TRADITIONAL COMMUNICATION METHODS AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON RURAL DWELLERS (A STUDY OF THE PEOPLE OF NSIT IBOM L.G.A)
1.1 Background of the study
Irrespective of whatever form communication may takes, it is understood to be the basic human survival skill. And irrespective of the level of development in any community or society, the inhabitants of such environment must exchanges information to achieve social cohesion, economic, political progress and mental advancement.
This is perfectly true, that, man cannot do without communication, and without communication that societies with advanced communication systems appear to be more economically prosperous. Good examples of these societies are countries like the United States of America (USA), Japan etc. This is to testify that the method of communication adopted by a given society has its special influence whether positive or negative on the users.
To support this fact, Inyang (2007) defines communication as a process which involves all acts of transmitting message to channels symbols, code or signs or behavior which are used to transmit these messages.
This particular method of communication deals with traditional or indigenous media of communication in Africa. It is a multi-channel communication which is employed in most rural areas as well as rural-urban settings. It is a form of communication that deals extensively on the use of signs and symbols in sending and receiving (encoding and decoding) of information or otherwise means the application of signs and symbols in communication. It also entails a system or ways of putting across a thought to others and the effect becomes observable also by signs and symbols.
The importance of this communication method is commonly notice through its influence on the users, this may be dated back to centuries ago. The means by which signs and symbols were readily decode, actions and reactions commonly observed, special signs and symbols are used in so many ways, and even though the strangers living in this Local Government Area Nsit Ibom people are likely to understand every bit of information conveyed and by this, serious impact is created through gradual transformation of the people of Nsit Ibom.
Traditional communication methods here have a wide range of functions which are attributable to their nature and usage within and outside Nsit Ibom. They can be classified as source, message and channel related. The source-related components are authoritative and credible, while the message related characteristics are transactional, integrative, non-alienating and definitive. The channel or media oriented characteristics are customary, low cost, time acceptable and popular. They are collectively receiver oriented and credible.
The people of Nsit Ibom Local Government Area have their traditional media which are normally employed in their day to day communication. These traditional media essential involve the context of the town crier to talk about the short story in a community. With these, the town crier beats the drum (ibid or abodom) that is wooden drum or metal gang (Nkwon) with or without saying anything, gets the people alert to be ready to gather in the town hall square for announcement.
Apart from the town crier, other things are normally used. Such things include young palm fronts (eyei). The young palm fronts (eyei), when displayed in a plot of land signifies an injunction placed on the land till the case is settled. A piece of palm fronts (eyei) can also be sent to someone from the office of the paramount ruler to signify some kinds of problems that need settlement.
Traditional dance such as “Ekpo masquerade” “Okut Ama cultural play” and a host of others within and outside Nsit Ibom Communicate. Freely with the use of drums which identify different dance styles ansteps. These traditional dances and plays have their own traditional signs and symbols which makes sense to only the members. They understand and react positively to the sounds of the drums.
Moreover, white native clay (Ndom) and black charcoal (Nkang) are not left out. They symbolize something and also pass a lot of