Theatre Aesthetics in Pre-Colonial Africa By

Shola Balogun


To assert that the indigenous cults and rituals, as well as
traditional religious festivals, are not mere ‘dramatic
circumstances’, erudite scholars of African literature have carried
out a lot of research extensively on the subject.
For example, Andrew Horn, in his study of the spirit medium cult of
Bori as practiced in the Hausa speaking communities of northern
Nigeria, observes that the performances entail the elements of ritual,
the spirit-cult, and the ceremonial. He admits that the trance of Mai
Bori, as a medium of the cult is induced through sequence of music and
dance: “It is at this point that the audience enter into the
performance and make direct appeals to the spirit.”

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