Aristotle Quote of the Day

Saturday, 28 May 2016

MUST VISIT cultural sites in Nigeria.



Slave History Museum, Calabar
It's not news that Nigeria is a country with a rich cultural heritage boasting several hundred tribes and languages.
While the country does not quite thrive on tourism yet, we still have our fair share of historical attractions which is evidence of the country's ancient culture and heritage.
So, the next time you have some free time on your hands, you should consider checking out the following historical attractions.
National War Museum, Abia: This museums houses relics from wars waged in Nigeria through the years including theNigerian Civil War, Niger Delta conflicts and depictions of weapons used in battles fought in old Nigerian empires.
Slave History Museum, Calabar: Calabar was a major slave port during the Slave Trade days and this museum houses numerous artifacts from the slave era, including remnants of ships and their cargo.
Nigerian National Museum, Lagos: Arguably the largest collection of Nigerian art and artifacts. Here you can find wood carvings, bronze statues from the Bini kingdom and exhibits from the Nok culture which dates all the way back to 550 BC.
First Storey Building, Badagry: As the name suggests this is the first ever story building built in Nigeria, and it was built by Reverend Henry Townsend.
Mbari Cultural Centre, Imo: This centre showcases the history and tradition of the Igbos including sculptures which were once dedicated to gods.
Wikimedia Commons
Badagry Heritage Museum: This is another museum dedicated to the slave trade era with 8 galleries inside taking visitors through different periods of Badagry history, including the pre-slave era, the slave era, and the post-slave era.
Sukur Kingdom, Adamawa: This is one of Nigeria's UNESCO World Heritage sites and is located above the village of Sukur on Mandara Mountain. It is an ancient settlement with a long history of iron work, and strong political institutions dating back to the 16th century.
(Wikimedia Commons)
House of Mary Slessor, Calabar: Mary Slessor was a missionary credited with stopping the killing of twins in Calabar in the 1800s. Her house still stands s a historical attraction in Calabar till date.
Osun Sacred Grove, Osogbo: Another UNESCO World Heritage site, this is one of the most sacred locations in Yoruba culture and one of the only remaining examples of the once-widespread Yoruba settlement design.
Emir of Kano Palace, Kano: Kano boasts an ancient culture and civilisation and the Emir's palace is one of the elements of this ancient culture.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Modern women in past times!

Photographer documents modern African women in their Ancestors' clothings

In what she likens to a ritual, Joana Choumali went on a campaign of photographing young, contemporary African women in their native cultural attires, in a bid to show the relationship between past and present generations.
Choumali calls the photography series “Resilients,” a title inspired by her grandmother's passing two year ago. The photographer realised, upon the older woman's death, that much of her story had died with her.
Selena Souadou is a 21-year-old from Guinea. She lives in Ivory Coast and Senegal. (Huffington Post)
This made her embark on a project to document young, contemporary African women and their link to generations gone. Choumali said she had hoped, through the pictures, to pass the message that the past is never truly lost. In an interview with Huffington Post, she said:
Sandrine Amah is a chemical engineer from Akan. She spent her childhood in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and Montreal (Canada). (Huffington Post)
“I was hoping to convey the fact that African women mutate through the generations while remaining anchored to their roots and traditions, able to remain true to themselves, just like the earth from which they came,” she said. “Elasticity that turns into resilience.”
Sandrine is Ivorian and Senegalese. She lives in Abidjan. (Huffington Post)
The photographer had an idea of the kind of women she loved to use as subjects for the project. She chose modern women in the world, people who had education, hardworking, global citizens, who, somehow, retained strong family values and ties, to whom their African heritage mean so much.
Soukeyna, 25, studied Marketing in Bordeaux (France). (Huffington Post)
She said, “Most of them succeed in dealing with such a fragile balance between past and present, between Westernized habits and traditions. I think it makes them stronger. They adapt to these very subtle social and cultural changes.”
Danielle Niamke Asroumingoumin, 50, is a native of Grand-Bassam (southeast of the Ivory Coast) and belongs to the ethnic group N’zima. (Huffington Post)
The importance of showcasing African beauty in its diverse manifestations was also not lost on her. Her inspirations ranged from African portrait photographers like Malick Sidibe and Seydou Ke├»ta to classical European painters like Rembrandt. “I wanted to present these modern African women as icons,” she said.
Anifa Amari calls herself an Ivorian-Beninese. (Huffington Post)
To create the images in “Resilients,” Choumali and her subjects would meet up, share memories about their backgrounds, families, hometowns and origins. Then they’d search for clothing items in their family history — a scarf from their mother, jewelry from their grandmother, to compile a vision composed of equal parts past and present.
Rabiya al Adawiya , 28, is Ivorian-Sudanese, she lives and works in Ivory Coast. (Hufington Post)
“I would always play some music, mostly African classics,”Choumali added. “It was like a ritual, an almost religious moment, a meditation. The process of makeup, the hairstyling, the wrapping of the rich traditional fabrics were very impactful on their attitudes. Their gestures and postures changed after getting dressed. Many of them said that wearing the jewelry and rich fabrics made them feel stronger, more elegant, almost royal.”
Naema Assassi is a real estate business developer. Her family is from the center of the Ivory Coast (Akan). (Huffinton Post)
The process enabled a form of self-discovery by casting a glance at the past. Inspired by old African portraits and the poses struck in them, the subjects found themselves changing shape before the camera’s lens. “Some of the women told me that couldn’t recognize themselves in the pictures,” Choumali said. “Some felt stronger, some realized how beautiful they are.”
http://pulse.ng/arts_culture/impressive-photographer-documents-modern-african-women-in-their-ancestors-clothings-id5060390.html

