Download Donald C. Simmons, ‘Analysis of the Reflection of Culture in Efik Folktales’ (PhD, YALE UNIVERSITY, 1957) PDF

TitleDonald C. Simmons, ‘Analysis of the Reflection of Culture in Efik Folktales’ (PhD, YALE UNIVERSITY, 1957)
File Size20.7 MB
Total Pages547
Document Text Contents
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NOTE TO USERS

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U M I

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Page 273

255

Figure 9 designates the Mbakara Leopard figure,
which hold3 a staff with a spear on top* The small
figure on tho right also symbolizes the Mbakara figure*
Figure 10 represents the Eboyfato Leopard figure* Figure
11 dopiota the mb)k) on the upper left, the Leopard
Society shed on the upper right, and the lfim mb)k)
’stool of mb)k)* in the center* Figure 12 represents

Mkpri Elcpe Leopard figure*
Figure 13 represents the different signs for the

various important Leopard figures* Tho letters (a)
through (1 ) respectively designate the signs for

Eboyfko, (b) Mkpri Elcpe, (6) Nyamkpe* (d) Okpoho *
(e) Oku Akama. (f) )fkanda« (g) Eboyfko* (h) Mbakara,
and (i) Mb)k).

The Leopard Sooiety possesses a speoial
ceremony known as islm ’tail*, reserved for important
occasions such as the death of its supreme chief*
Members whose parents enjoy freeborn status wear an
isim consisting of a hoop around the waist with a
three-foot projection protruding over the gluteal
area. This constitutes the ’tail’, and is made of
atioks wrapped in oloth with red feathers tied to the
and. Those members who possess only one freeborn
Parent wear rabio isim ’half tail*, whioh is a hoop

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Page 274

FIGURE 5

P io to g rap h o f th e Nyamkpe Leopard Grade

256

m

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Page 546

£28
Van Goothem* L*

1927 "Lokole of tam-tam blj de Nkundo-negers,"
Congo II: pp* 711-16* Leopoldville*

Verbeken, A*
1920-2ij. "Lo tambour-telephone ohez les indigenes de

l ’Afrique Centrale," Congo I: 2£3-2ol|., 721-
728, Leopoldville*

Waddell, Hope Masterton
1863 Twenty-nine Years in the West Indies and

Central Afrioa, London,
Walker, J, B,

I872 "Notes on the Old Calabar and Cross Rivers,"
Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society,
VTumW,m'mmVi,SrjnAa ""■■■*— .— — — 11 la — ....... ■ .......* W I * M * * « * * M » * « J * »Vol. XVI, pp. 135-7.

1876 "Notes of a Visit, in May l87£, to the Old
Calabar and Qua Rivers, the Ekoi country, and
the Qua Rapids," Proceedings of the Royal
Geographical Society. Vol. XX, pp, 22h-230*

Ward, Ida C,
1933 The Phonetlo and Tonal Structure of Efik.

Cambridge.
Westermann, Dietrich and Bryan, M, A.

195>2 The Languages of West Afrioa. London*
Wilcocks, Charles

19£0 Health and Disease in the Tropics. London,
Wittfogel, K, A., and Goldfranlc, E. S,

I9I4.3 "Some Aspects of Pueblo Mythology and Society,"'
Journal of American Folklore. Vol. £6, pp.
T 7=3U:--------------------------

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Page 547

An Abstract of a Thesis entitled Analysis of the Reflection of

Culture in Efik Folktales by Donald C. Simmons,

The problems of whether the cultural content of folktales
accurately reflects ethnography and whether all cultural aspects
are reflected in folktales with equal emphasis are investigated
by comparing the abstracted cultural data contained in 176 Efik
folktales with ethnographic data on the Efik, a West African
society located in Eigeria, obtained by field investigation.

The comparison revealed that the folkloristio data
could be grouped into three main categories: (1) similar to
ethnograpnic data, (2) present in folktales but absent in
ethnography, and (3) present in ethnography but absent in
folktales. Reflected in the folktales are numerous traits
concerned with such cultural aspects as economic activities,
kinship terminology and family relationships, behavioral norms
of the life cycle, folklore, social stratification, political
organization, and supernatural concepts.

Incidents occurring in folktales but absent in ethnog­
raphy ore the assignment of anthropomorphic roles to animals,
capital punishment for defecation and argument, rapid success of
poor orphans in obtaining wealth and status, and homicide within
the nuclear family. Explanations of these deviations from ethnog­
raphic fact presumably lie in the realms of plot development,
historical diffusion and psychology.

Many important culture traits do not receive mention in
the folktales, and various hypotheses to account for this are
discussed with the conclusions that it is impossible to regard
certain unmentioned traits either as unimportant or as recent
innovations, while some traits may be unmentioned either because
they are simply taken for granted or because they constitute
unsuitable material for folktales.

Suggested explanations for the discrepancy between the
results of the analysis of Efik folktales with the results of
previously published studies include the possibility that
societies vary in amount of folkloristio cultural reflection,
societies which possess elaborate mythological systems may be
predisposed to include a greater amount of folkloristio cultural
reflection than societies which lack elaborate mythologies, and
the possibility that there is operating what may be termed
"folkloristlc feedback'1 — meaning that mention of a trait in
folktales may insure it greater chance of remembrance under
conditions of radical culture change than possessed by unmentioned
traits.

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