Ivio Uvun
(Stealing The Seed-Yams a Farmer Had Already Planted)
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This crime is equivalent to murder, not of the farmer alone but of all his family since once a man had planted his yams he was sure of surviving the  famine season, which is usually during the months of March to June. All the seed yams he has are planted his seeds yams he has are planted and the rest are sold: that is the invariable Esan custom; having planted his seeds he goes about other business while waiting for his yams to germinate. He may start to re-roof his house or he goes to hunt with the result that for a long time he may never reach his farm again; in fact what is more likely to bring him early to the farm will be the rains which signify time for corn planting. Thus in the olden days the time a man got to his farm to discover that his planted seed yam had been stolen it might be that other farmers had planted, sold or eaten their  remaining seed yams. That meant that he had been rendered useless for that year. There would be no hope of his getting yams, which form the mainstay of our diet in Esan land He either had to go and be someone servant or face the bitter prospect of a killing famine for himself and his. Any wonder that our forefathers visited such a crime with the severest punishment short of taking the offender’s life.

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