Society of African Journal Editors

Legon Journal of the Humanities

Remarks on J. H. Nketia’s Funeral Dirges of the Akan People

Authors: LA Boadi

Journal: Legon Journal of the Humanities

J. H. Kwabena Nketiah’s Funeral Dirges of the Akan People (1955) is undoubtedly one of the classics among studies devoted to African oral poetry. However, it has received little comment and continues to be inaccessible to students and teachers of oral literature. The purpose of this essay is to introduce the monograph and its subject to college students and lecturers. For purposes of classification, we put the poems in the class of elegies and justify this in the first part of the essay. The second part explores some of the features of the verse form. The final part discusses the theme of life, growth and procreation in the family and the choice of imagery in expressing it.