UNN resumption date for new session

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Archaeological investigation in Opi

Iron smelting is one of the indigenous technologies developed by the people of eastern Nigeria. Smelting is carried out in a chamber-like structure called furnace. Hematite (stone-like usually in red, black or brown in colour, rich in iron oxide) is heated to over thousands of centigrade to melt. When it melts inside the furnace, the out-put is usually slag and iron.
Iron is used to produce agricultural implements like hoes (Ogu), matchets (Nma), sickle (Nko); chieftaincy paraphernalia like, staff of office (Oji).
Slag (see picture with ranging pole) which is the waste product is the focus of this essay. Slag traditionally known as (Efuru or Ehuru) is usually blackish in colour, and heavier than ordinary stones. When hit with a sharp object, metal or placed near fire gives out a spark of light. When broken into pieces shows ash-to-crystalline colour, while some are blackish all through. It appears in various sizes, cylindrical and aggregate slag. The largest can only be lifted with the effort of 3-4 able-bodied men.
Presently, slags are used for the following purposes: a tripod stand for cooking, as chair, especially in Otobo (village square), pellets, road demarcation, erosion control, and foundation booster at the base of buildings, shrine indicator, etc.
Archaeologically, slag is a pointer to an iron smelting community.  It shows that a particular have knowledge of iron workings although not in all cases. For instance, a study carried out our crew in Egede and Affa both in Enugu State shows that the present occupants of both town has no knowledge of what slag is, while in early 2017, oral tradition from Opi has it that slag grew from the ground. This shows that the knowledge of iron smelting that produce slag is not known to present societies where they are seen or the people with the knowledge of what slag is are no longer alive. While some archaeologists will infer that the present occupants where these slags occur are main people that carried out iron smelting in these communities.
Slags have been recorded in the following towns: Lejja, Opi, Umundu, Ekwegbe, Onyohor, Aku, Orba, Umundu, Owerre-Elu, Obimo etc. Presently, slag mounds have been found in some Igbo-Benue communities.
Odinaso Opi seems to be an iron smelting site. A reconnaissance in Opi showed slag mound in Opi. There was over eight suspected furnace base (highly altered)  in Odinaso. One of the plates shows the author of Ottourism cleaning the base of the suspected furnace.
Slag is found in large quantity in Opi. Opi is made up of three main quarters which include Ibeku, Idi and Ogbozalla. Among all the three distinct cultural zones in Opi, Idi is the eldest in Opi. Opi is located in the South eastern part of Nigeria under Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State. Opi is about 10-15 minutes’ drive from Nsukka town. It shares boundary with Ede-Oballa and Ohodo to the West, Eha-Alumona and some part of Ede-Oballa to the North, Ekwegbe to the south and Ugwuogo Nike in Enugu to the East.
v A full ethnoarchaeological investigation is imperative in Opi.
v Mapping of Odinaso for protection and subsequent archaeological, historical and anthropological studies is recommended.
v A worthy tourist site to be gazzetted.

Mapping in Odinaso Opi with PG students of Archaeology and Tourism department, UNN. 

Clearing of the surface of the suspected furnace base in Odinaso by Dr. C. J. Odum with the inspection of Professor A.M. Ibeanu.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Cultural heritage

Water is essential for human existence. The scarcity of water has a lot of effect on the environment, while it can lead to death and loss of different organism in the ecosystem, its health implication cannot be overemphasized. Egede is a town in Enugu State where scarcity of water has made the people to devise a means of storing water outside raining season. The people store water in different sizes of clay pots as seen in the picture. Some of these pots contain over fifty liters of water. In this compound, they have over hundred clay pots well arranged for water storage. For the water to last long in a particular compound, the number of containers, usage and the number of people in a family determine that. In this community, one may infer that the number of pots in a given compound can directly say how long the people have been living there, and the number of generations that have lived in a particular compound. Worrisome is that a community such as Egede has no pottery tradition, yet the made extensive use of pots. Meanwhile, the advent of plastic big tanks has created an alternative for water containers in Egede. This may have affected the source of livelihood of people who depend on pot making to survive. This pot arrangement can be used in the movie production of traditional settings of Egede society; while its advantage in the demonstration or practical class in history and archaeology is worthy to mention. 
The government has tried to suck a borehole for the community. 

Don't you think that this is a big heritage?
Dr. Chigozie Jude Odum and Cosmos Ndichie in front of Ogba in Affa
Ogba (Cave) in Affa. Ogba is usually a native name for caves in.......see more in Archaeology column.

Oriri-Okochi and Ufuma cave
This is an annual festival celebrated in Ogba-Nnehi in Ufuma town. It is a period that the people gather to thank their gods (God) and pray for blessings every new year. The celebration is done in front of the cave as seen in the picture. Meanwhile, the cave served as a home to Ufuma people during the Nigeria-Biafra war. Presently, it houses different fauna and the environment is filled with different species of flora.

The touristic appeal and value of this festival and cave need to be explored by relevant stakeholders.
Front view of Ufuma cave

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Is a new week with new blessings. Get motivated and get to work.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Designing and Developing a GIS Database for Tourism in Nigeria: The Case Of Anambra State

Tourism has been noted to be one of the important sectors of the Nigerian economy. Tourism is a highly complex activity which requires tools that aid in an effective decision-making to come to terms with the competing economic, social and environmental demands of sustainable development. Geographic Information System (GIS) is one of such tools. GIS being an information system that is capable of answering questions about where facilities and resources are located represents enormous benefits to the tourism sector of any economy. The power of GIS lies not only in the ability to visualize spatial relationships, but also beyond the space to the holistic view of the world with its many interconnected components and complex relationships. The use of GIS technology could assist the Anambra State government as well as the Nigerian government with better planning of tourism infrastructure, location and dissemination of such infrastructure, production of better quality maps showing tourists sites etc because of the dynamic capability of GIS tools to incorporate changes that occur over time to its database. This paper presents the significant role that GIS has played and can still play in tourism development coupled with other systems, such as Global Positioning System (GPS), Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and remote sensing

Designing and Developing a GIS Database for Tourism in Nigeria: The Case Of Anambra State. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267779442_Designing_and_Developing_a_GIS_Database_for_Tourism_in_Nigeria_The_Case_Of_Anambra_State [accessed Aug 25, 2017].


An Ethnographic Excursion to Orumba: A Preliminary Report on Ufuma Cave and Its Tourism Potentialities

An Ethnographic Excursion to Orumba: A Preliminary Report on Ufuma Cave and Its Tourism Potentialities
1. Onwudufor, F.O.F (Ph.D) and 2. Odum, Chigozie Jude.
1.Nwafor Orizu College of Education, Nsugbe, Anambra State. 2.University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State.

Abstract: In the recent decades, tourism development has expanded. Natural beauty, the climate, the culture and the history of a given place have often led to this tourism expansion. One is always quick to point at Ogbunike cave when it comes to caves in Anambra State. But there are other caves, known and unknown. These include Ajalli cave and Owerre Ezukalla cave in Orumba North Local Government Areas of the state. But hardly does anybody mention Ufuma cave. We have decided to take an ethnographic study of this cave and what it offers to the tourism profile of the state. The general relevance of caves to tourism development will be underscored and some proposals made as to how to harness it to boost nature tourism and general tourism development.