By Axel Harneit-Sievers

Structures of Belonging presents a background of neighborhood groups dwelling in Southeastern Nigeria because the overdue 19th century, analyzing the tactics that experience outlined, replaced, and re-produced those groups. Harneit-Sievers explores either the meanings and the makes use of that the neighborhood contributors have given to their specific parts, whereas additionally taking a look at the methods that experience formed neighborhood groups, and feature made them paintings and stay appropriate, in a global ruled through the fashionable territorial country and by means of around the globe flows of individuals, items, and concepts. Axel Harneit-Sievers is a study fellow on the middle for contemporary Oriental reviews, and director of the Nigeria place of work of the Heinrich B?ll origin in Lagos.

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Additional resources for Constructions of Belonging: Igbo Communities and the Nigerian State in the Twentieth Century (Rochester Studies in African History and the Diaspora)

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Source : A. E. Kitson, “Southern Nigeria: Some Considerations of Its Structure, People and Natural History,” Geographical Journal 41 (1913). 23 At the same time, dispersed settlement patterns did not exist only in areas of low population density where they would be expected. They also existed in the densely settled Owerri and Orlu areas. Here, in the course of the twentieth century they developed into “crowded heartland settlements” where ecological problems such as erosion were aggravated by inefficient forms of land use, especially the multiplication of roads (Bob-Duru 2002: 151).

In the local sphere, knowledge about a person’s or family’s slave origin survived the formal abolition of slavery during the early colonial period. The awareness of a person being “free-born” or “slave-born” is still important in many places, and the stigmatization and discrimination resulting from this awareness continue to create social and political tension, especially in some northern Igbo communities such as Nike (see chapter 12). The category osu—it exists only in parts of Igboland—is often translated as “cult slave,” but the osu may be more adequately described as a caste fundamentally separated from the local society, being regarded not only as non-kin but as outside the sphere of the human kinship system as a whole.

Besides actual use, other individual land ownership rights exist; an important form is ownership by pledge in exchange for a loan given. Individual ownership rights exist most directly with regard to “house land,” and transfer of ownership is most easily carried out for this type of land. But even agu land can be individually owned. By the legal standards of the postcolonial state, most individual rights provide only a limited degree of security of land ownership and do not amount to freehold. By the early 1970s, Mbagwu (1978) observed a certain degree of concentration of land in the hands of wealthy individuals, who acquired land as pledges in return for loans.

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