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Affirmative Action – Too Little or Too Much?



Morality is not about trying to be perfectly right, it is about trying to do right.
Destine.
Amazing article by Ken Taylor
“Too little or too much what?” you ask. Does it bring about too little racial justice – because it doesn’t go far enough? Or does it bring about too much racial resentment – because it goes way too far? I fear that the correct answer may be that it’s a little bit of both. Affirmative action doesn’t begin to be a fully adequate instrument for achieving racial justice but, nonetheless, it generates way more racial resentment than it deserves to.
It wasn’t always so, As it was originally conceived, it was designed to overcome the effects of past racial discrimination, when blacks were too often told that they need not apply. It was meant to supplement and make real the requirements of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination in one fell swoop. But even if the law says, “Henceforth, there shall be no further discrimination,” you can’t undo the lingering effects of decades and decades of past racial injustice by the mere stroke of a pen. That’s where affirmation action came in. 
Many people now think of a affirmative action as a form of reverse discrimination, as a system in which whites and blacks are not held to the same standards, in which a less qualified black person can be hired or admitted over a more qualified white person – all in the name of racial diversity, And they complain that whatever the racial sins of the past, two racial wrongs don't make a racial right. 
But reverse discrimination was never the idea! The point was to level the playing field. Institutions had to “act affirmatively” to ensure that their candidate pools included previously excluded minorities. The idea was to actively seek them out, to openly welcome them, and to allow them to compete on fair and equal terms with whites. This idea has, I think, simply become part of our employment and admissions DNA. Nobody would think of going back to the old days, when you had to be part of a good old boys club to get a job or a spot in a prestigious university. 
But there is no denying that affirmative action has evolved considerably from its initial beginnings. What started out as a tool for ameliorating the effects of past discrimination has become more of a tool for increasing diversity, at least somewhat independent of explicit discrimination. In its earliest form, affirmative action was more e focused on fair and open processes and making sure that they are not infected with bias. In its latter form, it has tended to focus on actual results. It’s this more recent approach to affirmative action, I think, that causes all the political and emotional turmoil over affirmative action. It’s certainly harder to justify. And the resistance and resentment it sometimes engenders is hardly surprising, I’d say.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking diversity. Diversity is a very good thing. If we’re given two equally qualified candidates, one of whom adds diversity and the other doesn’t, of course, we should choose the candidate that adds some diversity. But how far should we take this reasoning? Should diversity only be used to break ties? Or should it diversity be regarded as a positive qualification, all on its own. If so, how many points should you get just for being black or being a woman. Unfortunately, start thinking this way, and you’ll quickly get to something that goes against the idea of equality and starts to sound a little like reverse discrimination. The problem is that there seems to be a degree of tension between diversity and merit. If there wasn’t we could just select on the basis of merit and let the diversity take care of itself. But clearly we can't do that – or at least the practice of Affirmative Action seems to presume that we can’t.
Perhaps there is another way to look at it though. Perhaps we should think of affirmative action against the backdrop of widespread implicit bias. Perhaps it can help us guard against such biases. Suppose we do a little experiment. We give two hiring committee, two almost identical resumes – with just one teeny, tiny inconsequential difference between them. One has a recognizably Anglo-sounding name – say Jason. The other has a recognizably African American sounding name – say Jamal. Shouldn’t matter, should it? What’s in a name after all? But by now, they dirty little secret about implicit bias is out. In set up after set up like this, it turns out that the candidate with the black sounding name will be judged to be less qualified than the candidate with the Anglo sounding name. Same for female names. Same for Hispanic names.
As far as I konw, nobody has yet tried to justify Affirmative Action on the grounds that it would help protect us from the effects of implicit bias. But you can see how such an argument might go. People used to hope that if we just had fair procedures and standards and actively sought out excluded people, everything would eventually be alright. We might not even need affirmative action anymore. But the fact of widespread implicit bias suggest that we that we can never overcome discrimination, no matter how hard we try. The point isn't so much that people are bound to prefer their own kind. The point is rather that even when we try to be objective and fair minded, the phenomenon of implicit bias suggest that we may be bound to fail. We can never really be sure that we aren’t being controlled by our biases or that we are honestly applying fair, equitable, and objective standards. 
But if we can’t ever really trust our judgments of merit where does that leave us? With endless debates, lawsuits, and racial division? That’s how you get California deciding minority students can’t even be subjected to IQ testing out of fear that they are unintentionally discriminatory. I'm not at all confident that Affirmative Action really would help us to combat implicit bias. But maybe it's worth a try. Nothing else seems to be working. But hey, nobody ever promised that achieving true racial justice was going to be easy. 

