state of Oyo", and was given a wider use by missionaries only in the s.
Martin Banham writes: Over the centuries their position between the Islamic north of Africa and the Atlantic Ocean in the Bight of Benin has meant that they were exposed to influences, opportunities and pressures coming variously from the ancient world of Greece and Rome, the Arab world, and the exploratory voyages of western European traders, missionaries and colonisers.
The Yoruba, over many centuries, developed a sophisticated society based on strong city- states, with a vibrant culture and important spiritual structures. They were traders and farmers, artists and inventors, extending their own influence well beyond their nominal ethnic boundaries. The Yoruba are not strictly one single ethnic group, but are formed from various individual cultures within a general Yoruba context. There were in the past frequent conflicts between the rival city-states, vying for economic and political power.
West Africa has always been the most populous part of the African continent, and though it is not possible to give an accurate figure of the contemporary Yoruba population, something in the region of 20 million would be a reasonable assumption. Oduduwa founded the city of Ife when, having been sent down to earth by his father, he separated the dry land from the water. He eventually sent out princes to form settlements in the surrounding region.
Although it was the pre-eminent city- state of the Yoruba between the 16th and 18th centuries, it was not the only one.
The people of the City of Benin speak a closely related language. They also trace the ancestry of the institution of kingship to Ife. The old Yoruba kingdom of Oyo was traditionally one of the largest states of West Africa, but after the mids its power slowly waned.
The slave trade affected the Yoruba states as all other regions. All the states were either capturing slaves, dealing in slaves, suffering from the political instability which resulted from slave-raiding or becoming debilitated by the reduction in productive population, both male and female, which slave-raiding brought about.
The break-up of the Oyo Empire in the early 19th century destabilised surrounding states. In the second half of the 19th century the Yoruba gradually fell under British control, and they were under direct British administration from until Vestiges of Yoruba culture can still be found in Brazil and Cuba, where Yoruba were imported as slaves.
Yoruba Culture The Yoruba culture is communal, where the good of the community is traditionally more important than the good of the individual.
The lion and the jewel
The Yoruba value truthfulness, but not to the extent that it will harm the community. It is not considered prudent to be honest in a situation that will harm the communal good.
Seniority and rank in each community was structured predominantly by age, but also took into account if a person was native to the village and when they entered the community, for instance through marriage.
Marriage and Polygyny Differing views abound on the positive and negative aspects of polygyny — the marrying of multiple wives - in traditional Yoruba society. Many experts on Yoruba culture present a positive view of polygynous family life, noting the factors that make polygyny practical in the society: Since in many groups women do not have sex while pregnant or nursing, polygyny allows for a family to have more than one child every three years.
Included in polygynous practice is the tradition of widow inheritance, in which a man marries the widow of a deceased brother. This practice ensures that the woman and her children remain under the economic and social care of the family.
Economic and political prestige can be displayed through acquiring multiple wives, and thus kings, chiefs, and other wealthy personages may take many wives to boast their wealth, virility and power. Women also enjoy prestige in the hierarchy of marriage. While a second or third wife holds higher status over a single woman, the first wife maintains the most privilege among the women in the family.
Along with the social status provided by supervising other women in the household, the first wife benefits from the division of labour that polygyny provides. With multiple wives to do the housework, the first wife may have more time for her own business, such as harvesting and selling yams, that she may have outside the home.
Varied views on polygyny may be due to different reactions to the practice in each family. Toyin Falola writes: The husband is careful in disbursing his resources to wives and children. He avoids excessive discrimination so as not to trigger too many rivalries among his wives and children. The senior wife enjoys some power over the younger ones. Where the system works, the women support one another in raising their children and managing their businesses.
The Lion and the Jewel
Where it does not work, especially in modern times, the man may end up losing his wives. Other characters like Sadiku are delight to encounter. She represents that reality in every society. She is delighted at the news of her husband's predicament and went to share it with Sidi. This play no doubt brings to the fore Soyinka's genius in writing satirical pieces. With each page, he brings you closer to the experience of the people of Ilujinle, indeed of the whole Yoruba Nigerian community, their encounter with modernisation and their struggle to preserve their cultural identity.
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Ring Smart Home Security Systems.She represents the Nigerian people and the ignorance they find themselves in when they give up the past and go for the future full heartedly without knowing exactly what is happening within the village. Can it be measured?
Book: The Lion and the Jewel
Sidi says that it is too inconvenient for her to do so. The main characters are Sidi the Jewel , 'a true village belle' and Baroka the Lion , the crafty and powerful Bale of the village. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link.