Images of disability in Samia oral literature
The basis of this study was the prevailing view that the oral literature of a society communicates to its members the society’s stand points on the issues within their midst. This, it does by either explicitly commenting on them, or by using images that signal specific view points and perceptions. This study therefore attempted to make an assessment of the images of disability portrayed in Samia oral literature. The researcher investigated by studying folktales and proverbs on the subject of disability among the Samia people of Busia District in Eastern Uganda. The oral literature texts were carefully selected to represent both the physical and sensory disabilities while other texts that could not fit in either of the two categories were grouped as others. Views of sampled disabled persons were also analysed and these augmented the conclusions thereafter made. Within the Sociological theoretical framework, and using the images of disability portrayed in specifically folktales and proverbs of the Samia, the study discusses the extent to which the highlighted perceptions of disability serve to consolidate the negative attitudes accorded to the condition. The study consistently highlights the implicit negative attitudes and consequently argues that the folktales and proverbs of the Samia are loaded with images that negatively portray the disabled. This sustains the stereotypical perception of the disabled and the consequent denial of their basic human rights in society. A conclusion is drawn to support the view that oral literature is an active force in forming the people’s psyche and attitudes. This greatly affects their behaviour either as disabled or abled people in society. While the abled develop a strong ego that patronises the disabled, the disabled lose their self esteem and confidence. In way of conclusion, the study holds it that any attempt to address an attitudinal problem such as disability stigmatisation, efforts should be directed towards the oral literature for that particular society. These efforts should inquire into the way the oral literature is transmitted in that particular society. Further, the efforts should be geared to checking on the ability of oral literature to highlight stereotypical notions to the members of that society.