Etsako Culture

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Last update 03-06-2020) 

Age-stratification of the male population is an important feature of the social fanization as in all Edo-speaking groups, but few details are available for Etsako.

At Uzairhue there are names for different stages of childhood and adolescence through which all boys pass before being initiated into named age-sets which in some villages are formed at three-yearly intervals. The seven most junior sets, together with younger boys, perform such tasks as the clearing of farm paths and the sweeping of markets, the erection and re-roofing of public buildings and the cleansing of water-hole. In addition these seven sets provide night-watchmen in rotation.

At Aviele age-sets are formed every two or three years from boys in their late tens. Each set receives a name which it retains permanently and is attached to one or the three companies obirua, okovie, and obiyiwa (cf. Ivbiosakon, Inerne, Ishan). When there was an important task to be undertaken, such as the construction of a wall around Agbede, all sets capable of working took part. Each was allotted a portion of the total task and the sets competed to see who would finish first. Less Important tasks are usually performed by the three junior sets.

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