May 25, 2024
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Urhobo Renaissance Society rethinks traditions of origin, migration, others at 2024 conference

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  • April 9, 2024
  • 3 min read
Urhobo Renaissance Society rethinks traditions of origin, migration, others at 2024 conference

* Onoawarie, Aziza to headline confab

By Editor

THE Urhobo Renaissance Society (URS) will hold its annual conference at Urhobo House, Uvwiamuge-Agbarho, Delta State on August 23 & 24, 2024, and has as theme ‘Rethinking Urhobo Traditions of origin and Migration, Cuisines and Marriage Rites’. Two Urhobo scholars will lead the conference. Keynote speaker will be Secretary, Editorial and Management Committee (EMC) of Urhobo Historical Society (UHS), Professor Andrew Onoawarie Edevbie while the lead paper presenter will be the former Deputy Vice Chancellor, Delta State University, Abraka, Professor Rose Aziza.

Urhobo Renaissance Society think tank has professor of English at the University of Lagos, Hope Eghagha, as its president, Dean of Post Graduate Studies, Delta State University, Abraka, Prof. Sunny Awhefeada as organizing committee chairman and Dr. John Uwa, as secretary.

A statement announcing the conference of thinkers, said, “The narratives woven around the origins and migrations of a people are often steeped in controversies arising from different versions occasioned by new discoveries, pride, identity and ideological perspectives. It is thus inevitable that the idea of “rethinking”, which affords scholars the opportunity to take another look at earlier narratives, becomes a compelling task. The experience of the Urhobo people reflects the foregoing tendency. The earliest if not dominant narrative of Urhobo origins and migrations are anchored on a Benin (Edo) provenance. Hubbard (1948), Egharevba (1960), Otite (1982, 2003 and 2011), Foss (2004), Edevbie (2022) align with the dominant Benin (Aka) origin of the Urhobo people while Ekeh (2005 and 2012) attempt disputing the claim and offering brilliant explanations aimed at rupturing the Benin origin of the Urhobo people.

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Urhobo Renaissance Society (URS) president, Prof. Hope Eghagha

“In the last four years or so, there has been “rumblings”, questioning and disputing, albeit unorganized, of the Benin essence of Urhobo origins and migrations. This trend is not unusual for as Biobaku (1979) submits, “Historians depend upon evidence and their account of what actually happened must change in the light of any new evidence”.

“This conference is a call for the articulation of new evidence in matters of Urhobo origins and migrations. This is now necessary in an age where access to information has become plural and liberalized.”

The conference, beyond focusing on the broad subject of Urhobo origins and migrations, also invites papers from scholars, students and individuals on the patterns of origins and migrations of the twenty-four kingdoms that make up the Urhobo ethnic nationality. The kingdoms are Agbarha-Otor, Agbarha-Ame, Agbarho, Agbon, Arhavwarien, Effurun-Otor, Ewu, Evwreni, Idjerhe, Mosogar, Oghara, Okere-Urhobo, Okparabe, Okpe, Olomu, Ogor, Orogun, Oruarivie-Abraka, Ughelli, Uvwie, Udu, Ughievwen, Umiagwha-Abraka and Uwheru.

The state further noted that in addition to the foregoing is the need to subject the rich marriage rites and cuisine of the Urhobo people to academic evaluation. Among the time-tested values and traditions of the Urhobo are their marriage rites and culinary skills. This conference will offer scholars an opportunity to evaluate, interrogate and articulate various issues revolving around both tendencies.

Deadline for submission of full papers is June 30, 2024. Papers should be sent to: uwa.jmo@gmail.com apart from enquiries and other contacts.

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