The society is still active at the beginning of the 21st century, however, now it plays only a ceremonial role. Members of the Ekpe society are said to act as messengers of the ancestors ikan. The economics of the society is based on paying tribute to the village ancestors. Only males can join, boys being initiated about the age of puberty.
Members are bound by oath of secrecy, and fees on entrance are payable.
The Ekpe-men are ranked in seven or nine grades, for promotion to each of which fresh initiation ceremonies, fees and oaths are necessary. The society combines a kind of freemasonry with political and lawenforcing aims. For instance any member wronged in an Ekpe district, that is one dominated by the society, has only to address an Ekpe-man or beat the Ekpe drum in the Ekpe-house, or blow Ekpe as it is called, i.
Ekpe members always wear masks when performing their police duties, and although individuals may nonetheless be recognized, fear of retribution from the ikan stops people from accusing those members who may overstep their limits. Formerly the society earned a bad reputation due to what the British viewed as the barbarous customs that were intermingled with its rites. At least in the past, very large sums, sometimes more than a thousand pounds, were paid to attain these upper levels.
The trade-off is that the Amama often control the majority of the community wealth. The Amama often appropriate hundreds of acres of palm trees for their own use and, with the profits they earn, ensure that their sons achieve comparable rank, which has the effect of limiting access to economic gain for other members of the community. The Ekpe society requires that its initiates sponsor feasts for the town, which foster the appearance of the redistribution of wealth by providing the poor with food and drink.
The Ekpe-house, an oblong building like the nave of a church, usually stands in the middle of the villages. The walls are of clay elaborately painted inside and ornamented with clay figures in relief. Inside are wooden images to which reverence is paid. At Ekpe festivals masked dancers perform.
Some of the older masks show horns and filed teeth. Non initiates and women are not allowed to come in contact with the masked dancers. As the religion has spread around the world, the name of this Orisha has varied in different locations, but the beliefs remain similar. Eshu is known as the "Father who gave birth to Ogboni", and is also thought to be agile and always willing to rise to a challenge.
Exu is known by various forms and names in Afro-Brazilian religions. It is, in general, made of rough clay or a simple mound of red clay. They are similar to those found in Nigeria. Ritual foods offered to Exu include palm oil; beans; corn, either in the form of cornmeal or popcorn; farofa, a manioc flour.
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Four-legged male birds and other animals are offered as sacrifice to Exu. He appears as a bawdy trickster to foil the colonialist Prospero in Act 3, Scene 3. Names and worship of Esu. Roots and Rooted.
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Retrieved 1 August Pelton University of California Press. Lopes, Nei Translated by Richard Miller. He is the messenger of Olofi. He differs somewhat from Exu, who in this case is seen as his brother, by having dangerous and less aggressive characteristics.
REconciling sCience, Innovation and Precaution through the Engagement of Stakeholders
In Afro-Brazilian religion Elegbara is one of the titles of Exu. Adeoye, C. Ibadan: Evans Bros. Nigeria Publishers. Not much has been published on the role that African philosophy can play in thinking about the challenges arising from the impact of ICT on African societies and cultures. Most research on ICT from an ethical perspective takes its departure from Western philosophy.
Let us review very briefly some recent works on African philosophy that are relevant in a negative or positive sense to the subject of this conference. The terms '"information" and "communication" are absent, not even listed in the index.
I explicitly acknowledge modern reason without assuming that its manifestations are inviolable, particularly when they serve the purposes of colonialization. I locate ethical discourse between the particular and the universal. My aim, following the Kantian tradition, is universality, but I am aware, with Aristotle, that moral and political utterances are contingent, subject to different interpretations and applications based on economic interests and power structures.
We are all equal, and we are all different. It consists of the principles of sharing and caring for one another. What is the relation between community and privacy in African information society? What kind of questions do African people ask about the effects of information and communication technology in their everyday lives?
Olinger, Johannes Britz and M. They write:. The South African government will attempt to draft a Data Privacy Bill and strike an appropriate balance within the context of African values and an African worldview. The task of such an analysis would be to recognize the uniqueness of African perspectives as well as commonalities with other cultures and their theoretical expressions.
This analysis could lead to an interpretation of ICT within an African horizon and correspondingly to possible vistas for information policy makers, responsible community leaders and, of course, for African institutions. Both Britz and Peter John Lor, former Chief executive of the National Library of South Africa, think that the present north-south flow of information should be complemented by a south-north flow in order to enhance mutual understanding.
Although Africa is still far from a true knowledge society, there is hope of success on certain fronts, such as investment in human capital, stemming the flight of intellectual expertise, and the effective development and maintenance of IT infrastructure Britz et al.
This should include leadership, followers, agree-upon principles and values as well as effective interaction among all these elements. A value-based reorientation implies personal awareness, an understanding of information, effective interactions between leaders and their communities without limitations of time and space, and mutual confidence in representative leadership. There is no such thing as a morally neutral technology.
This is not to say just that technologies can be used and misused, but to express the deeper insight that all technologies create new ways of being. They influence our relation with one another, they shape, in a more or less radical way, our institutions, our economies, and our moral values.
This is why we should focus on information technology primarily from an ethical perspective. It is up to the African people and their leaders to question how to transform their lives by these technologies.
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African educational and research institutions should also reflect critically on these issues. The space of knowledge as a space of freedom is not, as Jollife rightly remarks, an abstract ideal. It has a history that limits its possibilities. It is a space of rules and traditions of specific societies, in dialogue with their foundational myths and utopian aspirations. We are morally responsible not only for our deeds but for our dreams. Information ethics offers an open space to retrieve and debate these information and communication myths and utopias.
The main moral responsibility of African academics is to enrich African identities by retrieving and re-creating African information and communication traditions. Cultural memory must be re-shaped again and again to build the core of a humane society.