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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Functions of the Ekpo Society of the Ibibio of Nigeria
Author:Offiong, Daniel A.
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:Nigeria
secret societies
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/524025
Abstract:Like most West African countries, Nigeria abounds in traditional associations or societies often referred to erronously as 'secret' societies. However, more than nuisance value, secret societies fulfill economic, social, and political functions similar to those of associations based primarily on age and sex. This paper describes the precolonial, colonial, and post-colonial function of one such traditional association, the Ekpo Society of the Ibibio of southeastern Nigeria. Through information obtained from elders in the area in addition to archival material it was possible to reconstruct the functions of Ekpo as they existed prior to colonial rule and then chart the changes since then. Specifically, the elders in Ibibio were asked to describe the operations or activities of Ekpo before the First World War and the changes they have observed since the arrival of the Europeans to the present. The author is an Ibibio who was initiated into the first and second ranks of Ekpo in his youth. Much of the information in this paper is based on his own observations. - Notes, ref.