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The monologue of the dove : reflections on life and death in an oral tradition of the Kwami People in northern Nigeria

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Abstract

The tale portrays the unhappy life of a dove. Constantly surrounded by enemies, hunted by human beings and animals, disappointed by friends and separated from her family, the dove despairs of her life. She ponders over her unjust fate in this world and in a monologue she begins to consider, whether it would not be better to end her own life. This tragic theme forms the climax of several episodes, in which the tension between life and death is described. The elaborate development of dramatic acts demonstrates the intertwining of guilt and innocence in human existence.

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