Ozo Title Taking – The Effects On The Growth Of Onitsha Community: (A Case Study Of Onitsha In Anambra State)
Ozo Title Taking – The Effects On The Growth Of Onitsha Community: (A Case Study Of Onitsha In Anambra State)
Ozo title is one of the oldest and highest social institutions in Onitsha, Anambra State. It is a prestigious traditional Igbo title which has assumed an important position in the traditional inclination of the people of Onitsha. To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.
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To place an order for the Complete Project Material, pay N5,000 to
Then text the name of the Project topic, email address and your names to 08060565721.In many places in Igbo land especially in Onitsha, the functions attached to Ozo institution is immense despite its conflicts with organizations like the Christian region and the partisan politics. A complete Ozo man in Onitsha is see as the highest social paradigm in which people aspire.
Ozo tile is one of the greatest social achievements one can make. For this reason Ozo tile is highly revered in Onitsha and in some parts of Igbo land like Awka, Nnobi, Nkpor, Oba, Obosi Nri, Nnewi, Ihiala, Alor, Abatete etc. An Ozo tiled men is usually regarded as a person who has worked hard throughout his life before he came to the present position. The Igbos, according to basden, “demonstrate a kind of superiority complex when they here achieved their titular rank.”
In Onitsha, the holder of Ozo title is protected against indignities from anybody. This is as a result of his new status in the society. He plays an important role in the maintenance of laws and order in the society. He has the authority to inflict any punishment on any person that commits serious, like murder, rape, stealing etc. they are therefore regarded as men of the proved worth.
Normally, only the male gender who are free born of the villages that are allowed to take the tile, therefore, in other words, Ozo tile taking is limited to the male of descent origin. An” Osu” or “Ohu” can in no means, take an Ozo tile in Onitsha and in Igbo land general.
In the pre-colonial Igbo society, religion and tile taking were was interwoven, most of the legal sanctions rose supreme from the goal who were at most of the times, the intermediaries. An man who eventually takes high tile was seemed to be highly discipline and consequently severed recognition from the goals and the Almighty God.
Every organization or association has rules or regulations guiding their members and so it is with the Ozo tile, that is why a holder is exempted from all manual labour and is safeguarded from all bodily assaults which may tarnish image of the organization.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The Ozo tile is not a common place among the Igbos. The titleship is recognized mostly in Onitsha due to the social recognition people give to them. It has been observed that the Ozo tile taking has created some problems within the community and outside. There is conflict which exists between the Ozo cult members and ungodly set of people by some Christian churches.
In Onitsha, the kind of discrimination that exists between the Ozo members and the non-members is not encouraging. The non-Ozo members feel inferior in any gathering that comprises of both Ozo tiled men and non-Ozo members. Consequently, the rights of there set of people are somehow serviced from them. For instance in the case of “Diokpas” (spiritual heads), some of them cannot associate very well, ate not wither standing, for the simple reason of not being members of the “Agbalanze” (Ozo cult). Then, again in some social gatherings, more honour is accorded to these tiled men irrespective of their ages compared with those of non-tiled men.
The researchers will, therefore, attempt to offer solutions to the above mentioned problems. The discussion on both the positive and the negative effect of Ozo tile taking will help to educate our readers.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to an attempt to point out the effect of Ozo tile taking in Onitsha community.
1. To expose the function or significance of Ozo tile in Onitsha and Igbo land in general.
2. To identify the position of Ozo tile the cultural setting of the rural people.
3. To evaluate our forefathers’ traditional pre-occupations.
4. To expose the distinction between tile holders and non-tile holders.
5. To assess the influence of Ozo tile practice in modernity. The researcher will examine the effect of education, modern technology and urbanization on Ozo tile
6. Finally, to give suggestions for future research on the topic
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The work will be an addition to the numerous literature on the subject. We want to preserve this aspect of Onitsha culture for the posterity. The work will be used by future researchers as a source material for their work. The researcher wants to document Ozo tile taking in Onitsha to enable the readers have the correct information on the subject.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is concentrated mainly in Onitsha town and the entire area that surrounds Onitsha. This comprises of Onitsha North and Onitsha South as well State.
The method of research used in the writhing of this work was basically analytical and descriptive method of the data collected from among numerous information about Ozo tile taking found in both preliminary, primary and secondary sources that were relevant to the topic we made use of historical facts found in the libraries.
The data from primary sources were collected through oral interview with the Ozo tiled members non-members while the data from secondary sources were colleted from the existing textbooks in the library that were relevant to the work. The findings were carefully selected, sifted and scientifically interpreted for easy comprehension.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The work was limited by lack of finance to enable the researcher travel extensively to collect materials for the work and for buying of textbooks for the work. There was also lack of textbooks on Ozo tile while the available textbooks were not setailed in the treatment of the topic.
The researcher also faced the problem of disappointment as most people resisted were not always there for consultation or interviews while others did not show any interest at all.
1.8 DEFINITIONS OF RELATED TERMS
Ozo: This is a prestigious traditional Igbo tile. Ozo tiles are designations to which some persons are according to custom are legally entitled to the possession of particular dignities. It is a traditional chieftaincy tile or honorary chieftaincy title. Okigbo, (2004:156) defines ozo as a traditional chieftaincy or honorary chieftaincy little. Agbalanze: This is the Onitsha name for Ozo tile society.
Culture: This has been defined as a “the totality of the people’s way of life” (Nwosu and kalu (1982:3) The concept, totality consists of such elements as the religious, economic social, political and educational. the religious culture of the Igbo which is enshrined in their “Omenani” or “Odinani” helps to train, educate and form the good moral character in the traditional Igbo society. According to Ilogu “The Ibo word used in describing custom is Omenani” (1974:22)
Ala: The Igbo word, “Ala” literarily means earth or land. In Igbo traditional religion, Ala” refers to the earth goddess, the goddess of fertility. According to Ilogu, “Aru (abomination or pollution or Nso ala- behaviour contrary to the kaws of ‘Ala’ that is the earth deify) are two words used when speaking contraventions against approved social and religious norms” (1974:22)
Rituals: These are rites and ceremonies associated with a particular event or occasion, in this case, Ozo title taking. Ugwu: unpublished lecture note
Ofo: This is a cult staff which is a symbol of justice in Igbo land (Mgboukwu and 1996: Diokpas: These are the spiritual heads.