Friday, 20 May 2016

Husband Of Rescued Chibok Girl Confess: I Surrendered Because Of Hunger, Ill Health

Mohammed Hayatu

The husband of the Chibok Girl who was rescued on Wednesday, has reportedly revealed he surrendered himself due to hunger and ill health.
The man, Mohammed Hayatu, according to Channels Television, is said to be one of the Boko Haram commanders also known as ‘Amir.’
He allegedly escaped and surrendered himself, his wife, Amina Nkeki Ali, and their baby to members of the Borno state Civilian Joint Task Force in Balle, a village in Damboa due to constant suffering.
Hayatu was quoted to have told the vigilante group members that, ”hunger and ill health forced him to surrender as they were starving to death following the blocking of Boko Haram’s food supply routes by the military.”

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

ADOPTION OF WESTERN CULTURE BY AFRICANS

ADOPTION OF WESTERN CULTURE ii

By John Pam
Trial and error they say gives rise to new ways of living,however at what cost do these new means of being detract from the wholesome experience of living. It has long been viewed that the African cultural heritage has nothing to offer in comparison to its western counterpart and in some areas that might be true but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water. In a sense western society is more capable of catering to the diverse lifestyles and inclinations of multitudes, however when it comes to the sense of identity and common interests its easier to find such ideals more prevalent in our African culture. This inevitably brings us to the matter at hand where we must consider if the African culture has a better influence on the growth of a child or if the western ideology does a better job of it.  If African culture is looked at from a broad perspective and not the caricature which our adherence to western values have made of it, then it seems to me that we can see the advantages that are inherent in the traditions which we so readily discard.
Image result for african identityImage result for african identity
 The western manner of education has created a perception that intelligence can only be garnered from the structures of institutions of learning. However, when one looks at the type of individuals who though they have never been to such institutions have such a keen understanding of various technologies that even those who are "educated" formally cannot grasp we would be forced to at least concede that intelligence can indeed be dormant in an individual but it takes the input of tutors to bring it out. Now far be it from me to begrudge the value of western society but one does not discard something which is functional and adopt another which is poorly understood simply to be current. Western culture with its permissiveness or even lack of moral standards,its creed of materialism and its penchant for disguising barbarity in civility, is not without its virtues but purposely let's look at its flaws and from there we can then see if truly African culture has nothing to offer a child.
Image result for african identity
 In most African societies although such a culture is waning, there is a perception that ones neighbor's misfortune is shared hence when a child in the community is seen to be erring the residents of that community see a moral obligation to correct that child and it has nothing to do with any notions of reward but rather a sense of responsibility towards that child. In Africa its more rare to see a child's misdeeds ignored by the members of the community than to see them take action and even sometimes take the child to the parents to explain what their child had been up to. In the western hemisphere if a neighbor so much as interferes with the child of another he can be jailed at least and at best told to mind his business. Now this might seem trivial but the truth is as these little gestures coalesce they tend to build fraternal ties which spurs an identification with that community.

