Esan Native Law and Custom On Climbing An Oil Palm On Which a Man Was Already Up

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In short this meant that no two persons could be on the same palm tree at the same time, except of course, for the purpose of going to save the life of the first climber who might be in difficulties. For example, a man had climbed up a palm tree but got into trouble from losing one of the ropes (Esan people climb palm and coconut trees using two ropes), or losing his grips and hanging precariously, it would be the duty of any man having the means of climbing to go up to him to save him from a fifty feet drop. That would be commendable both before the eyes of the living elders and those of the departed forefathers. That which requires the blood of a goat to appease the spirits, in Esan custom, is to climb up to a man in anger either to prevent his .getting the fruits or wine or overtly to attack him, the punishment is swift and up till now, consists of slaughtering a she-goat at sight against the offender. As usual it is easier for the Edion in their dignity to add Elanmen ea, (this is twenty Ikiokho or 2800 Cowries a hefty sum then, but today equivalent to 11.2k); this constant addition which the Edion always tag to fines is the real benefit for the living.

Unlike the Ibos Esan traditionally climb oil palm trees with two ropes-one across the right thigh and the other under the left foot. It is a crime akin to murder to climb in anger to meet another climber.

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