Okpala: This is oldest living descendant of the founder of the village, quarter or family. (Okigbo:2004:170)
Ikenga: A female goat that has given birth or births (Mgbobukwa 1996:
Osu: An eminent Igbo scholar, Victor C. Uchendu, sees Osu as ‘a cult slave, a slave who has been dedicated to the service of the deicators’ deity, whose descendants are also Osu, be the dedicator an individual, extended family or a lineage” According to 1956 Osu Bill: :an Osu may be a person who was sacrificed to a shrine or deity, and that person and has descendants are therefore regarded as social pariahs with no social rights which non ‘Osu’ are bound to respect”. It is for this reason that an ‘Osu’ cannot take Ozo title or any other title for that matter.
Ozo title taking has been a component part of Igbo life, particularly in Onitsha. Titleholders occupy a good and important position from the rest of the people in the society. Some of these works will be reviewed here to give a literary insight into this traditional social institution.
Egudu (1977, 78-79) notes that
Ozo title was both social and economic significance in its traditional farm, it is clear from the economic implication of the Ozo title taking that much importance is attached to the wealth.
This implies that one has to be wealth to enter into the Ozo title calf. This appears to be that Ozo widens the scope of one’s wealth. Egudu equally explains that:
One spends a lot of money to get the title and in turn, the status offered by the title generates for the holder a lot of money whenever other people subsequently take the Ozo title.
He also said that Ozo title creates high status for holders in the society by saying that
Ozo title follows closely the principles of divine right theory, however, when one takes Ozo title, he automatically becomes a member of the aristocracy who rules the land and controls the judicial system
As the aristocrats of the land, Ozo titled men can control the wealth and land in the community. They also dispense justice. Ejizu (1997:13) also explains that people desire so much to join the Ozo cult because of the high social status it attracts for its members as well as the material gains accruable to it by saying that:
The desire for initiation into the prestigious Ozo traditional Igbo title may include such apparently mundane interest like celebration of wealth and achievement, as well enhancement of one’s status in the society. But the elaborate ritual invariably brings the Ozo candidate to a full religious conversion
He also said that:
In some localities, the initiation proper involves physical burying of an incfiate. A plank is placed over the shallow grave and earth is thrown on it. The death wail is started and the burial ceremonies are performed. In some other parts of Igbo land, the candidate goes into seclusion four native weeks, that is, twenty-eight days. When the uninitiated retire, he is exhumed and bathed and white washed with Nzulwhite chalk). Traditionally, the initiation which was expensive and reserved for upright male members of the society could last several years until a candidate achieved the full title position.
Commenting on the profound change that comes about with Ozo initiation, Arazu (2003:15) rightly observed that in the solitude imposed by the Ozo ritual initiation, the candidate learns to pronounce ‘man’ with deliberation. He sees that his very nature is a statement from the supreme being: Let goodness exist. The man who does not meditate, who does not contemplate, will never realize what means…the Ozo chief attains the meaning of man. Man in his concrete existence is the nearest resemblance to divinity. The resemblance is neither moral nor physical. These concepts are not adequate in this matter. Man’s resemblance to God is religious. The ozo rites of initiation are taken in every aspect of human activity, political, social and religious.
Also F.C Ogbalu (1960:54) sees title taking as a phenomenon in Igbo land of which the universal one amongst the Igbos is the Ozo title taking, he says that:
All titles have a common features both in content, scope and performances. They consist of payments of stipulated sum of money, a number of entertainment in food, drinks and dancing and according to the degree of important of the title.
He saw Ozo title amongst other titles as an economic insurance and he further said that “practically, every year, a title holder is sure of some shares from the new members seeking admission’.
Ilogu (1974:71) notes that:
A modern historian has described the Ozo title holder as occupying a position in Igbo land comparable to the peerage in the English society, with same social prestige of ‘lord’ in the society, as indicated in the new title name the man is given at the successful end of the title taking
This shows that Ozo title holders enjoy recognition and honour as the owners of the community. He sees Ozo title as
One of such cultural creative avenues in music, work of art, servicing of human social institutions which Christians Ibos can now from their ancient traditions, offer to Lord to bless, towards the enrichment of their social and cultural life.
He further explained Ozo as an integral part of African Traditional religion being rejected by the missionaries; he said that whatever was its political, social and economic significance, because most of the Ozo rites of initiation were associated with many religious rites, the missionaries understandably educated their coverts to have nothing to do with it. Ozo title holder at conversion must renounce their title and burn the insignia of the title as well as the cult objects associated with it.
At the conference held at Onitsha on Tuesday the 12th of May 1914 to consider many aspects of the confrontation of Ibo customs with Christianity, the Ozo title was fully discussed. It was classified as “political custom”.
The Onitsha conference had many arguments in favour and against Christians taking the title until the consensus reached seemed to be that: Ozo is idolatrous and therefore no Christian man should have anything to do with it.
To this Nzekwu, Anyaegbunam, and some other members of the conference replied: “scarcely is there any custom in this country that has nothing idolatrous or superstitious in it. But what and where shall we be if we reject and throw all these customs out as quiet unfit”. Another member of the conference, H. Nweje (later archdeacon Nweje) said that he was unable to see “in Ozo any evil so grievous as to warrant Christians totally rejecting it. He further requested the conference to draw up plans to enable Christians take the Ozo title (Ilogu, 1974:71-72)
Okigbo (2004:177) saw Ozo title as having degenerated into a kind of cooperative society and therefore saw no reason for which Christians should not take it in the following words:
The Ozo title in this area has lost most of the implications described in… and has degenerated into a friendly society, membership of which brings prestige a certainty of a comfortable income for life. This there is no real reason why Christians should not take it, but various obligations were raised…”
Moreover, Basden (1960:144) said that:
“The idea that that of the taking Ozo title may be counted as an investment at the present time is founded on unsound financial principles.”
He pointed out that in recent times, Ozo title taking is a guide towards only saving of wealth but mainly constitute an arena of inequality of expropriation of material wealth. In his forward’ to J. Orakwe (1953:vii), Okolo said that:
Two factors are quiet clear from these accounts that while the Ndichie institution is purely political and social, the Ozo title is rather sacerdotal and particularly imposed on its recipient the character of a priest the Ozo title would lose if essence into a mere economic proposition.
In his book, S.I. Basah (1992) says that there are two main title taking in Onitsha by the male folks namely: the said further that:
Ozo title is the highest cultural ambition of the average Onitsha man because it is the order of priesthood and the highest degree if social standing in the community.
Furthermore, it is my desire to find out why people like to be entitled “Ozo” in Igbo land especially in Onitsha. I will review more literary works to enlighten on the issue. Dike A. (1985:148) observed that:
Ozo titled men would be a lot of influence in the society both in traditional and contemporary times. They exercised political powers and such act as the initiator of most proposals in the society.
