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THE SACRED FORM OF AKPU:

AN OUT-DOOR DIRECT CEMENT SCULPTURE SPECIAL PROJECT

ABSTRACT

 

This project report explains the definition, causative factors and the role of totemism in the religious aspect of the people of Orumba life. It further reveals the traumatic and the painful harm caused by the trans Atlantic Slave trade of the 15th century and the raids of Abam warriors of Arochukwu on the eastern region of Nigeria and it’s role in transforming the Igbo Cosmology. This research work also explains in detail the origin of sacred believe and Animism practiced by the indigenes of Akpu, the use of cement in modelling, styles, skills and techniques used in realizing it.

Project Topics

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

Title page

i

Certification —

ii

Dedication —

iii

Acknowledgment

iv

Abstract     —

v

Table of content —

vi

 

 

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background to the study —

1

1.2    Statement of the problem

4

1.3    Aims and Objectives   —

4

1.4    Limitations of study     —

5

1.5    Significance of study  —

6

CHAPTER TWO

 

2.1

Review of related literature  —       —       —       —

7

2.2

The inhuman trade of 15th Century        —       —                                                          —

13

2.3

The Establishment of Aro trade network         —                                                                   —

14

2.4

Consequences of Arochukwu Infiltration in Orumba —

15

2.5

Creation and Definition of a deit (Arusi, Alusi or Arushi)

in Igbo Culture    —       —       —       —       —       —       —       16

2.6    Taboos and it’s Consequences in Akpu              —       —       —       17

CHAPTER THREE
Methodology and Materials — —       —       —       —       18
Tools and Machines —       —       —       —       —       —       20
CHAPTER FOUR

4.1    Stages of Project execution —       —       —       —       —       22

CHAPTER FIVE

 

5.1

Observation

34

 

5.2    Analysis of the work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34

5.3    Problems Encountered

36

5.4    Recommendations

37

5.5    Conclusion   —    —

37

References  —    —

39

CHAPTER ONE

 

1.1    BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

 

Totemism, a wide spread practice of religion is associated with animism. The totem is a class of material objects which a savage regards with superstitious respect, believing that there exist between him and every member of the class an intimate and altogether special relation.

Charles Henry Robinson 1896

 

(Hausaland or fifteen hundred miles through the central Sudan).

 

The name is derived from a word (Ojibwe Dodaem) considered to mean in relation to man. Totemism can exist in three forms.

The clan totem, the sex and an individual totem (Andrew Lang’s theory of the origin of Exogamy and Totemism 1913).

Andrew Lang the Scottish scholar and an American anthropologist in the early 20th century proposed a meaning for totemism namely that the local groups or clans in selecting a totemistic name from the realm of

nature were reacting to a need to be differentiated.

Scottish ethnologist John Ferguson Mclenan, following the vogue of 19th century research, addressed totemism in a broad perspective in his study of the worship of Animals and plants. He was of the Opinion that all of human race had in ancient times gone through a totemistic stage.

A Critical anthropological study of the snail totemism practiced by the people of Akpu in Orumba South Local Government Areas of Anambra State after the deity (Arusi) “Ogbaku akpu” shows them to have suffered the terror of invasions, kidnappings of the resourceful young men and women to be sold into the 15th century trans Atlantic Slave trade from the people of Arochukwu in Abia state. This consequently led to the institution of a deity for the protection and refuge of the Akpu people from invasions of Abam warriors by their ancestors.

According to Ogbuehi Felix Anyaeme (Onyeumunnaya Egbuo, Ishi achaayawo),  an  indegene  of  Akpu,  the  native  doctors  during  the

institution of the deity (Ogbaku) used a blind animal for the ritual. This

blind animal is the snail. The use of snail for the ritual was aimed at making the infiltrators and raiders of Akpu Spiritual blind. There’s potency of the deity when the indigenes of AKpu have kept to the totemistic covenant.

The name “Ogbaku” etymologically means an arrow shooter. The deity is henceforth believed to shoot the invaders of Akpu community spiritually by making their plans to fail. The deity goes blind from protecting any indigene of Akpu who violets the totemism by consuming the totem (Snail).

This totemism of snail had wide spread in some parts of Orumba North due to inter village marriages with Akpu. Indigenous women of AKpu who are married to other villages are vehicles that disseminated this totemism to some other parts of Orumba.

Following Ogbaku’s Institutional concept, a deity (Ngenebubu) was instituted in Enuguabor Ufuma in Orumba North near a famous stream Onyiamaku. The aim was to protect all the kindred and families

of Enuguabor  who willingly accepted the deity as a refuge. Ngenebubu

was prepared using snail animism hence most indegenes of Enuguabor Ufuma venerate snail as a totem.

1.2.   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

 

The genesis of Snail totemism in Akpu, Orumba South of Anambra and some fragments of Orumba North Seems to have been forgotten and the religious act diminishing gradually due to the advent and wide spread of Christianity in Orumba and the eastern Nigeria in general. Henceforth, the documentation and dissemination of the Origin and the place of the totemism is essential to revive the culture and tradition.

1.3       AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

 

This research work is aimed at understanding:

The conceptual meaning of totemism and

The role of totemism and animism in religious

The possible causative factors of

The symbiotic relationship that exist between totem and

The role of the trans-Atlantic slave trade of the 15th century in West Africa and the raids of Abam warriors in transforming the Igbo
The place of totems and taboos in the Igbo

This research work is also aimed at obscuring the origin of the snail totemism practiced by the people of Akpu using a sculpture of feminine figure holding a snail in
The practical aspect of this work aimed at developing the contemporary use of direct cement modeling in realizing forms in sculpture.
1.4       LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

 

Due to the difficulties involved, time consuming nature of and expenses involved in the research work process, their was limitations in providing pictorial document of the Ogbaku shrine. The fact that there is a dearth of information on the origin and birth of snail totemism and

taboos in Akpu in plies that oral interview of elders of the village was the only source of data for the research work.

The inflation of the prices of materials needed for the practical aspect of the work was also a limitation for the intended scale of the outdoor project.

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

 

This research work is aimed at getting people acquainted with totemism as a form of cultural identity and beliefs. And educating  people on the place of totem and taboos in the eastern region of Nigerian.

The documentation of the genesis of snail totem and taboos in Akpu is of great importance to educate the indigenes and concerned relatives of Akpu, historically and culturally. The documentation also serves as a medium for bringing the people back to their ancestral faith and making a revivalism of the totemistic belief of the snail.

The researcher also aimed at developing the use of different kinds of cement and dust in realizing forms that are durable out-door

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