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The total area of Adun is only forty nine square miles, yet it has the highest population of all the Mbembe tribes, 12,100 in 1953, [1] and therefore the highest density. its average density is 250 per square mile, much higher than that of Okum or Osopong; moreover this population is concentrated in only ten villages, eight of which are strung along a ridge of high ground running through the centre of Adun (see map 5) and the two other villages are not far away. Therefore, although as we shall see, many of the people spend much of the year away from this area in farming hamlets, the density of this central district must be very high. It is obviously of enormous political significance that it is possible to walk round all the Adun villages in two or three hours, as against for instance the two to three days needed to make a journey round all the villages in Okum. The distance between the two Adun villages furthest from each other is only about four and a half miles.

The concentration of villages within such a small area has had a profound influence on political developments within this tribe, for it has made Adun an extremely compact political unit. This compactness is certainly the result of the many attacks made on the Adun by outsiders in the nineteenth century, for it was or security nor merely the overall political organization of the tribe but many other aspects of its social structure also. We must, therefore, examine Adun history in some detail.

Adun History

It has already been suggested that villages speaking the Adun dialect were probably to be found formerly over a much wider area than that which today constitutes Adun territory. There are numerous grounds for making this assertion and we may consider the evidence from different districts in turn.

First of all, we may consider the area to the east of Adun. here the most easterly evidence for the spread of the proto-Adun comes from the two villages of Okokoma and Ararah. These villages are on the

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left bank of the Cross River as far up as its confluence with the Awayong (See map 2). They are, therefore, well to the east of the Osopong left bank settlements and are administratively part of the Ofunbonga tribe. So far as I know they have no traditions that they came from further down-stream and yet they speak dialects which are very close to Adun. Certain other Ofunbonga villages which have a similar dialect do have traditions that they were ousted from sites further down the river by the advancing Osopong. Among these is the village of Ofunbonga which was formerly sited near to the Osopong village of Obubra and which has given its name to the "tribe". Not all the proto-Adun villages which were driven out by the Osopong were, however, driven to the east. On the contrary a number seem to have been driven south-westwards and today form part of the Adun tribe proper.

Some idea of the extent to which these villages were driven eastwards by the Osopong can be given by quoting the case of the village of Ofatura, which we have already mentioned (see p.108.). This village, whose descendants still retain the name, is today sited inside Adun territory. Originally, however, it was located north-east of Lake Ominka in what is today the neighbourhood of the Osopong village of Ogada. As we have seen, it was driven out by the Ogada people, and the majority of the inhabitants then settled south of the lake in the neighbourhood of the present Osopong village of Imbana. Subsequently they were again driven out, this time by the combined forces of the Ogada and Apiapum peoples who had joined together to settle at the river. [2]

After this attack the people of Ofatura settled at a place called Uguehoma a few miles to the south. A formal peace was then made between them and the Ogada-Apiapum peoples. A shrine s then set up on the disputed border, the object of which was to bring ritual sanctions on any one who broke the truce; and to provide powerful "medicines" for the shrine a slave was buried alive on the boundary, which was south-west of the present Imbana Itamtet village. This incident goes some way towards enabling us to date the series of actions for it was mentioned in a 1912 case in the High Court. [3] The judge, quoting the tradition said that the slave was buried at a time "beyond the memory of

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living man" which presumably means that the event cannot have occurred later that 1840-50 and may have occurred well before. [4], [5]

The Ofatura people were later attacked and driven out of Uguehoma. This must have been about 1896 for the Adun say that this event took place at the same time as the Isobe (see p.155) were, as we shall see, being expelled from Adun territory in the west. We know from the Administrative reports that this took place between 1896 and 1899. The Ofatura people then settled with another Adun group at a place on the river called Mpampe. In 1903, however, all of them were driven out by the people of Apiapum. In 1905-6 the people of Apiapum having thus gained effective control of the area settled on the site of the former Mpampe, which is at present the site of the village of Apiapum.

To the south-east the Adun were also under pressure, as indeed the traditions about Uguehoma have already implied. We have seen that the Efyapum people founded the village of Iyamiyong specifically to oppose the Adun. Not merely did the people of Iyamiyong give protection to their own travellers but they seem also to have attacked nearby Adun settlements. This is suggested by traditions in Iyamiyong and by those of Adun which relate that the inhabitants of villages formerly near Iyamiyong withdrew and settled in the centre of Adun, in the villages of Ovonom and Obabene.

All these traditions are sufficient to show the prolonged pressures from the south and east which the Adun had to sustain. It was not, however, in these directions alone that they faced aggressive enemies. Unlike the Osopong who, under Ibo pressure were able to advance against their Mbembe and Atam neighbours, the proto-Adun were, on balance, more powerful then themselves. The experiences of Adun in the south and west were equally as discouraging as those on the east.

There is evidence that Adun speaking villages were formerly much more widely distributed on the west also. Indeed as late as about 1880 it seems that Adun speaking villages were living as far south westwards as the Yako village of Ekuri. At about that time an Igbo group (see below p.155) are said to have settled near the village of Ekuri Ekpenti "on Adun land". [6] From the south and west the Adun were

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driven back by incoming Yako, the "proto-Nko" on the one hand, and on the other by an influx of peoples from across the river, the Igbo, Ayiga and Isobo.

Against the Nko and Adun were not altogether unsuccessful, but they were forced to withdraw to some extent, and to help them against the Nko they unwisely welcomed the other groups just mentioned, who in their turn deprived the Adun of land. Just as the fortunes of the village of Ofatura give an indication of the history of the proto-Adun to the east, so the history of a village later known as Obubem gives an indication of Adun's troubles on the west.

The ancestors of the Obubem people are said to have lived at an earlier period some distance west of the Ekong river (see map 5) as to groups of people in independent villages but they were driven out by the proto-Nko. These refugees then settled across the Ekong river at a place Atutu, which is now an Adun hamlet called Onyadama. They were again driven out from there by the Nko and went to settle with the village of Oderiga, who themselves had been forced back from an earlier site by the Nko. These proto-Nko then for a period actually occupied the site of Onyadama. They were only driven back to their present site by the combined forces of the Adun and the immigrant Ayiga. At the request of the Ovat Kwudedin of Oderiga the people from Atutu were asked to settle on the banks of the Cross River near to the present site of Adun market. This was at a very strategic spot since it is the one place where there is easy access from the river to the centre of Adun - but the significance of this move we shall see later.

It is, of course, very difficult to estimate the length of time over which all these events had been taking place. Obubem was certainly settles at its present site at the river by 1900, and there is documentary evidence that it was probably there in 1888 [7]. The important part played by Obubem's Village Ovat in tribal rituals suggests an even earlier founding (see p.173). Obviously a considerable period must have elapsed between the founding of this village and the time when their ancestors had been driven out of Atutu by the Nko. Certainly the driving of the Nko from the banks of the Ekong river must have taken place before 1880 since there is evidence in the land case already quoted that the Ayiga allied themselves with the Adun for this purpose some time before the Igbo settled near Ekuri. Nko traditions are not here helpful for dating purposes since their traditions are, not unnaturally, relatively silent about this defeat. They say merely that their ancestors moved because they feared their children would fall into the Ekong river, and they do not link this fear with the term of

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office if any particular Obot Lopon (senior matriclan priest). The length of time they have been on the area, is however, indicated by the fact that they gave a list of nine Yabot Lopon who, they say, held office between the time they came originally from the south and the setting up of the British Administration. Since it is not stated that these village heads were either killed or forced to abdicate the length of the list does indicate that the Nko had been in the area for perhaps as long as a century before the 1900's. At any rate it seems certain that for a considerable proportion of the nineteenth century the Adun had to contend with the Nko.

The Adun has also to contend with the immigrant people already mentioned. In the first place we have seen that they welcomed, and indeed granted land to the Ayiga as they wanted them as allies against the Nko. The Ayiga (or Assiga) it is agreed came from the right bank of the Cross River, probably opposite their present territory, although the Ayiga traditions are deliberately unhelpful at this point. Today they speak a dialect of Loko (Yako) but it is uncertain if this is the language they originally spoke. With the Ayiga the Adun seem top have long remained on relatively friendly terms as they continued to be allies against the Nko. Such was not the case with certain of the other immigrants.

The next to come were the Isobo (see footnote p.87). These again were at first welcomed as allies. They settled with the permission of the Adun but they began to expand rapidly without permission and are said to have founded a number of settlements in Adun territory close to the Cross River, two of which are now the Adun hamlets of Ochikbo and Ijordan (see map 5).

So serious did the Adun consider the inroads of the Isobo that as allies against them the Adun admitted the Igbo, who are said to have come from the region of Adadama, a village on the right bank of the Cross River opposite the Yako village of Ekuri. [8] The Igbo, Ayiga, and Adun were together engaged in driving the Isobo back over the Cross River in 1896 when they encountered the British for the first time. Finding the Isobo being driven away from land which was assumed to have been traditionally theirs the patrol forced the Adun to allow the Isobo to remain, but in the end the Isobo were driven out. [9]

After this success, however, the Adun were again involved in serious fighting, this time with the Igbo and Ayiga who quarrelled with the Adun

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about the land reclaimed from the Isobo. It was apparently while the Adun were engaged in fighting against first the Isobo and then the Igbo and Ayiga that the Okum and Osopong seized the chance to drive the Adun from Mpampe in the east. Undoubtedly for the Adun at any rate the imposition of the pax-Britanica, in 1900-01, was a distinct advantage.

Adun social structure I Village Structure

In general Adun villages are like those of Okum, being large and subdivided into patriclans, not wards, each of which is found in one village only; associations are village-wide and alternate age-sets are not formally linked. On the other hand the Adun pattern of settlement, examined in detail, differs markedly from that of Okum and there are more subtle differences in the organization of patriclans and matriclans and great differences in inter-village relationships. It is argued that these differences probably existed already by the end of the last century and that they are interconnected since it seems likely that they arose as responses to the intense inter-tribal warfare just described which seems to have altered a structure once more similar to that found in Okum.

The patrilineal system

The patrilineal system of Adun differs from that of Okum in that inter-patriclan hostility seems to receive more emphasis in Adun. Fundamentally the pattern if rivalry is the same as in Okum but is Adun it is at times consciously encouraged.

The distinction between the patriclans in each village is very strong and formerly the divisions between them were as readily visible in the lay out of the village as they are in most of the Okum settlements. Today, because Adun is so easily visited that it is particularly susceptible to government ordinances, some of the sharp spatial separation of the patriclans had disappeared because "town planning", under the aegis of sanitary inspectors, has opened up wide streets through the old enclosed compounds (see map 6). Yet even children know the line of demarcation of their patriclans, despite the blurring of their outlines. Still, today, patriclan distinctiveness is symbolized by the fact that each patriclan invariably has its own men's meeting house with its Afonata shrine and other sacred cult objects.

