Welcome to Òkó Language Blog
This blog is about Òkó, the language of the Ogori and Magongo people of Kogi – a state in the Middle Belt region of Nigeria, West Africa. Òkó is a small group language, which is increasingly becoming endangered due to various socio-political reasons. The site is a product as well as a process of an ongoing research to explore, document and to preserve the rich cultural heritage of Òkó and the speakers.
The website presents multipurpose and multimodal resources for understanding Òkó as a language, its speakers and their community and provides various information of epistemological interest. You will find the following information in this blog
i. Òkó as a language
ii. different aspects of the culture and tradition of Òkó speakers,
iii. online information of interest to linguists and language analysts
iv. resources for Ogori and Magongo people who wish to be literate (learn to read and write) in their language
v. educational resources for oracy and literacy in Òkó.
vi. references to some other literature on Òkó and its speakers.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Ogori-Magongo people are said to have descended from an adventurous prince of Ile Ife, one of the earliest settlements of the Yoruba ethnic nation. However the language of the community is said to have developed from an admixture of various languages usually referred to as ena (new language - Osheidu, 1990:15). Òkó, as the language was later called has developed from contact with different linguistic groups in the process of the long migration (both in space and time) from Ife .
The first official census in 1963 puts the population of speakers at ten of thousands. An unsourced document based on the controversial 1983 census put the number at about forty-nine thousand (49,000); and with demographic factors it is speculated that the population would be between 60 - 70 thousand at present.
Ogori Magongo Local Government Area (LGA) shares boundary with Ososo, Ojah, Makeke, Ekpedo and Olokoto in the south, while Bekuma, Lampese, Ibillo, Imoga are in the south-west — all in Edo State of Nigeria. The Ebiras (of Kogi State) cover the north of Òkó speaking areas.
Although the people had gone through a rough period in the past, they are settled as a peace loving people.
Ogori and Magongo people are located in the valleys of ranges of hills. The people are culturally rich. One festival that has continued to draw national and international crowd is the Ovia-osese festival during which teenage girls are formally initiated into womanhood. It is a ceremony in which the community engages in a series of cultural displays and dances, the climax, of which is the “Oke” dance.
Most cultural activities have faded into oblivion, “Ekon-Orire” which was the mail version of Ovia-Osese is still celebrated till now by the Magongo people. For a detailed history and cultural information about the speakers of Òkó, see (Akerejola, 1970; Osheidu, 1990 and Eyika, 2003)