Colonialism and the Disintegration of Indigenous Technology in Igboland: A Case Study of Blacksmithing in Nkwerre

Osuala, Uzoma Samuel


Long before the advent of colonial administration, indigenous technology especially blacksmithing was a flourishing profession among the people of Nkwerre. The significance and influence of this industry were pronounced within and outside the community. Through this indigenous technology, the people developed various means with which their socio-economic as well as military needs were met. Consequent upon Nkwerre blacksmithing ingenuity, the people bagged the sobriquet, ‘Nkwerre Opia Egbe’ (Nkwerre, the manufacturer of gun). This is derived from their knack for blacksmithing. Unfortunately, this renowned traditional technology had suffered neglect and abandonment. Hence, Nkwerre has never been historically considered among blacksmithing communities par excellence. This is evident in much of the available literature. The decline in this local technology has been attributed to colonialism as well as the policies of the post-colonial government in Nigeria towards indigenous technology. The paper is set to achieve three purposes: In the first place; it examines the nature of blacksmithing technology and its relevance in pre-colonial and colonial Igboland which cannot be underestimated or over-emphasised. Secondly and the import of the paper, it assesses the impact of colonialism on the decline of this indigenous technology and finally to seek ways through which such indigenous technologies could be revitalised and  modernised in order to suit the present trend in industrial and economic growth for sustainable development. In the methodology, primary and secondary sources were adopted. The paper is thematic, chronological as well as analytical in presentation

Keywords: Colonialism, disintegration, indigenous technology, blacksmithing.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3178 ISSN (Online)2225-0964

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