Commenting further, he noted that:
Though we cannot compare the financial dividends which is derived from the capital invested (entrance fee) in traditional and contemporary title taking. It is evident that it has continued to serve institutionally as a social security or retirement pension for the old and as a means of sustaining the village treasury.
G.T Basden (1960:144) in his book, Among the Ibos Nigeria observed that “The idea that the taking of Ozo title may be counted as an investment at the present time founded on unsound financial principles”. What we are meant to understand is that Ozo title taking is a guide towards saning of wealth since we have modern and stable ways of preserving wealth like in the banking system rather it possesses a way of sustaining and perpertuating the social inequality in the society, it is in this that Ozo title serves the religious means of achieving these objectives.
Ugwu C.O. T, in his unpublished lecture note on African Traditional religion observed that the Ozo title is the religious as well political leadership institution in Igbo traditional society that helped in the maintenance of peace, order and tranquility, “… political leaders namely the elders, the king, the chiefs, Ozo titled men, and the Nze titled men stand to protect and guard our traditional institution from being denigrated. This they were able to achieve through emissaries who go to the grassroots to arrest and effect obligatory observances”.
In many parts of Igboland, title taking is one of the ways men or women distinguish themselves from others in the society. Oral tradition has it that Ozo title originated from the Nri clan in Aniocha local government area of Anambra State seven centuries age. This gradually spread to other areas. The leaders of these areas mostly were war chieftains who organized their people and instituted the Ozo. Each h leader celebrated the title feast generally for the people and some of these people in turn paid homage to the chieftains bringing their gifts and were initiated. Some people after taking the title, migrated to other areas where they subsequently instituted the title. Before the imposition of the warrant chiefs by the British colonial government and when the influence of these chiefs became moribund, “Nze” na “Ozo” titled men were regarded as the ruling classing. They are however still regarded as Red-cap chiefs today.
Nduka (2008, oral) stated that in some towns, as the number of members increased, smaller groups were formed according to Kindreds or clams. Each of these sub groups was called “Akwu mmuo”. According to him, the main purpose of these sub groups was to facilitate communication and sharing of money and materials during celebrations. Each group has a leader who happens to be first to take the title. In any of the town, all group have one amalgamated body needed by the first group that was initiated among the whole groups. This body has supreme authority on all matters relating to Ozo title in the town.
The body had also elected officers who run the affairs of the groups in the community. It makes all the “Nze na Ozo” society members in the town or village. It serves as an avenue for appeal on matters from any of the groups in case of injustice or intransigence.
There are those with believe that out of the desire to perpertuate the class differences in the society. It forms a way of clarifying people in the society.
Ugonna (1983:156) in his work on “Ozo title in Igboland” stated that:
‘Though the institution is an open one, it is never wealthy and worthy in character, in other words, poor men and the Osus are excluded from taking the title”
he went further to say that “the title holder performs both political and religious function in their societies.”
Nzimiro (1972:54) in his book, studies in Ibo political system said that
Chieftaincy and politics in four Niger State is the association of men who are sufficiently wealthy Ozo title elerates ritual and political superior social ritual and political status and also serves as a means of test for aspirants to the ndichie title but only Ozo titled men can take an ndichie titleship.
According to Anyaegbunam Nnaemeka, Ozo titled man from the interview, “Ozo institution creates a kind of class distinction in the society” and in that regard, he said that in pre-colonial days, a non-titled could not speak in the public if the Igwe or Ndichie were present. He could only speak with the permission of the Igwe or Ndichie.
Furthermore, the elaborate and lavish entertainment which follows the procedure indicates the social status. This is a title of the wealthy and used to be paid in kind with wine (alcohol and non-alcohol) yam, rice goats and cows. Today, it is paid in cash to the value of between four hundred thousand and six hundred and fifty thousand naira. The Ozo title holders share those money and edibles.
In summary, the literature review included achievements of Ozo title holders in the community. The achievements which include political, economic and social. Ozo title therefore is valued particularly in Onitsha.
According to Chimoe Anyarorah from the interview, Ozo title is an ancient culture of Benin origin. He elevates the standard of the initiates to be prestigious and qualifies him to discuss freely in the public gathering and societies of his people. Ozo title taking in Onitsha is open to all indigenes of Onitsha. Non-indigenes, on the other hand are not qualified for the title. Also women are not allowed to take Ozo title on Onitsha.
ORIGIN AND EFFECTS IN THE SOCIETY
3.1 ORIGIN OF OZO TITLE IN ONITSHA/ FEATURES OF OZO TITLE
The origin of Ozo title taking in Onitsha started in Benin, however, some of the elders connected could not say precisely how it started. They rather said it was a kind of cultural heritage passed down from one generation to another.
According to Ononye Michael (oral), Ozo title was existing in Benin as far back as the reign of Oba of Benin. The present town, Iseleuku was then part of Benin kingdom and maintained all the culture, tradition and religion as practiced in Benin kingdom and ever paid homage once a year to Oba of Benin
Ozo title was introduced in Onitsha by Oraeze, the son of prince of Onitsha known as prince Ezechma, one tive reigning monarch of Isele-uku. In other words, Ozo title taking in Onitsha was imported from Benin. This is one of the ceremonies performed at their ancestral home in Benin, which they eventually migrated and settled with.
However, the new generation of Igbo intellectuals have started to reconstruct a new social order. It was in thus regard that a lot of speculations have Ozo title institution.
E.C. Ilogu said that Ozo title grew out of the need for priests who would preside over the extended family and lineage worship and supervise the cult of the ancestors and keep the Ofo strict.
Another school of though believed that title taking grew out of the economy where young men who could invites their agricultural wealth in the fore, crops and livestocks into taking of title from which they derive much dividend from the new entrants. In other words, title taking is a sort of investment. It grew out of the need for farmers to dispenses of their agricultural surpluses. Ilogu (1974:31), In the traditional society, there is need for the existence of the god-fearing men who share in the spirits of the land through their relationship with the earth goddess (Ala) to placate the spirit of dead ancestors and uphold the ordinances of the land. Ilogu (1974):31)
FEATURES OF OZO TITLE
The basic features of Ozo title are seen in their dressing code which comprise of the red hat and other regalia disclosing them as men of wealth. Red hat adorned with eagle feather is not a common feature in Igboland particularly in Onitsha where everything about Ozo title is highly respected. In any special occasion, for instance, Ozo title taking ceremony, the members of Agbalanze are gaily dressed with their Osisi etaff in one land and eagle feather on their red hats held on the other hand they also have their “Azuzu” or “Akupe” (hand fan) in one hand a hig round hand fan made with leather or hide, it bears boldly, the title name of the holder and the date he took the title. It is carried by the Ozo man for prestige. He strikes it face on chairs before sitting down in other to cleanse the chair of any foul and wares it occasionally to aerate a peaceful atmosphere around him.