 The peer groups inculcated into African culture also ensures that children grow up having a sense of purpose for their identity and hence values is coming led with the responsibilities which they are given as part of their peers. Now the tendency is for young people to seek to outdo each other or even win the admiration of their peers as they value that more than any praise from elders who are regarded as not part of their group. Hence when such societies created theses groups it was based on the understanding that these youth were giving are productive framework in which to compete with their peers and under the supervision of more mature minds. In some communities one age group might be responsible for security,another for resolving communal disputes and usually the youngest for partaking and organizing activities important to the cultural identity of that community and hence when one was able to distinguish oneself the elation was tremendous. However,western civilization has no provision for catering to this need for direction in youth,hence they are placed in the care of teachers who are only too eager to be done with them and then leave them to their own devices once the school bell rings. This has resulted in massive levels of substance abuse and also unwholesome activities not to say that such did not occur under African culture but when such occurred it was easier to nip in the bud because there was always that guidance from more experienced individuals who did not see catering to the youth as a way to get paid but rather as a duty to growth of community,responsibility owed to those who provided guidance and also self regard.  It by no means is a perfect system but where people have no values which brings them together as a community then there is bound to be conflict. Truth be told it seems African has not matured sufficiently enough to practice the true spirit of democracy hence why we always fall into tyranny. If the leaders see every one else as competition then they will be cruel. There however can be no self deception as regard the nature of our activities which has led to religion and political parties have come to be hope we define ourselves rather than as members of a community with diverse ideas. At some point we will have to examine the values we give to the youth and inevitably we will see the destruction we have been fostering by our negligence.
images gotten from Google

Sunday, 15 May 2016

UK To Give Nigeria £40m To Fight Boko Haram

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary has pledged to give Nigeria £40m to help the fight against Boko Haram - and praised the president's "strong leadership" just days after David Cameron called the country "fantastically corrupt".
Philip Hammond also announced the UK would train almost 1,000 Nigerian military personnel for deployment in counter-insurgency operations.
His promises came as he arrived in Abuja, Nigeria for the Regional Security Summit.
"President Buhari has shown strong leadership in the fight against Boko Haram, a brutal organisation that has raped, murdered and kidnapped innocent civilians and forced over two million people to flee their homes," said Mr Hammond.
"Their allegiance to, and potential coordination with Daesh (IS), is a reminder of the threat they present to the region and to British interests."
Boko Haram has killed some 20,000 people during a seven-year insurgency.
The UK's money to fight the Islamic extremists will be distributed over four years.
Mr Hammond's flattering words follow days after Mr Cameron was heard making undiplomatic comments to the Queen ahead of an anti-corruption summit.
"We've got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain," Mr Cameron told the Queen.
"Nigeria and Afghanistan - possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world."

