New PDF release: Constructions of Belonging: Igbo Communities and the

By Axel Harneit-Sievers

ISBN-10: 1580461670

ISBN-13: 9781580461672

ISBN-10: 1580466540

ISBN-13: 9781580466547

Buildings of Belonging offers a historical past of neighborhood groups dwelling in Southeastern Nigeria because the past due 19th century, reading the strategies that experience outlined, replaced, and re-produced those groups. Harneit-Sievers explores either the meanings and the makes use of that the neighborhood contributors have given to their specific components, whereas additionally the approaches that experience formed neighborhood groups, and feature made them paintings and remain proper, in an international ruled by means of the fashionable territorial kingdom and by way of world wide flows of individuals, items, and concepts. Axel Harneit-Sievers is a study fellow on the middle for contemporary Oriental experiences, and director of the Nigeria workplace of the Heinrich B?ll origin in Lagos.

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Extra resources for Constructions of Belonging: Igbo Communities and the Nigerian State in the Twentieth Century (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora)

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This contributes to the frequently noted strong orientation toward competition and individual achievement in Igbo society; thus, the individual and communal dimensions of competitive behavior may reinforce and reproduce each other. Even if the symbolic “expression of competition” may “often be more important than actually competing” (Ardener 1959: 130), the potential for conflict in the local community is always high. With all this potential for conflict, crosscutting ties binding the village group together are even more important.

As mentioned earlier in this chapter, legends of origin play a fundamental role in the self-definition of Igbo villages and village groups. Except for those which explicitly acknowledge having emerged as a “confederation” of groups of diverse The Igbo Local Community 31 Disclaimer: Some images in the printed version of this book are not available for inclusion in the eBook. To view the image on this page please refer to the printed version of this book. 1. The community’s founder and his wife: Cement sculpture at main market in Ezeagu, Enugu State, February 2000.

While precolonial Igbo society knew no large-scale territorial and political units, territoriality as a structuring principle was (and is) firmly established on the local level. As in other West African farming societies, Igbo lineages, villages, and village groups own defined areas of land. 17 Still, the fact that land was once owned by others is critical enough, symbolically, for people to avoid admitting such knowledge openly. Instead, oral historical narratives make the claim that the current occupant’s ancestors sprang up from the earth at this very place, simply denying any earlier occupation; or claim that they were the first to clear the virgin forest and to start farming here, that is, by reference to an accepted legal standard (Jones 1949b: 317).

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Constructions of Belonging: Igbo Communities and the Nigerian State in the Twentieth Century (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora) by Axel Harneit-Sievers


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