Another important feature of Ozo title is the title name. Every member of Agbalanze’ has his distinguished title name by which he is addressed. The name is give to each of them on the day of his title taking. As a mark of respect and recognition. These names must be attached to their names whoever their names are written or pronounced especially in traditional occasions or ceremonies the title, “Ichie” (Chief) is attached to their names in recognition of their Ozo titles.
Ofo stick is yet another good feature of Ozo title. This is a stick from Ofo frees that symbolizes authority particularly of the ancestors. It is the symbol of justice and in Igbo land. An Ozo man says his traditional prayers with his Ofo stick in his hand indicating his purity of heart and his being bound by justice and equity in all his doings.
An Ozo title man has his Ikenga which is a wooden figure of a ram horn representing his guardian angel. At the second burial of an Ozo title man, his Ikenga is into by his age metes and buried in a ground to symbolize the parting of ways with the deceased. The spiritual of an Ozo titled man called ‘Okwachi’ or ‘Nkpuluchi’. It contains five wooden pots placed together representing the Ozo mean’s soul. It is always kept white by being speared with the native chalk to show that the Ozo names soul must always be in state of purity. This spiritual, vessel, Nkpuuchi is smeared with blood and buried with the Igbudu (ie the lamentation or second burial coffin or catafal que).
Every Ozo man has a sacred treasure wordern box known as Okpulukpu’ for storing sundries like cola unts, native chalks (NZU), eagle feather and sometimes money, as no one is expected to touch it.
Notably, Ozo title holders have their main feature as people who are always on the side of truth and justice, in other word, they do not tell lies they are said to be people who “washed their tongues” (ndisara ire). This means that they have vowed that their tongues will always say the truth and will never use their tongues to tell lies.
Also, their distinguished ways of doing things present them more dignified than ordinary men. Their dance is a particular dance reserved for the Ozo title is not allowed to partake in “uhie” dance. A non-Ozo it is not invited in every occasion. It appears only in an occasion in which Ozo title holders will feature very well like in an Ozo title taking ceremony. Or in the burial ceremony of an Ozo title holder. As they dance, the they hold their walking sticks and their ‘Azuzu’ (hand fans) on their air and shaking themselves with it. Worthy of noten is that the way an Ozo man shakes another Ozo title man is different from the way he would shake a non-Ozo titled man.
Also, whenever group of Ozo titled men are morning together to the occasion of Ozo title ceremony or burial ceremony of an title men, a young boy mores ahead of them with a bell in his hand announcing with it, the arrival of important men of the land. The food that would be eaten by Ozo titled men in any occasion is not just prepared like others, but it must be prepared and kept under the proper care and supervision of the wife of one of their members and they must be kept in a separate where they will cat place eat their food, as they do not eat in the public. Hence, certain things constitute abomination unto them. For instance cooking for the Ozo men when menstruating or eating the kidney of animal. Oigbo (2004:30) put it thus, “they would not eat outside and their words were unequical and final”
According to him, Ozo title members are required to observe and conform to certain ethical codes and regulations. Thus
a. It is unlawful for an Ozo man to steal, fight or eat in the public place;
b. It is unethical for an Ozo to engage in tale bearing gossips or diverge of secrets,
c. It is unlawful to show unruly acts like drunkenness or ubu Oke (scrambling for edibles at a gathering)
d. It is unlawful to do isach Ozo (renouncing of Ozo title after initiation),
e. It is unlawful to wear red cap while masquerading and
f. It is unlawful to commit an Alu (abomination) in the society.
Furthermore, he states that: “In this present society, the Nze na Ozo has organizational structure which includes the executive council, the National council, National congress committees of various departments; Finance, antiquities and social department. All these organs aid to promote and foster development, peace and progress of the political activities”.
An Ozo titled man distinguished himself in any occasion by marking eight chalk lies on the ground and in some places like in Nnobi they more around with Njadaukwu or Eiliozo (ankle threat) and “Akpukpo” (hide for sitting down. The “uhie” music must be present in the funeral ceremony and there must be burial of “Nkpuhechi” or “Okwachi” as well as “Ikenga” during the second burial.
3.2 RITUAL CEREMONIES INVOLVED IN OZO TITLE ONITSHA
Ozo title taking involves an elaborate and Rigorous process that ca last as for as mean’s life span. An Ozo titled man attracts tremendous respect and honour from his position and rank. The order in its traditional mode is based on authority every life and death.
According to innocent Chukwuma an Ozo title man in Onitsha are as follows:
1. INYEDO MMUO:
This is for the initial’s immediate family only. When a person wishes to take the title, he first announces his intention in a family meeting. It is then followed by inyedo mmuo’ which is a sort of notification to the ancestors and a plead for their blessing. The ceremony is done with the following items; one she-goal, one hen, one head pan of dried fish, one egg, 20 Kolanuts, bowels of yam foo foo, some amount of money, which is about a hundred thousand naira, one bottle of whisky, one gallon, of falm wine and finally a parting gift of about twenty thousand naria known as “Iva una”. These ceremonies varies from village to village. After this ceremony, comes Igo mmuo”.
2. IGO MMUO:
Here, the man is led by the members of his family to his mother’s village and his father’s maternal kindred to announce his proposal. Prayers are therefore offered for him by the Okpala for God’s blessings and the support of their ancestors so that the proposed title may by taken successfully. This is done in their family’s shine and it is done with the following items: one bottle of gin. One pot of palm wine and fen kola unts.
During these first two ceremonies, they announce the day of the payment that is known as “Ibu Ego Ozo”. The performance on that day is exclusive for Ozo titled men both of the kindred, group and those from other villages, although non-titled men, Friends and relatives of the candidate could be present as spectators the ceremony be gins with prayer by the presiding “Okpala. Who breaks the kolaunt and pours libation after which drunks are generally served the lists of items are called out for the candidate, fifteen botflies of gin, six pots of palm wine, five goals, and a very substantial amount, all is substituted with money which is about one hundred and fifty thousand naira and which must be paid that day; “Isenyeike Nakpukpo” with one she –goat, a pot of drink prepared from maize “mmanya Oka” and about twenty thousand naira or ten thousand naira also takes place.
