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Last update 03-06-2020) 

Title-associations played an important role in Ukpila, Uwepa-Uwano, and Avianwu, but not, according to the available information, in the remaining tribes. Admission is through an initiation ceremony after the payment of fees in money, livestock, and food to the existing members. There is, however, certain limiting condition of entry. At Ukpila a man cannot take a title during his father’s lifetime, nor can the son of an amoya marriage in Uwepa-Uwano. At Ekperi and Avianwu any free-born man might offer himself as a candidate, but public opinion would be against his doing so while there remained an older untitled man in his extended family.

At Avianwu there appears to be only one title-association branch for the tribe as a whole, but whether this is true of other tribes is not clear. In some tribes it is apparent that there is more than one title or that, alternatively, there are a number title-grades within the same association.

Where title-associations exist a man’s precedence in the affairs of his village is said to depend on the date of his admission to the association relative to that of other members. That is to say, “title age “rather than age in years is a principal determinant of social status. Advantages conferred by membership include exemption from communal labour, a claim to greater respect and authority, the right to share the admission fees of new members.
The following are some details of the title-associations in individual tribes: — Avianwu, the senior holder of the oke title in each territorial segment is entitled to special services from other members of the group.

Uwepa-Uwano: there are a number of titles of which Oba is the most important. A clash arose some years ago between the demands of the missions and the necessity of making sacrifices to join this association. Eventually Christians were allowed to join by making a monetary payment only.

An anonymous report, apparently referring to this tribe, states that the oke title has three grades. Formerly a holder of this title could not be hanged or sold into slavery for murder and if he himself was murdered his family could claim seven men in compensation. No member could become a slave and all were exempted from commumual Iabour.
Ukpila: here there is a senior title (asogwa) and a junior one (umogbai). The, holders of the letter act as messengers for the members of the senior association whose four leading members have individual titles

Aviele: a report which apparently refers to this tribe describes an association called inolu, formed of elders who have taken the ikuota title. The menders carry staffs which they can place, as a curse, before the houses of persons refusing to comply with judicial decisions. In this respect their function seems to be similar to that of similarly named bodies in some Ishan chiefdoms.

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