The Lion and The Jewel main character Sidi sitting in the middle of the picture wearing a striped dress with the outlines of two male faces on other side of her

The Lion and the Jewel

by Wole Soyinka

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What are two traditional beliefs or customs that Lakunle follows in "The Lion and the Jewel"?

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Throughout the play, The Lion and the Jewel, the character of Lakunle is known for his support of modernization and progress. Although he claims to utterly despise ancestral practices, he supports and refers to several traditional customs throughout the play. At the end of the play when Sidi returns to the village after sleeping with Baroka, she confesses that she lost her virginity to Sadiku and Lakunle. Lakunle laments and says, "This trial is my own. Let Sango and his lightning keep out of this...I'll swear he is a liar---and swear by Sango too!" (Soyinka 60). Lakunle swears by the Yuroba god of Thunder, Sango, which portrays his traditional religious beliefs. In addition to mentioning the Yuroba god, Lakunle justifies his refusal to pay the bride-price by referencing the traditional law that states that a man does not have to pay a bride-price if the woman he is marrying is not a virgin. He only supports the traditional custom when it is in accordance with his own beliefs.

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