This ceremony according to Nnaemeka, entitles the initiate to be seated on a goat skin and there by start off libation, that is “itummanya” . He will hence forth be addressed as “Eze Ozo”, which means incomplete Ozo title. He will also serve rile to the Ozo titled men. Where there are more than one initiate, the rest will pay cash in place of the food. It is when the corn drink is being served that the Okpal will hold the hand of the initiate and make him sit on the goat skin. It is now free, like other Ozo title men, to sit on the “Akpukpo”. The initiate bears the name ‘Eze Ozo’ until the final day of his initiation when he takes a permanent Ozo title name.
According to him, before the close of the ceremony, the Okpala will announce the the day when the initiate will complete the ceremonies but it is not compulsory that the date must be announced on that same day.
3. INA OBIBI:
Before this stage, according to Nnaemeka Anyaigbunam, the candidate has collected all the symbolic objects of his future shrine which include:
ii. Eagle feathers for adorning his cap. Eagle is the king of birds and its feather never tarnishes. The feather symbolized that the ozo titled man must always shine with virtue. If he transgress, he must take immediate steps to self-cleansing.
ii. Osisi (star apple stick or stares) representing the staff of office like a bishop’s croster. The stars are two in number. The superior one which is bound with an iron ring and which is deposited in the family’s shrine after the Ozo man’s death for his commemoration; the infenor one (Osis afulu) is broken into two at the man’s death and placed on his grave to symbolize the severances of all ties with his conferences. Until the inferior stave is broken, the deceased Ozo man continde and to share in the Ozo title fees according to his willage
iii. OFO STICK
This is a stick from ofo tree and symbolizes authority from the ancestors. When this held at hand for prayers, the person takes himself as being pure in heart and bound by justice and equity in all his doings. Only in this stage does he consider himself to fit to ask for favour.
The wooden figure of a horn reprenting the man’s guardian angel. It is split into two by his age mates and buried in the ground to symbolize the parting of ways with the deceased. This happens at the second burial.
Six egbo sticks tied together representing the ancestors. The Onitsha traditional religion consists mainly of communion with the spirits of the ancestors to whom prayers are made as intermediaries and to whom offering of aloments libations are occasionally made. And Ozo title men no longer do this as it is in accord with modern idolatong.
Vi okwachi (spiritual ressel) which is a great taboo to many Christian. It contains nothing but five wooden pot placed together and but representing the Ozo main’s spirit. It is called the Nkpuluchi and always kept white by being smeared with the native chalk to show that the Ozo man’s soul must always be in state of purity. The Ozo titled man, of course, at the night of his initiation confronted the Nze (symbol of purity, truth and justice) and vowed to uphold these cardinal virtues in life.
The ‘nkpuluchi’ remains white throughout his life. It is only at his second burial that the nkpuluch is smeared with blood and buried with the Igbudu (the lamentation or second burial coffin or catafalque). To emphasize degree of purity the Ozo titled man must endeavor to attain, it is an undefiled young girl that carries the item during the initiation ceremony. The smearing of blood and the burial of the ‘npkuluchi’ are meant to show that the soul has returned to the makes.
vii. opulukpu (sacred treasure wooden box) is used by Ozo man for storing sundries like kolanuts, native chalk (NZU), eagle feathers and sometimes cash, as no one is expected to touch it.
viii. AZUZU or (FREATHER FAN)
This is carried by the ozo titled man for restage. He strikes its face on chairs before sitting down in order to cleanse the chair of any foulness and wares. It is occasionally used to create a peaceful atmosphere around him.
According to him, during the imanzu ceremony, the initiate is smeared with while “Nzu’ (chalk).
The following morning after right, there will be procession to the initiate’s residence. Here, the first wife takes new title name with two large head of fish and fifteen thousand Naira. Any other members of the initiate’s family or relatives wishing to taken title name or names will as well pray the same amount each it. Then, the initiate pays a certain amount, it must be above sixty thousand naira for food representing entertainment for all those members who kept vigil till dawn; two pots of palm wine and two bottles of gin are also presented. He will also give a certain amount representing the food for afternoon dance. A certain amount of development fee and a special sum of money will also be provided.
The highlight of the ceremony is reached in the afternoon. This time, member of the agbalanze are gaily dressed with their ‘Osiss’ staff in their hands and wagle feathers on their hats. The eagle feathers on his headgear surrounded by other gaily dressed Agbalaze. The new member, however, dressed feather on his headger with his two Osis-staff in his hands. He is then is then in a singing procession to the family ‘Ani shine’ for homage. According to Nnaemeka Anyaegbunam, be has to kneel down before the shine and then get up immediately, he is then let to the area for the occasion, where a large crowd of people –men, women and children in their best outfits are standing in a circle. The initiate is to buy clothes for all his married and unmarried relations, both boys and girls. They are to wear the uniform he bought for them in this very occasion.
The new Ozo man and members of his society enter the area where series of dances are staged amidst the oration of the crowd entertaining the guests. They sing out praises to the new Ozo man and his family. An initiate kneeling down before the ‘Ani shine, addressing him by his title name and blowing the dephant ivory horns in his honour; the scenario created by the dance itself is one of the profound contempt for those who have not taken the title. This can be seen in some of the words of the songs which accompany it.
During the song, any Ozo titled man may ostentatiously thump his staff on the ground before a non-titled as a gesture of arrogance and it is said that elderly non-titled men aroid attending this ceremony because of their frequent humiliation.
According to Nnaemeka, this dance is supposed to start by 4:30 pm. The initiate will give the Agbalanze, four bottles of gin, two galloons of palm wine and thirty kola unts. The dancing continues till embracing period, when the fist son, dangers and finally, the wife graciously embraces the husband three times at intervals. Here, the wife is supported to come with one big she-goal, two large head fish and this is for the members of Agbalanze.
3.3 QUALIFICATIONS OF AN OZO MAN/WOMAN
According to Ononye Michael, an Ozo titled man in Onitsha, women do not take Ozo title in Onitsha. It is only men of repute, who are 35years and above, and who the free born (Nwadiala) of the land that are qualified to take the title in Onstha. In other words, an ‘Osu’ or ‘ohu’ or a descendant of ‘Osu’ cannot take an Ozo title.
In addition, one must have acquired a lot of wealth before he declares interest in taking an Ozo title knowing very well of the ostentations demands of the title. Ozo title, according to him, is not for poor men. Also, no man can become Ozo without being married.
3.4 SOCIAL EFFECTS ON THE SOCIETY
In the whole of Igbo land, the effects of Ozo institution is obviously felt in its Christian religion and the partisan politics. A complete Ozo man in Onitsha is seen as a father and Ozo institution is seen as a highest social paradigm on which people aspire. An Ozo man is usually regarded as one worked hard throughout his life before he acquired the position. The Igbos, according to Basden, “demonstrate a kind of superiority complex especially when they have achieved their title rank.
