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Keywords: A SOCIO-ECONOMIC RESPONSIBILITIES OF WOMEN IN OTUKPO CLAN IN THE 20TH CENTURY
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Note and Reference- – – – – – – – 12
ORIGIN AND DYNAMICS OF IDOMA CULTURE
2.1 The emergence of the Idoma kingdom- – – – – 13
2.2 Culture and tradition of the Idoma kingdom- – – – 20
2.3 The Values of Culture and Tradition of the Idoma kingdom – – 24
2.4 Socio-Cultural Responsibilities of Women in Idoma land- – – 26
2.5 Women and the Preservation of the Idoma culture and tradition- 28
Note and References – – – – – – – – 33
Women Activities In Otukpo Clan
3.1 The position of women in the family- – – – – – 35
3.2 The role of women in community service- – – – – 38
3.3 Age-Grade roles of women in Otukpo- – – – – 39
3.4 Otukpo Women and Commerce- – – – – – 43
3.5 Role of Otukpo Women in Industrial Development- – – 45
3.6 Role of women in Agriculture- – – – – – – 50
3.7 Women and development of cooperative society in Otukpo clan- 51
Note and References- – – – – – – – 56
IMPACT OF WOMEN ON OTUKPO ECONOMY
4.1 Women impact on trade and commerce – – – – – 58
4.2 Women impact on Agriculture – – – – – – – 59
4.3 Impact of Women on industrial development- – – – 60
4.4 Conclusion – – – – – – – – – – 62
Note and References- – – – – – – – 64
Bibliography- – – – – – – – – 65
This work centers on the cultural activities of women in the Otukpo clan in Idoma land in the 20th century. However, a brief origin of the Idomas is imperative at this stage. This introduction therefore is intended to go into the polemics of the origin of the Idoma nation.
Tamuno1 in his essay on the people of Niger Benue, asserted that”with the exception of the Iyala, the Idoma claimed that their ancestors had a Wukari (i.e Jukun) origin. Such passive comments on the Idoma nation ran throughout almost all the historical works existing, until recently, when Professor E.O Erim of University of Calabar delved into origin of the Idoma nation in his book “The Idoma Nationality”
According to Erim2, the Idoma people claim their ancestral home to be Apa, the region that harbours their historical neigbours the jukuns within the plains of the lower Benue. The Idoma nation is made up of twenty-two districts with sixteen Idoma proper and six non-Idoma speaking people comprising of Igede, Etulo, Akpa, Utonkon and Ulayi3. On the other hand, another theory on the origin of the Idoma added Ishake on the southern side living side by side with the Igbo settlers4.
However, what is today known as Idoma that lies south of the River Benue with a population that has been estimated at slightly over one million by 2006 census figure, and it’s area of land located within the broad valley of the Benue River and cross River basin has remained home for the Idomas over the century. The main thrust of the land is a contiguous belt of territory, which stretches from southern banks of River Benue to the northern fringes of Igbo land. These territories lie within latitude 600-300 north and longitude 800 east and cover a total land area of approximately 5.955 square kilometers5.
The River Benue bound the Idoma people to the North, by parts of Igbo and Ogoja to the South, by the Tiv and Igede to the East and by Igala land to the West. The Idoma unanimously traced their traditions of origin to Apa (Beipi) tentatively associated with one time capital of the legendary kwararafa confederacy, which before the 15th century was under Abakpawatiga. The term Idoma is used to describe the decedents of a migration leader, Idu6. Informants from various ethnic groups for instance Adoka, Ugboju of Otukpo local government among others terrace their genealogies back to certain Idu who was their “putative founder” and the founder of different groups in Idoma land.
The king lists of this distinct trace their genecology to the mystical Idu or Idom. There is no doubt that Idu was a historical figure. A typical Idoma genecology shows that Idu is the “father” of the different groups that came to their locations from kwararafa and at different phase of migration
This study is chosen because of the significant role played by women in Idoma land particularly their cultural responsibilities to the Otukpo clan
What stimulated the researcher to embark on this writing is to contribute to knowledge. Nothing much has been written on the significant role played by Idoma women in the area of their cultural responsibilities particularly in Otukpo clan. This study focuses on the cultural responsibilities of women to the Otukpo clan in Idoma land which form a large bulk of the economic activities of the present day Benue state of Nigeria. The study aims at an evaluation of the specific roles of women in Idoma land. It is for the purpose of this work to focus on the various developments achieved by women in Otukpo local government of Benue state which include socio-cultural development, economic development and to bring such significant role played by women into lime light from the period under review
Attempt shall be made in this essay to give some knowledge of the nature and diversity of the role of women in the cultural developments of Otukpo clan. The researcher shall also assess the religious, cultural and other factors shaping their various roles and examine policies that have attested the position of women in Otukpo clan during the period under review. Basically, emphasis would be placed on gender relation in the society and how this might have influenced the various activities involving women.
This essay focuses on women mainly because their cultural roles have not been sufficiently emphasized in historical writings. They are rather discussed most times as passing references. It is important to note that unless one goes into the field to specifically find out about the cultural contribution of women, there is the tendency of not pursuing in detail the role played by them.
This essay would endeavor to look at women and their socio-cultural and economic responsibilities in Otukpo local government area of Benue state in the 20th century. Therefore, the study covers the period from 1900 till date. Women activities in Otukpo Local Government will be discussed which will include societal view on women in Otukpo Local Government area of Benue state. Women in economic activities will be discussed, the socio-cultural and economic development of women in Otukpo will be highlighted which include the socio-cultural responsibilities of women in Otukpo, the position of women in the family, the role of women in community service, the role women in festivals, women in commerce and other factors shaping their various roles. It will examines polices that have affected the position of women in Otukpo during the 20th century.
Since this study is aimed at identifying the role played by women in Idoma land to the Otukpo clan in the 20th century, it is therefore mainly based on oral source and fieldwork, since secondary source materials often deals with activities in the region without specific reference to women. Group inferences were also conducted with those in the same ward in other to determine the various roles played by women in Otukpo clan. Information was also gotten through individuals interviewed.
The secondary sources that are consulted for this work are either on things written on the area of study, reports, journals and textbooks from the Archives and libraries. As might be expected, all the source of information had their limitations. It is found out that there are little or no reference to the cultural activities of women in Otukpo clan and where materials are found on women it centre’s more on feminism and their liberation, and those found relating to the work are not of great relevance to the work.
At the Archive, most of the files and textbook asked for on women are not available and at times when found it is of no importance or some pages were completely torn off. The fact that a large number of people is interviewed does not eliminate problem from the oral source, the reason being that the women could not spare their time for interviews even though previous arrangements has been made for it. It is found out that the information contained there are the same as those already gathered. There is also problem in the area of provision of dating for specific events, and also, on how much profit they do realize from their economic ventures.
Keywords: A SOCIO-ECONOMIC RESPONSIBILITIES OF WOMEN IN OTUKPO CLAN IN THE 20TH CENTURY