In Adun, as in Okum, patriclan distinctiveness is preserved even at village rituals and food is commonly divided out on a patriclan basis. Offices are also allotted partly on a patriclan basis. This is, of course, generally true among the Mbembe since important office-holders such as the Avat must commonly be chosen from particular patrilineal groups. Among the Adun, however, even where it is not formally necessary to take patrilineal affiliation into account it is in practice often one of the factors considered. For instance, it is said that hamlet headmen may be chosen from any patriclan, but in fact they are very seldom chosen from the same clan twice in succession for, although descent group membership is supposed to be irrelevant, in practice inter-patriclan rivalry is too strong to permit the selectors to ignore it. Modern officials such as local and district councillors

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are also selected only after their patrilineal membership has been taken into account.

the reasons that prompt patriclan rivalries are in many respects much the same in Adun as in Okum. The very fact that patriclans do form the main units within the villages guarantees a certain amount of competition between those descent groups. In addition historical accident may have played a part in both tribes. In both Okum and Adun it is probable that may of the so-called patriclans owe their origin in their present villages to the fact that their ancestors sought refuge there when driven from their former houses by warfare. As we have seen that under the conditions of warfare in these tribes large groups of people might move and settle together as "patriclans" it is reasonable to suppose that their coming produced considerable tensions in their host village. This must have led o a sense of internal solidarity within the patriclans and a certain hostility towards others in the same village. The tensions produced between the groups must certainly have been much greater than those caused by the more piecemeal movements that took place among the Osopong.

Nevertheless the motives prompting inter-patriclan rivalry may have been stronger in Adun than Okum. In part this may be due to the particularly strong pressures suffered by the Adun. If we are right in supposing that such pressures have played a part in each of these tribes it must surely be the case that Adun was the more affected of the two. Here because of the greater pressures encountered there must have been groups to be incorporated into those villages which continued to exist. Moreover it is fairly obvious that apart from the groups which came and settled as new distinctive units within the village there must also have been some influx of smaller units which became absorbed into already existing patriclans. It would be natural to suppose that in order to absorb them successfully particular stress would have been placed on patriclan unity and hence, perhaps, on inter-patriclan hostility.

In Adun, moreover, there is a further factor which leads to inter-patriclan hostility, for in this tribe the clans are to some extent in competition for land. Land close to the villages, which we have seen are concentrated in the centre of the tribal territory, is very much desired but not every man can have a share of it because the pressure of population is too great. In consequence rights over land within a mile or two of each village are very closely defined and particular areas have come to be associated with particular patriclans. This is shown very clearly by the fact that the term Efonakpa, which in the other tribe means merely the area of land over which the clan has certain hunting rights and obligations, has come, in Adun, to mean a block of land over which farming rights are claimed exclusively by men if a particular patriclan. The clan elders do not normally claim any greater rights over an individual member's plots than do the clam elders in other tribes. Nevertheless the Adun patriclan elders take a certain interest in all this area. For instance they watch to see that their members do not permit non-patrilineal kin to take over such highly desirable land and the elders are quick to resist any other form of

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encroachment into their Efonakpa by outsiders. Disputes sometimes, therefore, arise between patriclans over land.

To some extent therefore inter-patriclan rivalry seems more pronounced in Adun, and we can partly account for it. What is remarkable, however, is that in Adun inter-patriclan rivalry is encouraged in ritual and ceremonial in a way which is unknown in Okum. In part this may be simply due to the fat that it is in the context of the Awtawa rites that Adun emphasizes patriclan hostility. Since Okum had not adopted the Awtawa cult at all there are obviously no Awtawa rites to provide the occasion for the display of such hostility. To suggest that this can be the whole answer, however, would surely be a gross over-simplification. On the one hand it is arguable that Awtawa is valued overtly as a vehicle for the expression of inter-group rivalry, particularly the rivalry of residential groups. If Okum did not adopt the cult it may be, therefore, that it was because they had less rivalry to express. Moreover, had intense rivalry existed between the patriclans in Okum it is difficult to believe that it would not have achieved some general form of ritual or ceremonial expression.

Certainly in Adun the Awtawa rites openly express inter-patriclan enmity. The Awtawa rituals are complex. and are spread over a considerable period of the year in which they occur. At many of these rites hostility between the patriclans is shown but this formal rivalry culminates in a particular dance held towards the end of the festivities. At this rite, held at each village in turn, formal combat (which occasionally loses its formality) should take place between the patriclans. The initiates dance as groups of patriclansmen and a ritual fight takes place between them.

It is significant that this fighting is not merely a permitted outburst of hostility but is actually demanded for the ritual. It is thought that the fight must take place if the blessings expected from the Awtawa rites are to be received. The strength with which this conviction is held was illustrated by an incident which took place during my stay. In the fighting at one village a man was knocked unconscious, (a state which occasions great fear to those who witness it). the other dancers in consternation would have stopped the fight, but the priest in charge urged them on because he was convinced that their fighting would assist the injured man. The priest allowed the dancers to stop their combat only when the man had recovered.

It seems, therefore, that the attitude of inter-patriclan hostility in Adun shows parallel with that between Igwe and Ogop in Osopong. This, however, is a subject to which we must return presently. For the moment we must return to a consideration of other distinctive feature is Adun's social structure.

The matrilineal structure

Adun differs from Okum also in its matrilineal structure. In one respect the organization of matrilineal groups in Adun is, indeed, more like that of Osopong than Okum, for in Adun each Ochi holds annual Akwarites. Although these differ in the details of their ritual from those in Osopong, like them those in Adun are held separately

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for each Ochiat the villages of the Ochi priest. Members who live in any another village attend bringing with them the yams and wine for the sacrifice. If the mortuary rite of Edut should be held for a member during the rest of the year this also brings together a large proportion of the members of the Ochi no matter in which villages they may happen to be living.

In another respect however, Adun is like Okum in that above the level of the Ochi wider scale matriclans exist. Again, like Okum, Adun recognizes certain priests as senior priests within these large clans. There are, however, very significant differences in the matrilineal organization of /adun and Okum for in Adun no matriclan priest is today regarded as an Ovat, and today Adun has not two but three matriclans. This is important because the existence of two matriclans implies a rivalry between them which is not suggested where three such clans exist. This may be argues on a priori grounds, but in addition the argument is borne out by facts in this case for, in Adun, rivalry is virtually non-existent between the three clans. Here matriclan membership is not a factor in appointment to offices. Moreover although, as we shall see, the existence of these large matriclans does play a certain point in promoting a sense of tribal unity this is only in a rather general sense. There is in Adun no hostility between the matriclans which, by promoting intra-clan unity breaks up village unity and provides a bridge across village rivalries.


The most obvious difference, however which distinguishes Adun from both Okum and Osopong, is that in Adun hamlets are large and numerous. Hamlets also exist in the other tribes but they are smaller settlements and relatively few in number. In Adun, on the contrary, some hamlets may contain at certain times of the year as many as three or four hundred people; and each village in Adun has at least two or three attached hamlets. In fact a large proportion of the Adun population lives for much of the time in hamlets.

An individual seldom lives all his life in a hamlet. Many of those who live in the hamlets return to the village during the season of little farming work. Moreover many consider it preferable to live in the main village and if, for any reason, farming land near to the main village becomes available to a man he will usually return to live there. nevertheless it must be emphasized that the inhabitants of a hamlet have strong ties with each other. As a group of people living and farming together in the same area they have, similarly to patriclan members, a common interest in protecting themselves from the attacks of witches and sorcerers. They, therefore, acquire protective "medicines" for their settlements and their crops. They also unite for political purposes.

They appoint their own hamlet headman, called the "Ovat kw'Ekpa" (literally the "Ovat of the bush"). [10] This office holder has very few of

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the roles of the Ovat, he is not the priest of any cult, and his installation is associated with no rites and very little ceremony. Indeed informants could not see any very close parallels between the office of hamlet head and the office of the Ovat. To their minds the two offices have comparatively little in common. Nevertheless the hamlet headman hears and, with the help of the senior men of the hamlet, settles many of the disputed which arise within the hamlet; and in the meetings at the main village he may act as the representative of all the members of the hamlet. Discussions of hamlet affairs frequently take place at the house of the hamlet head and strangers are taken to greet him when they visit a hamlet. The unity of the hamlet is recognized ceremonially for ,eat, shared at the village rituals, although divided on a patriclan basis to those normally resident in the main village, may be divided among the rest of the hamlet base. In this case portions of meat are given to the hamlet head so that they may be carried back and shared out by him among the senior of his hamlet who were not present at the main rite.

Where communal labour is called for, especially on paths leading between the main village and the hamlets, it is also common for the labour to be organized, in part, on a hamlet basis. Moreover "public works" which do not concern the hamlets so directly may nevertheless be organized, in part, on the basis of hamlet residence. For example there were instances of labour or materials necessary for the building of a school at the main village being supplied on a hamlet basis. Also, today, should it be necessary to collect money, for example for the prosecution of a land case, consideration of "administrative convenience" may lead to the money being collected on a hamlet basis.

There is, in fact, so much to unite the members of a hamlet that, today, hamlets undoubtedly constitute a threat to village unity. Moreover they are perceived to do so and active steps are take to try to assert the subordination of the hamlets to the village.

The hamlet's subordination to the main village is expressed primarily in ritual terms for as we have seen (p.62) the hamlet has no "Eimana chi" no "tree of life" no direct contact with the village of the dead. Apart from the fact that, in consequence, no one may be buried in the hamlet various other things follow from this belief.

In the first place it is commonly stated that old people usually retire to the main village for fear of dying away from it. In my experience they do not retire there on the grounds of old age alone, but anyone, elder or younger persons, who seems likely to die is hurried to the main village so that death may take place there. The significance of these beliefs for the solidarity of the village lies not so much in the necessity for the dead and dying to return to the main village, although this in itself must play some part in the prevention of the growth of the independence of the hamlet, as in the associated necessity for all funeral rites and ceremonies to take place in the main village.

Funerals, as we have seen, form the occasions for a considerable amount of interaction among groups of many different kinds. It is, therefore, of considerable significance for village solidarity that,

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wherever the dead person may have been living prior to his death, not only must the burial rites take place in the main village but all the convivial meetings occasioned by his death take place there also. In part these meetings are held in the main village for convenience since, if members of a group are coming from several different settlements, it is in fact usually easiest for them to meet in the main village. In part, however, these ceremonies are held here because offerings to the dead individual, which are usually associated with these meetings, are thought to be made most appropriately from the main village.