The holder of Ozo title is insured against insults and indignities from any body. This is as a Onitsha, Ozo men, as one of his social significance is always given kolanuts first in any gathering, where there is no other Ozo title man, he alone also takes the money presented “to make the kola unts ripe”.
As Igbos, we know the rite of native kolaunts in our society. Therefore, as it is commonly said that he who brings kolaunt, bringslife, it is believed among the people of Onitsha that the life of the title men is more precious than those of the non-titled once. Hence, the kolanut is given to him first, kolaunt is also used in sacred and sacrificial rituals and so as to sacred and holy man by virtue of haring been initiated into the Ozo title institutions, has the village of taking the kolanuts before any other person.
The Ozo man as part of their social significance, receives important dignitaries into the town. It is their duty to receive and entertain visitors. When an important visitor is to visit town, Ozo title members meet and deliberate on the proper way to receive him, they will also be there physically to welcome the visitor.
An Ozo title visited man is one who has made it in the society. As such, they are not looked upon as leaders rather, they are regarded with respect and admirations.
To some people, they represent their ideal personality and people they emulate. They are honored and recognized in any gathering. In short, he has a high social standing among his people.
An Ozo man is regarded as a holy man and in order to maintain that regard, he stays clear from certain things like adultery, telling lies, cheating and so on. In the traditional sense, an Ozo man should play the role of a father. He is expected to be loyal in any place and also in dealing with his follow human beings.
For and wide, ever in the contemporary times, an Ozo man erodes a high degree of prestige and intrinsic respect. He has a high social status, as a result, ha avoids all things that will contaminate his character and personality in the society.
3.5 ECONOMIC EFFECT
For one to be an Ozo titled man, certain factors like birth right and wealth, especially the latter, plays great part. This is because titles are not free gift of nature that are bestowed on individuals. They are paid for and this singular factor makes title taking, an exclusive thing because, not every man can embank upon such an expensive venture.
Ozo institution as investments, developed venture which contribute a lot in the development projects in the society. For instance, they could utilize their collective resources towards the accomplishment of certain projects like community school, postal agencies, health care centre and village halls.
As an investment venture, the title acts as insurance to the members in their old age. This is because they are assured of regular revenue from new members who join the Ozo title. The dividends from the entrance fee of these new members help to sustain the old members.
The material rewards accruing to an Ozo man are attached to their functions as dispensers of justice, they are rewarded with material things, either in kind or in cash. Moreover, in the olden days, booties accruing from wars or from any other avenues are shared disproportionately among the citizens. The Ozo titled men and the ichies were given large part of these booties.
3.6 POLITICAL EFFECT
Ozo title or institution is an embodiment of political activities in Igbo land. They are the community leaders or the rulers of their communities. It is from among them that the king is often chosen and the kings select his cabinet members from among them. They are the politicians of any community hence, the popular saying that “ala adighi mma bu uru ndi nze” (that is, the title holders benefit the land when there is crisis in the land). They constitute the members of Onitsha town council. In fact, it is the basic qualification based on which town council members of many communities in Igbo land are selected.
They settle disputes especially marriage disputes and land disputes as the leaders of the community. Because they are regarded as trustworthy individuals, their decisions are taken. They form the main decisions making body in the society, major issues are deliberated upon and solutions are proffered. They lead the people in times of wars and natural disasters. In contemporary times, because of the emergence of modern state machineries, most of those powers have been curbed.
Before this time, Ozo title holders in the their work as “Ndi Oji ani” helped very well in the maintenance of order and rule of law in the society thus, helping towards peaceful co-existence of members of society
3.7 CULTURE/RELIGIOUS EFFECTS
Ozo title taking is part and of Igbo culture. The rituals associated with it reflect the Igbo traditional religions belief and practices. The religions role of an Ozo is very crucial. As the Ojiofo (The holder of authority and holiess), he pleads and makes scarifies to the ancestors for the general well being of his society. When an abomination like murder, incest etc. is committed, the person has to cleanse the land, and it is the duty of either the Ozo title man or a ‘oibia’ (a native doctor) to perform the cleansing
They fix dates and declare open, traditional religions ceremonies like the Iriji (yam harvest), Iri ede (cocoyam hairiest), emuire Ihiajioku (Ihiajoku festival). This is usually by performing some requisite rituals together with the king in his palace (Obi) or at the village square, as the case may be.
They are the custodians of the people’s custom and tradition. In addition to this, they deliberate and alter certain aspects of the customs that are no more of benefit to the community. The ability to dispense justice without bias and the uprightness of the Ozo man has raised him to high extent in the eyes of the people.
3.8 CHRISTIANITY AND OZO TITLE
In co-relating the place of Ozo title in African traditional context with certain titles held in chritendom, one has to carefully that the concept “Ozo title has found a spacious room in Christianity. In African, Ozo title is just a process of stratification of human society, where one should be conferred with certain titles of hour in appreciation to his good virtues, but in Christianity, people of certain caliber here tried to Christianize Ozoship in such a way that most of peculiar rites that give one the right of confirmation as an Ozo-title holder are efficiently abandoned so not to contradict Christian beliefs and practices which have been so regarded as witch – a aftry and idolatry.
Already, this has been accepted in many parts of Igbo land. Non-Christians appreciate the fact that Christians will no longer keep their own Ozo vigil at the shrine in the “bush”. They will rather keep such vigil in the church. The Ozo title is one of such cultural avenues in must work of art, servicing of human social institutions which Christian Igbos can now, from their ancient traditions offer to God to bless, towards the enrichment of their social and cultural life. Christianization of Ozo title must be seen as part of the strategy for the Christianization of Igbo life which is the infiltration of Christian normative principles into the cultural life of the Igbos, being that Ozo title is one of their central cultural institutions.
INFLUENCES OF MODERNITY ON OZO TITLE TAKING IN ONITSHA
4.1 PRIVILEGES OF OZO TITLED MAN IN THE SOCIETY
Ozo title is a prestigious traditional Igbo title that enhances one’s status in the society. It is highly revered in Igboland and it entitles the holders to many privileges. Ozo title holders are regarded as men of proven integrity in the society and therefore are insured against insults and indignities from anybody. Their popularity is an advantage to Onitsha community.
More recognition and respect is accorded to Ozo title holders. Thus in some social gatherings, more honour is accorded to them irrespective of their ages compare with those of non-titled men.
