Epistemes, Etiquette, Praxis and the Anglo-African Cultural Experience

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Lekan Oyegoke


Reflected in culture are patterns of behaviour which are classified as correct or wrong and therefore
acceptable or reprehensible. Acceptable behaviour occupies such an important role in human
experience that the society formulates codes of conduct which are enshrined in language in a given
culture. The proverb is studied today as a literary form associated with Orature or oral literature; its
genesis in the oral traditions is closely connected to its functional value in communicating precepts
that regulate human behaviour. It also contains wisdom based on the observation of experience
which sheds light on certain aspects of human life. Like everything else, these codes of behaviour
change with time and circumstances. This essay examines some of the ways in which the attitudes to
some of the codes of conduct which emanated from the Renaissance Age, and whose ripple effects
spilt into the Victorian Age and were felt by postcolonies such as Nigeria, have been affected by
changing times and circumstances.

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