Moreover it is not only funeral rites which must take place in the main village, but the rites of all cults, except those bought specifically to protect a hamlet from witchcraft and sorcery. Kin group ancestral rites may never be performed in the hamlet. Even in the rare cases where the priest of the patrilineage and all its male members normally reside in hamlets, the ancestral shrine of the patrilineage will still be found in the main village and all rites will take place there. Similarly the priest of the matrilineal sub-clan may live in a hamlet, but although the shrine of the matrilineal sub-clan is easily transportable, it must be kept in the main village and all rites connected with them must take place there.

It is of course tempting to see these beliefs simply as political devices aimed at preventing the hamlets from becoming independent; but this would be to over simplify the matter for the same beliefs occur among the Osopong. Here, although there is little antagonism to the idea of a hamlet becoming politically independent it is still firmly held that until it is ritually free all burials and kin group rituals must likewise take place in the parent village. In other words the beliefs about the ritual subordination of the hamlet in Adun would seem to have been elaborated, but not manufactured by its political situation. Nevertheless because of this situation pressure is deliberately put on hamlet dwellers to make them maintain close contact with their villages.

In Adun those living in hamlets are considered to be under an obligation to go to their village frequently for non-ritual as well as ritual purposes. One of these days of the six day week is the market day and it is thought that most members of hamlets should spend this day in the main village. Large numbers of them in fact do so because many actually attend the market, because it is a day on which rites and ceremonies and meetings are most commonly held in the main village and because people enjoy the interchange of gossip and news.

Further it is thought desirable that those normally living in hamlets should return to the main village during the season of slack farming between the yam harvest and the making of the new farms. In fact by no means all the people do return at this time and the hamlets are never completely deserted. Nevertheless most of those who have their own house in a hamlet also have their own house in the main village to which they return at intervals and especially during the dry season. It is interesting to note that in the village of Obabene, which has the highest number of people living in hamlets, the Village Council a few years ago decided to fine those building houses without the Council's per-

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mission. The councillors determined that they would not give permission to people to build houses in the hamlets unless they had previously built a house in the main village and they decided to be particularly fierce in fining anyone who broke this rule. According to the Council's minute book they in fact collected the names of eighteen offenders who did build without the Council's permission, but of those only three were accused of the aggravated offence of building in the hamlets without being in possession of a "town" house. This surely is an indication that most hamlet dwellers do have a house in the village also. The rule that they must have such a house in itself clearly indicates that there is an overt fear that ties to the hamlet will destroy village unity.

In the last century when there was enemy pressure driving people to live for reasons of security, in the central villages of Adun the threats pose by the hamlets to village unity must obviously have been less. Despite this the sheer weight of numbers at the centre must have encouraged people to move out to hamlets during any relatively peaceful periods. Indeed there is evidence that hamlets did exist prior to the setting up of the British Administration at the beginning of this century, and that they even played an essential part in Adun life. Hamlets, must therefore, even in nineteenth century, have formed significant groups.

The reason for arguing that hamlets did exist during the nineteenth century is not merely that the people assert that they have long had them, but that these traditions are supported by other, independent, accounts relating to Ogbodu, the work association in Adun. It is asserted that, amongst other things, Ogbodu drove young men to live in hamlets because only there could they only farm unmolested; only there were they, as non-members, safe from interference. This was because Ogbodu did not send its maskers, who inflicted punishment, to the hamlets. Allegedly this was because the members of Ogbodu suspected each other and thought that if their maskers took action away from the village where their doings might not be known at all., then fees paid as the result of the maskers' activities might be kept partially secret and not fairly distributed. At any rate this is to the present day village a reasonable explanation of the pattern of Ogbodu's activities.

If we examine the pattern itself the first point which is of significance for our present argument is that these accounts must refer to the nineteenth century since the power of Ogbodu was one of the first things to be attacked by the Administration. The second point is that these traditions show not merely that hamlets existed at this time but we may confer that they played a really significant part in village life. In a situation in which land at the centre was becoming short one of the latent functions of a rule permitting young men to farm in peace only if they lived in hamlets must have been to reserve the desirable safe land near the villages for those of sufficient status to be Ogbodu members. It is difficult to think that such a useful rule can have been arrived at entirely by accident; it suggests therefore, that the existence of hamlets was in fact built into the accepted structure of village

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life. Even in the nineteenth century, therefore, groups made up of fellow hamlet members must have existed, and their loyalty to each other must have been a factor in Adun village politics, a subject we shall consider again later.

The village

It is the strong sense of village unity in Adun which provides the final point of contrast between it and Okum, at least in so far as we are concerned with village structure. We have seen that in Okum villages do have a strong sense of identity which is promoted by the distance, social and physical, which separates them from their neighbours. Adun, however is remarkable in that although her villages are very close together and are inevitably linked by many ties, they are nevertheless very distinct units, and they enjoy a very strong sense of village patriotism.

Loyalty to the village seems, indeed, to have been emphasized in many ways peculiar to Adun alone. For example, one claim which only the Adun make is that in the past when important associations danced in a village their masked figures would attack any outsider. Anyone seen watching the performance who was known to be a slave, or significantly, was an uninvited person from a different village, or an individual who, although himself a member of the village was the child of someone not born there, was liable to assault. If these statements are true then it is of course very striking that an individual should be penalized in this way merely because one of his parents happened to have come from outside the village. Even if these traditions are exaggerated, however, the fact that they should be believed is in itself an indication of the value currently placed on village membership.

Village unity is also expressed in rites and ceremonies which occur at the tribal level. These will be discussed in more detail, but it may be mentioned here that when a large animal is killed and sent, as custom demands, to the Tribal Ovat each village is entitled to a share of the meat. Similarly it is said that in the days of head-hunting if an enemy were killed the warriors' association of each village had a right to be invited to the ensuing feast; or to be sent a portion of it. In this latter case the villages did not have claims to particular parts of the victim; but when large game was distributed round all the villages, or when an animal was divided out at a tribal sacrifice or meeting such special claims were made. The Tribal Ovat, the Kwudedin, receives in person the heart and the liver, Oderiga, his village is given one hind leg and half of the other haunch, Obubem is given half a haunch, Obabene is given the loins, Ofat gets the head, and Ofudua the ribs and one fore-leg. The remainder of the animal is shared out equally among the other villagers. Thus the significance and the relative positions of the Adun villagers are emphasized.

A similar situation occurs also when the representative if the different /adun villages take part together in the palm-wine ceremonial which marks every gathering of any significance among the Mbembe.

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A representative of Ofat ours the palm wine from the pot in which it is kept into a gourd, and a representative of Obabene has the more valued task of pouring from the gourd, an oblation to the dead. While he does so the Kwudedin who is both Tribal Ovat and Village Ovat of Oderiga, prays to the dead; if he is absent the Village Ovat of Obubem, who is regarded as the Kwudedin's deputy, takes his place. On these occasions, meat is also ceremonially divided out and the division is made by the Ovat of Ofudua.

Moreover in the course of the rites of Awtawa, which takes place every third year, members of the cult in each village visit in turn most of the other villages within the tribe. This "visiting"is recognized as an occasion on which to display rivalry between the villages, and brawls frequently take place between the parties. Moreover rivalry is nor confined to the secular level, there is also a ritual contest. This part of the Awtawa rites takes place at the end of the wet season when the weather is somewhat uncertain. As heavy rain falling on a touring party spoils its ceremonies, a village which has a dry day for its "visiting" has distinctly scored over the village that has to tour in the wet. Those who can keep dry on their travels can exhibit more than a natural smugness for everyone believes that the weather is controlled by certain rain-makers to be found in most of the villages. As a village about to go on tour pays a rain maker to ensure a dry day, but those about to be visited pay theirs to produce wet weather, the kind of day which dawns for a visiting part is seen as the outcome of a deliberate struggle between the villages.

Finally an idea of the rivalry which exists between Adun villages may be given by studying the popular etymology of the village names. The name of one village simply indicates its river-side state. The name of the other one sounds laudatory, for Oderiga is said to mean "the village of cool minded (i.e. peaceable) people", but even this is something of a jibe, suggesting that they are afraid to start a quarrel. The meanings given to the names of the other villages are all in some degree frankly derogatory. They are said to be mean the slow walkers, the slow speakers, the lazy people, the hasty tempered people, the village of fools and the castrated ones. [11] Such an etymology of village names is unique to Adun.

The Interrelatedness of these structural features.

No interconnections can be proved to exist between these features of Adun's social structure. Indeed, were Adun to have been studied in isolation then they would simply have had to have been accepted as

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given. When Adun's situation is contrasted with that of Okum, however, and it becomes apparent that the strong village patriotism, the inter-patriclan rivalry, the significance of hamlets and the lack of intermatriclan rivalry are distinctive features, then we may suspect that an interrelationship exists.

This suspicion becomes more marked when it is realized that according to traditions Adun, not so very long ago, a matriclan structure very much like that of Okum. This if true, implies that Adun has undergone in comparatively recent times a marked change in its social structure. Now the only factor of which we have any knowledge, which could have been influential enough to produce marked structural changes was the enormous pressure on its territory which Adun experienced in the last century. This pressure, however, can scarcely have influenced directly the non-territorially based matrilineal system. What we can be sure of is that it did alter directly the structure of the Adun village and hamlet and patriclan which were and are the territorially based groups of the tribe. I suggest, therefore, that is may have been because of these alterations that the former matriclan system was no longer relevant to, or perhaps even compatible with, the new situation and was therefore itself changed. This suggests that these distinctive Adun features were interconnected, and the arguments for making this assertion we may consider in a little more detail.

Adun traditions say clearly that formerly they, like the Okum, had only two matriclans, Adjiobam and Akbon, which they equate with Orurugi and Iyami. The third matriclan Awaam, the Adun say, has grown up as the result of an influx of people from the Yako area. Further, it is asserted that at the time when there were only two matriclans in Adun the senior Ovat of Adun, the Ovat Kwudedin was a matriclan Ovat. Succession to this office became patrilineal rather than matrilineal, they say, because a run of matrilineal appointees died and it was decided it would be more lucky to choose a patrilineal successor.