Herdsmen: Traditional Rulers In Abia Perform Customary Rite To Fortify Boundaries



Against the backdrop of recent herdsmen clashes in the south east of Nigeria, over twenty traditional rulers from the seventeen local government areas of Abia state came out to perform the customary rite of fortifying the boundaries of the state from any form of attack.
The traditional rulers who prayed for god’s protection also made pronouncement, which they believe, would see an end to kidnapping, herdsmen attacks, armed robbery, incessant killings and other vices in Abia state.
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu last week called on the traditional rulers to be proactive in safeguarding their communities.
The boundaries visited by the traditional rulers include those between Abia and Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
http://www.aitonline.tv/post-herdsmen traditional_rulers_in_abia_perform_customary_rite_to_fortify_boundaries

Police Brutality



Congolese opposition figure Moise Katumbi was hospitalised on Friday after police fired tear gas at him and his supporters outside the prosecutor's office in the southern mining hub of Lubumbashi, his lawyer said.
"He is sick. He was attacked. So it's normal that the doctor would want to keep him under observation," said his lawyer, Georges Kapiamba.
He told Reuters Katumbi had inhaled tear gas and was manhandled by police upon his arrival.
The former governor of Democratic Republic of Congo's main copper-mining region had been summoned for allegedly hiring mercenaries, including former U.S. soldiers, as part of a plot against the republic.
Katumbi denies the accusations, which he says are aimed at derailing his campaign to succeed President Joseph Kabila.
Kabila has ruled since 2001 but is barred from standing for a third term in an election set for November.
Shortly after Katumbi's arrival, police fired tear gas at thousands of his backers, who had gathered outside the prosecutor's office to show their support, and the two sides pelted each other with stones.
Kapiamba said that the hearing was almost immediately suspended after Katumbi said he felt unwell.
Friday's violence was the third time in five days that police have dispersed Katumbi's supporters amid questioning by the prosecutor that began on Monday.
"It's sad that there is not a state of law - police officers who throw stones and wound my older brother," Katumbi said before finally entering the building.
Political tensions are high in Congo, where dozens were killed in January 2015 in protests over a proposed revision of the electoral law.
Critics had said that proposed revision of the electoral law was a ploy to keep Kabila in power beyond the end of his mandate.
Kabila's critics accuse him of trying to delay the November election to cling to power.
The government has said that it is unlikely to be able to organise the poll in time due to budgetary and logistical constraints.
The country's highest court ruled on Wednesday that Kabila would stay in power beyond the end of his mandate this year if the election does not take place.
In a statement on Friday, leading opposition parties accused the court of supporting a "constitutional coup d'etat" and called for marches across the country on May 26 to demand that Kabila step down this year. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

IMPORTANT MUSEUMS TO VISIT IN AFRICA

4 important African museums every culture enthusiast should visit in their lifetime


Echoes from times past lay immortalised in various locations across the continent including the following museums.


Ouidah Museum of History (Flickr)

Museums are an essential part of our civilisation as they house materials and artifacts from time past.
Africa is a continent with very rich cultural heritage and history, ranging from the flourish of the various empires across various times to the colonial era.
Echoes from these times lay immortalised in various locations across the continent including the following museums.

Here are 6 important African museums every culture enthusiast should visit in their lifetime.


Apartheid Museum (South African Hotels)

1. Apartheid Museum: The Apartheid movement stands as one of the darkest periods in South Africa, and indeed, the continent. Located in Johannesburg, the museum is dedicated to illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa, one of the most significant times in Africa's long history.

2. Benin City National Museum: The Benin empire in Nigeria was one of the most oldest and most developed civilisations in Nigeria, and West Africa. As such, the museum has a significant number of artifacts related to the Benin Empire such as terracotta, bronze figures and cast iron pieces.


3. Egyptian Museum: Undoubtedly the most advanced civilisation in Africa, ancient Egypt has played a significant role in modern history and culture. The museum is home to no fewer than 120,000 antiquities.
4. Ouidah Museum of History, Benin Republic: This museum was last year nominated for the prestigious Leading Culture Destinations 2015 awards, in the Best Emerging Culture Destination of the Year, Africa category. The museum displays artifacts on the history of Dahomey Kingdom, Voodoo religion and slave trade amongst others.

