An analysis of the style and meaning of the poetry within the Tugen Soro wedding ritual
Keitany, Ambrose Rotich
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This study focuses on and examines the wedding poetry of the Tugen community with a view to uncovering the function of the poetry and how it reflects the social and moral values of its people. It investigates the style, performance and meaning of the oral poetry within the soro ritual. Further, it seeks to reveal the significance of the poems to the lives of the Tugen and in particular the importance they attach to its performance. This study was undertaken through both library and field research. In field research, the study used observation, interviews as well as focus group discussion to collect data. Our focus was mainly on style and performance as it brings out and enriches the meaning of the poetry. Similarly, the study seeks to unveil the significant literary qualities of the Tugen wedding poetry especially its stylistic features. The research work is motivated by the fact that although a number of wedding songs have been collected on past researches, it has received little analysis from scholars. therefore, this study seeks to fill this gap in social knowledge. The study is guided by Ethnopoetics theoretical framework. Ethnopoetics examines oral art in reference to the society that creates and performs the art. This theory is relevant to interpreting wedding poetry as it explores the use of poetic imagery and cultural verbal symbols. This theory provides an opportunity for the researcher to have a closer interaction with the community and the study through fieldwork. Such an interaction is vital in analyzing the given poetry. In the final analysis, the investigation reveals the messages embedded in the wedding poetry and provide an understanding , of the Tugen worldviews.