“Ohu (Slaves and Slavery) Amongst the Igbo PART 1 A strong case can be made that slavery arose in Igbo-land

10959605_826839704054123_2069721519579029897_n“Ohu (Slaves and Slavery) Amongst the Igbo PART 1 A strong case can be made that slavery arose in Igbo-land as a consequence of pawning. A pawn is a bond or a security for a loan. When a man is in need of money for some specific purpose, and he can find no other way to meet the demand, he could resort to the custom of pawning. Such a man is also free to pawn his children or his person. Very interestingly and remarkably we are met by a direct Hebrew parallel. “If thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, he shall serve thee six years, and in the seventh year thou shall let him go free from thee” (Deuteronomy 15: 12). A system exists among the Igbos called igba odibo (being a servant, cum apprentice) to a master (oga) for a period. The period in this modern era is negotiable, but it is usually for seven years. An indigent Igbo family may hand over one of their sons to a kinsman, to serve the kinsman who will teach him a trade. When the agreed period is over, the master will give the young man what the Igbos call ‘freedom’ and he will duo ya uno (give him some money and goods as a settlement for services rendered). All these can only remind one of: “And when thou lettest him go free from thee thou shall furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy threshing floor, and out of thy winepress; of that where with the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give with him” (Deuteronomy 15: 13).” Excerpt From: Ilona, Remy. “The Igbos and Israel.”

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