Socio-cultural Structure and Development of Arámokǫ Land

A Historical Reflection


Academic Paper, 2018
14 Pages, Grade: 75

Excerpt

Abstract

This paper examined the socio-cultural composition and development in pre-colonial Arámokǫ-land. It describes and analyzes the various social stages recorded during the pre-colonial era as well as the human adaptive measure put in place for the various established structures. It further opined that the community; Arámokǫ, possess in large extent, the various social and cultural formations as well as a good climate to sustain its inhabitants and future generations from going into extinction. The value of marriage, family as well as other social and cultural habits i.e. hairdo, arts and craft are considered in the paper. The paper however derives its data from both primary and secondary sources.

Keywords: Socio-cultural, Arámokǫ, Pre-colonial, Development

Introduction

It is important to acknowledge the historical documentations of Samuel Johnson and J. A Atanda whose different accounts has been of enormous assistant in the oral analyses of the various settlements that made up present day Yoruba land. A few works however has been done by local historians with direct or indirect reference to the works of Johnson and Atanda on the examination of Arámokǫ history. S. O Johnson classified the Èkìtìs’ as among the aboriginal elements of the country absorbed by the invaders from the East.[1] He further opined that the Èkìtì country is divided into 16 districts with its own kings. He grouped only four of these kings as supreme ruler with more and significant link to the progenitor of Yoruba land; Oduduwa. Although the Alárá of Arámokǫ didn’t fall within the supreme rulers of Èkìtì land, but scholars are of the view that the folklore links between him and Ajero and Orangun Ile Ula point to the fact that he has a very special relationship with the family of Oduduwa during the migration epoch.[2] The focus of this paper is not the historical origin of the Arámokǫ people, but rather their socio-cultural institutions and activities prior to the coming of the Europeans.

Settlement Pattern in Brief Discuss

Arámokǫ has been a part of the Èkìtì land;[3] managed and controlled by its own traditional ruler (Alárá) and his council of chiefs (Alárá in council). Each region has its own head called 'baálè' or 'Olóyè' while the kingdom itself is been represent by the 'Alárá'.[4] The chiefs are exceptional counsels to the ruler who likewise had minor chiefs responsible for different exercises in their different sub-regions. Prior to the coming of western civilization, houses in Arámokǫ were made of mud dividers and palm leaves or different leaves for roofing. About every one of the structures had a similar outline and size; which are all controlled by the utilitarian and residential needs of the general population.

Each compound has its own 'Agba-Ile'- normally the oldest male in the family who fill in as the overseer of their standards and norms. They play out the part of peace-making or mediators in time of intra or inter families' misunderstanding before it gets to the traditional ruler; if need be. Young ladies in each compound are saddled with the duty of sweeping the compound while the young men do the clearing of brambles or homesteads for agrarian purposes. Waterways or streams in Arámokǫ are called "Aretí"[5] usually named after the major ‘Olóyè’[6] of the area where the river or stream is located, and they had never dried up since their creation.

The climate in Arámokǫ follows the tropic pattern;[7] which consisted of two separate seasons. The first season is the rainy season, usually between the month of April and the month of October of every year, while the dry season is usually between the month November and month of March. Rainfall varies in its increase and decrease. The winds are the south-west moisture carrying-wind that brings rainfall while also the North-east trade winds that brings dryness/harmattan. The temperature ranges from 850 F to 650 F.[8] The relative humidity is very high. There is luxuriant growth in the vegetating tropical evergreen forest and tropical grassland are also found in the area.

Between January and July, the average temperature falls between 700F and 800F respectively and it is conducive for human habitation.[9] The favourable climate conditions also favours the planting and other agricultural product such as timber, cocoyam, vegetables, okro, and the likes; which are used in feeding the population of the community.

Socio-cultural Activities among the Arámokǫ people – A Discourse

Social institutions in pre-colonial Arámokǫ Èkìtì constituted the following:

Family: The all inclusive community of Arámokǫ Èkìtì has a family structure, which is outstandingly exceptional. It is one of a kind simple because it is network based and a unique type of grass root government. It is upon this grass root government that different levels of government inside the general public are constructed.[10] There are two level of family division among the general population of Arámokǫ Èkìtì to be specific; immediate or nuclear family level and the extended family level. These two levels feature both blood and conjugal connections. In any case, usually, the most essential and exceedingly featured family connections are along blood lines. Arámokǫ families are generally patrilineal and patrilocal in nature.[11]

