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

(505 words)
  • Craig McLuckie

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; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=12860, accessed 18 April 2015.]