DER Documentary

Owu: Chidi Joins the Okoroshi Secret Society


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by Sabine Jell-Bahlsen
color, 60 min, 1994




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Witness an uncompromising portrait of a young man's initiation into a men's secret society. It begins with the elder griot and praise singer talking about the origins of the "Owu" society. Two keepers of tradition, the griot and the town's oldest woman and female griot, Ezenwanyi (Leader of Women), narrate this film continuing their role as commentators in the life of the village. Owu explores the pluralistic lives of Africans as they come up against westernized Christian influence. Many significant rituals are filmed for the first time. The program shows respect for the subject's traditions.

Owu: Chidi Joins the Okoroshi Secret Society is a fabulous journey that takes us through ceremonies and rituals of initiation into the secret and select society of the Igbo people of Nigeria... This film says it all. It accurately underscores the need for growth, the need for societal influence, traditions and practices... highly recommended for various disciplines in the Liberal Arts: Anthropology, Ethnic/African Studies, Art History, African Literature, Religious Studies, Women's Studies, African History and Civilization. (Owu) is a rare treasure in the annals of ethnographic documentation.” — Michael C. Mbabuike, Visual Anthropology, Vol. 13.

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