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The Rhythm of Ese IFA

The rhythm of Ese IFA is very complex. 

This is true to some extent, of almost every aspect of African oral literature. 

The study of the rhythm of Yoruba oral poetry has been very badly neglected. 

Apart from the work of Babalawo, there is 
hardly any literature on this subject. 

Equally neglected is the study of stress and tone and their influence on Yoruba speech including poetic language. 

Babalawo has analysed the rhythm of everyday Yoruba speech in terms of rhythm units. 

He points out that every rhythm unit features one stressed syllable. 

He also points out the importance of meaning and syntax in determining rhythm. 

Each line of Ese IFA  forms a distinct rhythm-unit consisting of not more than six stressed syllables. 

There are usually more unstressed syllables to the line than stressed syllable. 

Stressed and unstressed syllables usually follow each other in quick succession. 

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