Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
The Ekoi people, also called Ejagham, are found in southeastern Nigeria; their territory straddles the border with Cameroon. Known for their mastery of the art of sculpture, the Ekoi have developed one of the most complex forms of group organization based on or, at least, expressed through their art form. There are seven clans that include all Ekoi, much like the seven abusua of the Akan of Ghana. However, whereas the Akan are matrilin-eal, the Ekoi are patrilineal, and this has implications for kinship links as well as ceremonial styles. Ekoi clans represent kinship and initiation patterns that are reflected in the kind of sculptures worn during ceremonial occasions as expressions of the ancestral clan. Indeed, just as in all African societies, the Ekoi clans are ancestral. However, the specialized emblem of clan membership through the use of particular sculptures underscores the Ekoi's religious kinship as one of blood relation. ...