Symbols of leadership and conceptions of power in Hausa Literature: An intertextual reading of a Dodo folktale and a popular song

  • Chaibou Elhadji Oumarou Abdou Moumouni University, Niamey, Niger
Keywords: Dodo folktales, popular Hausa praise songs, intertextuality, power


This article presents a brief exploration of the interface between the collective or ancestral archetype of the “Dodo”, symbolising destructive power in Hausa tales and the more individual interpretation and stylistic concerns of a contemporary popular singer, Ali Na Maliki, addressing, at another level, the subject of power and leadership portrayed by the traditional chief. The paper will focus on the interaction between genres, seen in the light of intertextuality as defined by Michael Riffaterre and M.H. Abrams among others. It highlights, moreover, the thematic and aesthetic contribution of the oral artist Ali Na Maliki to contemporary Hausa orature and culture. It reposes on an analysis of the manipulation of certain images and animal symbols of leadership and power borrowed from the world of tales used with a certain degree of innovation in order to evoke, symbolically, the mythical attributes of power in the artistic universe of his songs. 

Author Biography

Chaibou Elhadji Oumarou, Abdou Moumouni University, Niamey, Niger

Chaibou Elhadji Oumarou teaches African Literature, American Civilization and American Literature, British Literature and Translation in the Department of English, Abdou Moumouni University, Niamey, Niger. His
research interests include African Literature and Oral Tradition.


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