Ibibio people of Nigeria

Ibibio

Orientation


Identification

The name "Ibibio" identifies the largest subdivision of people living in southeastern Nigeria, in Akwa Ibom State, and it is generally accepted and used for both ethnic and linguistic descriptions. Like their Igbo neighbors, the Ibibio people originally shared no common term that identified them as a whole. The name "Agbisherea" was first used by European explorers in the nineteenth century to describe Ibibio inhabitants, but apparently died out soon after. Some Igbo-speaking people refer to their Ibibio-speaking neighbors as "Mong"; others call them "Kwa."
Location. The Ibibio are located to the south and southeast of the Igbo, in southeastern Nigeria. This includes the former Calabar Province (the Itu Mbuzo subgroup is in the Bende Division), Owerri Province, and certain villages of the Obong. The Eastern Ibibio, or Ika, have attached their village groups to the Ndokki Igbo of Owerri.

Demography

The Ibibio numbered over two million in the 1963 census and fell into the following six major divisions: Riverain (Efik), Northern (Enyong), Southern, (Eket), Delta (Andoni-Ibeno), Western (Anang), and Eastern (Ibibio proper). These main groups are further divided into groups that are identifiable by geographical location. The Efik reside mostly in the Calabar Province, and are divided into Enyong (Aro), Calabar, Itu, and Eket groups. The Riverain area also includes the Cameroons, inhabited by the Kumba and Victoria groups. The Eyong are divided into the Enyong (Aro) and Ikot Ekpene of Calabar Province and the Bende division of Owerri Province. The Eket division resides in Calabar Province. The Adoni-Ibeno are divided into the Eket and Opopo of Calabar Province. The Anang are divided into the Abak and Ikot Ekpene of Calabar Province, and the Aba of Owerri Province. The Ibibio proper are divided into the Uyo, Itu, Eket, Ikot Ekpene, Enyong (Aro), Abak, Opopo, and Calabar groupings. They also make up the Aba division of Owerri Province.

Linguistic Affiliation
The Ibibio speak dialects of Efik-Ibibio, a language of the Kwa Branch of the Niger-Congo Family. Being the best-known dialect, Efik has been established as the literary language, and is understood by most educated Ibibio. Because of its remarkable assimilative power, Efik spread throughout the Cross River area and even into the Cameroons.
The most basic difference among the many dialects of Ibibio is in the vocabulary. To a lesser extent, the sound system, tone, and grammar can be distinguished. Comparative studies have shown considerable similarity between the Efik and the Ibibio proper, Oron, Eket, Anang, and Ibeno dialects.

History and Cultural Relations

Historical records indicate no traditional migratory pattern among the Ibibio proper and the Anang; they appear to be longtime occupants of their present habitat. All of the other Ibibio-speaking groups were derived from the Ibibio proper. Direct references to the Ibibio are found in early historical records. This is presumably because of their activity in the slave trade. Their history is associated with the Calabar and Efik of the lower Cross River area. (The name "Efik" refers not to the Ibibio subdivision, but to the indigenous groups among whom the Efik Ibibio settled.)
The first Christian mission was erected in Calabar circa 1846. During the latter half of the nineteenth century, numerous military expeditions were undertaken to bring the Ibibio under British rule. As a direct result of the conquest, military posts were set up in 1903 in Ikot Epene, Itu, and Uyo.

Economy


Subsistence and Commercial Activities
Like their Igbo neighbors, the Ibibio are primarily rain-forest cultivators of yams, taro, and cassava. They engage in subsistence agriculture. Other food crops include plantains, chilies, maize, beans, and pumpkins. Most of Ibibio wealth comes from the export of palm-oil products, distributive trading among themselves, and town wage labor.

Industrial Arts
The Ibibio, especially the Anang, are well known for their skill in wood carving and are considered masters of an adroit professional technique. Weaving is generally done by youths of both sexes, whereas women are responsible for mat making.

Trade
The Efik engage in trading fish and palm oil in considerable amounts.

Division of Labor
As with the Igbo, yams are traditionally considered to be the chief crop of men, and cocoyams the chief crop of women. Men do most of the clearing, planting, and harvesting of the yams. Women weed, plant, and tend other crops. They also collect the harvested yams into baskets and carry them to the market.
In collecting the produce from palm trees, men generally do the climbing, and the women collect and carry the fruit to the market. The extracting and processing of palm oil is usually done by women, who retain the palm kernels. Also, raffia palms may be tended by men, but are usually owned by women, and are used to make wine, mats, and poles.

