THE ROLE OF INDIGENOUS LITERARY TRADITION IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF IGALA COMMUNITY
The researcher tries to show the roles of indigenous literary tradition in the development of Igala Community. This research work shows that indigenous literary tradition contributed greatly to the development of Agriculture, promotion of social relationship and political growth and in the maintenance of good health in Igala Community. The work is divided into five chapters: chapter one treats the background of the study, statements of problems, purpose of study, significance of study, scope of study, Geographical, location, economic and social importance. Chapter two is literature review. Chapter three shows the role of festivals and ceremonies in the development of Igala community. Chapter four also shows the role of myths, legend and folktales in the development of Igala community. Chapter five covers conclusion and recommendation.
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Community development has been viewed from various perspectives. Mainly in relation to increase in capacity and skills, greater freedom, creativity of individual members, self discipline, economic growth and overall well being of the community. In Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, a man’s wealth is known or derived from the number of tittles he could acquire, the number of barns he could stuck with farm produce that will last from one planting season to another.
Indigenous literary tradition means the type of cultural beliefs, customs and superstitions that guide the day to day activities of a people. It is mainly centered on the ways of rural people in the third world countries especially the poorer rural people. Some communities are capable of utilizing the indigenous literary traditional practice in production of wealth in abundance while others depend solely on those wealth produced by their neighboring communities.
In view of this facts therefore, the extent to which indigenous literary tradition can contribute in the roles within the Igala community has not been determined with certainty. There may be widespread speculations of the roles to community development, the exact role to this rural community has not been explored especially as it cannot be said that indigenous literary traditional development of one community is synonymous with the development of another community. Since the role of indigenous tradition in community development varies across communities, research findings from one community cannot be generalized to other communities, like Igala community. In consideration of these facts therefore, there is need to explore the role of indigenous literary tradition in the development of Igala community.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The current poor rate of development in Igala community coupled with depressed programmes or activities at the community level is an issue of great concern. In the past few years, emphasis has been shifted to modern technological education as an instrument for community growth.
The rate of regression in major development and activities in Igala community raise doubts as to whether the modern educational practices is in any way contributing to the development of the community. There has been the notion among the elites that the high rate of regression in the community development activities is directly related to the abandonment of indigenous literary tradition and practices at the community level. Although this speculation is widely held by majority of people in the community, it cannot be stated with certainty that the role of indigenous literary tradition in community development is this or that since an intensive research has not been made to this effect. As such the role of indigenous literary tradition in the development of Igala community is not yet known.
This research is, therefore faced with the problem of establishing validly the role of indigenous literary tradition in the development of Igala community.
OBJECTIVES AND AIM OF THE STUDY
The purpose and aim of this research is:
To isolate the role of indigenous literary tradition in the development of agriculture in Igala community
To explore the role of indigenous literary tradition in promoting social relationship and to encourage the use of folklores to stable political structures in Igala community.
To explore the roles of indigenous literary traditional practices in maintenance of good health conditions at the community level.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study is to ascertain the roles of indigenous literary tradition in development of Igala community. The result of the study will inform the community on the extent to which indigenous literary tradition has contributed to the development of the community and agriculture in the community level. The result of the research will be of good help in re-directing the policy makers on the need to emphasize indigenous literary tradition in all communities so that the entire community can reap the numerous benefits.
The research will also expose the extent to which indigenous literary tradition can promote social relationship and stable political structures in the community. As such the study also will assist in informing the government on the need to introduce indigenous literary traditional and educational practices into the modern school curriculum. This study will also reveal the roles of indigenous literary tradition in maintenance of good health and management of epidemic. The study will help both the government and health ministries on the need to either encourage or discourage such tradition. The result will, having revealed the roles of indigenous literary tradition on health practices, serve to emphasize the need for the government to offer financial assistance to indigenous literary traditional programmes and activities in Igala Community.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to the Igala Community of Kogi State. The study was also limited to the role of indigenous literary tradition in the development of Igala Community in relation to the following domain of development
1. Development in Agriculture
2. Social and political development and
3. Health development
GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF IGALA COMMUNITY
Igala Community is located in the eastern part of Kogi State. It shares boundaries with Benue State towards the north, Enugu State towards the east while the rivers, Niger and Benue distributaries separates it from Edo and Delta States towards the south downwards flow to the Atlantic Ocean. It has a population of about 2.5 million by the 1993 population census of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The community is ruled by nine notable beaded chiefs with the overall traditional ruler called the Attah of Igala, the community is made up of 18 villages with beaded chiefs with titles “Eje” and “Onu”.
A conspicuous feature of the northern part of Igala is the Udi Plateau. Udi is a town in the eastern part of Nigeria. This Plateau extends to the heart of Igala land, Coal was found on the plateau in 1967, Okaba local mines were opened. And in the southern most part of Igala land always the eastern bank of Niger lies a low land the Niger-Anambra lowland in which the Ibaji local government is found, this area is flooded annually. Hence the millions of tons of silt brought by the Niger and Anambra rivers enrich Ibaji soil, thus making it the most fertile soil in the Area and large quantities of fish are found in the ponds. The latter play a very important role in the social and economic life of the inhabitants of the community.
Igala is also fortunate in having a natural high ways of communication and commerce, the river Niger-Benue and to a certain extent the Anambra. These rivers played a very important part in the early exportation and trade in the area. In the whole of Igala land the only bridge across the Niger is one for motor, one for railway line, goods and merchandise are usually ferried from Lokoja to Shinteku while the service of speed boats are at Idah as meeting point of routes as trade centers and historical or cultural centers.
The main sources of information for this Project research are;
The Igala people of Nigeria by Mohammed Omaye Atojoko, Home Land Memories by Sampson Odidi and Nigerian Children’s Literature in English by Osaze Fayose. The secondary materials are from the library.