Rummaging on location songs reminds one of local songs where the “child of the lizard” – nwa ngwele is always mentioned.
“The child of the lizards – nwa ngwele is huge in war songs, Ukwukpe, Igba-ine, and Abu-uyagami, common in uplands towns. Has this nwangwele anything to do with Ekwumekwu wars also known as “agha nwagwele ama nnea”? It was said that during the colonial encounters of the Ekumeku, there were loss of lives on both sides. Some would mention broad name locations but not spots. Where are the spots and monument? Who is documenting these songs as the last batch of a generation conterminous to the actors are almost out of the ring. Those remaining are getting mentally disheveled, throwing up obvious gaps in responses capable of challenging authentic research veracity.
Also. Do you know this song – Uke ga Egbu Elimina
Uke ga egbu Elimina
Elimina bu oku nmo
Elimina bu ajo ife
Elimina bu njo.
The above is actually a primary school song during music class. This is a song children sang without the faintest idea of a location known as Elimina, Ghana. The song is laden with untold stories of slaves from west Africa. At what epoch did this song attain a folk song? It may seem that inclusion of oku nmo gives the song a contemporary touch. But there is the concept of Oku Aghansi( fire) in local belief systems. Anyhow, if it was a song of slaves during the Atlantic slave trade era, when did it become a folklore song?
The door remains open for a synthesis of the old and new. What other ancient historical locations do you know their songs? Are they properly archived any where? Is it worthy of research?
A list of location names not known to millennials could be useful some day. Amongst them include: Akpuyaooh, Akwa Ogugu , Enugu Upah, Uzo Ikono, Ajiriji, Akwu Loco. Enugu Adimundu , Omasayari, Jakosu, Akwu Aniocha, Ote-ndi-shell nke izizi and nke Abua, Omasidiale, Ajo Ofa, Iyi ochichi, Ogodo, Abuu, Iyi ukwu, Iyi uga, Iyi enyi and others not known to many in this generation. There are historical events imbedded in these names. There are music, poems, wisecracks, ancillary names and sobriquets. Who understands them now? There was a past, whose past and what past?
Losing a name in order to be in tune globally poses a challenge. Obtrusive land laws of 1976 in this locale experts say have loopholes that can still be explored to keep history. A lawyer says he has examined over 200 land agreements in the course of his practice. There are clause and special clauses. Basic in all is indicating the location of the land – Location history(recital) of ownership to the extent there is and can be properly traced. Land is earthly location, not in heaven even though a Latin phrase intones land even to the heavens of the area covered by the land. This is represented by the measures and coordinates. The authority to sell and indeed backed by evidence admissible by extant laws are imperative. There are other necessities to make land document legal. It should not detain us here.
But noticeable absence exist and will lead to greater loss in the future. Something approximating ‘location name imperative clause’ could be worked. It is known that by means of purchase the owner of the land relinquishes his right. This also goes with a local maxim : if you buy yam, you have also purchased the owners yam marks. This is not always the case with land in villages. Is there something that could be explored if necessary( perhaps by means of a clause) that will give the seller the right in future among other things to challenge sale if original location name is changed without overwhelming local/ public interest? For many this is inconsequential. But a study of archival materials indicate a necessity of this by the way colonial Officers used location names to validate their decision/ judgement on land matters as far back as 1909 in local land disputes. Appeal courts and Supreme Court judgements have ‘driven’ with ease on these location names to reach their final declaration and judgements.
The point is not the legal but the historical loss attendant to the causal treatment of sustaining location names. Are there legal thoughts here or elsewhere on this?
Location names becomes important in era of envying being global. Think of how many foreign names such as Carpanum, York City and Lake City (without a lake) in your villages in the name of estates and resorts. Be sure, you may not edge out the original Carpanum in the Middle East when you loose your location names with a substitute.
Does a name matter? Yes it does. Is it thinking for others? NO. Some names seems naturally patented. Names are opportunity spinners. A name is an indication and affirmation there was a time. It is still here and would likely be there in future. It is not being fetish about names. Our peoples have lost natural peculiarities in names in a chase of nothing. Keep what you have especially if it does not require any effort to do so. Does it hurt anybody? Not likely.
Google use location coordinates and names. Can you imagine loss of original names by a carefree disposition whereas Google rides on location names in big business. “Think it out” a French language teacher would say.
When a name is lost in a casual way, it could hurt. Perhaps, it may not becomes a road to irredeemable loss. However, a road completely broken from its past will be forgotten. If that break is chosen in ‘naked’ afternoon as they say in a lingo, then, something is amiss. Whose hand do you see here? Is it the man in the mirror or yourself?
A story is lost. A teacher is lost. Meaning is lost. You can say it is part of living . No doubt, but in some fires, some things could be salvaged. It is said that there is power and confidence even healing in a location. Some think differently. But it has not stopped people from annual and ceremonial trips to Jerusalem, Mecca, Jordan, Ganges, Elimina, Point-of – No- Return, Iyi-ukwu, and various okpunor(homeland)
World history is made of locations and peoples. Don’t forget your own location names. You can build it up as you engage your encounters.
“A father whose children are largely successful only when they live outside. What kind of a father?”