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Despite his best efforts to curb the prophecy that his child, Odewale, would grow up to take the throne by murdering him, he is inevitably slain when he encounters his son, now fully grown, in the village of Ede. Baba Fakunle: A blind, old man, Baba Fakunle serves as a soothsayer to those who seek him. He is summoned by Odewale to ask of a way to rid the suffering of his kingdom. Baba Fakunle tells him that the source of the kingdom's ails lay with him. After a dispute, Baba Fakunle calls Odewale a "murderer," alluding to the assault that occurred on the yam patch in Ede, in which Odewale kills King Adetusa, unknowingly his father.

Alaka: Odewale's childhood friend. Alaka hails from the village of Ishokun.

Curse of the Canon: Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not To Blame - Oxford Scholarship

He comes to Kutuje to tell Odewale that the man he called father had passed two years prior and that his mother, though old, was still in good health. It is during the course of the play that Odewale reveals to Alaka why it was that he left the village of Ede , where Odewale said he would live after leaving Ishokun when he was thirteen. Gbonka: The former messenger of the late King Adetusa. Gbonka was present when King Adetusa was slain at the hands of Odewale.

Near the play's end, Gbonka retells this event to Odewale, which leads to the discovery that Odewale was in fact the son of the former king, and the son of the current queen, and his birth mother, Ojuola. Rotimi seals Odewale's fate by having an omen placed over his life at birth. Odewale's horrible fate, whether it had been the Seer being silent, or even his parents not ordering his death.

Odewale storms Kutuje with his chiefs flanking by his side, and is declared King by the town's first chief. The King expresses sympathy to the townspeople for the illness that has been plaguing them.

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He brings his sick children for the town to see, that way they know that his family is also suffering. Aderopo gives good news to Odewale from Orunmila concerning the sickness going around the kingdom, but along with the good news comes the bad. Odewale learns that there is a curse on the land, and in order for the sickness to stop going around the curse has to be purged.

Odewale finds out that the man who is cursed killed King Adetusa I. The village elders gather round to discuss the allegations that have been made against Odewale. A blind soothsayer, Baba Fakunle, is brought in to share with Odewale the murderer of the old king.

Odewale begins to make accusations of a plot being made against him, spearheaded by Aderopo, to one of the village chiefs in response to Baba Fakunle's silence. Aderopo arrives and is immediately confronted by Odewale about his suspicions. Aderopo denies the allegations, and Odewale calls forth the Priest of Ogun. Odewale banishes Aderopo from the kingdom.

The Curse of the Canon: Ola Rotimi’s The Gods Are Not To Blame

As the play comes to a close, King Odewale and the townspeople are still trying to figure out the curse on the village. At this point we are introduced to Alaka, who claims to have known King Odewale since before he came to conquer Kutuje. Odewale confesses that his life spiraled out of control when he killed a man. Later, Ojuola explains that Baba Fakunle made her kill her first born son, convinced that her first son had brought bad luck. Odewale says to the land that the biggest trouble today is not their sickness but instead the plague in their hearts.

In the last part Odewale leaves. Odewale brings real facts to the people of the land. All the messages conveyed, although bring the play together and provide the audience with insightful readings, the play may also serve as a symbol as to how some of the African societies model the structure presented in the play. The practices exhibited in Yoruban culture show the structure of both a social and economical factors. The leadership in the play forms a comparison to that of the King and many of the townspeople.

One finds that their roles compared to King Odewale's serve as a primary example of the social aspect. In the economic structure, one observes the resources the Yoruban culture considers vital to maintain wellness and health. During their time of sickness, the townspeople solely depend on the herbs used as an attempt to cure the "curse" put on the people. Ola Rotimi had an immense knowledge and interest in African cultures, as indicated in his ability to speak several ethnic languages, such as Yoruba , Ijaw , Hausa , and pidgin.

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The comical character Alaka, for example, represents Odewale's childhood growing up in the village of Ishokun. Ishokun, in the play, is a small farming village, wherein Odewale learned to harvest yams. By juxtaposing Alaka in Odewale's new environment, Kutuje, Rotimi illustrates the cultural differences between traditional Yoruban life, with that of the industrialized west. Rotimi, in response to the Nigerian Civil War , says that the root cause of the strife among Nigerians, of the bloodshed, was in their lingering mutual ethnic distrust which culminate in open hostility.

To this Rotimi argues that while some of the suffering may have been the result of attempted colonial conquests, the lingering animosity that is felt and dispersed among fellow Nigerians, by fellow Nigerians, cannot be blamed solely on an outside party. It allows people who believe it to blame Indigenous men rather than examining their own roles in colonialism as it manifests today — something that must happen if society is to change in any meaningful way, he added.

This is a disturbing figure.

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  • Does not a high murder rate uncharacteristic of Canada as a whole, and largely attributable to internal community violence, indicate a social and cultural pathology? How can we explain such a social and cultural pathology in the Canadian Indigenous community? Looking at Canadian Indigenous peoples historically, it is easy to see that they have faced serious dilemmas, and have followed a hard road.

    Pre-contact, Canadian Indigenous peoples, generally speaking, were heavily dependant on hunting, trapping, gathering, and fishing, and lived in small communities, many nomadic. Once in contact with larger, more complex, and ultimately more powerful societies, small-scale societies in Canada and elsewhere around the world, tend to transform. Murphy and Julian H. Stewart, draw on the Canadian Algonkian and Brazilian Mundurucu cases to illustrate the transformation:. When goods manufactured by the industrialized nations with modern techniques become available through trade to aboriginal populations, the native people increasingly give up their homecrafts in order to devote their efforts to producing specialized cash crops or other trade items in order to obtain more of the industrially made articles.

    But this is only the start: local political authority structures disappear in favor of trader-seller relations, traditional groups no longer function; traditional residence patterns are abandoned, often for settlement around trading posts; and the society becomes socially fragmented, individual families going their own ways.

    The authors conclude:. When the people of an unstratified native society barter wild products found in extensive distribution obtained through individual effort, the structure of the native culture will be destroyed, and the final culmination will be a culture-type characterized by individual families having delimited rights to marketable resources and linked to the larger nation through trading centers. Later government arrangements such as reserves or reservations sometimes establish new collective institutions in the attempt to re-establish communities.

    But the reality, for many Indigenous communities in Canada, particularly those in the north, is that their traditional way of life living off of the land through hunting and nomadic mobility is gone. To a degree at least, the preference for remaining separate and avoiding integration with the larger society, without a viable local way of life, opens the door to anomie, anger, and violence.

    Apartheid has not proven to be a fruitful choice. By far the worst thing about the accusation of a Canadian genocide against Indigenous females is not the semantic crime of stretching the concept of genocide so far it loses meaning, or that the memory of those people who have actually suffered genocide is besmirched, but that the real and dangerous social and cultural pathologies that generate Indigenous victims are denied and ignored in favor of blaming everyone else in the entire country. This is not just deeply irresponsible; it is deeply immoral. Similar problems of social and cultural pathology are found among African Americans.

    The murder rate within the African American community is over three times what one would expect on the basis of population numbers. Nor is murder the only social and cultural pathology apparent in the African American community. This has been shown to be highly detrimental, especially for boys, putting them at high risk for poor educational performance and for likely incarceration.

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