ERIC Number: ED429324
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Defining Traditional Forms of Communication in Nigerian Culture within the Context of Nonverbal Communication.
Ogbondah, Chris; Siddens, Paul J., III
Drum language, gong language, masquerades, and puppet theater, the traditional forms of communication found in Nigerian culture, reflect tensions that exist between oral and literate cultures. Drum language ranges from simple signals to elaborately coded messages and is learned through both formal and informal educational processes. Formal training for drum language is conducted at various levels. Since there is no direct correlation between the sounds created by the drum and specific letters of the alphabet, it is by definition a form of nonverbal communication. Gong language, as a form of drum language, is based upon tonal patterns that reproduce or replicate the human voice. Masquerades are carved images of humans, animals, or imagined creatures. The masks or carved images are worn by individuals adorned and decorated with colorful apparels. The nonverbal communication skills of masquerades are learned formally during rehearsals in the evenings. Another form of nonverbal communication used by the Masquerade is kinesics, the science and study of movement. Like masquerades, members of a puppetry troupe formally learn the art of puppetry. Puppetry is used for entertainment as well as to communicate news, information, and other serious messages. It relies on the same forms of nonverbal communication that the Masquerade does to communicate its messages. The roots of these traditional forms of nonverbal communication provide insights into how these forms of communication function and how they are interpreted both within and outside Nigerian culture. (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Drums; Gongs; Masks; Nigeria
Note: Paper presented at the Joint Meeting of the Central States Communication Association and the Southern States Communication Association (St. Louis, MO, April 7-11, 1999).