Dynamics of Onomastics in Afikpo Igbo Society

Ngozi U. Emeka-Nwobia


Afikpo is one of the societies in Igbo land with unique names and naming conventions, which predisposes a child to have had a name before he is born. Naming systems reflect the complicated systems of ascribing identities based on certain cultures, conventions and worldviews of the people. The paper examines the totality of Afikpo names from traditional to contemporary trends. It explores the naming convention of Afikpo Igbo, the similarities and differences with other Igbo cultural areas, and the present trend in the face of globalization and urbanization. It critically examines the namesake ‘ogbo’ phenomenon in Ehugbo cultural area. This discussion on names, meaning and convention in traditional Afikpo society reveal that names are not mere appellation or tag but intrinsically tied to primogenitors (progenitor / antecedents).  Due to the influence of religion, westernization and urbanization people now bear or give additional names to reflect their religious leaning, philosophical or ideological view, and to display their knowledge and contact with the western culture.

Keywords: Onomastics, Anthroponyms, Personal names, Afikpo Igbo

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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