DRAMATIC ELEMENTS IN THE ONUNU FESTIVAL OF OKPUJE IN NSUKKA

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ABSTRACT
        This research concerns the Dramatic Elements in the Onunu  festival of Okpuje, Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu state. The research was confined to the eight communities that make up Okpuje, the work was necessitated by the need to examine the impact of Christianity and development on the promotion of this festival and to counter the evolutionist school of thought on the non-existence of Igbo drama. The objectives of the study are among others to demonstrate that the Onunu Okpuje Festival is a form of traditional drama. To accomplish this, a historical research was conducted. Data were sourced from both primary and secondary sources. It was found out that quite a number of scholars, both Nigerians and  others, have studied mmonwu as a form of traditional drama. The relativist school of thought holds the view that there exists traditional drama and so the Onunu Okpuje festival is a form of African traditional drama. The entire people of Okpuje (especially the youths) are urged to participate actively in the festival so that the festival will be livelier. Other researchers are called upon to carry out researches in other aspects of the festival. The government and non-governmental organizations are also called upon to fund researches on the Onunu Okpuje so that its culture will be preserved. 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page
Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.0 Geographical Location of Okpuje
1.1Background of the Study
1.2 Objective of the Study
1.3 Scope of the Study
1.4 Problems and solution
1.5 Significance of the study
1.6 Research Questions

CHAPTER TWO:  LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0 Preamble
2.1 Theoretical Framework
2.2 Empirical Framework

CHAPTER THREE:  RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Design of the Study
3.2 Area of the study
3.3 Population of the Study
3.4 Research instruments
3.5 Method of Data Collection
3.6 Method of Data Analysis

CHAPTER FOUR:  THE ONUNU DRAMA
4.1. Preamble: Announcement of the Date of the festival
4.1.2 Preparation
4.1.3 Prelude to the festival
4.2 The festival Day
4.2.1 Morning Period
4.2.2 Afternoon period
4.2.3 Night period
4.3 performances
4.3.1 Masquerades Outing
4.3.2 Group performers
4.3.3 Ritual Performance

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS
5.1 Summary
5.2 Conclusion
5.3  Suggestions
References
APPENDIX

CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
10. GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION OF OKPUJE
        Okpuje is a town that is located at the north-west end of Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. It is on the trunk B road leading from Nsukka to Idah in Kogi state. At her Northern   end, Okpuje has a common boundary with Ibagwa  Agu in Nsukka Local Government Area; in the south, Orobo-Abbi in Uzo-uwani Local Government Area, in the East, Ibagwa-ani and Akpa-Edem both in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State and in the west, Avurugo and Ugwaka in Kogi state. It is situated on a friendly land scope which is straddled, somehow, by two hills, one at the north and the other at the south, extending to the western part of the town.
ECONOMY
        The primary occupation of Okpuje is farming. This can be attributed to the large expance of agricultural land on which it is situated. A lot of farm crops such as yams of various species, coco yam, cassava (for which the people are great garri producers), melon, maize, beans etc. are produced in the town.
        A man is adjudged rich based on the abundance of agricultural crops he possesses by traditional standards. Wealth in itself confers honour and dignity. Consequently, people strive to be wealthy and since what an individual, working alone can hardly acquire wealth, it makes people to marry as many wives as they could. Many children are born and   large scale farming is practised. More hands, more wealth and greater recognition is achieved.

RELIGION
Okpuje people are deeply religious. They believe in the existence of a supreme being called Ezechitoke Abiama (God the creator) who is the source of life. Apart from him, there is also a belief in a personal god called chi to whom  sacrifices are offered during good and bad times. Furthermore, there is a belief in a pantheon of deities like Ugwu-Okpuje, Asama, Ahimuze, Ovogovo etc. the Chief priests  called Atamama is in charge of these deities. It is pertinent to note that Christianity and western education have impacted so much on their traditional religion that most of them today are Christians of various denominations. Okpuje community has produced some men of God; one Rev. Father Boniface Ekowo, Rev. Ugwuanyi Clifford, Rev. Okwuchukwu Ayogu and Rev Christian Ajibo both of the Anglican denomination, Pastor (Professor) Paul Emeka of the Assemblies of God church and many other   men of God in various denominations.
POLITICAL LIFE
        The administrative set up of Okpuje comprises the elders and  Ama-title holders. The elders are in charge of administering civil duties in villages and they also handle minor criminal disputes.
The council of Ama-title holders is in charge of handling cases which the elders could not settle. They serve as the final court of appeal. This council also deals directly with serious criminal cases. In serious cases of sacrilege such as disclosing the secrets of masquerade to a woman, the culprit is tried and fined by the general council. Other cases such as witchcraft and poisoning are settled by drinking a liquid concoction  from a tree called “Ohachi”. The belief is that the innocent would vomit the whole substance and live while the guilty shall die.....

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