The Importance of Orature in the Life of a Community: an Appreciation of the Role of the S’wamba Folksongs in the Edina Traditional Area, Ghana

Cynthia Derx-Techie, Uriah Stonewell Tetteh


S’wamba is a collection of traditional folk songs performed by the people of Edina in the Central Region of Ghana. It is an oral art form performed in the form of work songs, play songs, traditional verses, riddles, stories and prayers.  The S’wamba orature is the most popular of the folksongs of the people of Edina. The popularity of the folk song can be linked to the fact that all important traditional events are celebrated in songs and the S’wamba is never missed out at such events. The study’s objective is to highlight the need for people to appreciate the unique cultural legacy of S’wamba as a folksong among the people of Edina, now known as Elmina in the Central region of Ghana. Both the purposive sampling and random sampling methods were used to select respondents to elicit information needed for this study. The study adopted the cultural criticism literary theory as the underlying framework to conduct the study. A total of fifty (50) songs were recorded, transcribed, translated and analysed.  The analyses revealed remarkable traditional elements of the S’wamba as an oral art form.  The study, therefore, recommends among others that the S’wamba folksongs, like other major cultural art forms need to be valued as a unique cultural heritage that must be studied and preserved for the people of the Edina traditional area.


traditional, Central region, Elmina, folksong, rhythm, S’wamba

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