The Aro and the Concept of Aro-Okigbo: Facts and Fallacies of a Historic Igbo Hegemony.

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


The Aro sub- culture group of the Nigeria no doubt played important role in pre-colonial period as oracular agents woven in slave trade. They were mainly slave merchants whose oracle played the role of a spiritual conduit through which its unsuspecting client were sold into slavery. In other words, this dreaded oracle, Ibinu-Ukpabi, also known as the long juju, which is situated at Arochukwu played the dastardly role of sending those who appeared before it but could not pay themselves through for freedom into slavery. Ironically, during the hey-days of the British colonial activities, the activities of the aro became elevated by the simple omission of historical facts to the status of an Igbo civilization. By this simple act of omission, the Aro soon assumed the status of a superior socio-political cast among the Igbo. This obvious misrepresentation was to lead to a stream of intellectual controversy among Igbo scholars and local political partisans. This resulting controversy which was originally rooted in C.G. Seligman’s hamitic hypothesis, was expounded by a notable colonial anthropologist - - H.F. Mathews and later appropriated by succeeding Igbo scholars of Aro school of thought. It borders on the claim of indigenous pre- colonial imperialism over the rest Igbo group by the Aro. The present work explores the facts, myths and probabilities of this concept of a racially superior branch of the Igbo culture group as represented by the Nri and Aro. In the process of exploring the evidence, a number of dependent historical and hypothetical question were raised. This is primary query which will most probably strike the mind in the context of primeval Igbo origins and identity? In other words...
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Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.



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