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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Nri and Right of Breaking Kola-Nuts: Resolving the Issue of Primogeniture among the Igbo of Nigeria
Author:Nwaezeigwe, Nwankwo T.
Periodical:Africana Marburgensia
Geographic term:Nigeria
traditional rulers
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:Among the Igbo (Nigeria), the right to break kola nut is inextricably linked with traditional concepts of leadership based on age. However, in some village-group communities, the 'okpala', the person designated to break the kola nut, is selected from the eldest lineage within the oldest village. This is the case in the West Niger Igbo town of Ogwashi-ukwu, where Benin influence is most remarkable in the institution of monarchy with strong Edo tradition. Three major groups make up the settlement: the Adama, an aboriginal stock, represented in the village of Ikelike, an Aboh group in the village of Umuokwe, and the majority group of Nri stock found in most other villages. The kingship is found in one of the villages that trace their origins from Nri, while the actual traditional prerogative of leadership lies with the 'okpala' of Ikelike. At the same time, members of the Umunri (Nri subgroup) claim the right to break kola nut in respect of the entire Igbo culture group. Investigation of the Umunri claim suggests, however, that if there is any vestige of authority to which the Nri could lay claim, especially with respect to ritual activities, it is a right delegated by the Adama. Notes, ref.