“ỌFỌ”: A RITUAL SYMBOL IN IGBO CULTURAL LIFE USING NENI AS A CASE STUDY

AUTHOR: NDUBUEZE JACINTA UCHECHUKWU

DEPARTMENT: IGBO, AFRICAN AND ASIAN STUDIES.

AFFILIATION: NNAMDI AZIKIWE UNIVERSITY, AWKA

This research work is on “Ọfọ” as an essential cult symbol in Igbo cultural life using Neni as a case study. In the contemporary society, the use of “Ọfọ” is going into extinction. Therefore, this research work is derived by the enthuasim to investigate the origin of “Ọfọ”, its effects on the Igbo (Neni) people’s life and eventual attitudinal decline of Neni people towards “Ọfọ”. In view of these, this study investigated the meaning of “Ọfọ”, origin of “Ọfọ”, uses of “Ọfọ” and functions of “Ọfọ” in the contemporary Neni society where christianity is fast replacing their traditional views and belief systems. It is believed that this research work will be of immense benefit to teachers, ministry of culture and tourism, museums and other researchers. To accomplish these, research questions were formulated to serve as driving guide to the study. Some literature were reviewed. This enabled discussion of other people’s theortical and emprical views on related studies. In the process, meaning of “Ọfọ”, different types of “Ọfọ”, and uses of “Ọfọ” were identified. The design of the study is descriptive survey design and the research was carried out in Neni. The research population consisted of indigenes of Neni. These were mostly titled men and women who were knowledgeable in the use of “Ọfọ”. The instruments for data colleciton involved oral interview and personal observations. However the researcher knowledge of Igbo culture played a crucial role. The data collected were analysed. Here the lists of the six different types of “Ọfọ” and their uses were discussed. In the analysis also, the functions and names derived from “Ọfọ” were discussed. The study therefore observed that there were different types of “Ọfọ” and these were personal “Ọfọ”, titular “Ọfọ”, lineage “Ọfọ”, community “Ọfọ” and “Ọfọ” ụmụọkpụ. Uses of “Ọfọ” were also discovered in prayers, oath taking, sealing of covenant and naming ceremony. In conclusion therefore, this study found that the origin of “Ọfọ” in Neni is not clearly defined. And that “Ọfọ” in Neni is a sacred symbol of truth, continuity, ancestral presence, authority among Neni people. It is the view of this study that Igbo traditional religion is not
superstition based on its cult symbols as being speculated by converted Igbo Christians. In view of this, study opines that “Ọfọ” symbol and observation is a panacea to stability of any society, Neni community inclusive. It therefore advises that people should not overlook this sacred and vital symbol of truth of the Igbo for over all stability of human race.

TO VIEW THE FULL CONTENT OF THIS DOCUMENT, PLEASE VISIT THE UNIZIK LIBRARY WEBSITE USING THIS LINK, http://www.naulibrary.org/dglibrary/admin/book_directory/Thesis/10915.pdf

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