Arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.
There is a long-lived tradition of storytelling. The Azande people of the country are specifically famous for their storytelling tradition. The oral literature of the country comprises numerous folktales and legends, heroic epics, war stories, fairy tales, ritualistic chants, and more.
Written literature in the country has a relatively short history. The written literary works are also limited in number. Most published works focus on the war and hardships of the people and the social issues prevailing in the nation.
Equatorians are also experts in a wide variety of crafts. They produce excellent handicrafts like pottery, baskets woven with papyrus seeds, and stone and wood carvings.
Naturally, singing is very important because the melody and rhythm follow the intonation of the song text. The songs are often sung in call-and-response form.
A griot is a praise singer or poet who possesses a repository of oral tradition passed down from generation to generation. They must know the traditional songs and must also be able to improvise songs about current events and chance incidents.
Music is a form of communication and it plays a functional role. In Greater Equatoria songs accompany marriage, birth, rites of passage, hunting and even political activities. Music is often used in different cultures to ward off evil spirits and to pay respects to good spirits, the dead and ancestors.
Although the musical styles and instruments vary from region to region, there are some common forms of musical expression. The most significant instrument in music is the drum. It expresses the mood of the people and evokes emotion. The beat of the drum is the “heartbeat of the community” and its rhythm is what holds the dancers together.
Dance is an integral part of the culture, and it utilizes symbolic gestures, masks, costumes, body painting and props to communicate. The dance movements can be simple or complex with intricate actions including fast rotation, ripples of the body and contraction and release. Dance is used to express emotion, whether joyful or sorrowful and it is not limited to just the dancers. Often spectators will be encouraged to join in.