Marriage as a peace-making device in conflict situations among the Igbo: Examples from selected Igbo plays

Eucharia A. Eze, Ndidi J. Okey-Agbo


Marriage is a revered institution in Igbo land but it has been bedeviled by various problems and conflicts. However, despite all these, marriage has also been used as a peace making device and these have been reflected in various Igbo texts. This paper examines marriage as a peace making device among the Igbo as seen from three Igbo literary texts; Udo Ka Mma, Eriri Mara Ngwugwu and Ajọ Obi. The study sees lack of finance as presented in Udo Ka Mma, lack of a male child in Eriri Mara Ngwugwu and lack of trust in Ajọ Obi as possible reasons for conflict and its consequences among the Igbos. The study adopts an eclectic approach which embodies social conflict theory and psychoanalytic theory in the analysis of data. The findings reveal that some characters in the plays exhibit idiosyncratic tendencies which make them self centred and impair their vision. Moreover, it is discovered that clash of interest, greed, infidelity, inordinate ambition, suspicion and intrigue abound in the relationship of the characters involved in the plays and these led to a chaotic end. The study is therefore, of the view that people should shun some of these obnoxious practices that cause conflicts in the society and embrace peace. Marriage is a veritable tool used in conflict resolution in Igbo land and these can be seen in the three texts where different conflicts were settled through marriage.

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