Language and Social Orientation: The Case of Èbè Songs in Alor

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Oyeka, C.N.
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Journal of Nigerian Languages and Culture (JONLAC)
This paper examines Ebe songs in Alor, which is an Igbo speaking community situated in Idemili South Local Government Area in Anambra State. ‘Ịpụ Ebe’ is a rite of passage for girls approaching puberty, and singing constantly at the background to all the chores the girls performed during the rite is one of its most outstanding highlights. This culture has faded despite its numerous benefits. The purpose of this paper is to examine the language of the songs as it relates to the society. The researcher interviewed a handful of Alor women aged eighty-five and above, who actually participated in the Ebe rite. Three songs were documented in the interactions. The analysis of the language used in the songs bring to fore, one of the major functions of language – socialization. The songs which were mostly satirical were used as a means of social control. Urbanization and Westernization were discovered to be the major reasons that led to the extinction of the Ebe rite. The researcher deems it right to document the already fading songs for reference purposes, as well as advocate for a reintroduction of the rites considering its numerous advantages.
Ịpụ Èbè, Satire, Socialization