AFRREV IJAH: An International Journal of Arts and Humanities

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A Comparative Study of Igala and Igbo Culture and Communication Systems in Ata Igala Coronation and Ofala Festival, 2013

Gabriel Alhassan Ottah


The culture and communication systems of the Igala nation of Kogi State and the Igbo nation of Eastern Nigeria were comparatively studied using the coronation of Ata Igala at Idah, Kogi State between 5 and 10 March; and the Ofala Festival at Onitsha, Anambra State between 7 and 13 October, both in 2013. The concern of the study was to among other things identify the aspects of the cultures of the two neigbouring ethnic nationalities that were similar and how the similarities could be better harnessed towards the attainment of cultural unity and national development in Nigeria. I adopted particpant observation as an instrument of ethnographic design of fact finding, hence, my physical presence at both ceremonies. Pictoral description was also adopted to bring home points. It was found that the Igala and Igbo communities had common cultural practices manifesting in names of objects, cultural ideologies, seasonal celebrations and the institution of traditional leadership. It was observed that the existing cultural harmony could be properly harnessed into creating a forum for cultural unity among different groups in Nigeria to foster unity and national development. The paper therefore recommended among others that modern media of mass communication should do more in terms of the promotion of African culture through transmission of Africa-oriented programmes to champion the cause of development on the continent.

Key Words: Ata Igala, Obi Onitsha, African culture, African communication systems, coronation, Ofala festival

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