Dog sacrifice in Isidore Okpewho’s call me by my rightful name and the Works of Wole Soyinka: Ogun, race, identity and diaspora
Moolla, Fiona. F
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This essay considers the ways in which the significance of blood sacrifice in the propitiation of the Yoruba god Ogun is transformed in the context of international literature which asserts an endogenous African modernity, and the specificity of black experience and identity. It focuses mainly on Isidore Okpewho’s 2004 novel, Call Me By My Rightful Name, compared with the role of Ogun in Wole Soyinka’s aesthetics, foregrounding key essays, drama and poetry. Okpewho’s novel presents the reality of the ancestral call among the Yoruba of the American and Caribbean diaspora, which synecdochically represents the call of an essentialized Africa. The central character, Otis Hampton, is a middle class basketball playing African- American college student who inexplicably begins to respond in uncontrollable ways to African drumming and involuntarily chants in a language he does not understand.