Journal of Language, Linguistics and Literature
Articles Information
Journal of Language, Linguistics and Literature, Vol.1, No.2, Apr. 2015, Pub. Date: Mar. 31, 2015
Criminal and Anti-Social Behaviors Inherent in Ekpo Festival Among Ibibio of Nigeria: A Call for Cultural Reformation
Pages: 12-18 Views: 4582 Downloads: 3110
Authors
[01] Ojo Matthias Olufemi Dada, Department of Sociology, Crawford University of the Apostolic Faith Mission, Igbesa, Ogun State, Nigeria.
[02] Ayodele Abel Olurotimi, General Studies Unit, Crawford University of the Apostolic Faith Mission, Igbesa, Ogun State, Nigeria.
Abstract
This paper examined the Ekpo festival among Ibibio of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Survey method was used in the research conducted and the study areas were: Ituk Mbang, Ndon Uruan and Ikono Obio in Uruan Local Government Area and Ikot Udo in Ibeskipo Local Government Area all in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. Six respondents were sampled using convenience sampling under non-probability sampling technique. In-depth interviews were conducted as sources of data collection and soft data in form of photographs were also used. The data from in-depth interviews and photographs were analyzed using content analyses. The study investigated the processes involved in the initiation into Ekpo cult and the stages involved during the Ekpo festival were discussed. The functions of Ekpo cult (through Ekpo festival) in entertainment, settlement of disputes and social control were mentioned as the prominent functions of Ekpo cult. The study discovered that malicious damage of farm crops and livestock animals, forceful initiation, beating of women and girls, keeping non-initiates, women and children indoor during the festival, economic retardedness during the festival and fearful looking masks were the criminal and anti-social behaviors exhibited during the Ekpo festival. The paper recommended that Akwa Ibom State should legislate against exhibition of criminal and anti-social behaviors during Ekpo festival and other festivals within the state. State government should re-organize the festival in such a way that it would attract people from other states and outside Nigeria to boost the revenue of the state government and increase the economic gains of the Akwa Ibom State people. Community leaders were equally implored to preach against criminal and anti-social behaviors during this festival, using Christianity and western education as potential tools. These are calls for cultural reformation.
Keywords
Ekpo Cult, Ekpo Festival, Initiates, Masks and Akwa Ibom
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