Original Research

The disappearing Mammy Water myth and the crisis of values in Oguta, South Eastern Nigeria

Lawrence N. Okwuosa, Nkechi G. Onah, Chichi T. Nwaoga, Favour C. Uroko
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 3 | a4555 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i3.4555 | © 2017 Lawrence N. Okwuosa, Nkechi G. Onah, Chichi T. Nwaoga, Favour C. Uroko | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 March 2017 | Published: 29 September 2017

About the author(s)

Lawrence N. Okwuosa, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, University of Nigeria, Nigeria
Nkechi G. Onah, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, University of Nigeria, Nigeria
Chichi T. Nwaoga, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, University of Nigeria, Nigeria
Favour C. Uroko, Department of Religion and Cultural Studies, University of Nigeria, Nigeria


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Abstract

Igbo value system is in crisis with an increase in crime rate, kidnapping, stealing, sexual immorality and divorce. Though several reasons have been given for this malaise, the influence of myths on value system has not been explored. To do this, we chose Oguta town in South-Eastern Nigeria, known for its belief and worship of Mammy Water. The intent is to verify if the disappearing myth has any adverse socio-cultural implications on the town. As the disappearing myth deals principally with the people’s life, the research methodology used historical as well as the descriptive phenomenological methods. These methods explain the phenomenon as it appeared in Oguta objectively from the historical point of view. One-on-one interviews and focus group discussion with the natives were carried out, thus making oral literature an important element of this research. It comprises three groups: the first group has the age bracket of 70 years and above; the second group has 40–69 years as age bracket and the last group has 20–39 years as age bracket. Efforts were made to distinguish meaningful facts from fictitious or emotional ideas expressed by the participants. Information was also gathered from published works. The research was able to identify the myth’s disappearance as a major contributing factor to the town’s crisis of values.

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