records has it that a number of neighboring towns of Ogwashi-Uku such as
Ibuzo, Ubulu-uku, Agbor e.t.c were founded in the sixteenth century
and early seventeenth Century. On the other hand, traditional sources
ascribe the funding of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom to the people of Ikelike.
There was the emergence of the Ikelile people in the kingdom followed by
the state of migrations from the East and West of the Niger-Delta area
of what later became known as the protectorate of Southern Nigeria.
According to T.A. Tabor in his book titled Southern Nigeria
Vol 1, two families appeared to have left Benin at the same time, one
of which settled at (Agbor), while the other went on to Obior while some
continued to Onicha-Ugbo and others at a later date to Onicha-Olona.
Owing to its proximity to
Asaba where the Royal Niger Company established a station as Royal Niger
Company established a station as early as 1884, the people of
Ogwashi-Uku clan has on early Western Education, Mission Schools were
established in Ogwashi-Uku by the Church missionary society in 1907.
While on the other hand, the Roman Catholic Church was established in
Ogwashi-uku in the year 1905, while the present government school was
founded in 1911 soon after the establishment of Ogwashi-Uku as the
headquarters of the Asaba division in 19101.
In view of the above, the
people had facilities for Western Education and a majority of its male
indigenes having acquired early European education were found in the
employment of colonial and post colonial civil service.
The nature of occupational
practices in Pre-colonial times was mainly farming, though an
insignificant number of the women folk engaged in crafting e.g. weaving.
However, a quarter in Ogwashi-Uku called Ogbe-Nti where the Obi’s
palace is situated would prefer trading to farming because of its
proximity to the Obi. The reason is that they benefited from the general
benevolence of the people who made available their farming proceeds
during harvest in form of yam, cassava, plantain, coconut, palm oil,
bush animal etc. The Ogbe-nti therefore took advantage of these
‘supplies’ to engage in petty trading.2
Justification of Research
The justification of this
project is that it will not only portray to the reader the ideal
response of the history and culture of Ogwashi-Uku people, but also
create a situation where culture will be given a wider dimension in
Nigeria. It is hope that the result of the study would provide
government information concerning the history and culture of Ogwashi-Uku
Aim and Objectives
The aim of
this work is to carefully examine inter-group relations among the
Ogwashi-Uku people of Aniocha South Local Government Area in Delta state
and its neighbors with emphasis on their socio-cultural and political
relations in the pre-colonial era.
The objective of this work is to outline the areas and extent of such relations.
The essay is centered on inter-groups relations of Ogwashi-Uku and her neighbors in the pre-colonial times.
The work is structured into
six chapters, chapter one deals with aims and objectives, justification
of research, methodology, literature review; while chapter two discusses
the historical overview of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom, chapter three deals
with the political relations between Ogwashi-Uku and her neighbors,
chapter four focuses on the social relations between Ogwashi-Uku and her
immediate neighbors, chapter five discusses the economic relations
between Ogwashi-uku and her neighbors.
Finally, the work will be summarized in the last chapter of the Project Essay.
The historical and descriptive
method is used in writing this essay; relevant data and information
were obtained from two main sources. These were primary and secondary
- 1. Primary Sources
This was a source of relevance
in the course of this research in the sense that archival researches
were carried out and oral interviews involving experienced individuals,
some of whom were adults who played some roles in the economic life of
their communities during the colonial era.
- 2. Secondary Sources
Secondary sources were
consulted in Delta State University, Abraka, Ogwashi-Uku Polytechnic,
College of Education (Agbor), Local Library (Ogwashi-Uku) in which
textbooks and Journals gotten were useful in the successful carrying out
of this research. Information obtained from these sources helped to
guide and supplement materials obtained from primary sources.
Indeed there exist written works on Ogwashi-Uku. Those concerned to this work are reviewed below:
According to D.O Dieyi in his book titled, “The Realities and Values of Anioma Identity”3,
examined the origins and settlement of Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom, the work
also deliberates on the different kinds of resistance in Aniocha but had
little to contribute concerning her interactions with her Neighbours
during the pre-colonial era.