The somewhat improbable reasons given for the change in the matrilineal structure do not invalidate the traditions that a change has taken place. The traditions seem reliable in that they are not advanced overtly to support any current political position; nor is there reason to suspect that the Adun have any hidden desire to fabricate history to prove that they were once more like the Okum who, after all, were for the most implacable of Adun's foes. If we grant, however, that a change has taken place it must be admitted that it is a very considerable one. As has already been suggested a dual matriclan structure has a very different significance from a triple clan structure. Moreover the change in the pattern of succession to the office of Ovat Kwudedin is clearly of great importance. As we have suggested the only factor apparently able to account for such a major alteration in the social structure is the great pressure Adun villages suffered in the nineteenth century from outside attack. This pressure would of course, account for the influx of people from the Yako areas which Adun traditions put forwards as the reason for the change from dual

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to triple matriclans. It is however, probable that had the dual matriclan structure continued to have any really significant function for Adun's political organization then the newcomers if such there were, would have been fitted into the existing two-fold system.

It is as well to make clear the inferences implicit in the arguments put forward. These are that a dual system differs from a triple system in two ways; the units of a dual system are likely to show stronger inter-group hostility and therefore stronger intra-group loyalty. Strong intra-matriclan loyalty here implies that this group provides important ties between the members of different residential groups. Two types of change might make these links less vital and permit the decay of the system: other links might develop or residential group loyalty might increase to the point where it weakened matrilineal ties. I suggest that, in actual fact both tendencies developed in Adun due to the external pressures described.

The significance of matriclan ties within the village may have declined because of the development at this time of a different pattern of links between its people. It must have been at this time of an inflow of people to the centre, that hamlets themselves cut across the patriclan system. This is not only because it is inevitable that members of a patriclan and even members of the same patrilineage shall live divided between the main villages and a hamlet, but because most commonly, the members of one patriclan are to be found divided among different hamlets where their neighbours are members of different patriclans. This situation arises from the firmly held right of each man to clear and claim any unfarmed land within the sphere of influence of his village. In consequence it is very rare for a patriclan to claim sole right to a hamlet. The land-holding group is the minimal patrilineages, a very small unit, and chance pressures on land within it have often in Adun, sent land hungry young men to clear new land with others, often age-mates of different patriclans, in a hamlet.

Within the hamlet members of the same lineage tend to live and work together, but there are no patrilineal areas such as are found in the village. If men of different lineages of the same clan come to the hamlet they come quite independently of each other and will in this case build houses where they can (see map 7). In consequence the strong ties between members of a hamlet serve to counterbalance patriclan loyalties; and conversely ties to patriclansmen in other settlements of the village reduce the ties with fellow hamlet members. These cross ties may not be quite so effective as those which in Osopong are based on ward and age-set links. Such ties

involve all the members of the village whereas in Adun not everyone lives or has lived in a hamlet. Nevertheless very many people do live in hamlets at some time in their lives and so develop ties with fellow members.

This is the position today and there is no reason to suppose that the situation has changed in this respect. In so far, therefore, as hamlets did develop they may have served to counterbalance patriclan rivalry.

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Any significance the dual matriclans had as links between patriclans must therefore have decline relatively. Moreover population pressures while worsening inter-residential group conflict must have increased their non-matrilineal links, patriclan rivalry developing out of the situation which led to growing village patriotism and tribal unity. That loyalty to the village does today override patriclan loyalty is a striking fact, for it is surely remarkable that despite the close proximity of Adun villages each patriclan is associated with one village only. Normally no patriclan has links with one in a different village and even where a relationship is acknowledged to have existed in the past it seems that within a comparatively short time village loyalties prevent any effective expression from being given to these patrilineal links.

For example there is a "patriclan" called Awonokwei which, probably at the end of the last century, evacuated its old independent site and divided, half going to the village of Ovonom and half to Ofudua.

No joint rituals now unite the two groups, but they still continue to hold alternately the Okpobam objects which formerly belonged to their village Ovat This remaining link, however, now seems to be threatened for their young men of Ofudua, where the objects are currently held are saying flatly that when their present Ovat dies they will refuse to permit their Okpobam emblems to go to Awonokwei in Ovonom. It is quite clear that each half of the clan now feels a greater loyalty to fellow villagers of different clans than it does to its clansmen in other villages.

Thus village patriotism provides another factor which may have served to make the dual matriclan organization irrelevant. Moreover, it is just possible that the matriclan structure might have proved an unacceptable basis for organization in the new situation. If village patriotism was becoming marked under stress of intervillage competition then to organize large groups of people within the village on the basis of ties which were essentially inter-village in nature may have proved no longer possible.

It can also be argued that one reason that the dual matriclan system might have broken down at the very period when a basis for organizing inter-village relationships was becoming increasingly essential was that it did not generate sufficient loyalty to counterbalance increased village patriotism. In other words the structural bridge which is useful in a situation of relatively mild inter-village rivalry became useless in Adun.

The dangerous nature of inter-village rivalry in Adun can be judged from the variety of rules which exist to limit the extent of inter-village fighting. In Osopong and Okum only the rule prohibiting actual killing is known. In Adun, however, traditions relate that quarrels between villages over land have at times been so serious that attacks by Adun village on Adun village were quite deliberately planned. These traditions are borne out by the fact that Adun alone recognises two types of armed hostilities; warfare with non-Adun and fighting with other Adun villages. In warfare everything was permitted. Fighting within Adun was so institutionalized however that not merely were

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head-hunting and cannibalism forbidden but there were rules governing the weapons to be used - cudgels only were permitted, guns and knives being strictly forbidden. Rules also governed the methods of attack - a hostile village might be stormed and robbed but it was not within the rules to set it on fire, the common practice in warfare.

It can, I think, be reasonably argued that to hold such rivalries in check a stronger organization must have been necessary than that which could have been afforded by any dual matriclan system This stronger organization, was in fact provided, as we shall see, and in its presence we can argue once again that the old matriclan system may have become redundant.

Finally it can be argued that the growth of inter-village hostility may also account for the change over from matrilineal to patrilineal succession for the office of Ovat Kwudedin of Adun. It seems obvious that if generally peaceful inter-village relations were to be maintained in the face of the existence of very strong inter-village rivalry then great emphasis must have been laid on the concept of the earth cult "parish". But we have argued previously that the territorial aspect of this cult seem bound up with its association with patrilineal structures. This point has been argued both on grounds of general principles (see p.72) and on the basis of the Okum evidence for we saw there that despite the acknowledged seniority of the matriclan, Okpobam, Orurugi, the ritual peace of Okum territory in linked to its "ownership" by the patrilineal Okpobam, Ohuroduk. It would not be strange, therefore, if the need in Adun to emphasize the territorial aspect of the peace cult were associated with the transfer of the office from matrilineal to patrilineal succession.

Obviously nothing can prove that the factors here postulated were actually at work altering the matriclan structure, It is, however, certain that today hamlet and patriclan ties do not cross-cut and help to balance each other; that hostility between clans remains, normally, latent hostility may be related to this fact. Again it is undoubtedly the case that village loyalty is a potent factor in setting limits to internal village friction. Finally it is also the case that inter-village friction is great and that tribal unity is dependent on very formalized relations between the villages. What these relationships are we must now examine.

The market system Tribal Structure

The most obvious and one of the most remarkable aspects of Adun tribal organization is that it is an economic unit, having one main market which, significantly is an open place outside the confines of any village. In this Adun is unique among the Mbembe.

In Okum the market of Apiapum is extremely important. As we have seen, it has strategic significance for the whole tribe in the nineteenth century when it enabled them to make contact with the river traders; and in this century it has become one of the biggest markets of the region. Most of its larger houses are occupied by professional traders from other tribes who sell cloth in all the more important

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neighbouring markets and export local produce, sending yams to Calabar and palm-oil to Mamfe, in the Cameroons, by "engine-boat". Nevertheless every village in Okum has its own market even if the only outsiders who attend are Ibo packmen who scratch a living by selling gunpowder and shot and a few small articles such as torches and talcum powder, soap and potent medicines.

A similar situation is to be found among the Osopong. Here Ogurude is the largest market. It is at the important meeting point of the routes up the Cross River and the Awayong Creek, and even before the beginning of this century it seems to have become a centre where traders from down river had established themselves. Nevertheless many of the other Osopong villages have their own markets.

This is not true of Adun. Here the only markets which are held in settlements are small ones on rather remote hamlets. None of the main villages has its own markets at all. Instead, all rely on what can be called the tribal market.

This fact is obviously of great significance, and we shall consider it further at a later stage. The influence of this market is even more far reaching socially, however, than might appear at first sight for it gives a unity to the whole pattern of Adun life which is not found in Okum or Osopong. Everywhere among the Mbembe there is a six day week and every village has a name for each day, some of which are lucky, some unlucky. On one or two days each week the elders meet with the Village Ovat to whom the people take wine. Outside Adun each village has its own pattern for the week, the pattern centring in the village's own market day and each day is named after the nearest village whose market day it is. No two villages, therefore, coincide absolutely in their system of nomenclature. In Adun the principal of naming the days after markets remains but the system is tribal wide, and the markets referred to are outside Adun.

Moreover the primary significance of the names is not now that they refer to markets held in other places, but that they symbolize the sort of thing which should or should not be done on that day throughout the tribe. All the villages have the same unlucky days when normally rites and ceremonies should not be held; all have the same lucky days when it is propitious to start new tasks; all have the same days for taking wine to their respective Avat, and on these days the Avat commonly hold rites. Above all, all have the same market day which brings those in hamlets to the main villages and thence to the roadside or to the market itself. The market day is a day on which no farmwork should be done and is therefore set aside throughout the tribe as pre-eminently the day for rites and ceremonies and for visits.

Moreover as the market provides an opportunity for the dissemination of news, and as all the villages are close together and all have the same day for relaxation from farmwork, the situation arises in which attendance by members of one village at the rites held in another, the fulfilment of obligations between different kin villages, and the

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formation of informal friendships between those in different villages becomes most easy.

The matrilineal system

The ease of communication between Adun villages and the sense of tribal unity are clearly expressed in the pattern of the matrilineal organization. In the first place this is clear from the organization of the rites of the matrilineages which, as we have seen, parallels that of Osopong. Moreover even although it is possible that the matriclan structure has declined somewhat in its political significance it nevertheless both reflects a sense of tribal unity and no doubt plays some part in promoting it.

That this is so is due partly to the fact that almost everyone in Adun does belong to one of three matriclans and because each clan has itself some slight sense of unity. The very fact that the names of the matriclans, Adjiboram, Akbon and Awaam are peculiar to Adun brings a certain consciousness of tribal unity. Moreover they provide one means of incorporating strangers onto the tribe. For example Yako women who marry into Adun are at once reckoned as belonging to Awaam and those from Okum are assigned either to Adjirobam or Akbon.

