Volume 18, No. 6, 2021

The Native Informant In Okot P' Bitek's Song Of Lawino: A Postcolonial Study

Dr. Syeda Sadaf Munir Kazmi , Dr. Ishaq Khan , Khalid Usman


This study aims to investigate the role of a native informant in Okot p' Bitek's 'Song of Lawino'. The native informant, in postcolonial studies, is referred to as the native individuals from the colonized countries, who are part of the colonial project to represent their own people as uncivilized and backward. These native informants play a significant role in constructing the colonial narrative that is replete with 'Self' and 'Other' discourse, where 'Self' is superior (West) and 'Other' is inferior (East). When such colonial discourse is further substantiated and endorsed on the basis of local narratives that pretend to reflect a true picture of a native culture, which, in reality, misrepresent the native culture and its people, they are termed as 'the Native Informants' by postcolonial critics. Such native literature also represents the natives as dehumanized people, which gives strength to the fabricated version of the European discourse about the East. Ocol, a native African, plays a role of a native informant, as seen in 'Song of Lawino' in which Lawino refers to the role that he performs to serve the political and ideological interests of European culture. Native informants, like Ocol, assume the titles of writers and academicians to help disseminate knowledge about the native land and its population. These native informants, like Ocol, obtain their education in the European universities which changestheir mindset. Postcolonial theory has been used as a theoretical framework to analyze the poem. Gayatri Spivak has given the concept of 'the Native Informant' in her famous work A Critique of Postcolonial Reason (1999). Textual analysis was used as a data analysis technique.

Pages: 6336-6343

Keywords: Native Informant, Postcolonial Studies, Colonizers, Colonized, Civilized, Lawino, Ocol, Culture.

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