restricted access "I am the hunter who kills elephants and baboons": The Autobiographical Component of the Hunters' Chant

This paper explores the significance of the autobiographical element in hunters' chants among the Yoruba. Since hunters primarily occupy the subject position in these chants, they use them to construct and praise themselves and their communities and to contest their representation by others as well as to teach communal history. The paper examines the art of composition and recitation in the chants, showing how subjects are formed, developed, and contested to promote heteroglossia as different discourses and counterdiscourses are developed. Finally, the paper argues that the chants are crucial in reconstructing historical and literary aspects of precolonial Africa.