Occupation & Craft




Trade, as a veritable organization in any community in Ekpeye was very necessary. Traditional Ekpeye villages before now engaged in a subsistence economy as only to satisfy their local needs and requirements in the home setting. It was a self-oriented business but did not take many surpluses for larger markets and long distance trade. However there were common places in each community where articles of self-oriented business took place for exchange at a place called Aya meaning market.

As the population of the people grew and the subsistence production could no longer sustain the needs of the families in the respective villages, larger trading centers emerged. There are now many large, clan central markets at Anakpo such as Aya-Ogbo, Aya-Edeoha, and Aya-Nebe etc. They transact their buying and selling of farm products on the fourth or eighth of the Ekpeye week days of Eke, Udhie, Izu and Ebwo.

The snowballing population increased the volume of trade, which culminated the long distance trade between the Ekpeye and their neighbors; Ogbas, Engennis, Bisenis, Ijaws, Ikweres, Abuas, Igbos etc. The demand for palm oil, by Europeans between 1921 to 1956, also out weighed the demand for farm products by the people. Thus, economy was diversified. It is worthy to mention that this trade brought about relative peace and vast knowledge amongst the people. European involvement in trade facilitated the monetary economy in Ekpeye land. Articles of trade in Ekpeye are as follows; yams, cassava roots, garri, cocoyam, plantain bananas, pepper, pineapple, corn, vegetables, palm oil, palm wine, fishes, meat etc. Almost every village now has its own daily mini-market that is held in the morning or evening when people have returned for farms.

Each market has its operational days in the Ekpeye calendar of a four-day week. No day is set aside in which the people are not expected to go to farm. Unless on the belief of a particular family that their portion of land forbid entry to farm on that day. Eke is generally forbidden for marriages and burials. Recently the population of Christians has increased, and as a result, people rarely attend markets on worship days such as Sunday.

Farming | Fishing | Hunting | Trading | Market | Carving | Basket Making