The nuclear family comprises of the father (Baba), mother (Mama/Iya) and the kids (Omo). Polygamy is allowed among the Arámokǫ Èkìtì; men can marry as many wives as possible. The spouses and the stepbrothers/sisters (Obakan) in a polygamous family still constitute parts of the nuclear family. It is the obligation of the father to care and fend for the whole family and particularly the children. He accommodates every one of their needs. The customary Aramoko society is agrarian in nature; the kids figure out how to cultivate until the point that they are develop enough to have their own particular separate bit of land. In the option, the dad may search for proper exchange or livelihood for them. The young men got their freedom when they are hitched and begin their own autonomous lives yet inside a similar compound. The young ladies, then again were hitched out into different families. The mother fills in as the principle 'task director' inside the nuclear family. She turned into a spouse, a mother and the director of the family unit economy.[12] She adds to the ranch work, carters to the need of the family and she is for the most part in charge of sustaining and specifically forming the character of the children, particularly the young ladies. When the parent grows old, children are relied upon to take supreme care of them by accommodating every one of their needs. "Bi okete ba dagba, omu omo re n ii mu", signifying, 'when the hedge rodent progressed in age, it relies upon its child’s breast milk for survival.[13]

The extended family framework is another layer of structure higher than the nuclear family. It comprises of a gathering of families who follow their inception to a typical predecessor. Individuals from the more distant family normally live in a huge exacerbate (a round structure with a patio at the inside). It comprises of the greatest number of nuclear families as they can have inside the compound. They carry on with a network based life. The agboole or agbo ile (family compound) is headed by the Baale-ile (Head of the family). He is the agent of the whole extended family in the town or town committee. He goes about as the overseer of the family properties and furthermore guarantees that the graveyard (oju-oori) of his ancestors is well cared for. He ensures that the family gods are revered as at when due. He guarantees that there is peace and peacefulness inside the ebi or family by settling all scores and question that may emerge. He is the caretaker of (the) family custom and learning. He may not really be the most extravagant among the men inside the extended family; however, he is the most established. At whatever point he kicks the bucket, the title isn't given to his child (Àrèmo), however, it is given to the oldest living male inside the family.[14]

The Ba-álé is likewise assisted by the Ìyálé who is the general leader of the women inside the extended family. She is typically the most seasoned among the women fold. She appropriates and allocates obligations to other ladies inside the family. She likewise settles question among ladies. At whatever point there are capacities or function inside the agbo-ilé, she co-ordinates the cooking and serving of sustenance. She helps the Ba-álé in the everyday running of the agbo-ilé. Much of the time, when other ladies go out each day to buy and sell; they all leave their kids with her and she goes about as the caretaker for the agbo-ilé.[15]

The whole individuals inside the compound carry on with a public life. Somebody's business is everyone's business. At whatever point anyone has anything to do or he's influenced by anything, the whole family (ębí) rally round him or her. As event requests, the whole extended family wears a similar kind of dress, or attires (asǫ-ębí) whenever one of them is celebrating any occasion.[16]

Older members of the family treat the young ones equally without segregation. The younger ones however give necessary respect to their elders no matter what. The whole families are bound together by family ties (alájǫbí) and no one sets out to conflict with the standards and estimations of the family. Anyone that does this, the soul of their progenitors (Òkú-Òrun) is summoned and the outcomes might be catastrophic for such person.[17] The Arámokǫ Èkìtì also treasured family levels to a very large extent. They trust that anybody with whom they have blood relations inside the extended family is often of a similar dad and mother. They had only five words with which they indicate family connections. These are: Bàbá (Father); Ìyá/Màmá (Mother); Ègbón (Older in age); Àbúrò (Younger in age); and Ǫmo (Child).

There was not much indistinctness about these above kinship terms and their usage. Any man within the extended family who was probably old enough to be one’s father is regarded as father (Bàbá); likewise, any woman who is old enough to be one’s mother is regarded as mother (Ìyá/Màmá). Any man or woman who is older than someone but not enough to be one’s father or mother is regarded as senior (Ègbón). Likewise, anyone within the family that is younger to someone is regarded junior (Àbúrò).[18] All within the family that were likely to be old or less than one’s son or daughter are regarded as child (Ǫmo): Arámokǫ Èkìtì culture abhors the use of the following phrases: My father’s younger brother; My father’s elder brother; My mother’s younger sister; and My mother’s elder sister.

Whenever they are used, they are interpreted to mean that the speaker is overtly expressing the wish to distance himself/herself from the addresses. It is a subtle of any intimate relationship. The implication of the usage is that it invariably causes a breakdown of harmonious relationship within the family.[19] Instead of the previous phrases, they use the following phrases in replacement: Bàbá kékeré (younger or small father); Bàbá àgbà (older or big father); Ìyá /màmá kékeré (younger or small mother); Ìyá /màmá àgbà (older or big mother).