Land Tenure
With a strong emphasis on the patrilineage, the male members form the dominant nucleus of the hamlet and have collective rights to its land. The lineage head allocates the land for farming among its members on a yearly basis.

Kinship


Kin Groups and Descent
Although not as extensively studied, the Ibibio appear to have shared the same settlement patterns and territorial organization as their Igbo neighbors. Ibibio villages generally consisted of compounds of rectangular constructions, each with several rooms, arranged around a courtyard or common meeting place. Their villages usually held about five hundred people, and were divided into physically distinct hamlets that contained separate patrilineages. The hamlets were part of a larger settlement, which was represented by a secular leader who was generally the senior male member of the group. In patrilineal descent groups, the men traced their descent to a single male ancestor. Women continued to claim the support of their own lineage head after they were married.

Kinship Terminology
The ete otun, or secular leader, is distinguished from the ete ekpuk, the ritual leader. The ete otun may not rightfully act without the latter's consent.

Marriage and Family


Marriage
Betrothal before the age of 14 was common. Marriage payments were made to the prospective bride's parents. The marriage payment was shared among the bride's kin, with the father keeping the largest share. The marriage payment traditionally had to be completed before the marriage could be consummated; it was supplemented by services rendered by the husband to the bride's father.

Domestic Unit
Men and women had separate houses grouped in compounds usually composed of the houses of a single household (i.e., a man, his wives, and other dependent relatives). Several of these made up a family (nnung), whereas many such families made up a compound (ekpuk).

Inheritance
As with the Igbo, personal property is inherited by the deceased father's eldest son.

Socialization
Ibibio men and women are formally grouped into age sets, the status of which increases with seniority. They are informally established for youths around the age of 10, and are formally recognized when its members are about 12 years of age. Members of the young sets are given instruction in morality and native laws. To this end, age sets function as self-disciplinary institutions and guardians of public morality.

Sociopolitical Organization


Social Organization
Restricted title associations are important marks of prestige among the Ibibio. The principal women's society is the Ebre society. The principal men's society is the Ekpo society.

Political Organization
The lineage head (ete ekpuk) and the town head (obon ison ) are traditionally regarded as the main sources of justice for their respective groups, but the ade facto (council of elders) also meets for judicial purposes in the village court.

Social Control
As among the Igbo, cooperation and social control outside the family is most effectively achieved within the patrilineal and exogamous lineage. The ete ekpuk maintains moral authority and ritual obligations over a wide field, as he is the guardian of the ancestral shrines. In theory, he maintains the right to assign farming plots on lineage land, although in practice these duties are usually carried out by the ete otun.

Religion and Expressive Culture


Religious Beliefs
Although religious rituals concern several deities and spirits of ancestors, it has been argued that, like the Igbo, the Ibibio believe in a Supreme Being, Abassi, who is the sky god. Abassi is generally regarded as the creator of human beings. As in Igbo religious culture, there is no specific cult or priesthood established for this supreme deity. An Ibibio myth attributes the distancing from the earth of the abode of this sky god to the pounding of an old woman's pestle.

Death and Afterlife
Worship of the ancestors is a very important part of Ibibio religious culture. Sacrifices are often made at the ancestral shrine, which is kept at the house of the eldest member of the lineage group. Disgruntled ancestors may wander among the living, causing harm until the ceremony of Obio Ekpo ("world of the dead") is performed so that the spirit can enter the world of the dead. The Ibibio have a concept of good (eti ) and evil/bad (idiok). A person has two souls, the immortal soul (ukpong ) and the animal-linked soul (ukpong ikot),which can live in lions, leopards, bush pigs, antelopes, and pythons. The latter also dies at death, whereas the former is reincarnated or becomes a malevolent ghost troubling the living.

Bibliography

Forde, D., and G. I. Jones (1962). The Ibo and Ibibio-Speaking Peoples of South-Eastern Nigeria: Ethnographic Survey of Africa. London: Stone & Cox.

Horton, R. (1976). "Stateless Societies in the History of West Africa." In History of West Africa, edited by J. E Ade Ajayi and Michael Crowder. Vol. 1, 72-113. London: Longman.