Ozo title taking creates high status for one in the society. It automatically changes one’s position from ordinary person to be aristocracy class. They are the aristocrats of the land who rule the land and control the judicial system. As the leaders of the land, they are entrusted with every affairs of their communities and they consequently control these aid the development of Onitsha powers. It is in fact, the highest degree of social standing that elevates the holder to a superior of social status. Hence, they sit in the forefront of any gathering together with the elders.
Moreso, they gain much as the leaders of their land, as any fund that is coming to their community must pass through them as the council members of their town and a good proportion of it is apportioned to them. In some placed, some part of community’s reserved land is apportioned to them in appreciation for their good virtues. They are also used as trustees as regards their good virtue of honesty.
Through the respect and honour given to the Ozo titled men Onitsha community had benefited tremendously from the from the past Nigerian Government in infrastructure.
4.2 INFLUENCE OF EDUCATION
Part of the influence of Western type of education is the undermining of the religious beliefs of Igbo traditional religion. Today, Ozo titled men have arisen from the level of local and community politicians in which they used to be, to politicians at all levels be it National or State. Many of Igbo politicians are titled men but because they are equally educated, they are as capable as any other educated elite to handle any position in Nigeria.
Acquisition of Western education together with Ozo title make one more reputable, dignified and respected. An educated Ozo titled man can speak anywhere or at any occasion he is called upon to do so.
The effects of Western education in Onitsha is today overwhelming. When an Ozo man pursues his political ambition as an educated man, he partially abandons the tenets of Ozo title and stops being conservation about them and becomes more liberal in observing the rules any of them. For instance, the regulation that forbids an Ozo title holder to lie or eat food cooked by a woman in her menstrual period can hardly be observed, for that is very difficult. Therefore, western education affects Ozo title in Onitsha in both positive as well as negative ways.
4.3 INFLUENCES OF RELIGIOUS (CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM)
Christians belief is that Ozo is idolatrous and therefore no Christian should have anything to do with it. Although there have been a lot of contention over this issue. The missionaries understandably educated the converts political, social and economic significance. This is because most of the Ozo rites of initiation were associated with many religious rites. Ozo title holders at insignia of the title as well as the cult objects associated with it.
According to Godfrcy Parrinder (1966) No society and no religion is static though they may appear to change little for long period. In modern time, all societies are undergoing rapid change and they have religion as their under girding principle. The church as a body in Onitsha view Ozo title as something ungodly and so tries to Christianize it.
A lot of changes have therefore been noticed in the process of Ozo title taking rituals owing to the fact that Ozo title and other Igbo traditional religious practices have been Christianized fact notwithstanding, Ozo title is still held with a high regard in Igboland particularly in Onitsha. Hence the fact remains that if the Igbo after more than a century of Christianity and all the influence of secularization still find Ozo a very useful and functional institution of their society, then it is a very important “value-carrying” institution of community life. Christians having discovered that, make every effort to capture into the Christian value orientation, the Ozo title as one of central cultural institution of the Igbo people as part of the strategy for the Christianization of Igbo life. This can also be seen as the infiltration of Christian normative principles into the cultural life of the Igbo.
Indeed, Christianity has helped to play down up some of highly cherished practices and custom of traditionalists in Onitsha which to the modern mind are primitive and irrational. Ilogu (1974:62) confirmed that “Before the arrival of Christianity, Igbo land was a place in which the traditional religion laid the basis behaviour”. With the coming of missionaries and traders, the old patterns change while the new pattern become distorted. These changed pattern influence the practices in Onitsha. The numbers of people who desire to take the Ozo title have been greatly affected by the Western religion. For instance, some people prefer to take a titles in the church than to take an Ozo title. Titles like knights in Roman Catholic church Elder in the Presbyterian Church, and others are preferable by people in Onitsha as against Ozo title.
The impact of Christianity sank into the people through the establishment of certain ranks in the church including mission schools through which those titles can be achieved. Through these agents of the gospel, the church has put more enlightenment in the people’s attitude in understanding the Almighty God Roman Catholic and Anglicans were the pioneers of enlightenment in Onitsha. People now vie for knighthood, Reverend Fathers, Canons, pastors, Brothers as the case may be rather than Ozo title.
Therefore Christianity has welded great influence on traditional beliefs and practices, and today, the influence is growing stronger and thereby replacing old practices with new and acceptable ones to the modern civilization.
The constant Muslim-Christian religious crisis in Nigeria has caused the Ozo title holders to at times hide their identities especially in the Northern part of the country where Muslims enjoy dominance. This is because putting on a titled man’s regalia and red cap or Igbo cultural dressing could be implicative in time of such crisis. In this case, Ozo title holders who migrate to the North for livelihood could not present themselves as Igbo chiefs for protection purpose as such crisis often arise at the least unexpected time.
4.4. INFLUENCES OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ON OZO TITLE TAKING
The existence of science has affected African traditional religious belief and practices. Man has gone a long way to reach the moon, that he saw the universe and know what it looks like. Man also is able to direct. The natural causes and effects which have made him not to fear supernatural phenomena. His medical achievement such as rules of hygiene, hospital, health centres and maternity homes have alleviated the people who depend on superstitious beliefs and magical rites for their health and other problems. For instance, man has known that it is safer to prevent small pox by vaccination than by consulting diviners. Before now, farmers removed destructive insects in the farm by using their hands and appeased the god whom they believed is the cause. But now, the reverse is the because science however, has made man to use insecticides and chemicals in destroying the insects.
However, before the arrival of the white men, the Ozo title men were in darkness, they tacked from one place to another until around 1852 when the missionaries arrived at Onitsha. With the help of the white, the Ozo title man and the Ibo people were introduced to the use of clothes, mirror, bicycle, radio and even the use of motor car, computer, satellite, television, telephones and other information technologies even the internet. This has gone a long way in getting them more informed which further equips them for the proper organization of their communities. Information they acquire everyday via the use of modern technologies has made them more advanced in wisdom.
Today, in Onitsha, the Ozo title holders are among the people who use the most expensive GSM phones, cables and other technologies because they are obviously wealthy.
4.5 INFLUENCES OF URBANIZATION AND INDUSTRIALIZATION
Urbanization and industrialization have affected the people of Onitsha in their traditional religious practices. The practise of Ozo title taking has been cajoled by others who as a result of their experience in urban areas disregard the traditional practise.
Shrines and temples where the living go and offer sacrifices for the dead members of their families or where the ancestors were venerated have been looted in the course of the building of industries, schools, halls, hospitals, markets etc. Also the construction of some major roads in the town led to demolition of some shrines, where the ancestors were venerated.
