Essay on Igbo Social Structure And Government

1573 Words Nov 22nd, 2014 7 Pages
Igbo social structure and government changed a lot in the 1800s and the early 1900s. The basic unit of Igbo life was the village group, and the most important role was the family head. All families lived as extended families and the oldest man in the house had the most authority. His job was to settle arguments between the family and he had the power to communication with ancestors. The oldest man was given the most respect out of anyone in a home. In Igbo government, the eldest members of the families were government officials. Adults were not the only people that worked in Igbo government and society. Children were also given jobs depending on their age. Titles were a huge part of the social structure of Igbo society. They defined status and earned respect from others. There was a pyramid of rising titles that was accompanied by a climbing scale of payments. Titles for men included: Ozo or Nze, and titles for women included: Ekwe, Lolo, or Omu. (Fischer, pg. 1) A series of intense rituals were to be done before gaining a title, which was considered a symbol of character as well as of success. “A political institution that was widespread, but not universal, was that of the age-grade.” (Khoi Ta, pg. 1) Age groups were gathered to have certain groups perform certain community service tasks, which often promoted rivalry between the groups. This provided valuable social control because older generations would keep the younger generations in line and out of trouble. Another…

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