Each matriclan has also some sense of solidarity. Each matriclan has one senior priest. These priests are in no sense Avat: they are not priests of Okpobam nor does the word "Ovat"enter into their title even in the general sense in which it enters into the title of hamlet headmen. The senior matriclan priests are not distinguished either by insignia of office or by rites of installation from those who are the priests merely of sub-clans. The claim of one priest in each clan to superior status arises from the fact that everyone recognizes the seniority of one Ochi or (sub-clan) in each clan and the priest of this sub-clan is acknowledged by everyone to be the senior priest of the matriclan as a whole. The positions of other sub-clans relative to each other are not defined. The whole system is, of course, similar to that in Efyapum, with the important difference that senior matriclan priests do not exist in each village. Instead only one is recognized in each matriclan.

The senior priest's status is very clearly shown by the fact that he, alone of all the priests in the matriclan, must live in a particular place. Each of three clans has an "official residence", a special compound in one of the villages on the central ridge of Adun, two of these compounds being in one village and one in another. A senior priest may be chosen from any member of the sub-clan concerned, no matter in which village he may be living. In order to care for the sacred objects of the sub-clan, however, objects which are regarded in a sense as belonging to the clan as a whole, the priest must go to live in the compound where they are kept.

It is said that formerly, just before the yam harvest, each senior priest of a matriclan made and Akuwa sacrifice on behalf of the clan as a whole. It is alleged that this rite used to be attended by representatives of each constituent Ochi of the clan. If this is true there has

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been a great falling off in attendance at these rites for when I saw them only a few people other that those who were members or "akpan", that is offspring of male members, of the senior sub-clan, attended the rite. These traditions may be accurate and reflect a decline in the significance of the matriclan. Even, however, if the accounts which I was given were greatly exaggerated the belief that there should be joint participation by sub-clan representatives in these rites is in itself an indication that a sense of matriclan unity exists. Moreover even today practical expression is given to this belief in matriclan unity, for that Akuwa rite which is performed by the head priest of the matriclan is regarded by everyone as the most important of all the Akuwa rites performed by members of the clan. In keeping with this belief the rite performed by the senior priest of the matriclan must close the year's series of Akuwa rites for the whole matriclan. The clan priest, therefore, sends a messenger to a senior matriclansmen in each village telling him the day on which this final rite will be performed, in order that all other Akuwa rites may be completed in time. This division of the tribe into three named matriclans has some significance for Adun's sense of tribal solidarity, symbolized in the indigenous use of the name "Adun" for the tribe.

Co-operation between villages

That Adun is a very unified tribe must have already become clear, not merely form what has been said directly about the subject but from what was said also in the discussion on village unity. We have seen that the importance of the village as a political unit is shown partly by the fact that many are assigned special roles in the palm-wine ceremonial. It must be obvious, however, that such rules are assigned only because tribal meetings are frequently held. Villages lay claim to particular shares or large animals only because it is the practice for the killing of a leopard, buffalo or python to be followed by the distribution of meat on a tribal scale. Likewise claims to receive a share of a victim of head-hunting could be made only because head-hunting was organized on a tribal basis.

The Adun are in fact distinguished from other Mbembe tribes by the frequency and regularity of their inter-village meetings. These take place either at the compound of the Kwudedin of Oderiga, or at a special meeting place. This is the site of a shrine before which the Kwudedin makes a sacrifice should misfortune threaten the whole people of Adun. Its site, impressive because it is an open space ringed by huge trees, is significantly not close to any particular village. It serves as a tribal forum and is used particularly when trouble between the villages makes it impossible to choose any one village as the site of an impartial discussion. For example, during my visits to Adun the one meeting here which was not primarily ritual in purpose took place to discuss a quarrel which arose over the selection of a "Chief" to represent Adun in a government "House of Chiefs". Each village had violently taken sides in the dispute and, therefore, the meeting to decide the issue was held on this neutral ground.

Such friction between villages is not incompatible with strong tribal

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loyalties. The very Awtawa rites which seem to, and do in fact, encourage the display of inter-village rivalry nevertheless also lead to much stress on tribal unity. The Awtawa rites which recur every third year consist of a series of eleven distinct sets of rites, some sets being repeated more than once, and these rites stretch from October or November of one year until the end of the yam harvest in the following year. Not all of these rites are equally important, in the sense that while some involve only a few men who are the core members of the cult. From the point of view of the tribal organization, however, the important fact is that these rites are performed in a set order by all the main Adun villages in turn, the day on which one village performs its rite being determined by the date of the rite performed by the previous village. Throughout the period of these rites, therefore, even apart from those ceremonies which involve formal visiting between villages, each village is made repeatedly aware of its close relationships with the others. This sense of the corporate identity of all Adun which is thus fostered by Awtawa is further emphasized by the fact that the very last rites of the series consist of dances in some of which warriors formerly danced with the skulls of those they had killed. It is said by many that the desire of the young men to be able to join in these dances led to an intensification of head-hunting against non-Adun villages during the festivities of Awtawa.

In addition tribal unity is emphasized in the Awtawa rites not only by the stress they lay on the interrelationships of the Adun villages, and by the impetus they formerly gave to head-hunting directed against other tribes, but also by the consciousness they give the people of the uniqueness of Adun. To the Adun the Awtawa rites were and still are one of the essential and distinguishing features of Adun life. Adun informants always become extremely animated when the Awtawa rites are discussed, and since neither these rites nor any comparable rites are found to anything like the same extent among the other Mbembe groups it is, for the Adun and their neighbours, the Adun man's enthusiastic participation in the Awtawa cult which marks him off from others. Moreover, just as the display of inter-patriclan hostility in rites at the village level is thought to bring Awtawa's blessing to the village, so it is believed that the display of inter-village hostility will ultimately bring Awtawa's blessing to the whole of Adun. Therefore even at the height of inter-village friction occasioned by the rites tribal unity is never quite forgotten.

The War organisation

Adun, however as might be expected, seems to have become most conscious of its tribal unity in the context of inter-tribal warfare, and under the continuous pressures to which the tribe was subjected it developed a type or organization unique among the Mbembe. It is true that Okum also developed a certain solidarity probably due in the main to the fighting it experienced in the nineteenth century. In Okum, however, this unity seems to have been displayed only symbolically on the death or installation of Avat, and in the temporary co-operation of

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villages against outsiders. In Adun, on the other hand there was the emergence of a tribal war organization.

In the first place there is a shrine for the warrior's cult, Eberambit, which serves the whole of Adun. It is sited away from any one village, near the market place. Before an attack on another tribe was made by the Adun or an attack on Adun was expected, the priest of the shrine made a sacrifice on behalf of the whole tribe. This is the Adun claim and its veracity is vouched for by a tradition in the Efyapum village of Apiapum that their men periodically laid an ambush near this Eberambit shrine, attacking the Adun while they were intent on the rite.

It is also an Adun tradition that war parties were organized on an inter-village basis, at least in the 1896 attack by the Adun on the Isobo settlements. Attacks are said to have been made in several parties, each led by a number of proved warriors; the composition of each party, it is claimed, was determined on the basis of experience and skill, not by village membership. After a "war" the parties went to the village of the Eberambit priest where he made a cleansing sacrifice for all those who shed blood. This priest also claimed all the heads which had been taken. He was entitled to the meat himself, and he also retained the skull on behalf of the Eberambit association of the whole tribe. Outside the priest's house there is, still standing, a house regarded as the tribal meeting place of Eberambit. Round its walls are displayed the skulls taken in war and handed over to the priest, who were exhibited the tribal trophies. The man who went on an official war party and killed the enemy was entitled to retain only the jaw-bone for himself.

Finally and perhaps most significantly it is alleged that if a warrior took part in such an "official" war he did so neither at his own expense nor at that of his village but the cost was born by the tribal leaders. Powder, it is said, was supplied by the Kwudedin, the Tribal Ovat; and shot was given by the Village Ovat of Obubem who is ex-officio senior priest of Eberambit. This, however, brings us to a consideration of the roles of the Adun Avat, a subject we shall have to consider in some detail.

The Adun Avat

In Adun the importance of the office of the Ovat is stressed, as in Okum, by the almost complete refusal to contemplate the idea that ay group now having an Ovat could ever have been without one. The significance of the Avat in Adun, however, is even further emphasized by the fact that here there is no possibility of any patriclan within a village being able to establish its own Ovat without first getting the approval of others, for, as we shall see, no group can acquire its own Okpobam without gaining the active support of officials not merely at the village level, but at the tribal level also.

When we consider the roles of the Adun Avat we find them in some respects like those in Okum and especially like those in the sub-tribe of Efyapum. Most head of patriclans are Avat and the

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importance of these groups assures these office holders of an extremely significant position in village affairs. As might be expected there is at times some rivalry for influence between the patriclan Avat and hamlet headmen; but the latter are handicapped by their lack of ritual power. Moreover because it is unusual for a large section of one patriclan to be present in a single hamlet there is little opportunity for hamlet loyalties to play a significant part in intra-patriclan squabbles. The hamlet headmen do not, therefore constitute any serious threat to the position of the patriclan Avat.

The position of the Village Avat is again somewhat similar to that of their counterparts in Okum. The significance of the village as a unit in Adun, as in Okum, means that the Village Avat, as leader of the villages are central figures in tribal life. Their importance in Adun is made all the greater by the very strong sense of village patriotism in this tribe. At first sight it might seem as if the position of the Adun Village Ovat is in some respects comparatively weak since in Adun, the Village Ovat does not have any of the roles of a "senior Ovat". The position of the Adun Village Ovat is, however, very complex. We cannot arrive at any understanding of it by seeing it in terms of the village only, for Adun is unique in that, to understand the political system of the village it is necessary to study the organization of the tribe.

The position of the Adun village Ovat does not, afford, a precise parallel with that of the Efyapum Village Ovat because in Adun none of the roles of a "senior Ovat"are held at the village level at all. Again there is no exact equivalence between the relation of the Adun village Ovat to Okwa and that of his counterparts in the Okum tribe. In Adun, as in the Okum sub-tribe, Okwa has an important part to play in the selection and deposition of an Ovat, but in Adun no Ovat is ultimately under the control of the Okwa members of his village. Rather he is under the control of the Tribal Ovat. As in Okum the rituals concerned with the installation and death of Village Avat are significant for their political symbolism; but they do not symbolize so much the relationship between the Ovat's village and the other, individual, villages, as the relationship between his villages and the whole tribe. Just as in the village of Apiapum integration was achieved by dividing out among the different leaders of the villages roles which were in other places were performed by one Ovat, so in Adun integration of the tribe is achieved by dividing out the same roles among leaders in different villages. The Adun see this division of roles as the result largely of the delegation of responsibility by the Ovat Kwudedin ; a view which is in itself significant.

