Oral Tradition among the Ijo of the Niger Delta

Ijo oral traditions were generally remembered by elders and a small number of specialists, such as priests and drummers. All members of an Ijo community were also expected to know the traditions of origin of theri lineage and Ibe. The institutions and rituals for the ancestors (kings and founders of lineages) also served as concrete reminders of the past. Chronological distortions alleged to characterize Ijo tradtions are shown to derive from a failure to take a sufficient number of samples of the various traditional sources and types. Analysed for content, Ijo traditions of origin suggest a number of centres of dispersion. Instead of migrations from the hinterland, a fringe belt occupied by Ijo and hinterland peoples is revealed. Bronzes discovered at a number of sites indicate early contacts with Benin and other neighbours. But these bronzes as well as the dispersion centres call for archaellogical investigation. Notesij figures.

Title: Oral Tradition among the Ijo of the Niger Delta
Author: Alagoa, Ebiegberi J.
Year: 1966
Periodical: The Journal of African History
Volume: 7
Issue: 3
Pages: 405-419
Language: English
Geographic term: Nigeria
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/180110
Abstract: Ijo oral traditions were generally remembered by elders and a small number of specialists, such as priests and drummers. All members of an Ijo community were also expected to know the traditions of origin of theri lineage and Ibe. The institutions and rituals for the ancestors (kings and founders of lineages) also served as concrete reminders of the past. Chronological distortions alleged to characterize Ijo tradtions are shown to derive from a failure to take a sufficient number of samples of the various traditional sources and types. Analysed for content, Ijo traditions of origin suggest a number of centres of dispersion. Instead of migrations from the hinterland, a fringe belt occupied by Ijo and hinterland peoples is revealed. Bronzes discovered at a number of sites indicate early contacts with Benin and other neighbours. But these bronzes as well as the dispersion centres call for archaellogical investigation. Notesij figures.