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PROJECT TOPIC: AN ECONOMIC HISTORY OF ORUK ANAM IN THE PRE-COLONIAL ERA

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CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1 Background of the study However, the history of Oruk Anam people like most ethnic groupings and communities in Nigeria is faced with the problem of documentation unlike western societies. Pre colonial societies kept their history through oral tradition and so in historical reconstruction, the historian will highly depend on oral history. History was passed generationally among Oruk Anam people in form of folktales, folklores, dialectic stories, songs, adages among others. Oruk Anam people not only enjoys a rich history but this history also shows that Oruk Anam people had several Economic, Political and social structure which facilitates for a great extent, its development. Oruk Anam people are part of the Annang ethnic group and this share a migratory history with the Ibibio. That traced their origin to the Bantu speaking tribe who due to war and other associated reasons migrated to the lower Niger region. The main economic activities of Oruk Anam people were Agriculture, Fishing, Hunting, Local Industries, Oil production among others, these occupation were determined by the geographical organization of the people or natural resources. These economic activities has some significant effect on the people, in area of Agriculture such as cultivation of different crops, Oruk Anam people engaged in farming and cultivate a range of crops including yam, cocoyam, palm fruit, cassava. These were mainly for subsistence as such family unit mainly cultivate that which would be enough to feed the household. Again the increase of variety of food crops which result to the increase of food production. Hence the people were able to feed themselves which subsequently led to increase in population among the people. Animal Husbandry for stock breeding and the varieties of domestic animals like Dog, Goat and Poultry were raised for economic use. Hunting also had some effect in the society of Oruk Anam people, they help in keeping the entire community safe by hunting and killing of wild beasts. In terms of political organization, Oruk Anam people operated a non-centralized system of government. They were organized into lineage, village or clan council. Every family lineage and village was represented at each council and so laws were made and administered by the representative of the people. Traditional institutions in pre-colonial Oruk Anam society perform not just the roles of conflict management but also served as agent of socio-economic development and custodian of indigenous culture. More so, it could be established that Oruk Anam people had a vibrant and dynamic economic activities prior to the colonial rule. It is therefore on this premise that this research work shall attempt to examine the pre-colonial economic history of Oruk Anam people.

1.2 Statement of Problem The dependency on the money allocated to the state by federal government had bad effect on the day to day activities of the state. However, Akwa Ibom has not grown well in this economic situation in which several economic resources are available in the state that could have been used or modified to make the state economically viable. Therefore, I draw the attention back on the economic activities that sustained the people in pre colonial era, and what constitute the economic activities of Oruk Anam people in pre colonial era and how it was practiced within this period in history.



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