Avat with special roles

The Adun tribe is given much of its coherence by the belief that all its villages come within the sphere of an Okpobam, called "Oyirawumo"of the village of Oderiga. This Okpobam is said to "own" all the land of the Adun. It seems largely due to the pressures which have forced the Adun villages to congregate in the centre of their tribal territory that each village is thought of as coming within the sphere of influence of this Okpobam and, therefore, as having very close ties with it. The

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priest who is the custodian of the Okpobam is the "Ovat Kwudedin" (i.e. literally "the First or Great Ovat") the Tribal Ovat of Avat.

Traditions relating to the history of the Okpobam "Oyirawumo" suggests that formerly, there were within Adun villages two Avat of approximately equal influence. It is alleged that formerly "Oyirawumo"was owned by a patriclan at the village of Obabene, and that the Ovat of this patriclan then had considerable authority, details of which are today unknown. It is, however, believed that even at this period the village Ovat of Oderiga had more prestige than other village Avat.

There is a myth which recounts how the Ovat in Obabene gave "Oyirawumo" to his friend the Ovat in Oderiga who then, for the first time, became the Tribal Ovat of all the Adun. At this time succession to the office of Village Ovat of Oderiga was still matrilineal, the office being held within the matriclan "Ajirobam". Allegedly it was at about this time that it was decided that the succession should pass to the patriclan of Awagana in Oderiga, a patriclan said to have been founded by the "akpan"(i.e. the sons of the men) of Ajirobam matriclan, who are said originally to have founded the village).

There are in these traditions perhaps certain hints that at one time the political system in Adun was similar to that in Okum in more ways than those we have already discussed. At least there is the indication of a special relationship between the two villages of Oderiga and Obabene expressed in the "friendship" between their Avat. Nevertheless, however similar Adun may once have been Okum the division of roles among the Avat at a tribal level must have made Adun's political organization radically different from that of Okum by the end of the nineteenth century.

In the first place, as we have seen, the Kwudedin is thought of as having his role as the priest for head-hunters to the Village Ovat of Obubem. Why this should have been done is not expressly stated but there are two factors which may help to account for it, for we have seen that Obubem traditionally had a very close relationship with Oderiga, and the position of Obubem placed it in the forefront of Adun's struggle with Apiapum. It is said that they left Oderiga to go to their present site specifically at the request of the Kwudedin. Moreover, the site has enormous strategic importance for Adun for it is at the last point for some way to the south where there is easy access from the interior of the Cross River. From this point on the river a permanent all season path runs inland along a low spur that joins the central ridge of Adun. Here the market grew up, and here Apiapum head-hunters frequently tried to land when they wanted to make an attack further inland. The site was therefore vital for Adun. (See map 5).

According to Apiapum traditions, which I did not find in Adun - perhaps because they have been deliberately forgotten there - fighting round Obubem was serious, and at one time the Adun nearly lost it. If such traditions have any foundation the position of Obubem's village Ovat as priest of Eberambit and "patron" of head-hunters is easy to understand.

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Adun not only has one main war priest but also one main "peace" priest. [12] In the case of the peace priest too the role is said to have been delegated by the Ovat Kwudedin but this time the holder is a member of the Kwudedin's own village and patriclan. It maybe, if the tradition is true that the Kwudedin once performed this role in his own person, that its bestowal on another resulted from the growing political significance of the Kwudedin which led him to divest himself of purely ritual duties. This is suggested by the fact that the Kwudedin is said still to have had an interest in the practical side of the sanctuary priests office for all agree that this priest has to consult the Kwudedin before stating the amount of compensation the culprit has to pay. Moreover this compensation is said to have included a substantial payment for the cleansing sacrifices, a payment which was shared between the sanctuary priest and the Kwudedin.

It will be becoming clear that although Adun is like Apiapum in that there is a division of the roles of the Avat to different office holders, the position of the Kwudedin is quite different from that of the Village Ovat of Apiapum. That Ovat, we saw, had very few specific responsibilities and was of the greatest political significance at his installation and burial. The Kwudedin of Adun, however, although similarly divested of the roles of the sanctuary priest and eater of heads, had other duties of the greatest political significance to perform after he had been duly installed.

The Kwudedin's position can be understood only by seeing it against the background of his relationship with the Ovat of Obabene, from whom the Kwudedin's Okpobam , called Oyirawumo, is said to have come. The basic relationship between these two officials seems comparable with that between the Avat of Onyen and Ochon in Okum, but in Adun the political potentialities of the relationship have been much more fully exploited.

The Kwudedin, unlike Ovat Ohuroduk of Apiapum, comes from a particular patriclan and particular village, yet he is not in any sense under the ultimate control of the Okwa members of his own village. This, the people say, is because no Okwa members in the village has the ritual capacity to handle the Okpobam Oyirawumo . The only person with the authority to do this is the Ovat of Obabene. He, it is true, has by tradition lost the most important of his sacred objects to the Kwudedin, but his Okpobam medicines are nevertheless still those most closely identified with Oyirawumo. It follows that it is only with the agreement of the Obabene Ovat that the Kwudedin can be installed and, since only the Obabene Ovat can remove Oyirawumo, only he can depose the Kwudedin. Therefore, although the question of deposition seldom arises, the Obabene Ovat is responsible for hearing any complaints against the Kwudedin and must, if necessary, remonstrate with

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him. In other words the Ovat of Obabene acts as if he were the Kwudedin's Ejukwa, that it as if he were the head of Okwa for the Kwudedin's village.

The role of the Village Ovat of Obabene is even more significant than might at first appear because it is through this "Ejukwa" that the Kwudedin becomes accountable to the whole of Adun. The Kwudedin comes from one patriclan and is chosen primarily by its elders and the Okwa members of Oderiga - there is nothing corresponding to the complex "electoral college" found in Apiapum. Again representatives of all the village attend his installation rites in Oderiga, along with the whole population of the village, and the representative join in the formal acceptance if the Kwudedin by the crowd, but they have no special part to play that would make it possible to say with any conviction, "here is symbolized the Kwudedin's accountability to the whole tribe".

This accountability is nevertheless expressed more firmly in Adun than in any of the other tribes because once the Kwudedin has been installed anyone, from any village in Adun, may go to complain against the Kwudedin to the Kwudedin's Ejukwa , the Obabene Ovat, in the same way as they may go to their village Ejukwa to complain against their Village Ovat. It is, moreover, particularly easy for a complaint to be made because it must be lodged in Obabene, not in the Kwudedin's village of Oderiga, where the inhabitants might be expected to resent complaints against "their Ovat" being made by outsiders. The complainant under the Adun system is protected from the hostility of the Kwudedin's fellow villagers and patriclansmen. The fact that the Obabene Ovat did act as intermediary between the Adun people and their Kwudedin must have been of crucial significance because it made it possible for the Kwudedin to be thought of as acting on behalf of the tribe as a whole.

There is one vital respect in which the Kwudedin acts on behalf of the tribe in ritual matters, one traditional role of the senior Ovat of which the Kwudedin had not diversed himself. This is the role of making new Okpobam awka for the Kwudedin is the only Ovat in the whole of the Adun who has this power. That the Kwudedin still retains this role seems almost certainly due to the unique political significance that has come to be attached to it for, in Adun, it is quite unthinkable that an Okpobam shrine might be obtained from anyone outside Adun. My informants, when I mentioned the possibility to them, were unanimous in thinking such an act to be not merely outrageous but impossible - Oyirawumo "owned" Adun - how could any man get Okpobam from outside? It is indeed a remarkable fact that in recent years when there has been much quarrelling over the rights of different men to "hold" Okpobam the quarrels have all centred around efforts to persuade the Kwudedin to make a new Okpobam shrine in cases where an Ovat has refused peaceably to hand his awka over to a rival. In no case has a disgruntled claimant sought Okpobam cult objects from outside Adun.

This monopoly of the making of new Okpobam shrines probably gave the Kwudedin useful powers over the political development of Adun. In this century he has permitted one new Ovat to be created by giving

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a new Okpobam shrine to the patriclan Egba which went to live at the river with Obabene. He also made it possible for the village of Ofatura in the 1930's once more to become an independent settlement; for before it left Ovonom, with which it had taken shelter, to settle on a site of its own nearby, its people had to request the Kwudedin to come to make a shrine for them at their new site. The Kwudedin has also intervened in political disputes in various villages where the Ovat on office has proved unpopular, but, protected by modern laws about breaches of peace, has refused to hand over hid Okpobam. In such cases the Kwudedin has made a new Okpobam and has given it the man who under the traditional system would have been given his predecessor's Okpobam.

The Kwudedin is, however, concerned not only with the deposition and installation of Avat in such a disturbed circumstances but is in fact involved every time a new Ovat is selected. So likewise is the Obabene Ovat, for he is not merely the Kwudedin's Ejukwa but is "Ejukwa" for the whole tribe. In Adun no Ovat, whether he is a patriclan Ovat or a Village Ovat, can be installed or deposed without the permission of the Kwudedin; and all requests relating to such matters have to go from the Ejukwa of the Ovat concerned to the Kwudedin via the Ovat of Obabene, as head of Okwa for the tribe,

None of my informants ha suggested that if a candidate for the office of Ovat had the full support of his particular group, that either the Tribal Ejukwa or the Kwudedin would reject him, but their recognition has to be paid for with presents (in this century several pounds has usually been paid). In the not infrequent case of a dispute over the succession the candidates vie with each other in their present giving and the Tribal Ejukwa and Kwudedin are able to exert some influence on the selection. The formal acquiescence of the Kwudedin in the installation of the new Ovat is expressed by the attendance of his representative, the tribal Ejukwa, at the installation ceremony of each Ovat in Adun. The role of the Kwudedin in the deposition of any Ovat, however, seems to be even more strongly marked.

If it is wished to depose any Ovat, then the dissident groups go to lodge their complaint with the Tribal Ejukwa. He never accepts their complaint on the first occasion but sends them back several times to think the matter over. If they are persistent he will eventually take them to make their complaint to the Kwudedin himself; but the Kwudedin again should send them back to think the matter over. This process, of course leads to more present giving to the two officials by various parties to the dispute, but it is probable that the two Avat were never to any great extent influenced by the amount of money that changed hands; the repeated refusal to listen to complaints is due to the obligation on the part of both the Tribal Ovat and his "Ejukwa" to make sure that the people are really serious in the matter and that the complainant are not the members of only one small group within the village.

