Sunday, 7 June 2020

Origins of the Efuts of Cross River State?


6 June 2020 

I found this quite interesting about the nexus of migration and origins of the Efuts in Calabar and Cross River State:
                                                                                                                           
''Balondo-ba-konja people originated in the area of modern-day Democratic Republic of Congo. In early 1100's, fifteen Balondo principalities and their nominal rulers migrated from the shores of either the Nyanga River or Luapula River to the town of Akwa Akpa, a coastal town along the banks of Cross River known as Calabar today. After settling down, the place was named "Ideh," their name for present-day Calabar. The Efik people of Calabar called them Efut or strangers in their local language. This event of migration is known as the "first voyage." The Mouri-Monene, Balondo King, worked closely with the Muli or chiefs in-charge of all fifteen principalities to plan their strategy. The King prepared the people and instructed people to stock food and other supplies.
                                                                                                         
The "second voyage" in the year 1149 was forced due to the presence of predatory aquatic animals, including crocodiles and sharks. These animals searched for food in the Cross River, and Balondo was losing its people. They were a constant threat. Despite fighting these animals with spears, harpoons, traps, and fishing nets, the situation did not come under their control. It forced them to look for another location for settlement. Scouts were prepared and sent to search for a new homeland. These scouts traveled to the present day southwest coast of Cameroon, including the Bakassi peninsula. The scouts shared the news with the people, but a mutual consensus could not be reached. The king discouraged the migration, but the pro-migration Balondo refused and safely relocated to the maritime location they discovered in Cameroon. The Balondo who decided to stay in the original Balondo settlement in South Calabar are known today as Efut-Balondo''.
                                                                                      
                                                                                      
Sources:
Oro, Aja (2015). Balondo Through the Ages 1100 - 2013;
Sama, N.M. Origins and Settlement of the Balondo: A Historical Survey. 1993. University of Yaounde, M.A. thesis;
Wikipedia.
                                                                                                   
                                                                        I hope this receives some validation or refutation in part or whole, and inspires even more penetrating research to fill in the gap in history on the side of the Efuts of Cross River State.
                                                                                         
                                                                                         
                                                                      Ceejay Ojong
Abuja
31.05.2020
                                                                                   
                                                                                   
Postscript:
I am especially interested in the history and anthropology of the peoples of Cross River State and my particular interest in the Efuts stems from the fact that I feel an attachment to them having finished Primary School from St. Mary's School, Howell Street, Efut Abua, Calabar in the very early 1980s.



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