Dangme traditional work songs

Jonathan Tanihu


This paper presents a descriptive analysis of the literary devices in Dangme traditional work songs. The Dangme people are known for their traditional industries, agricultural and native economic activities. These activities create the occasion for some sort of songs to be used. Their traditional work songs are used in contexts in which wearisome labour is involved. The songs are considered ‘special purpose poetry’ because they have some direct connection with particular occasions and actions. This paper analyses these traditional work songs and brings to bear the literary devices deployed in them as they accompany specific work(s). Data for this paper was collected from both primary and secondary sources. The data analysis is descriptive with much emphasis on the literary devices in the songs. It has been revealed that literary devices such as repetition, idiophones, parallelism and the like provide aesthetic and beauteous values to the work songs. This aids to soothe the workers’ psychological and physical bodies in order to increase their efficiency and work output.


Dangme; literary devices; work; songs; traditional;

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