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Nkwerre Opia Egbe (2/2)

Updated: Jun 13, 2020

Attempting to cripple native manufacturing industries, the British flooded the region with cheap, foreign metalware and goods and placed several restrictions on the native firearm industry.

In 1901, the British High Commissioner H.L. Galloway prohibited the outright sale of arms and ammunitions in the area under his jurisdiction. Following the ban, in Nkwerre, the Administration ordered the surrender of all firearms at the Eke Agha market square, and within the period of one month, hundreds of firearms were destroyed, dealing a tremendous blow to the institutionalized pride of Nkwerre.

Christian missionaries further contributed to the decline of blacksmithing in Nkwerre, as they opposed the rituals and customs which were an integral component of the profession. Despite a brief resurgence during the Civil War, for most of the 20th century outright neglect of indigenous technology and manufacturing industries have led to the deplorable state of smithing in modern-day Nkwerre. Reform in societal attitudes towards indigenous industries would drive a much-needed revival in local trades, which may perhaps be the solution to contemporary economic issues.

#igbohistory


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