This lecture seeks to demonstrate that “Okha” folktale tradition of the Esan People is a form of Literature in its own right. It is rich in aesthetic and artistic qualities. It has a recognizable structure, as well as a high functional value in the society. It is a rich form of cultural heritage which mirrors and transmits the Esan culture from generation to generation. It entertains and instructs. At the same, it time acts as a vehicle for the code of living. It acts as a device for sustaining the code and imparting Esan cosmology. They give the Esan people a sense of belonging and a feeling of self- pride. The performers of Esan folktales manipulate language literarily to present the image of Esan women and men in the world of the folktales. Overall, the lecture argues that although feminist literature posits that all women are being oppressed by men, a close examination of women in Esan Folktales reveals that some women are oppressed and remain passive; some women are oppressed and resist; some women are unoppressed; while some women are portrayed negatively as women who dominate other women and men.
Professor Bridget O. Inegbeboh