The Ozidi Saga: Reflective Essay


The Ozidi Saga is a tragedy that was told by the Ijo. The Ijo lived in the Niger Delta region of Eastern Nigeria. However, Clark-Bekederemo’s Ozidi Saga is a modification of the Ozidi tradition and the dominant features in Aristotle’s Poetics. Particularly, the Ozidi Saga is about Ozidi seeking revenge on his father’s murderers, so that his father can join the ancestors (Teilanyo, 1-3).

Reflection and Personal Thoughts

There are several lessons to be learned and themes to be understood from the Ozidi Saga. One, the Ozidi Saga reveals African or more specifically, the Eastern Nigerian ontology. To the Ijo people ass, the story intimates, when one died, he joined himself to the ancestors. Again, one cannot realize the complete chain of existence, independent of human action and justice. Ozidi’s father is not able to join the company of Ijos’ ancestors simply because his death has not been avenged (Okpewho, 4).
Secondly, Ozidi Saga reveals the high sense of justice and great respect for their socio-cultural values that the Ijo people held. The absence of justice is seen to be potent enough to frustrate the completion of the life cycle. Initially, Ozidi’s failure to avenge his father’s death inhibits his father’s completion to join the ancestors. The cause of justice herein is seen to correlate with the Jews’ and the Oriental World’s concept of the avenger of blood. This underscores the universality of moral laws.
Teilanyo divulges that Ozidi Saga also reveals the extent to which the Ijo, like other indigenous African societies, were highly conscious of, and in close contact with the spirit world. So close is this connection with the spiritual that nature and the spiritual are part and parcel of a complex whole. The absence of vengeance inhibits the absorption of Ozidi’s father into the ancestry, the need to have Ozidi’s father assimilated into this rank compels Ozidi’s actions, and Ozidi is able to summon his father’s spirit from a limbo-like grove, as the abode of the murdered. It is this close contact with the supernatural that instances beyond human comprehension are littered throughout the story. Before all his battles, Ozidi vomits his sword and armory (16).


Works Cited
Okpewho, Isidore. “The Art of the Ozidi Saga.” Research in African Literatures, 34.3 (2003): 1- 5. Print
Teilanyo, Diri. “Culture in translation: The example of J.P. Clarks The Ozidi Saga.” Babel, 53.1 (2007): 1-21. Print

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