An Ethno-Archaeologiccal Perspective on Oil Palm Tree (Elaeis Guineensis Jacq) in Old Nsukka Division of Enugu State

By Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.


Archaeological investigations have revealed that palm oil processing technology was practiced in the Nsukka cultural area of present day Enugu state of Nigeria during the late stone age period , as evidenced from fragments of palm kernels found in the area dating to 2555-130B.C . The oil palm tree therefore is as old as the Settlement of the area by humans. At the birth of every new baby an oil palm tree is dedicated to such a child which is locally known as “Nkwo-lee’. Oil palm tree seems to have been created to meet man’s need in the study area. For there is no tree which in itself has so many uses like the tree since every part is utilized and is of great value. These include the production of timber, palm wine, leaves, basket, soap, palm kernel, pomade, palm oil etc. The tender palm frond “omu” performs numerous functions in old Nsukka Division and Igboland in general. The oil palm tree is one of the major oil producing plants in the area of study and Igboland in general surpassing any other plant in the yielding of oil. The palm tree serves various purposes in the domestic life of the people. It is also a major source of income to a greater proportion of the rural farmers in the study area. Palm oil processing in Old Nsukka Division is an indigenous technology. Palm tree therefore is a blessing of inestimable value to the people of Old Nsukka Division because of its multifarious uses. This paper therefore is designed to bring into perspective the great socio- Economic and cultural importance of oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis) through an ethno-archaeological approach in the study area.
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About the Author

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.



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