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Ademola, A. (1978) Omuo-Ekiti : Continuity and change in the social organisation of a peasant society in the Ondo State of Nigeria. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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This thesis is concerned with continuity and change in the social organisation of Omuo-Ekiti, a predominantly rural and peasant community in the North East of the old Western Region of Nigeria. It focuses on the dialectical relationship between kinship and power relations, and in particular on the way in which these have changed together over the last few decades as the society has been increasingly caught up in the market system. Up to the early 1940s, in what I term the Traditional Period, the lineage was the basis of political organisation and action. The king was the ritual head of the whole Omuo-Ekiti community, and nominally the owner of all lands. But power was effectively held by chiefs, lineage heads and elders, and the natural resources of the community were shared between, and distributed through the corporate lineages. Kinship was the main principle organising the society, and in this situation marriage-in particular the selection of a spouse - was a key determinant of group solidarity and social distance. Since the early 1940s, in the Modern period, there has been an increasing and dramatic change in power relations. The introduction of cocoa farming has disrupted lineage control of land tenure. Related to this, there has been a shift to modern forms of government, with elected local councils displacing lineage power. These developments are affected and limited by processes and relationships at the local community level. The significance of kinship and residential groupings has changed, in response to changes in the community's ties with the world outside. Cash cropping has led to increasing individualisation of economic interests; and the intervention of central government and political parties in the life of the community has intensified. Much of the traditional culture and society still survive, though. For example, the ideology of patrilineal descent, and of lineage restrictions on marriage, is still respected. Ceremonial rituals connected with the various festivals are still observed. And these cultural forms determine the particular nature of Omuo-Ekiti responses to their changing circumstances.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:23

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