BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Before the emergence of western culture, the Igbo tribe as a part and parcel of Nigeria has a long age means of communication among themselves which is “EKWE” (Wooden Gong)
The “EKWE” is a strong wooden music instrument in Igbo land, used both in the village and township to announce an important message to the community. The work “EKWE” which literally means wooden gong, is the tool used in disseminating information in Igbo Land. It is used as a tool for mass communication.
However, during the days of our fore father, the only way of addressing/passing information to the people was through “EKWE”. For example, when an upright person dies in some Igbo communities, Usually a huge wooden gong is sounded to announce the death to the villagers. The cultural societies in Igbo Land like “NZE NA OZO” use “EKWE” for promoting and preserving the Igbo traditional value, Heritage, culture and customs, and established norms and attitude. It is one of the Igbo man’s Proud Legacies of heroes Past.
Moreover, in igbo land, information is officially disseminated through different types of communication media. They include:
OGENE: This is a metal gong, basically made from iron. It is mostly used by the town criers, to spread a message around the village or community. The town crier draws the attention of the people by beating the hollow metal gong, the message is announced or delivered after each beating.
EGBE CHAM: This is used for only one purpose and that is “War”. When a community decides to embark on a war, it authorizes the town crier to declare a state of emergency. This he can do by firing a dane gun from a tree top. The young men response is usually immediate. They arm themselves and report to the village square.
EKWE NTA: This is a small wooden gong. The women used “EKWE NTA” before the discovering of the horn to disseminate information to the community. It is usually held in the left hand and stroke with right hand with the aid of a short stick
POKI-POKI/OPI: This is an animal horn commonly used amongst the women folk. The Poki-Poki sound is heard when the instrument is used, by blowing it. It is used strictly for women affairs.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In the pre-civil war years, it was thus relatively easy for the Igbo using their traditional information dissemination methods to warn their members of impending danger and even to organize the mass evacuation of women and children from threatened zones. This traditional means of communication and cultural practices is fast fading out with little or no attention being paid to it. This culture has greatly deteriorated and has called for the present research to address this cultural decay.
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
1. This project will help the revival of Igbo culture in the information sphere.
2. It will help create and bring to the fore the knowledge and skill of our people (Igbos) in the information dissemination.
3. It will help integrate cultural values into our modern society.
4. It will challenge the argument that our people has nothing to add to modern civilization.
SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF STUDY
This project is limited to the study of “EKWE” as a tool for community mobilization.
It will also explore and promote the possibility and limitations of use of “EKWE” as a mobilizing agent or tool even in our modern society.