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Igbo (Ibo) Justice System

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by

Erin Hood

on 25 October 2013

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Transcript of Igbo (Ibo) Justice System

Igbo (Ibo) Justice System
An Egalitarian Society
Sources:
"Igbo Political Systems." Igbo Webpage. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Oct. 2013.
Achebe, Chinua. "Things Fall Apart," London, ENGLAND: Heinemann, 1958.
"Igbo People." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 22 Oct. 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.
Egalitarianism:
Positions and Justice for the women
A belief in human equality in regards to social, economic, and political aspects of society.
Many people can withhold an authority position
Power can be based off of wealth, physical strength, influence, etc...
The eldest man is generally at head of village
Individuals remain loyal to the headman
In the Igbo culture, it is a boy's job to fulfill the father's roles
Igbo men were considered superior over women
A man in the Igbo tribe must work hard to earn a higher level of social status
Males have a large hand in the justice system
Men can become "Chiefs"
The males are in charge of social control, political institution and family/compound status
Title for the Men
Justice System in Things Fall Apart (Examples)
Women had very little justice and respect in the Ibo culture
Majority of women had no hand in the justice system
Few women did have a hand, although. (Ex: Oracle, priestess)
Problems are taken up to nine men of the tribe, who wear masks of the gods
a.k.a. egwugwu
A non-punitive system
Decisions are based upon fairness for both/all viewpoints
Example from book: The justice system was headed by the spirits of the ancestors manifested as the elders dressed as the "egwugwu" (Achebe 89).
Egwugwu masks
Position of Elders
Elders are very much respected and have a lot of power and influences judicial issues.
Elders thought to be the most wise and truthful people in the village and are called upon for many decisions.
The leaders of the igbo are most often the elder and the people with the most connection to their gods
the elders are thought to have a stronger knowledge of the traditional laws and practise's of the tribe.
Examples of igbo laws and customs
If someone kills a clansman he is exiled for seven years and all of his belonging are to be burned.
if your wife gives birth to twins they must be cast out.
when a women dies she must be buried in her motherland
if an outsider kills a member of the tribe the killer's tribe must give them a virgin and a young man.
America vs. Igbo
Similarities
Differences
both have a court system
both have laws to keep public in check
both have different punishments for various crimes
both have well respected leaders that are looked to for guidance and structure
the igbo are lead by elders not elected officials like Americans
Americans are represented by a lawyer, the igbo have to represent them selves or have their family testify for them
the igbo don't have a written form of their laws
all people in America have the same rights and privileges, unlike the igbo
Full transcript