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From Ritual to Art: A Study of the Aesthetics and Cultural Relevance of Ihiala Satirical Songs

Abstract:

The t h e s i s investigates the development of s a t i r e i n Ihlala from its beginnings as a weapon f o r the propagation of moral and s o c i a l control to its present func tlon as a form of social entertainment. The ultimate cause of t h i s development was the colonial contact - a f a c t o r t h a t provided the impetus f o r the reappraisal of several aspects of the c u l t u r a l system. The study reveals that although the people of I h i a l a have accommodated the transformation of s a t i r e , they still r e t a i n some vestiges of the old s a t i r i c a l context. Although the concept of a corrective s o c i a l function for s a t i r e is apparent i n the songs, amusement is equally appreciated and, indeed, may be the fundamental impulse of s a t i r i c a l expression.
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