If, however, there seems genuinely to be a majority party against a particular Ovat then ideally the Tribal Ejukwa and, in some cases, the Kwudedin himself should go, accompanied by the Avat and others , from

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as many villages as possible, to supervise the deposition of the Ovat concerned. The emblems should be removed by that man's own Ejukwa who should keep them until a new Ovat can be appointed. In the traditional system, and until recent years, those deposing an Ovat destroyed his compound, killing all livestock which they found there, and the Ovat and the members of his minimal patrilineage were forced to go to live for at least a number of years in a hamlet. In other words he and his supporters were sent into a kind of exile away from the hub of political events.

In this century this form of deposing an Ovat has gradually lapsed for an Ovat can now complain to the Nigerian police if his cult objects are raided, and since those who attempt to depose him inevitably appear to be the aggressors they can be arrested for causing a breach of peace. Nevertheless the threat of this form of deposition was used effectively in the course of a recent District Council election. In this a somewhat unpopular Village Ovat had intended to support a candidate who was persona non grata to a local politician. The latter, with the projected Eastern Region "House of Chiefs" in mind, had had himself installed as the nominal Ovat Kwudedin and in this role, as Kwudedin he threatened to lead in the traditional manner, a large body of Avat to depose the recalcitrant Village Ovat by force.

The question as to the significance of the Kwudedin's rights over other Avat turns, of course, on the question of the political significance of the Avat in general. How far were their offices political as well as ritual? How far were they mere figure-heads? How strong were the Avat in comparison with Okwa? These are questions which it is not easy to answer particularly since the authority of Okwa was one of the first things to be attacked by the Administration and, moreover, the emphasis Government placed on the Avat until the post-1945 period is obviously enough to have altered the balance of power between the Avat and Okwa. To settle the issue detailed eyewitness accounts are needed of the relations between Okwa and Avat in the nineteenth century, and this is just the sort of information which it is impossible to get. It is, however, possible to infer from various facts that the political position of all the Adun Avat was significant and much stronger than in other tribes.

In the first place, although all Adun Avat were primarily priests of patriclans as were most Avat elsewhere, the Adun Avat were rather removed from the ordinary day to day business of patriclan ritual, for they were less involved than others in the rites concerning the dead as patriclan ancestors.

Apart from the rites performed at the Afonata shrine, the cult primarily concerned with patriclan ancestors in Adun is that of Okpata. This is a word in general use for any anthropomorphic figure and may, for instance, be used of a child's doll. In a particular sense, however, the word is applied to a cult, the main symbol of which is carved wooden male figure. Through it the patriclan dead are contacted, particularly in contexts where the fertility of clan members is concerned. Periodic sacrifices are made to the clan dead through

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the cult, but offerings are also made when a marriage takes place, and through this cult a man's patrilineal ancestors are thought to punish the adultery of his wives. In Adun the Okpata cult has been, in part, woven into the ritual of Awtawa.

Among the Okum no Okpata cult exists; instead the roles of Okpata are believed to be performed by the Okpobam awak so that in the event of marriage, or when a wife falls sick and it is thought to be due to her adultery, it is before Okpobam that a sacrifice must be made. In the Osopong tribe a separate cult exists, for most patriclan sectors have their own Okpata cult. The significant point however, is that if a sector should have an Ovat then this man is priest not only of Okpobam but of Okpata also. Among the Adun, however, the office of the priest of Okpata is quite distinct from that of the priest of Okpobam. The office of Okpata priest is held usually by the oldest man in the clan, who has little political influence. The division of the roles among the Adun seems to be symptomatic of the greater stress the Adun pay to the political, as opposed to the ritual, aspects of the Avat.

Village Avat might at first seem to have little political influence since they lack power to cleanse homicides or to give sanctuary. Village Avat in Adun do, however, have greater mundane rights then they have elsewhere. In the first place we have seen that land, especially land near main Adun villages, is scarce and the Village Avat of Adun are unique in that they have rights of allocation of land quite apart from any rights they may have as heads of patrilineage. Certain land close to the village is classified as Avatkpa (the bush of the Avat) . In this Avatkpa the village Ovat has the right to allocate to those whose presence in the main village rather than in the hamlets is desirable on political grounds, because they are influential men; today it is particularly Local and District Councillors who are allocated such land. The need to have such land at the disposal of the Avat is so strong that in at least one case land is said to have been taken from the possession of a certain patrilineage and turned into Avatkpa, the patrilineage concerned being compensated with land elsewhere.

Perhaps the main respect in which the Village Ovat in Adun differs from Village Avat on other tribes is, however, the extent in which he acts as the external representative of his village, a role which in other tribes is left largely to the head of Okwa. In Adun the senior Ejukwa at timed does act a as representative of his village, going to other villages on his own or with the Avat of his village but in most cases where there is an important meeting to be held it is the Village Avat who go. This is certainly true today and it seems to have been the case even in the past? For example traditionally the Avat of various villages were included in the party that went to oust any unsatisfactory Ovat. It is said also that the Avat met frequently in the compound of the Tribal Ovat, and so sometimes also at the tribal meeting place, to discuss matters such as warfare affecting the tribe as a whole.

Certainly today the Avat of different villages of Adun meet together more frequently than do those of any other tribe, and the Adun are the only Mbembe tribe in which a "Chief's Meeting" (complete with

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secretary and minute book), of which only Avat are members, has been successfully established. Moreover we have already se that the groups of which they are the head are themselves most important. This is true of the patriclans - and much more so of the villages which have in Adun such an emphatic sense of unity vis-a-vis their neighbours that the Village Ovat, symbolizing as he does the whole village, is from this fact almost bound to have had considerable political significance.

Other inference about the importance of the Avat can be drawn from the people's attitude towards the Okpobam cult. The Osopong believe their first Okpobam cult came originally from Onyen; the Okum trace theirs from the Ekoi but the Adun have no tradition that theirs came from anywhere. Indeed I think that they could not conceive of the possibility that it had not always existed among them. Although I knew the Adun better than any other tribe and although I had some very trustworthy informants among them, I was never given any hint that they knew of any tradition about the first introduction of the cult. I suspect that the cult was probably introduced to Adun at approximately the same time as it entered Efyapum, because a study of other cults shows that one which becomes popular will spread rapidly over wide areas, even between hostile tribes. It seems, however, that in Adun the acquisition of Okpobam is subject to "structural amnesia" so complete that it is assumed that all villages of the tribe have had Okpobam from the beginning of the political importance of the cult.

Proof of the political significance of Adun Avat is, however, contained in much that has already been said; particularly in the fact we have noted that an Ovat, if he were deposed, was forced with his close patrikinsmen to live in a hamlet for a number of years until tempers had cooled. Surely if we find an institutionalized system of banishment and exile we are entitled to assume that those banished were politically important.

The fact, therefore, that the Kwudedin had the ultimate right to install and depose Avat must have been of vital importance for him. It may have enabled him to exercise a practical influence in the affairs of other villages, it gave him a minor source of income, and it was certainly a most emphatic reiteration of his political significance.

It seems almost certain, however, that the Kwudedin was not merely in a position in which he could exercise considerable political influence directly, through the ritual powers ascribes to his office, but that these powers also enabled him to acquire wealth indirectly and exert political influence through its means. What wealth he gained came probably through his contacts with the river traders.

The Avat in general seem to have acquired some influence with traders. They needed the Avat because to trade it was necessary to have some kind of backing from an influential man which would guarantee safe conduct; and the Ovat was the obvious man to supply it. Moreover, as much of the trade was carried out on the trust principle, the trader must have needed the support of influential men in each area

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if they were eventually to receive payment. Traders, apparently, appreciating they they could sell goods in the are only if the people in turn had something to sell, are said to have sold guns to prominent men on a kind of hire-purchase basis, the traders demanding so much cash down, and then a certain amount of dried meat over a given period of time. As dried meat formed one of the principle exports from this area [13] the Avat, because they were in a good position to acquire guns, had some advantage over many other men in their dealings with the traders. The Avat did not themselves hunt, but loaned the guns to young kinsmen who did the actual hunting. It may be suggested however, that there are particular reasons, why the Adun Avat, and especially the Ovat Kwudedin were probably in a far stronger position that were the Avat of other tribes in their dealings with traders. The reason is to be found in the density of population in Adun. Because of inter-tribal wars we have seen that the Adun villages were forced into a small area near the river. This comparatively dense population must have created such a large demand for trade goods that those who sold them must have had a particularly strong incentive to come to the Adun tribe, even although the per capita expenditure of the Adun people may have been no higher at this period than that of the inhabitants of any other Mbembe group. The size of the demand in this area must surely be reflected in the fact that in the late nineteenth century the Adun market seems to have been larger than any other in the area, and certainly larger that that of the village of Apiapum, which now probably surpasses Adun in its volume of trade.

A further indication of the extent of trade in Adun is that hunting, the source of dried bush mat, so vital for the nineteenth century trade, seems to have been rather more commercialized in Adun than elsewhere. The basis of this assumption is the probability that where hunting is any way commercialized the obligations to give meat to kin will break down since the hunter will try to sell what he kills. It is significant, therefore, that such obligations seems to have disappeared in Adun. Among the Osopong there are customary rules, still observed today, which make a hunter divide so much of his kill among his

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kinsfolk that he has little left for himself. Among the Okum the obligations of a hunter are less, but he must give a certain portion to the members of his patrilineage as well as paying his dues to his Ovat. It cannot be proved that among the Adun it was formerly customary for a hunter to divide out his kill among his kin, for there are no traditions which say that this was once the case. But such obligations are so very widespread among peoples without a market economy that is seems probable that Adun too once had rules to this effect. That they have n traditions about such customs may merely indicate that they broke down in the last century.

If the Adun Avat were already more influential than those in other tribes by the time that traders began to exert a considerable influence in the area, then it may be assumed that the traders would have paid particular attention to them. It may, in fact, often have been the case that when a hunter in Adun gave his dues to his Ovat and the owner of his gun he gave them to the same individual, for the Avat, as prominent men, must undoubtedly have been outstanding those to whom the traders sold guns.

Whatever the relationship of the ordinary Avat with the traders, however, it seems certain that the Kwudedin must have had a particularly advantageous position. The traders were not free to move around a wide area as they pleased; instead traditions are unanimous in asserting that each Agwa Aguna trader became attached to a particular tribe and confined his activities to it, not commonly moving between the neighbouring tribes who were hostile to each other, but travelling by river simply between his home and the one group with which he had good relations. To a trader who operated in Adun the Kwudedin must have been the obvious person with whom to try to establish good relations. That traders did not do this seems proved by the fact that even prior to the setting up of the Administration at the beginning of this century a few traders from down river were almost permanently resident at the Kwudedin's village of Oderiga. That this was due to the Kwudedin's ritual position seems obvious from the fact that his village which in some way from any river, has no particular commercial advantages to offer. Indeed, today, when the need for protection has passed, no "foreign" traders live in this village; those who now live in Adun live, as might be expected, in villages on the river banks and near the market.

