Accepted paper:

Modernity and the food culture in Urhobo

Authors:

Akpobome Diffre-Odiete (University of Uyo, Nigeria)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the meaning of food in Urhobo worldview, as well as Urhobo kinds of food, nutritional benefits, cultural usages, their contribution to cultural diversity and the impact of modernity on the food culture.

Paper long abstract:

Modernity and the food culture in Urhobo The Urhobo people are a minority ethnic group in southern Nigeria. They consist of twenty-four kingdoms whose people speak three languages but mainly have the same way of life. The culture of food production and consumption among the Urhobo is distinctive. The people consider their food as their cultural identity, a sign of lifestyle and even an avenger of "stomach warfare." From the time of cultivation of crops or fishing to their consumption as food, the process of food production in Urhobo has been subjected to modern changes in recent years. There are changes from complete organic production to the use of chemicals, even in fishery. The cultural usages of food in ancestral worship and traditional social ceremonies have also undergone changes. New technologies are turning time-consuming foods, such as amiedi (palm-fruit soup), to fast foods in production. This paper examines the meaning of food in Urhobo worldview, as well as Urhobo kinds of food, nutritional benefits, cultural usages, their contribution to cultural diversity and the impact of modernity on the food culture. The methodology involved in this study is a cluster sampling of eight mothers and four restaurant cooks from fifteen villages in fifteen kingdoms and five mothers and ten restaurant entrepreneurs (popularly known as "mama put") in six communities of three urban kingdoms. Key Words Urhobo, Food, culture, Oghwo, Modern.

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