Oral Literature and its Bearing on Caribbean Slave Songs of the Colonial Era

Isha, Pinky
July 2012
Rupkatha Journal on Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities;2012, Vol. 4 Issue 2, p211
Academic Journal
A discussion of Caribbean poetic traditions entails the study of concepts relating to oral literary forms and oral practices that Caribbean literature inextricably reveals, standing at a unique confluence between African, American and European cultures . This piece of writing undertakes to trace the origins of Black oral narrative forms and its characteristic features, influenced by colonial strategies. The beginnings of Caribbean literary output bring within its purview the survival tactics of a race of people who had emerged from a history of slavery and compromise to freedom. The Caribbean, whose ethnic, linguistic and racial mix is greatly diversified, is an interesting, dynamic and variegated cultural phenomenon as it incorporates aspects of both oral and written forms, within its literary modes. An insight into some of the songs and poems of the oral genre is thus helpful in understanding the earliest flowering of poetic talents from the region and judging their respective merits and drawbacks.


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