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MORALITY AND VALUES IN BEKWARRA THOUGHT SYSTEM

MORALITY AND VALUES IN BEKWARRA THOUGHT SYSTEM

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Published by Ogar Obule
THIS WORK IS PART OF MY PROJECT.IT IS ALL ABOUT ONE OF THE CULTURES IN CROSS RIVER STATE OF NIGERIA. BEKWARRA IS ONE OF THE MAJOR TRIBES IN THE STATE.
THE FOCUS OF THIS WORK IS ON MORALITY. WHAT ARE THE CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS THAT PROMOTES MORALITY IN THIS CULTURE CALLED BEKWARRA? WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS THE VALUE? HOW DO THEY COMMUNICATE THIS MORALS AND VALUES TO THE WORLD TO SEE? ALL THESE ARE FOUND IN THIS WORK.
THIS WORK IS PART OF MY PROJECT.IT IS ALL ABOUT ONE OF THE CULTURES IN CROSS RIVER STATE OF NIGERIA. BEKWARRA IS ONE OF THE MAJOR TRIBES IN THE STATE.
THE FOCUS OF THIS WORK IS ON MORALITY. WHAT ARE THE CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS THAT PROMOTES MORALITY IN THIS CULTURE CALLED BEKWARRA? WHAT ARE THOSE THINGS THE VALUE? HOW DO THEY COMMUNICATE THIS MORALS AND VALUES TO THE WORLD TO SEE? ALL THESE ARE FOUND IN THIS WORK.

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Published by: Ogar Obule on May 12, 2009
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01/09/2013

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CHAPTER THREE3.0 MORALITY AND VALUE IN BEKWARRACULTURE3.1 Brief History of Bekwarra Origin
 Bekwarra
is one of the Local Governments in Cross River State of Nigeria. It is boundedin the North by the
Tivs
of Benue state, in the East by
Utugwang 
and
Obudu
LocalGovernment of Cross River State, in the West by Yala and Yache, in the South / West by
 Ishibori,
and in the South / East by
 Afrike
and
Mbube.
It was recorded that the origin of Bekwarra is discernible from two theories. Thefirst traces the historical background of 
 Bekwarra
to Bette in present – day Obudu LocalGovernment of Cross River State. The second theory traces Bekwarra origin to
 Irikwie
(North) in
 Ebang Iye
(Foreign Land).
1
 The origin of Bekwarra as accounted by thecolonial record could be seen vividly from the statement below:The origin of Yakoro (Bekwarra) people is said to have been the settlement of one
Odama Ashide
a member of 
 Abang Kubi
Family of 
 Buabong 
in Obudu, whomarried many women from
 Alege, Mbube, Yala
 and settled in a place which is
 Buabong 
2
This colonial view of the origin of Bekwarra received an unalloyed support form theobservation of Ogbanuko Agabi when he opines that:…it may not be absurd to assume
 Bekwarra
origin from Bette
1
Donald O. Omagu, A History of Bekwarra people of the upper Cross RiverRegion of Nigeria, Executive Publishers, Calaba, 1997, P. 6
2
 J.P Sterk, ‘The Linguist and the Historian: Any common ground?’ In M.BAbasattai (ed) Expanding Frontiers of African History: The Inter – disciplinaryMethodology, Calabar, University of Calabar Press, 1988, p.245.
 
In
Obudu
for there are affinities today in linguistic structureDespites the influence of new environmental and historicalCircumstances. Above all, there is evidence of practicalRecognition of ancient locus of dispersion of Agba’sChildren namely,
 Alege, Igede
and
Odama
 
(Bekwarra
)in Obudu.
3
From the many legends, we could see that Bekwarra is from Obudud, and theyshare many things in coomon, in terms of language, culture and other vital values.Modern
 Bekwarra
land is approximately estimated to cover the range of 345 squarekilometers. It occupy the North – Eastern part of Cross River State. Its geographicalcalculation is seen thus: Latitude 60 37’ and 60 47’ and longitude ~ 0 48’. In the 2006Population census,
 Bekwarra
in rated approximately 70, 000.
3.2 Norms and Values in Bekwarra Culture
The term ‘norms’ is seen in the Webster’s dictionary as principles of right action bindingupon the members of a group and serving to guide, control or regulate proper andacceptable behavior. Values in Bekwarra could be seen as a set of ideals which guidesand direct the way of life of the Bekwarras. Norms and values are interwoven, reason being that norms guide the values. Norms are standard of moral behavior to which our conduct should conform with. They are guides to human action, showing certain things or the manner to which one should act, and which way one should not act.In Bekwarra cosmology, the action of one man in the society can bring about positive or negative impact in the lives of other members of the society. In order to curbor prevent people from becoming aggressive and dangerous to each other, there emanatesa code of behavior for each person in the society. When one carries out those norms
3
Ibidem. P. 42.
 
faithfully, it will be to the good of all in the society else it will call down disaster upon theoffender (s) and then to the entire members of the society. This norms and conduct could be view as moral values. Ontologically, moral values are the facet of religion, and not a product of man. The Bekwarra believe that God has written down on each individual’sheart the idea of what is good and bad. Man’s conscience has always told him that thereare certain things which he must not do in order to call down peace upon, these things arecalled taboo. These taboos are enforced by supernatural sanctions. In Bekwarra thistaboos includes others:
 Ndem
 – having sexual relationship with a married woman outsideher husband or having sex with one’s cousin, eating of hyena etc.
4
It is pertinent to note that moral principle could view from two perspectiveswhich are positive and negative principles. The positive principles have to with what weought to do, how we ought to behave. The negative principles prohibit certain actions andways of behavior which are wrong and which should be avoided. Moral norms do notonly concern itself with individual human conducts, it also focuses on the maintenance of authority by means of reward and punishment.The concept of value, from a general viewpoint means the set of institutionalideals loved either by an individual or by a group of people.
5
 Bekwarra values as seenabove are set of ideals which guide and regulate the pattern of life of the Bekwarras.There are different kinds of values such as spiritual values, material values, religiousvalues, moral values, aesthetic values etc. it is interesting to note here that Bekwarra has
4
Ogbanuko Agabi, Origins, Migrations and Early History of Bekwarra People,( Bachelor of Arts Degree project in African Civilization and World History,University of Maiduguri, 1980). P. 38.
5
Godwin Sogolo, Foundation of African Philosophy, Ibadan: Ibadan UniversityPress, 1993, p. 5

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