Abstract: The folk element in African literature and drama owes its richness to the various language group of the continent. Wole Soyinka, the famous Nigerian playwright infuses Yoruba culture in almost all of his plays. His plays present the Yoruba idiom of ritual. The ancestral practice of a ritual however gets a different treatment whereby the human society is brought to a new level of communal consciousness. Two plays by Soyinka, which are The Strong Breed and Death and the Kings Horseman, employ Yoruba performance idioms with Western techniques and stylistic influences. In both the plays the ritual sequence is interrupted and substituted. This leads to a host of questions like did the ritual complete the cycle of purgation Or why does the community fall silent at the death of the performers of the rite My aim in this paper is to answer these questions and also present the dramatics of the Yoruba theatre.
Keywords: Yoruba, Ritual, Soyinka, Community, Cleansing