This report is coined from a community in Imo state in “ihitte’, Ezinihitte local government area. Mbaise is a conglomeration of five autonomous but culturally homogenous mega clans (Ahiara, Agbaja, Ekwerazu, Ezinihitte and Oke uvuru) was amalgamated as a political entity in 1941. In their individual identity, they could stand distinct in cultural practices, norms, values and even belief system. But as time progressed, coupled with enlightenment, western civilization, socialization and acculturation, unity in diversity was discovered by the ihitte people and they held on to it.
Ihitte discovered that survival and greatness laid in the conceptual and practical reality of brotherhood, togetherness and cooperation. Hence, the socio-cultural principles of “Igwe bu Ike”, “Onye aghala nwanneya”, “Eji isi na oleo mara mma puta ama” and many others guided the mental readiness for cooperation and unity of purpose in ihitte.
Ihitte has a periodic market system namely;
In the past, several societies were established to give tittles to those who merit it. E.g. societies like “Ezeji”, Dinta etc. but I will concentrate on the “Ezeji”. It is society of successful yam farmers who took the title “Ezeji”. To qualify for the position, the ezeji must own a barn with many racks of yam tied in the conventional manner. The yam must be of various types and of superior quality.
An ezeji had to marry many wives in order to have sufficient labour force to cultivate the yams. In the past, a man can be dedicated to the yam god and therefore he answers “Njoku”. However, if a female was dedicated to the yam god, she answers “Mmaji”.
In the past, recreation activities of the ihitte people consist of;
“Onye lekwala anya na azu”
“Kwenu oga nag a, oganaga”
Folklore and story telling is usually done with help of adults in which community heroes are praised and mysticism is established. In the past, people in ihitte had a way of giving names to their beloved wives, such as;
Ahudiya – The body of her husband
Enyidiye – The friend of her husband
Oyiridiye – The similarities of her husband
Obidiye – The heart of her husband
Omasiridiye – The delight of her husband
RELIGION; The religion of the Ihitte people is Christianity.
POPULATION; Ihitte has a population of 339,000 people according to the 2006 national population census.
LOCATION; with a land area measuring 211sq kilometers, Ihitte is located in the north eastern part of the Imo river, 53kilometres to the Imo state capital, owerri.
CULTURAL AFFINITY; Ihitte people have a culture of hospitality. They relate or interact with outsider in a very respectful and happy manner.
A visitor in ihitte community is entitled to kola nut, bitter kola, afufa (garden egg), palm wine, roasted meat or anything the host can afford.
OCCUPATION; their major occupation is farming, especially in the production of tuber crops and oil production.
WESTERN INFLUENCE; the influence of the western media in ihitte is in two phase because it influence us negatively and positively. The negative aspects of it are;
• It has influence our values and culture
• It has influence our dress code
• It has brought about immorality especially through some bad pictures shown on the television.
The positive aspects of it are;
• It has improve our old ways of doing things.
• It brought about improve in our educational system.
• It brought good health system.
• It improves our security and judicial systems.