oa Lagos Notes and Records - Igbo political systems

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0075-7640



In spite of the increased alld sophisticated scholarly output on the Igbo, there is still a tendency to depict precolonial Igbo political systems in general and therefore overly simplified and misleading terms. This paper is an attempt to reconfigure the depiction of those systems. As with previous works that have carefully studied precolonial Igbo, it emphasizes the diversity and complexity of Igbo political systems and argues that because of their underlying republicanism, those systems are best labelled as ""acephalous. "" The paper identifies three types of acephalous systems: (a) those based on segmentary lineages, (b) those based on age-grades, and (c) those in which political authority was exercised by associations.

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