Offiong, D. A. (1991). Witchcraft, Sorcery, Magic, and Social Order among the ibibio of Nigeria. Enugu: Fourth Dimension.

Amadiume, Ifi. "Ibibio." Encyclopedia of World Cultures. 1996. Retrieved May 09, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com:

Sunday, 8 May 2016

#FocusAfrica

History of Nigeria


Ceremonial Igbo pot from 9th-century Igbo-Ukwu.

Early (500 BC – 1500)
The Nok civilisation of Northern Nigeria flourished between 500 BC and AD 200, producing life-sized terracotta figures which are some of the earliest known sculptures in Sub-Saharan Africa. Further north, the cities Kano and Katsina have a recorded history dating to around 999 AD. Hausa kingdoms and the Kanem-Bornu Empire prospered as trade posts between North and West Africa.
The Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo people consolidated in the 10th century and continued until it lost its sovereignty to the British in 1911. Nri was ruled by the Eze Nri, and the city of Nri is considered to be the foundation of Igbo culture. Nri and Aguleri, where the Igbo creation myth originates, are in the territory of the Umeuri clan. Members of the clan trace their lineages back to the patriarchal king-figure Eri. In West Africa, the oldest bronzes made using the lost-wax process were from Igbo Ukwu, a city under Nri influence.
The Yoruba kingdoms of Ife and Oyo in southwestern Nigeria became prominent in the 12th and 14th centuries, respectively. The oldest signs of human settlement at Ife's current site date back to the 9th century, and its material culture includes terracotta and bronze figures.
Middle Ages (1500–1800)


Royal Bini mask, one of Nigeria's most recognised artefacts. Kingdom of Benin, 16th century.
Oyo, at its territorial zenith in the late 17th to early 18th centuries, extended its influence from western Nigeria to modern-day Togo. The EdoKingdom of Benin is located in southwestern Nigeria. Benin's power lasted between the 15th and 19th centuries. Their dominance reached as far as the city of Eko (an Edo name later changed to Lagos by the Portuguese) and further.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Usman dan Fodio directed a successful jihad and created and led the centralised Fulani Empire (also known as the Sokoto Caliphate). The territory controlled by the resultant state included much of modern-day northern and central Nigeria; it lasted until the 1903 break-up of the Empire into various European colonies.

Benin City in the 17th century with the Oba of Benin in procession. This image appeared in a European book,Description of Africa, published in Amsterdam in 1668.

For centuries, various peoples in modern-day Nigeria traded overland with traders from North Africa. Cities in the area became regional centres in a broad network of trade routes that spanned western, central and northern Africa. In the 16th century, Spanish and Portuguese explorers were the first Europeans to begin significant, direct trade with peoples of modern-day Nigeria, at the port they named Lagos and in Calabar. Europeans traded goods with peoples at the coast; coastal trade with Europeans also marked the beginnings of the Atlantic slave trade. The port of Calabar on the historical Bight of Biafra (now commonly referred to as the Bight of Bonny) become one of the largest slave trading posts in West Africa in the era of the transatlantic slave trade. Other major slaving ports in Nigeria were located in Badagry, Lagos on the Bight of Benin and on Bonny Island on the Bight of Biafra. The majority of those enslaved and taken to these ports were captured in raids and wars. Usually the captives were taken back to the conquerors' territory as forced labour; after time, they were sometimes acculturated and absorbed into the conquerors' society. A number of slave routes were established throughout Nigeria linking the hinterland areas with the major coastal ports. Some of the more prolific slave traders were linked with the Oyo Empire in the southwest, the Aro Confederacy in the southeast and the Sokoto Caliphate in the north.
Slavery also existed in the territories comprising modern-day Nigeria its scope was broadest towards the end of the 19th century. According to the Encyclopedia of African History, "It is estimated that by the 1890s the largest slave population of the world, about 2 million people, was concentrated in the territories of the Sokoto Caliphate. The use of slave labor was extensive, especially in agriculture.
A changing legal imperative (transatlantic slave trade outlawed by Britain in 1807) and economic imperative (a desire for political and social stability) led most European powers to support widespread cultivation of agricultural products, such as the palm, for use in European industry.