The Thematic Function of Oral Literature in Birhane Achme’s Wodi Wa-Ero

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Addis Ababa University


This research aims at examining the role of incorporated oral literature in Tigrigna historical novel entitled Wodi Wa-ero. The study tries to identify the importance of the employed forms of oral literature to the theme of the historical novel. The study has five chapters. The first chapter gives introductory statements about oral literature and its limited studies. In this chapter it has been tried to reveal the magnitude of the problem, the purpose, the significance and the method of the study. In the second chapter, an attempt has been made to give a theoretical review and previous studies have been assessed. The concept of oral literature, the forms, the social significance, and oral literature and African literary works are the main points discussed in this part. As the historical novel dates back to the northern Ethiopian colonial era, the historical condition of the time is briefed in chapter three. Analysis of various forms of oral literature employed in the novel is made in chapter four. In here, adequate genres of oral literature that are used in the novel like naming, proverbs, historic legends, tales and oral poems are taken and endeavors have been made to analyze and inquire the relevance of their presence in relation to the dominant themes of the novel. Focusing on transferring the intended idea, the selected forms of oral literature are translated into English and the contexts the oral literature used have been considered in analyzing them. Thus, in the last chapter, the researcher has arrived at the conclusion that the various forms of oral literature are not put for their own sake but the author has deliberately employed them to amplify the issues in the novel and as the result the themes are concretized and enlarged.



Oral Literature in Birhane Achme’s Wodi Wa-Ero