[...]


[1] S. O. Johnson. The History of the Yorubas, London: Lowe and Brydone Printers Limited, 1921. P. 22

[2] Ibid p. 65 See also J. A. Atanda. An introduction to Yoruba History, Ibadan, University Press, 1980

[3] S. O. Johnson. The History of the Yorubas, London: Lowe and Brydone Printers Limited, 1921. P. 26

[4] Districts like Alafe, Ile ona, Ajaye, Orisumibare, Ajebamidele, Oke Akola, Oko Ogboni, Oko Sajowa, and Oke Obo all have their own Baale as the district head and answer directly to the Alara. Interview with Chief S. O. Osadola, a traditional chief of Arámokǫ on the 15th December 2017, see also R. S. Smith, Kingdoms of the Yoruba, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988.

[5] “Areti in Arámokǫ are local streams in which has a direct link to major rivers in Yoruba land including river Osun. These local stream includes Urara, Ejigbo, Abami, Abamiyo, and Okeoja,” Interview with Chief S. O. Osadola, a traditional chief of Arámokǫ on the 15th December 2017, see also S. O. Biobaku, Sources of Yoruba History, New York: Clarendon Press, 1973

[6] Areti Abami was named after the family of the late Chief Amos Ojo Osadola not only for his role in the development of the town but for the fact that the stream actually flow through the back door of his family house. Interview with Chief Ogunleye, a traditional chief of Arámokǫ on the 23rd January 2018 C See also R. S. Smith, Kingdoms of the Yoruba, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988.

[7] A. Oguntuyi, History of Èkìtì: From the Beginning to 1939, Ibadan: Bisi Books, 1979 p. 21

[8] Ibid

[9] A. Oguntuyi, History of Èkìtì: From the Beginning to 1939, Ibadan: Bisi Books, 1979 p. 54

[10] E. A. Kenyo, E. A., Origin of the Progenitor of the Yoruba Race, Lagos: Yoruba Historical Research Co. 1951

[11] Interview with Chief Ogunleye, 56, a traditional chief of Arámokǫ Èkìtì, 27/01/2018, he explained further that the family divisions are usually recognized along the male bloodlines

[12] S. O. Johnson. The History of the Yorubas, London: Lowe and Brydone Printers Limited, 1921. P. 22, see also S. A. Oguntuyi, History of Èkìtì: From the Beginning to 1939, Ibadan: Bisi Books, 1979 p. 21, O Soetan, Èkìtì: Studies in Èkìtì History (Part I). Ilorin: Majab Publishers, 2006

[13] Interview with Madam Fabian Ojo Fasakin, 86 years, trader from Arámokǫ Èkìtì, 21st March 2018. She emphasized the benefits of child bearing as a vital necessity that helps grow the population as well as the blood lines amongst the people of Aramoko Ekiti

[14] Interview with Chief Ogunleye, 56, a traditional chief of Arámokǫ Èkìtì, 27/01/2018 see also A. Oguntuyi, History of Èkìtì: From the Beginning to 1939, Ibadan: Bisi Books, 1979 p. 21, O Soetan, Èkìtì: Studies in Èkìtì History (Part I). Ilorin: Majab Publishers, 2006

[15] Ibid

[16] A. Oguntuyi, History of Èkìtì: From the Beginning to 1939, Ibadan: Bisi Books, 1979 p. 63

[17] Interview with Chief S. O. Osadola, a traditional chief of Arámokǫ on the 15th December 2017

[18] Interview with Chief S. O. Osadola, a traditional chief of Arámokǫ on the 15th December 2017 see also A. Oguntuyi, History of Èkìtì: From the Beginning to 1939, Ibadan: Bisi Books, 1979 p. 63

[19] See also J. A. Atanda. An introduction to Yoruba History, Ibadan, University Press, 1980 and S. O. Biobaku, Sources of Yoruba History, New York: Clarendon Press, 1973

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Details

Title
Socio-cultural Structure and Development of Arámokǫ Land
Subtitle
A Historical Reflection
Grade
75
Author
Year
2018
Pages
14
Catalog Number
V437762
ISBN (eBook)
9783668784482
Language
English
Tags
socio-cultural, structure, development, arámokǫ, land, historical, reflection
Quote paper
Osadola Oluwaseun Samuel et al. (Author), 2018, Socio-cultural Structure and Development of Arámokǫ Land, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/437762

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