Udeh Patricks in his book Legacy of Crisis: Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom”4 examined
the inter-group relations of Ogwashi-Uku and her neighbor in terms of
trading, marriages etc. He elaborated on the indigenous cultural
practices of Ogwashi-Uku people as well as their political set-up.
P.A Talbot in his book titled The People of Southern Nigeria,5 shows
the immigration and emigration of Ogwashi populace. Talbot emphasized
on the original spot where the first Ogwashi-Uku people ever settled and
he gave a clear description on how the fugitives and refugees from
Benin and East of the River-Niger in Awka province in present day
Anambra State met at a particular time and settled in a different spot.
J.C Anene in his book titled Southern Nigeria in Transition,6
posits that the wide range Benin Empire in the sixteenth to nineteenth
Century encompassed almost all the ethnic groups in the lower Niger, the
nineteenth Century Saw majority of these outlying portions of this
empires become virtually Independent. As of the Igbos, he stressed that
they were ruled by Obi, equally Ogwashi-Uku, Ubulu-uku, Isele-uku and
Espousing further in his work,
he gave a thorough explanation on how the foreign invaders burnt down
the Anglican and Roman Catholic mission stations in Onicha-olona, Ezi
and Onicha-uku while the native court building at Ogwashi-Uku,
Onicha-ugbo, Ibuzo were pulled down and destroyed.
J.Ozieh in his book titled Traditional Beliefs of the People of Ogwashi-Uku,7 point
out the social life of the people and how they social relates with
Ibuzo, Ubulu-uku In terms of trade marriages and other social activities
in the pre-colonial times.
Dr. Ben U.N Nwabua’s in his book titled Ogwashi-Uku Forward March
points out notable cultural beliefs of the Ogwashi-Uku people and also
the system of government practiced by the Ogwashi-Uku people from the
pre-colonial period up to the post-colonial era.
Furthermore, in his book titled Ogwashi-Uku (One Thousand years of Traditional Democracy and Cultural Life 950-1914)9, shows how the people of Ogwashi-Uku interacted with themselves and also with their immediate neighbors.
This research is divided into six chapters as follows:
Chapter One: Introduction
This chapter provides a brief
historical background of the Ogwashi-Uku people and her relationship
with her immediate neighbors as early as the Sixteenth Century and early
Seventeenth Century, it shows different forms of migrations that
existed before the emergence of the Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom and also
economic relationships that existed between her and her neighbors after
Chapter Two: Historical Background of Ogwashi-Uku
This chapter looks at the
geographical description of Ogwashi-Uku and her location amongst her
immediate neighbors, it also examines the traditions of origin of the
Ogwashi-Uku people, the social and cultural lives of the people is also
examined in this chapter, the historical organization of the Ogwashi-Uku
Kingdom is also a major focus in this chapter.
Chapter Three: Political Relations between Ogwashi-Uku and Her Neighbors
This chapter looks at the Socio-cultural exchange between Ogwashi-Uku and her neighbors in the pre-colonial period.
Chapter Four: Social Relations between Ogwashi-Uku and Her Neighbors
This chapter discusses
cultural exchanges between her and her immediate neighbors as well as
inter marriages between the people of Ogwashi-Uku and her neighbors.
Chapter Five: Economic Relationships between Ogwashi-Uku and Her Neighbors
discusses the occupational practices of the people of Ogwashi-Uku as
well as trade relations that existed between her and her neighbors in
the pre-colonial period which were majorly food crops.
Chapter Six: Conclusion
attempts to make a general pre-colonial historical survey of general
pre-colonial historical survey of Ogwashi-Uku. It states that the people
of Ogwashi-Uku had an organized system of government long before the
coming of the Europeans that brought about colonialism. There was
massive production of both food and cash-crops in the land. This chapter
conclusively proved the fact that the Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom was a means
for survival for some of its neighboring communities who depended sorely
on the Ogwashi-Uku Kingdom for survival.