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ICOS 2008 Conference Abstract

An Enquiry into Chieftaincy Titles among the Igbos of Southeastern Nigeria

A C Oha
Benson Idahosa University, Nigeria

Among the Igbos of Southeastern Nigeria, chieftaincy titles are revered and are usually given to men and women of substance, that is, men and women that have had levels of accomplishment in their chosen professions. These calibres of persons are also recognized for their contributions to the positive development of the community. Most of these titled men and women, or would-be titled men and women, assume superiority by taking the titles in order to intimidate their peers. Sometimes, or most times, these titles are bought by the recipients in order to belong to the rare class of titled people in the community. They pay heavily into the coffers of the King’s palace for the award to be given to them. Most of these recipients are usually very wealthy. This research is an explication of select chosen titles by select recipients. This research revealed that most of the titles chosen by the recipients have humorous undertones. It is usually funny to hear some of them taking such unbelievable titles as ‘moon’, ‘sun’, ‘stars’, ‘lion’, ‘round’, ‘flat’, ‘iron’, ‘big tree’, ‘rainbow’, ‘thunder’, ‘cloud,’ etc. The choice of these titles revealed to a very large extent the worldview and the thought system of the recipients. These titles as names assume intimidation, exaggeration, pomposity and extraordinariness.

Paper Not Given

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