Wole Soyinka: The Seven Signposts of Existence: Knowledge, Honor, Justice and Other Virtues

(505 words)
  • Craig McLuckie (Okanagan College)

In Ulli Beier's recounting of the Orishanla story, emphasis is placed on the fragmentation and scattering of the Orisa (also spelled Orisha, though Soyinka's usage is retained here; they are the demi-gods of the Yoruba pantheon). Soyinka, in The Seven Signposts of Existence, fulfils the principle of his fifth precept and repeats Orunmila's originary task – collecting fragments of Orisa into a personal, meaningful whole (The Seven Signposts vii). This act does not deny that “hundreds of fragments are still scattered throughout the world” (Beier 7); rather, it insists on the individual's work within the religion:

The Yoruba people see the multiplicity of gods merely as aspects or …

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McLuckie, Craig. "The Seven Signposts of Existence: Knowledge, Honor, Justice and Other Virtues". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 October 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12860, accessed 25 September 2016.]