African Poems

Oral Poetry from Africa

Tag: Ijala (Page 2 of 2)


A Yoruba poem from Nigeria, and among the noblest of all Ìjálá (hunters’ chants). Many different versions of this chant have been published, but all reveal the same admiration and wonder at this animal’s qualities.

Elephant, opulent creature, elephant, huge as a hill even when kneeling:
Elephant, robed in honour, a demon, flapping fans of war:

Hunters’ Salutes

Five examples of Ìjálá, the Yoruba profes­sional hunters’ chants from Nigeria. Yoruba hunters would compose Ìjálá poems about the animals and birds they hunted.

Lion, who encircles the thicket with his urine,
Champion of the bush, who sends the young hunter in haste up the thorn tree.

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African Poems