As a result of urbanization and industrialization, many Ozo titled men are departing from the traditional tenets of the institution. For instance, an Ozo titled man is not supposed to eat new yam until he has celebrated the new yam festival Uwa ji) in his community. Today, an Ozo titled man who is a staff in an industry who may not obtain the permission to go his village and efficiently celebrate the Iwa ji festival would be forced to eat the new yam against the custom. Moreso, an Ozo titled man who is in urban area does not question the hotel attendants where he goes for lunch whether she is in her menstrual period before he eats their food. This would be absurd and timid to do so.
Other instances abound but the fact still remains that urbanization as well as industrialization have exerted both positive and negative influence on the practice of Ozo title in Onitsha.
Conclusively, Igbo traditional religious practices especially Ozo title taking has been an integral part of the Onitsha people. But since the invasion of modern Onitsha by modern forces of social changes like Western education, Christianity, science and technology, and urbanization and industrialization, the Igbo traditional practice of Ozo title taking has been disturbed.
Ilogu (1974:229) wrote that with the arrival and spread of Christianity, technology and socialization, the values and moral code supporting them started cracking up, because the new experiences have become too extensive for the code and its supporting religious beliefs. The growth of new towns with its concentration of people from various clans and distinctive sub-cultural distincts, coupled with the demands of the economic, political and educational activities, further complicates the situation. This complication has reached such an extent that it now becomes difficult to discern easily what values influence people’s decisions, or what rules provide guidance for socialization of the young or lay the “rules” for what people should expect from each other, or provide patterns of the attitudes people should develop to enable them play roles like those of the teacher, the politician, the public or commercial administrator and the executive.
Idowu (1994:197) sums it up thus:
Direct and indirect colonial indoctrination has been so effective in many areas that the aborigines have come to see themselves as grasshoppers in their own eyes and have become so morally despising wholeheartedly their own culture and religious values and ultimately abandoning them and forgetting their basic tenets and practices
This is the case with Ozo title practice in Onitsha. The Ozo titled men suffered a total loss of honour, and respect and dignity with the introduction of Western Education and Christianity, yearly membership has reduced drastically since then.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
5.1 BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE FINDINGS
Throughout this research work, effort has been concentrated on the social, political, economic and religious effects of Ozo institution in Onitsha community. It is noted that modernity has helped to modify a lot of things within the Ozo institution. However, while the structure of the traditional Ozo has been modified, the core aspect of it remains secured. Since the society is a dynamic one, change in the social structures are obvious, modernity has therefore helped to modify a lot of things within Ozo institution. Nevertheless the researcher found that the essence of the title is still in fact. It is gratifying to state that Onitsha community has benefited from the Ozo titled men. The money they earn from Ozo title has been used to develop Onitsha through the introduction of amenities and infrastructure in the area.
5.2 CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE
This work reveals a very important aspect of Igbo-culture Ozo title taking, this will give the reader, adequate and sound information on the subject. Also the reader will learn the influences and significances of Ozo title holders and the objects they have in their passion. The reader will be exposed to the meaning, origin, significances and effects of Ozo title in Onitsha in Anambra state and its environs. The reader will be thoroughly informed about this aspect of Ibo culture.
In view of the foregoing findings of this research, the following recommendations were made: the members of the institution should have a very good way of investing their money rather than sharing it individually to their members. They should also consider embarking on development projects like helping in road construction in the community, schools hospitals etc Ozo title should not be regarded as an association formed to receive their “pension” but as an institution for helping in the improvement and development of their town and the poor in their society.
Again, there should be a thorough screening of any person who wishes to take the Ozo title especially as it pertains to one’s source of income. This is to avoid admitting people whose sources of income are not clearly defined into the association.
Nevertheless, there is need to reduce the high fees involved in taking Ozo title in Onitsha. The association should not be seen as an association of the rich but an association of honest people and it should possibly be conferred on people whose upright characters desire community’s recognition.
Membership of Ozo institution should be restricted to men who have attained at least 35years of age. In other words, Ozo title should be for both boys and men but strictly for men. In addition for age qualification, moral disposition and response to civil and communal duties, obligations and responsibilities should form the criteria for admission. This would avoid giving the Ozo title to young boys who do not know the meaning of the title which would in turn lead to the abuse of Ozo title. These restrictions of membership of this exalted social cult in Igboland would not only enhance a sense of responsibility and disciplines among youths who would like to join the association, but will attract also men of choice behaviour and society of manners.
5.4 SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
This research, though detailed, may not have adequately represented the whole —— of Ozo title taking practice in Onitsha, Anambra State. This is largely so because of limitations already identified viz: lack of texts on the origin and the short facts of unwritten stories that formed the main story. A further work for which a longer time can be given for greater literature review, questionnaire will be illuminating and educative.
Again, the research has posited that Onitsha people had a strong regard for Ozo title. This regard to a very large extent however has been eroded by modernization in religious beliefs and practices, education and cultural changes that have taken place so far in Onitsha and its environs. A further research on the effects of modernization can make a good reading.
Finally, a further research on Ozo title aiming at finding out the spiritual effect of Ozo title on the holders; whether or not the title learns an indelible mark on the souls of its holders, a s it is believed of the sacraments of Baptism, confirmation and Holy orders in the Roman Catholic church; will also be useful.
Ozo title taking should not be allowed to die off as some of Igbo traditional religious practices. It is a very important cultural practice of the Igbo and therefore should be upheld. Any land that has no guardian will eventually be parceled out. Therefore, Ozo title being the custodian of morality in Igboland needs to be improved rather than being overshadowed by the influence of modernity especially that of Christianity and Islam.
Obviously, these two religious are the major forces that are threatening the existence of Ozo title by making their converts look at it as idolatory; but nevertheless, there is a bright future for Ozo title as an cultural value.
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S/N Names of interviewee Age Sex Occupation Place Date of birth Names of the interview
1. Akosa O P 55 M Pastor Church 27/8/08 Nwchukwu H
2. Amadiume S.N 72 M Retired civil servant House 6/1/08 Nwachkuwk H
3. Anyaegbuna, N. 80 M Traditional ruler Obi 31/1/08 Nwachkuwk H
4. Anyaorah E.C. 68 F Head Office 31/1/08 Nwachkuwk H
5. Chuwku I.O 49 M Teacher House 4/2/08 Nwachkuwk H
6. Nduka J.C. 65 M Trader House 4/2/08 Nwachkuwk H
7. Onoye M.I 82 M Traditional ruler Obi 3/2/08 Nwachkuwk H
Ozo Title Taking – The Effects On The Growth Of Onitsha Community: (A Case Study Of Onitsha In Anambra State)
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