Adun's close interest in the trade has already been shown, for we have seen that it is unique in having a tribal market, which we have seen also is strategically located for the river trade. The Kwudedin's particular interest in this trade is emphasized by traditions which say that it was a Kwudedin who first told the people to attend a tribal market and told them where to hold it.

That the Ovat Kwudedin represented the Adun in their relationship with traders is shown by the action which a holder of this office is said to have taken sometime towards the end of the last century. An

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Adun man, head-hunting in the Nko area, by mistake killed an Agwa-Aguna trader. Fearing that the traders might in anger boycott Adun the Kwudedin is said to have sent a woman slave and other gifts to Agwa-Aguna as compensation. That a close relationship did exist between the Kwudedin and the traders seems to be implied above all in the tradition that the former supplied gunpowder to the warriors in the event of war. The Kwudedin must obviously have relied on the traders for his supplies and if he did buy gunpowder on this scale then he must have been one of their best customers, and it seems probable that the traders would have been willing to extend him considerable credit.

By the same argument it seems probable that the Ovat of Obubem who, it will be remembered, is said to have supplied the warriors with shot, likewise enjoyed a special relationship with the traders. This would now be surprising since his village was the site of the first tribal market; and when it was moved a little inland the traders still had to disembark at Obubem to reach it; It may, indeed, be that the Village Ovat of Obubem owes his high status in Adun partly to this fact. I have suggested previously that the Ovat of Obubem may have been head of Eberambit for Adun because of the strategic position of his village in inter-tribal wars. Although this fact has almost certainly played a part, however, it is at least possible of not probable that the position of Obubem's Ovat is due also to the strategic position of the village in regard to trade. It may well be that the influence ad wealth that this brought to the Ovat accounts both for his leadership of Eberambit or at least his position as supplier of shot, and his otherwise somewhat curious position as Kwudedin's deputy.

If this should have been the case then it indicates the very strong influence exerted on Adun by economic factors. Nevertheless the very fact that Ovat of Obubem, despite all his economic advantages, should remain subordinate to the Kwudedin is in itself an argument supporting the view that although the prominent position of the latter was in part due to his relationship with the traders, the primary basis of his authority was ritual and not economic. His power cannot have been based ultimately on wealth which came to him through trade; rather the traders must have courted him because of his authority in the religious sphere.

Although it is relatively easy to show that the formal authority of the Kwudedin was emphasized in Adun, it is much more difficult to show that the holder of this office was, in the last century, able to impose his will on others in day to day affairs. This is the type of information which it is now almost impossible to get. it seems, however, that the Kwudedin was at least by the very early years of this century, attempting to use his political powers to increase his rights over women for it is said by many Adun informants that "of course" the Kwudedin used to have the right to claim any girl he liked as his wife; and that he could do this at any time, not only during the period of installation. Unfortunately I found it impossible to get details from informants about this practice, Their statements seem, however, to be confirmed by a case recorded in the 1914 Apiapum Court Record

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Book, in the course of which the Kwudedin is reported as saying that "Any chief in my rank have power to take any woman he like according to Adun custom".

The case in which this statement is made is particularly interesting since it seems to indicate that the Kwudedin had tried, with the connivance of other Ovat, to extort money from people and that he was able to do this even when those concerned came from villages other than his own.

It was alleged that in 1908 the Kwudedin sent "chiefs" to seize the plaintiff's wife. The "chiefs" took her to the Kwudedin and apparently the plaintiff to get her back and as damages for alleged "adultery", had had to pay 1000 rods and five goats (the Kwudedin admitted receiving 200 rods and two goats). Both the husband and the father of the girl asserted that she had at no time been married to the Kwudedin. He on the other hand, asserted that about seven years prior to the occasion on which she had been seized she had been brought to his compound by her father and had remained living in the compound for a short time as the K wudedin's wife. The Kwudedin seems to have called no witnesses to support his statement and the District Officer concluded that the girl in fact had never been his wife, a conclusion to which he may have been led partly because all Administrative Officers were concerned to try to prevent "chiefs" from exercising arbitrary and unjust powers. If in fact the D.O.s conclusion were correct then the case suggests that the Kwudedin had trumped up an adultery charge in order to extort money from the plaintiff. [14] What is most significant is that the Kwudedin was able, without causing trouble, to send "chiefs" to a village not his own to seize the wife of one of its (presumably influential) inhabitants. Moreover the fact that he seems to have called no witnesses on his own behalf suggests that he was able to take such action even when his grounds for doing so were, to say the least, not very good.

It seems, therefore, highly probable that the Kwudedin as Tribal Ovat, did enjoy a comparatively powerful position ritually, politically, and economically, and that he was more powerful than any other Mbembe Ovat.

If we may sum up the political position in Adun we may say that there is a group of villages which, formerly, were perhaps organized

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in a way similar to that found in Okum, but which, under external pressure, developed a considerable measure of tribal unity. The Adun Avat formed a kind of tribal council which could meet fairly easily. The accession and deposition of all Avat had to be ratified by the Kwudedin, as Tribal Ovat, and by the senior Ejukwa for the tribe who was himself an Ovat. War was organized at a tribal level, parties of warriors being made up allegedly on inter-village basis, and gunpowder, and shot was supplied to all by the Kwudedin and his deputy who also made the sacrifices necessary for war. Therefore, the power to make aggressive warfare must have lain with them.

With one exception it was only the priest appointed by the Kwudedin who could make the sacrifice necessary in the case of homicide. The Kwudedin, because of his great ritual authority was the only priest with power to make new Okpobam shrines and this right, in the Adun situation, had great political significance sine it meant that he had complete control over political segmentation. Because of his ritual position the Kwudedin was in a key position in relation to the river traders and this in turn, strengthened his internal political position so that there is some evidence that, by the beginning of this century, the Adun Tribal Ovat was able to exploit this position to expand his traditional claims to rights over women. At the same time, however, the strengthening of the authority and power of the Tribal Ovat was to some extent matched by an increase in the political position of the official to whom he was accountable, the tribal head of Okwa. This role was not attached to any office within the Kwudedin's own village but to an Ovat of a different village. There was an emphasis on the duty of this official to hear complaints made against the Tribal Ovat by anyone within the tribe, and this official had the right to depose the Kwudedin.

In other words Adun had, by the beginning of this century, become a centralized state, pocket sized perhaps, but containing within its political system many of the features characteristic of larger African centralized states. How such a situation came about we must consider in more detail and particularly we must see what factors can be correlated with an increase in the authority and power of the Avat, for Adun was not a "conquest state" and neither was it as the head of a ruling group that the Kwudedin gained his position.

[1] Of which about 1500 were non-Adun.

[2] The Apiapum people state that they helped Ogada when Ofatura was driven from its original site; but this is doubtful since the Ogada people deny the story, and there is no independent tradition that Apiapum was first founded north-east of Lake Ominka. Yet Apiapum traditions say that the village was first founded on a site recently cleared of the Ofatura people.

[3] The case was held at Afikpo and details have unfortunately been lost, but the judge's summing up was quoted in a 1918 Intelligence Report on Osopong.

[4] the tradition may be accepted as probably authentic because it is still recounted today, and refers specifically to these very wars. It is not a common tradition told of many places.

[5] It is because there are traditions of so many events involving Osopong's left bank settlements prior to this slave's burial that it seems reasonable to suggest that the Osopong were settling on the left bank of the Cross River prior to 1800; that Apiapum village was first founded before 1840 also seems probable.

[6] 1926 land case, "Asiga v.Igbo Imaban". The D.O. hearing the case guessed at the date, 1880, from the ages of certain men before him who claimed to have been among the first settlers.

[7] H.H. Johnston's map of 1888 marks, in the position of Obubme, a village called "Egbefia". This, in Adun, can only mean the "market of Egbe, or Egba". It is noteworthy therefore that a group called Egba is said by the Adun to have settled with Obubem. Even today its settlement is counted a separate village. Johnston's Egbefia would seem to refer to this settlement.

[8] The Igbo are not Ibo. They speak a dialect of Loko. Formerly they are said to have spoken a language similar to that of the Agbo, who lives on the right bank of the Cross River, at Itigidi and Abba Omega. Linguistically Agbo and Loko are very similar (personal communication J.S.Winston S.O.A.S.) although the people themselves do not consider them mutually intelligible.

[9] One Isobo village exists in Adun today. This however is the result of resettlement many years after 1896.

[10] We have already seen (p.62) that a hamlet has the ritual status of the bush.

[11] This last name refers not to the people's procreative ability but to the fact that it is claimed that their voices are, or rather should be, powerless in tribal discussions. In other words it refers to a belief that they are comparatively recent immigrants of non-Adun origin.

[12] The only other sanctuary priest is at Ofat where there is a priest capable of cleansing those guilty of homicide within the village, and the presence of such an office holder there is probably to be accounted for by this village's late incorporation into the Adun tribe.

[13] Many accounts of trading speak of the importance of dried meat. In addition there is written evidence that this area was particularly concerned in the trade. The report for 1897-98 of the Administration of the Niger Coast Protectorate says that the people of Ekuri, Igbo, Assiga, and Nkpani were "Well known in the Cross River district as hunters of bush game". This statement is a little suspect since it was used to give the impression that the people were dangerous and to excuse the use of force against Ekuri. Nevertheless it agrees so well with the peoples own traditions that it is probably correct and it seems improbable that these activities dropped off at the Adan border. It is probable that all the peoples on the river banks being able to acquire guns engaged in the trade and the reason that the statement makes no mention of Mbembe villages is that very few joined the Ekuri, Igbo, Assiga, and Nkpani, alliance against which the British fought.

[14] On the other hand, if the D.O. were mistaken and the girl had in any sense been married to the Kwudedin then, since it is highly unlikely that the latter would have delayed as long in taking action in the event of the desertion of a true wife, it surely hints that even greater powers were enjoyed by the Kwudedin. It seems to suggest that the Kwudedin, in accordance with the people's tradition, might claim a girl who took his fancy as his "wife" for a short time, and further that he was able , on the basis of such a "marriage" to claim adultery damages from the girl's subsequent husband, if the latter became wealthy enough to make it worthwhile.

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